METAPHYSICS

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METAPHYSICS by Mind Map: METAPHYSICS

1. What is our place in the universe?

1.1. Mind and matter: The connection, or lack of, in terms of where consciousness resides. The mind-body dilemma.

1.1.1. Where does consciousness reside?

1.1.1.1. Consciousness resides in our own being, we create a reality best suited for us. Our place in the universe is within ourselves. We each have a universe that consists of just ourselves, that of which in our minds. Finding peace and belonging within our thoughts and actions could grant placement; a polite company found in chaos.

1.1.2. Why can't we find a place in the actual universe?

1.1.2.1. We live for ourselves. The universe is a wide concept, as well as society. Not everyone is established in these constructs. When we walk around, no one knows who we truly are. All simply getting by in our own little worlds. A perfect fit in society doesn't and shouldn't exist. If it did, emptiness would grow inside. Peace within our mind and body. Accepting our presence, our consciousness. Taking a step back, taking a breath, and accepting that settling into the universe starts within.

1.1.3. Who?

1.1.3.1. George Berkeley: Famous for defending idealism. The mind is the holder of reality. Berkeley was an Irish philosopher in the early modern period. He has many works that add to and critic the ideas of his preceders: Descartes, Malebranche and Locke. Those works include: "An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision" (1709) and "A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge"(1710). He opposed the alternative to idealism, materialism and dualism, in "Principles" and "Dialogues". Created a theory he called "immaterialism"

1.2. Identity and change: Acknowledgement makes an entity recognizable, can make something unique. Once that happens, the identity is irrefutable. Change is the alternation of that identity. "Identity means existence and existence means reality."

1.2.1. Why is it important?

1.2.1.1. Our place in the world is related to our identity and when our perspective changes so does our identity. Our place includes working on developing ourselves, learning along the way. Identity comes from who we were, who we are, and who we aspire to be. The importance of being comfortable with how we carry ourselves goes hand and hand with setting into the uncertainty that is existing.

1.2.2. When does our identity tell us our place?

1.2.2.1. No definitive answer can be given to each person, that information seems unavailable. However, when moving forward and looking back, that reflection can start to answer the unknowns. Identity is not tangible, it’s something we blanket our brains with. Once discomfort is sought, change gives identity the chance to flourish and modernize itself.

1.2.3. Who?

1.2.3.1. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: German philosopher whose theory greatly impacted the studies of metaphysics. Some theories included Leibniz’s Law and Identity of indiscernibles. With the identity of indiscernibles, there is the numerical identity: being the same thing, meaning everything is identical with itself (x=x), which also means they have the same properties as itself. Two things with different properties are non-identical (y≠x). For example, under Leibniz’s Law, ideas similar to “thoughts=brain process” and “you=your past self” are proven to be untrue.

1.3. Existence and consciousness: Existence is primary and consciousness is secondary. Yet there is no consciousness without something existing to perceive. How trustworthy is our perception? We are comfortable with the little realities we have created for ourselves.

1.3.1. Why do we exist?

1.3.1.1. Our place in the universe is related to living. Going through the trials that face us for the sake of living. Trusting our perception because we see the importance of continuing, even without direction. Are we meant to create a connection to something, a study, any creative outlet, even a person? Creating our own universe in the world around us with the things that mean something. Some priorities may not make sense, but they mean something to someone. Perception changes perspective.

1.3.2. How do we know we are living the right way?

1.3.2.1. Living is not defined by a simple idea of the perfect life, there is a spectrum of different life paths to take that are unique to each individual. There is not a textbook definition to the meaning of life because there isn’t one answer. Not a single expectation for everyone to exactly follow. Life is about the personalized experiences we create for ourselves and others around us. Living the right way is unrealistic when there is no right way. We do the best we can to figure out what we want and what we need in life. Of course there are legal obligations and laws that prevent us from living the wrong way. There is no right way, but there is most definitely a wrong way (refer to any section of the Criminal Code).

1.3.3. Who?

1.3.3.1. David Chalmers: A philosopher from New York University. He believes that consciousness is the most puzzling phenomenon in nature. There is always a discomfort in someone's view, something missing, something misunderstood. On one side, the whole physical world may be in the mind of the observers, this puts humans in the centre of the universe, yet the other side says the world itself has consciousness through science. Nothing has truly been solved so the interpretation is endless.

2. Does the world really exist?

2.1. Space and time: Time and space are separate from our existence and are independent (realist). Mental constructs that change when in different observers' eye, essentially unreal concepts (idealist). And or "space-time".

2.1.1. What is time?

2.1.1.1. Time is a social construct. It goes fast some days and other days it drags on. All based on perception. When we pause and count the seconds, it is consistent, but when we actually live, there is no sense of true time. When we live in the moment, time is the least of our worries. Life is meant for living, time only helps us organize the real world responsibilities. Yet, if there was no deadline, no sense of end, living would be meaningless and people would become lazy and unmotivated.

