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Balance Of The Force

This nOde last updated June 20th, 2003 and is permanently morphing...
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metaphysics (mèt´e-fîz´îks) noun
Abbr. met., metaph.
1.(used with a sing. verb). Philosophy. The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of internal linkreality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.
2.(used with a pl. verb). The theoretical or first principles of a particular discipline: the metaphysics of law.
3.(used with a sing. verb). A priori speculation upon questions that are unanswerable to scientific observation, analysis, or experiment.
4.(used with a sing. verb). Excessively subtle or recondite reasoning.

[Pl. of Middle English methaphisik, from Medieval Latin metaphysica, from Medieval Greek (ta) metaphusika, Greek (Ta) meta (ta) phusika, (the things) after the physics, the title of Aristotle's treatise on first principles (so called because it followed his work on physics) : meta, after. meta- + phusika, physics.  physics.]


metaphysic (mèt´e-fîz´îk) noun
1.a. Metaphysics. b. A system of metaphysics.
2.An underlying philosophical or theoretical principle: a belief in luck, the metaphysic of the gambler.

[Middle English methaphisik, metaphisik.]


metaphysical (mèt´e-fîz´î-kel) adjective
1.Of or relating to metaphysics.
2.Based on speculative or abstract reasoning.
3.Highly abstract or theoretical; abstruse.
4.a. Immaterial; incorporeal.  synonyms at immaterial. b. internal linkSupernatural.
5.Often Metaphysical . Of or relating to the poetry of a group of 17th-century English poets whose verse is characterized by an intellectually challenging style and extended metaphors comparing very dissimilar things.

[Middle English metaphisicalle, from Medieval Latin metaphysicâlis, from metaphysica, metaphysics. See metaphysics.]
- met´aphys´ically adverb


Metaphysics, branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of ultimate reality. Metaphysics is customarily divided into ontology, which deals with the question of how many fundamentally distinct sorts of entities compose the universe, and metaphysics proper, which is concerned with describing the most general traits of reality.

The subjects treated in Metaphysics by Greek philosopher Aristotle (substance, causality, the nature of being, and the existence of god) fixed the content of metaphysical speculation for centuries. Thirteenth-century Scholastic philosopher Saint Thomas Aquinas declared that the knowing of god was the aim of metaphysics. The central figure in metaphysics, however, was 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Before Kant, metaphysics was characterized by a rationalistic method of inquiry based on a priori principles- that is, knowledge derived from reason alone. This method may be subdivided into monism, the belief that the universe is made up of one fundamental substance; dualism, the belief in two such substances; and pluralism, the belief in many fundamental substances.

The monists, agreeing that only one basic substance exists, differ in their descriptions of its principal characteristics. In idealistic monism the substance is believed to be purely mental; in materialistic monism it is held to be purely physical; and in neutral monism it is considered neither exclusively mental nor physical. The most famous dualist was French philosopher René Descartes, who maintained that body and mind, radically different entities, are the only fundamental substances in the universe. German philosopher internal linkGottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a prominent pluralist.

The type of metaphysics that asserts that knowledge of reality is obtained not from a priori principles but from experience is called empiricism. Another school of philosophy maintains that, although an ultimate reality does exist, it is altogether inaccessible to human knowledge. This view is known as skepticism or internal linkagnosticism with respect to the reality of god.

Kant combined several major metaphysical viewpoints, developing a distinctive critical philosophy called transcendentalism. His philosophy is agnostic in denying the possibility of a strict knowledge of ultimate reality, empirical in affirming that all knowledge arises from experience, and rationalistic in maintaining the a priori character of the structural principles of empirical knowledge. Kant sought to reconcile science and religion in a world of two levels, comprising noumena, objects conceived by reason although not internal linkperceived by the senses; and phenomena, things that appear to the senses and are accessible to material study. He maintained that because god, freedom, and human internal linkimmortality are noumenal realities, these concepts are understood through moral faith rather than through scientific knowledge.

