Tag Archives: ontology

Innate ideas

Think about the innate idea of the iPhone. If we take innate ideas on face value, then the innate idea of the iPhone should have existed during Plato’s lifetime (or eternally according to the theory).

If this is true, then why didn’t we have the iPhone then, or even mention of it somewhere? Clearly this is nonsense. Innate ideas do not exist. We only have things as they come into existence and then known when experienced.

Space

Imagine pure space without a single object in it. Not even you, the observer, but nonetheless for some reason you are still able to “observe” this space.

In what way can you differentiate one dimensionless point in this space to another dimensionless point? By what means can you understand the distance these two dimensionless points? How do you discover the size of this space? Or else does this space have a size at all? And how do you differentiate between a point and space, when there is no way to differentiate between the two?

Democritus and Leucippus called this void, but only when compared or contrasted to atoms. In other words, void is defined by the things, or the absence thereof, not by any positive means.

Parmenides found this troubling. For then void cannot be truly void. Nothing must be “something”. He drew the conclusion that all is one, and that change as observed in the world is an illusion.

Einstein described with the equation E=mc2 the world as mass, space, time, and energy. For any one of these elements to have a value would mean the entirety is zero, nothing or void. But nothing seems to have zero energy. Atoms brought to near zero Kelvin slows motion but can never stop it. Everything is in flux as Heraclitus had concluded. So space is energy, and not empty void as such.

Space is likely a thing, but because of its nature as a “homogenous” thing it cannot be observed directly but only by indirect means or inferred through the relationship of things.

Things, space, time, reality

There are things.

There is no other way to express the first encounter with the world. It may be that this is not the first encounter as such. Perhaps the first encounter is with nothing. But we can never know that. To suggest that nothing can be encountered is counterintuitive and illogical. I too must have been nothing. Nothing cannot be there, for that there would have to be no place. 

This world then must be there at the moment of its encounter. What the thing that is encountered matters not for now, only that there is a separation between there and not there. 

Space is inferred by the relationship of things.

I cannot make contact with space. It is there only from the sensing of things. Eventually, I will make contact with other things. And space will be inferred from this. 

Time is inferred from the change in the relationship of things.

Like space I cannot directly know it. I know time by things and space. The movement of things is the measure of time. I cannot be sure time exists other than from knowing it through things and space. 

Reality is the entirety of things, space, and time.

All that can be known is derived from reality.

From the relationship of things

Space cannot be known without things. I know what space is from the relationship of things.

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and the last mind

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is the latin title of Wittgenstein’s first and only work published within his lifetime.  It translates roughly to A Treatise on Logic and Philosophy.

The stance then is that of logic.

I do not agree that logic is the best place to start. Logic, to me, seems to be an activity of the mind. And the mind is physical object take performs such processes. To me, place to start is ontology and then epistemology.

Someone commented in a previous post that it is ironic that one must use logic to even start to ask ontological and epistemological questions. I agree. And that tells us something about the inescapability of the act of thinking in order to get to the understanding. Logic, in other words, is a physical act. Logic cannot occur without the availability of the body or mind. This extends to knowledge (the epistemological act) as well. Logic and knowledge do not exist without a mind perform these acts. When the last mind extinguishes form this world so too does logic and knowledge. What continues to remain is the physical world, the reality. And logic and knowledge will restart when another mind comes into (for lack of a better word) being.

Monism, dualism or pluralism?

Is it 1) mind only; 2) matter only; 3) both mind and matter; 4) more than just mind and matter; or 5) neither mind nor matter?

If it is the mind then all matter needs the mind. If it is matter then all things needs matter. If it is mind and matter then all things need both mind and matter. If it it is more than mind and matter then all things need mind, matter and the unknown things. If it is neither mind nor matter then all things need some unknown thing.

The world can be explained with what we have, namely the mind and matter. But the matter seems not to need the mind to exist. Death is a prime example of the matter continuing after the mind disappears. Whether the mind and/or some other unknown exists or disappears only matter exists. The only conclusion we can draw is it is monism, and it is matter only.

Physicalism

I believe everything is physical. I also believe that the physical is a priori. So I believe what are commonly called the mind, self and soul also derive from the physical and physical processes.

There are things. And there is space. Space is also seemingly a singular thing. These are the physical things. The physical processes is time or the measure of it.

Everyday and at every moment, I reaffirm this and see it as a kind of mysticism.