2.1.2. How do ideas (like time or day and night) stay agreed upon by everyone?

2.1.2.1. Night and day. This is a connection, a consistency that occurs everyday. The days have to start and end. Whether that is judged by actual time, or the sun and moon. What is a day? When the sun goes down, why does that tell us the day is over? The space we are living in is up for interpretation. If we have been told something our entire life, then it will make sense, but that doesn't make it more truthful or right. Maybe the moon represents day and the sun represents night; a crazy concept, but worth questioning?

2.1.3. Who?

2.1.3.1. Albert Einstein: Einstein believes that space and time are intertwined infinitely. They are relative, meaning they depend on the motion of the observer who measures them. This is considered the “Theory of Special Relativity”. Space and time are “space-time”, a single entity and it is the fourth dimension of an event.

2.2. Necessity and possibility: A necessity fact is one that is true across all possible worlds. A possible fact is one that is possible in any world, maybe not ours. If it is possible that nothing exists, then nothing would still exist?

2.2.1. Why is this proven?

2.2.1.1. This is proven (the existence of the world), but who's to say? We all have a different perception of reality and the world around us. Every life is unique, but we all share a collective experience of living. We are all living a different life, all going through inner struggles that are not apparent on the outside. A necessity fact is that we are all here right now, but the extent of which is debatable because we each carry our own perception. In another dimension, it’s possible that we can see the world from the view of others when wanted. Anything is possible if nothing is real, especially if nothing matters.

2.2.2. Where else do we exist?

2.2.2.1. Everything exists in one way or another. Whether it is across the world, in our dreams, or in another dimension. There are endless realities attached to every person. How do we know which one is real? My parents and friends wait to talk to me in the morning, the people in each of my dreams might be expecting my arrival. My daydreams could also consist of real conversations, just in a different reality. Dreams don’t come out of nowhere, the little fantasy worlds we create, don’t come from nowhere. Everything means something. This world might not even exist, meaning everything exists somewhere else.

2.2.3. Who?

2.2.3.1. Saint Thomas Aquinas: An Italian philosopher during the 13th century, he argues views on necessity are based on the idea that all existing things depend on the existence of other things, meaning, one thing must certainly exist as a necessary being. “Nothing can come from nothing”. Aquinas was also passionate about the philosophy related to religion.

2.3. Abstract objects: Abstract objects, if they exist, are non-physical and intangible. We may think these concepts are real but once analyzed the entities are proven to be ungrounded. If an object is not abstract it exists physically and is considered a concrete object.

2.3.1. What would make the Earth real?

2.3.1.1. The Earth may not exist physically, but in essence the world is an abstract object. The logic of “you have to see it to believe it” can be added to this theory. Holding the world in the palm of your hand is impossible, which can make the idea difficult to comprehend. The world is such a huge concept that when on a smaller scale seems unreal. The science of the Earth is proven, astronauts have travel passed Earth and observed from an outsider's perspective. However, is that what we live on? Or is the Earth an abstract object that we use to stray away from the fact that we live inside our own realities created in our minds?

2.3.2. How can something exist if it is non-physical?

2.3.2.1. Saying something, talking about an entity, makes it real. Magic, aliens, mythical creatures, these topics are often debated to be real on Earth. After talking about these concepts, looking back into history to prove or disprove existence, there is an air of reality created which gives the ideas existence. They may not be settled on Earth and exist around us, but they exist in essence, they exist abstractly, and they quite possibly could exist in another dimension. Anything could be a concrete object in another world, even in our world, just unproven.

2.3.3. Who?

2.3.3.1. Aristotle: An Ancient Greek philosopher who was the student of Plato. Plato’s philosophy focused more on mathematics rather than biology. Unlike Plato, Aristotle used biology to analyze the study. Aristotle saw abstract objects as unreal objects (would argue that they exist, just not physically). Believed that “the world was made up of individuals occurring in fixed natural kinds.” Each individuals has an inner pattern of development, which allows full development of a person. Aristotle touches on inseparable properties when analyzing abstract from ordinary.

3. Does any of this actually matter?

3.1. Abstract objects: Every entity is either concrete or abstract. To be abstract is something that we thought was real but once analyzed is a fictional entity. Doesn't physically exist anywhere.

3.1.1. Why are the important things intangible?

3.1.1.1. Experiences are supposed to last a lifetime, while objects don’t. Everyday we experience something, big or small, meaning no one remembers every moment they have ever lived. The wisdom that goes along with those experiences is what sticks with a person for life. Yet if nothing matters, why is that wisdom so crucial? No one knows what truly matters. Some people might say love and connection, maybe a stable life and full time job, or some may say freedom, creativity. It’s a matter of opinion, and for everyone to live, something needs to be at the end of the road, something achievable with goals along the way. Staying sane is the only thing we can do in this world. Even if nothing matters, we are still here and we all have a life to live. So why not make the most out of a directionless situation. Who knows, maybe we'll find peace once we accept insanity.