Some of Kant's most distinguished followers, including German philosopher G. W. F. Hegel, developed an absolute idealism in opposition to Kant's critical transcendentalism. Notable among later metaphysical theories are radical empiricism, or pragmatism, adapted as instrumentalism by American philosopher John Dewey; voluntarism; phenomenalism; emergent internal linkevolution, or creative evolution; and the philosophy of the organism.

In the 20th century the validity of metaphysical thinking has been disputed by logical positivists, who assert that expressions that cannot be tested empirically have no factual cognitive meaning, and by Marxist dialectical materialism, which asserts that the mind is conditioned by and reflects material reality. Therefore, speculations that conceive of constructs of the mind as having any other than material reality are themselves unreal. Existentialist philosophers have contended in turn that the questions of the nature of being and of the individual's relationship to it are extremely important and meaningful in terms of human life; therefore these questions are considered valid whether or not their responses can be verified objectively.
Imagination manifests realities


In the American metaphysic, reality is always material reality, hard, resistant, unformed, impenetrable, and unpleasant.
Lionel Trilling (1905-75), U.S. critic. The Liberal Imagination, "Reality in America" (1950).


To regard the internal linkimagination as metaphysics is to think of it as part of life, and to think of it as part of life is to realize the extent of artifice. We live in the mind.
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), U.S. poet. The Necessary Angel, "Imagination as Value" (1949; repr. 1951).

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The Metaphysics of internal linkInformation
Information in formation Fila Brazilia - Luck Be A Weirdo tonight CD on Twentythree (1997)

The physics of information ultimately leads people into deeper questions, including the one raised originally - about internal linkeschatology or the fate of the universe. Some physicists suggest the universe has only two possible fates available to it, depending on the curvature constant of spaceinternal linktime: continual expansion, in which case it will spread out into entropic heat death; or recollapse, into the Big Stop, which might possibly be the seed of a succeeding Big Bang. But this pondering of the fate of the universe doesn't take into account a third possibility. Some physicists like internal linkFrank Tipler suggest that at the last possible moment, all conscious life with unite into one "internal linkOmega Point" supermind, and place the cosmos under its control, annulling heat death. This viewpoint is the inverse of Deism, essentially postulating the Creator at the end of time rather than at the beginning.

Tipler's assumption is that various negentropic internal linkprocesses are actually driving the universe toward improbability - in this case, the most improbable thing imaginable, a Universal Mind. But one can take a sort of "weak" position with regard to Tiplerian theory, and  merely state that the universe is becoming more and more self-aware (through the sense organisms of conscious life), and, as a result, a more self-organizing system, reducing its own entropy. (Whether it ever becomes totally self-aware can be left to the mystics.) That is to say, the universe isn't a box which requires a internal linkMaxwellian demon roaming about. The box is the demon, becoming more and more aware of what's inside of it, and also what's outside.

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…Chuang Tzu not only has no metaphysics, he actually condemns and derides  metaphysics. internal linkSupernaturalism and materialism both appear equally funny to him. His only cosmogonic principle is "chaos". Oddly enough the only philosophical tool he uses is logic -- although it is the logic of internal linkdream. He makes no mention of divine principle, of the purpose of being, or personal internal linkimmortality. He is beyond Good and Evil, sneers at ethics, and even makes fun of yoga…

 - _Aimless Wandering: Chuang Tzu's internal linkChaos Linguistics_ by internal linkHakim Bey from internal linkFringeware Review 10:12

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While the old technology produced and distributed material resources, the new technology produces and disseminates internal linkinformation. The resources marketed in high technology are less about matter and more about mind. Under the impact of high technology, the world is moving increasingly from a physical economy into what might be called a "metaphysical economy." We are in the internal linkprocess of recognizing that consciousness rather than raw materials or physical resources constitutes wealth.
 - internal linkPeter Lamborn Wilson - _Info Wars_atomjacked inventory cache

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