Before science developed into the sophisticated form that we witness it in today, solutions of problems that had possible associations with science were dealt with and studied under the umbrella of metaphysics. Before the advent of modern science and very well before Aristotle, metaphysics was the most commonly used approach towards scholastic analysis and learning. Metaphysics incorporates the quest to go beyond standard science and to delve into the real meaning and purpose of the things (Turchin and others, 1993).
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“Many philosophers have accepted the judgment that the sort of knowledge sought by the metaphysician is not attainable.” Do you agree with this assessment?
In light of the process of evolution of man and all that man has attained so far from it, it is difficult to determine whether man will someday actually be able to answer the complex questions that the subject matter of metaphysics is composed of. Questions related to universal debates such as the existence of God and the reason and significance of dreams are questions that have seen heated debates since the moment man gained consciousness of the world around him (Ndubuisi, 2004).
Judging by the above-mentioned facts, in my opinion, it is intricate to ascertain whether or not the knowledge required to answer the questions of metaphysics is within the realm of man’s reach. However, since over time several subjects have been transferred from the focus of metaphysics to relatively logic-based scientific centers of attention, it would be too early to assume whether or not the knowledge sought is attainable. That is because it may be a question of the degree of sophistication the technology of man reaches that may be the determinant of whether or not man finds the answers to his questions. In layman’s terms, it may be simply a question of time. As time goes by, the man may come to newer horizons and might stumble across methods to acquire that information that may answer his countless questions. But until such happens, for the present-day man, it is not surprising that a wide majority of philosophers have chosen to accept the statement since it applies perfectly to the current state of man regarding the knowledge required to answer the complex questions of metaphysics.
Key problems with metaphysics
The key problems of metaphysics have remained challenging to metaphysics from the very beginning and have not ceased to be so as time has gone by. However, the uniformity that all these problems share is that they are directly related to ontology. Ontology is the learning of the very existence of things, what is commonly referred to as, the inquisition about qua being. Ontology encompasses not only the nature of existence but also the nature of the relationship between all that exists. It challenges the fundamental properties of an entity that determine whether the property of existence is attributable to something or not. It delves into the question of how properties of the existence of something related to the entities around it as well as to itself. More importantly, ontology draws the line between what exactly is an object that can be referred to as a tangible and what its constituents are. The next chapter of existence is also questioned here, as to what causes a tangible to lose the attributes it has that give it existence.
Which idea of metaphysics fits your own worldview best, and why?
The catch of Metaphysics, as Aristotle had also explained it, is that if we choose to study ourselves and the world around us through the lens of science and mathematical logic based on and inclined towards precision, we must first accept that metaphysics comes before that science because if we believe everything to be of natural origin and hence explainable, we must realize that we are running around in circles since we are in a manner of speaking, only proving to ourselves what we can already see in front of us, and hence, not actually attaining anything. To actually attain something, we must look before we delve into the scientific logic of things, at the reason for those things to exist, why they exist and what they exist for, and what attributes do they have that lead us to accept their existence and similarly, what attributes they lose that we accept that they are no longer in existence (Newall, 2004).
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An example can be seen in the fact that in Aristotle’s metaphysics, every intangible is associated with a tangible, and the intangible can not exist without its respective tangible.
Hence we can infer that where all science fails, man uses metaphysics to not only explain the unexplainable but also to open new channels of already attained scientific knowledge by subjecting them to the philosophy of metaphysics.
Metaphysics was used by man in the early days of civilization to describe a scientific phenomenon that was unexplainable in those days because of the fundamental degree of the sophistication of man. As man learned, his reservoir of knowledge increased to allow him to learn more and explain more of the world around him to himself and the reason for his existence in it. But these simple questions still perplex intellectuals even after having developed so much and having attained such a high degree of sophistication, which explains why metaphysics comes well before fundamental science in the eyes of countless philosophers.
Turchin, Joslyn, and Heylighen. “Metaphysics, introduction.” Principia Cybernetica. 1993. 2009. Web.
Ndubuisi, C. “Metaphysics of the Ndi-Igbo.” International Society For Philosophers. 2004. 2009. Web.
Newall, Paul. “Introducing Philosophy 3: Metaphysics 1.” The Galilean Library. 2004. 2009. Web.