3.1.2. What if nothing is real?

3.1.2.1. Very possible, but questioning gives the ideas an air of reality. The thoughts affect us, make us think. Thinking that nothing is real could be what is needed to ground society as a whole, connect us to what really is. Accepting that nothing is real could be the secret in living life to fullest. After accepting that fact, maybe it will make life truly meaningful because the real priorities might become clear.

3.1.3. Who?

3.1.3.1. Plato: Plato was an Athenian philosopher during the classical period in Ancient Greece. He was the teacher to Aristotle after being taught by Socrates. The "Theory of Platonism" was derived from Plato’s studies but not directly created by him. The theory is a contemporary view that greatly affected the Western society. The view states that abstract objects exist. An abstract object is an object that fails to exist in space or time, but it exists non-physically, and non-mentally.

3.2. Space and time: Time and space have an existence independent from the human kind (realist). Mental constructs used to organize perceptions, essentially unreal concepts (idealist).

3.2.1. Where are we?

3.2.1.1. We are not actually here, yet we are everywhere, in every dimension. Planets, dimensions, alternate universes. There are versions of me that are incomprehensible. Looking through a mirror; it’s not me, it’s a reflection of me, merely a version of me that I can’t touch, but she exists somewhere out there, out of reach.

3.2.2. Time is perception. Does time matter?

3.2.2.1. Life goes on. The clock continues to tick even after, for example, that one due date passes. Every little moment will pass, meanwhile time should not be wasted. Is it still considered wasted time if everything happens for a reason? If something is going to happen, it'll happen. So why put energy into speeding up or slowing down. Just be here in the moment and be one with the flow of experience. Time may not matter, life may be meaningless, but we’d get bored if we blindly accepted that fact. The meaning might be in the adventure. Does it matter? No, but why are we here then?

3.2.3. Who?

3.2.3.1. J.M.E McTaggart: McTaggart was a British idealist in the 19th-20th century. He is best known for his view/argument of the unreality of time. He advocated personal idealism through his system of Metaphysics. "The Unreality of Time" (1908), is McTaggart's best known work. This paper outlines that our descriptions of time are supposedly contradictory, circular, and or insufficient. This argument has three steps: 1. Distinction between the A series and B series of time. 2. Demonstrates (claims) that the A series is inherent (permanent and essential). 3. The A series is also internally contradictory. If A is both of those terms, then time is unreal.

3.3. Existence and consciousness: Are we really here? And if we are, where does that feeling of “here” establish itself? Existence is primary and consciousness is secondary. Should we trust our own perception? Consciousness is unapparent if there is nothing existing to perceive.

3.3.1. Where does existence stand?

3.3.1.1. Our existence on its own is debatable, meaning the little things don’t matter. Our existence and consciousness are determined by us. Our reality is our choice, our perception is malleable. It’s difficult to wake up in the morning and change how we think, but tomorrow can always be the beginning. The trustworthy idea of our existence is what gives us the preconceived notion that all this matters, our consciousness keeps us grounded. But maybe letting go of that idea is what will give meaning.

3.3.2. What does our existence tell us about ourselves?

3.3.2.1. Our existence and consciousness tell us that we are everything and nothing at the same time. I am everything in my own reality, I perceive life from my point of view and only my point of view. Empathy is still apparent, but realistically, my life is all things me. Yet, this is the case for every person in the world. On the greater scale we are just numbers, we are an unpersonalized statistic. In my existence, I am the entire reality because I have only experienced being me, yet in the world I am a very small item. With that inconsistency, it is hard to believe that existence is true at all. The imbalance between those concepts is what asks the question of “does any of this really matter?”

3.3.3. Who?

3.3.3.1. Thomas Nagel: Nagel is an American philosopher who is famous for the “What it is like” (1974) principle. This theory aims to bring in a more subjective notion of consciousness, being a conscious being/organism. Consciousness is determined by the aspect of “something that it is like” when being that creature. Nagel uses bats in many examples across the board. Bats are conscious because there is something connected to a bats experience and view of the world; echolocation senses. Something humans can emphatically understand, understanding what consciousness is like in the bats own point of view.

4. Sources

4.1. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/berkeley/

4.2. What is Leibniz's Law? - Gentleman Thinker

4.3. The Identity of Indiscernibles (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

4.4. David Chalmers

4.5. David Chalmers - What is Consciousness?

4.6. GP-B — Einstein's Spacetime

4.7. Thomas Aquinas, "The Argument from Necessity"

4.8. https://orb.binghamton.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1375&context=sagp

4.9. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4182215?seq=1

4.10. Platonism in Metaphysics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

4.11. McTaggart, J. M. E. | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

4.12. The Unreality Of Time (McTaggart's Argument)

4.13. Consciousness (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

5. ELLA FERRELL 2021