What is metaphysics and is it outdated already?

3 min read


Sometimes philosophers catch themselves wondering what is actually real and how this interacts with our consciousness. Does everyone see the world differently? Are we merely "hanging on the back of a tiger dreaming," as Nietzsche poetically put it, or how can we establish objective, non-variable facts about reality?

The more you think about it, the more questions, but also possibilities to answer them, open up. On the whole, this is called metaphysics. However, where the border between speculation and fact runs, is not clear even to the physicists. We handle with models here with models, e.g., the atomic nucleus, however, it is not so in the reality as we get illustrated from the school books. This shortening of facts must correspond with the human imagination, one could also say that the reality is always also a human reality.

Since many readers love the anecdotes, I would like also to mention why it is called metaphysics. The word "physics" is derived from the Greek word "physis", which means "nature" while 'meta' in ancient Greek means 'after'. The word 'metaphysics' was ultimately coined by an ancient editor of Aristotle's works, who simply used it for the books listed after those on physics. The physics books discussed things that change; the metaphysics books discussed things that don't change.

Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of reality. It seeks to understand the fundamental nature of the world and our place within it. Metaphysicians investigate questions about existence, causality, time, space, and the relationship between mind and matter.

Metaphysical research involves exploring and evaluating different philosophical theories and arguments, examining the underlying assumptions and implications of those theories, and formulating new theories and arguments in response to existing problems and questions. Metaphysicians engage in close examination of concepts such as substance, attribute, possibility, necessity, and causality, and how these concepts relate to one another and to our understanding of the world.

They also examine the interplay between metaphysics and other branches of philosophy, such as epistemology (the theory of knowledge), ethics, and logic. Additionally, they may draw on findings and theories from other disciplines, such as physics, mathematics, and computer science, in order to inform their research and advance their understanding of the nature of reality.

In summary, metaphysicians aim to deepen our understanding of the world and our place in it by exploring questions about existence, causality, time, space, and the relationship between mind and matter, and evaluating different philosophical theories and arguments.

Whether metaphysics is outdated is a matter of debate among philosophers and depends on one's perspective and definition of metaphysics. Some philosophers argue that metaphysics is outdated because it has failed to provide clear and definitive answers to many of the questions it seeks to address. However, some philosophers argue that metaphysics is not outdated, but rather that it has evolved over time to incorporate new ideas and insights from other fields. They argue that metaphysics remains relevant and valuable because it provides a framework for thinking critically and systematically about fundamental questions about reality.

There is no dispute that in recent decades, there have been developments in other fields, such as physics and neuroscience, that have challenged traditional metaphysical views and raised new questions about the nature of reality. But exactly these developments have sparked renewed interest in metaphysics as well and led to the development of new metaphorical approaches and theories. So it can be said that the old questions of metaphysics, stimulate the specified sciences always anew to find answers.

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