Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Epistemology is a snare - we need Metaphysics

The modern idea of modern philosophy assumes that epistemology is the most fundamental subject - questions about 'knowledge' such as how we know we know, or how we can be certain.

But the first and most important philosophy is metaphysics - the study of the primary, basic nature of reality - which is also the study of the key assumptions we make about reality. 

Epistemology is therefore a waste of time, a damaging waste of time, without metaphysics. Epistemology is even more dangerous when it is based on the assumption that metaphysics is obsolete, childish and/or has been superseded by epistemology, or science, or something...

Examples of what I mean abound from high status to lowbrow bar-room conversation, the usual modern philosophical discourse fails to notice that it is only playing with a set of assumptions that create the outcome - meanwhile the assumptions are unnoticed or denied.

As when people assume a fundamental reality in which there is no order, consciousness or morality - and after vast arguments finally conclude that in reality there is not order, consciousness or morality... unaware that they themselves have assumed that which they believe they have 'proven'.

Most modern people simply refuse to admit they have any primary assumptions about the nature of reality - and they assert that their basic beliefs are forced-upon them by experience, logic, 'science' or whatever.

Philosophers generally get terribly unsure about the possibility of certain, reliable, communicable knowledge - without acknowledging that their metaphysical assumptions have already ruled-out anything of the kind.   

Most modern people have a metaphysics which assumes that reality has no meaning or purpose - but they do not even realise that this is what they are assuming - and may become miserable and despairing about their failure to find meaning and purpose in experience, logic or 'science'.

The ridiculous tragedy of the situation is capped-off by the fact that those who call for metaphysics, who imagine that they are actually doing metaphysics; in practice themselves regard their assumptions as necessary and based on compelling evidence and logic (which would mean, if true, that they were not primary assumptions).

It would be absurd and amusing if the situations wasn't so tragic and lethal. The modern world has - in effect - laboriously constructed a perfect random number generator and is minutely examining the output to discover patterns.

In such a world of to ingrained, habitual and wilful self-blinding, to acknowledge the existence of our own metaphysical assumptions and those of others; to acknowledge that all knowledge must be based-upon metaphysics; to acknowledge that we cannot do epistemology without metaphysics - comes as a liberation: like waking from a nightmare delirium into the clear like of day.


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