INTRODUCTION TO METAPHYSICS
WHAT IS METAPHYSICS?
Metaphysics is derived from two Greek words whose literally means, things beyond the physical realm. It is a branch of philosophy which dig or inquires into the existence and nature. It uncovers abstract things that transcend the physical world that already known to us.
Metaphysics investigates a lot of issues that are not clear or not too clear. Hence, it concern is to question or nitty-gritty behind the nature of existence. Thus, what is real? What is soul in human? What am I? Is there God? Why and how do we die? What is time? What is fact? What is space? Etc.
Metaphysic is therefore, the philosophical reflection on the nature of reality. It other sub-branches include; Ontology which means the study of being, and Cosmology, meaning the study of the universe, and the science of the soul. I.e. the Human mind, the nature of God, immorality of the mind, freedom of the human will and so on.
Discuss two theories of reality.
i) Religious realism:
A myth emerged, regarding how the earth was held in a space from earliest beginning. Some ancients believed that the earth was supported by four elephants standing on a big sea turtle. This idea was attacked by Christian philosophers, like St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine. These scholars hinged their argument on the bible book of Job 26:7”God is stretching out the north over the empty place, hanging the earth upon nothing.
The reality of matters such as humans, trees, hills, animals, clusters of galaxies is indisputable fact of the existence of God and creation. The existence of God is also derived from the objects of the matter i.e. of all the planets in our solar system, only on earth have scientists found life. Since every house must have a designer and builders what of our far more better equipped earth? It must be created by a being – God. And all the things we see and perceive are reality of His existence.
ii) Scientific Realism ( Modern Reality):
This idea was established by Alfred Whitehead, a contemporary of Bertrand Russell. While Whitehead demarcated mental being from experience, Russell emphasized on both analytic and synthetic. Matter has been perceived as a bases of metaphysical reality.
Scientist continue to find new and astonishing aspect of the order, superb organization requires a superb organizer, the universe obeys certain well-defined laws, the flight of a rocket into orbit requires adherence to laws of motion and gravity. Such laws require a law maker, traffic laws had to originate in minds, it seems as if such particular and precise conditions could hardly have arisen at random.
Hence, scientific evidence uphold the subjects of matter exist in and themselves and independently of the mind.
Understanding how the universe could have come into existence involves a transformation of energy and matter. One of the formula given by Einsteins formula, E=mc2 (energy equals mass times the speed of light squared). The conclusion derives from this formula is that matter can be produced from energy.
Due to the abundance of dynamic energy. Mostly and possibly, all elementary particles may be created by materialization of energy which can be seen or perceives.
What is the Mind-Body problem ?
On these ground, traditions, culture and science disagreed and agreed on the cause and correlation of the Mind and Body.
To many persons in the ancient times, Soul means the immaterial or spirit part of a human being that survives the death of the physical body. Others acknowledge it to be principle of life.
These divergent views about the human person(body) and the mind(spirit-soul), where inspired by religion, culture and tradition or environmental influence so, the separation of the soul and the body has become a problem at a time.
The question is, is there a spirit part of man that survives death or that interact with the body ?
This means in which both are working is now called dualism. The human body is material(physical), it can be seen, feel, and it die. While the mind(Soul-Spirit) cannot be seen and it main duty is to think and it does not perish.
If the material-body(perishable) and the immaterial-mind-spirit-soul(Imperishable) can interact, how does this happen ?
Or how does the brain produce thoughts that harmonize the body system ? The brain network is the traffic control centre. It fitters millions of massages, like a muscle is strengthened by use and weakened by disuse. The vast numbers of microscopic nerve fibers making these connections within the brain.
It is the cerebral cortex of the brain that sets man accurate in reasoning before handling physical functions of the body. These microcircuits hardwired that makes intelligent human being develops a mind like which enable us to form concepts out of what we see, language out of what we hear, and thoughts out of our experiences. So, the capability that is built into the human brain enable us to construct free will to program our intellects as we choose, based on our own knowledge, values, opportunities and goals. The brain is a big place in small space
For instance, in the brain of a pianist playing a difficult musical composition with all fingers flying over the keys. This sense of movement his brains have, to order to strike the right keys at the right time with the right force to match the notes in his head. If he hit a wrong note, the brain immediately let him know about it. This occur as a result of years of practice, programmed into the brain.
Really, it is an evidence that man’s intellectuals mirror those of a supreme being-God who created all things.
INTRODUCTION TO EPISTEMOLOGY
What is Epistemology?
The term epistemology “Episteme” meaning Knowledge and “logos meaning theory
Hence, epistemology is called the theory of knowledge.
Epistemology is one of the branches of philosophy which deals on the nature, the origin, the foundation, the method, the validity, the extent and the units of human knowledge.
Discuss the traditional conception of knowledge
The word knowledge is been use in different ways by various people as to their various source, theories and justification of the truth of knowledge claims
One can gain knowledge through empirical (Sense knowledge), common sense, rational and authoritative knowledge, someone may claim to know his teacher because he is seeing him or he can identify him. But there is more to knowing the teacher than merely seeing him or identifying him.
The justifiable claims of common sense makes uncritical claim too many things. Even if we are impressed by the feeling of knowing so many people due to our familiarity with them, such claims when put to text, may show that we do not know them.
The one seeking knowledge must be willing to know by been curious in order to discover knowledge. Our common knowledge of what we seek to know or what we know must be true, we have right to ensure it is true and we must be sure of it.
“KNOWLEDEGE AS ACQUAINTANCE”
This knows where, why and how the knower must be acquainted with the object of knowledge
Is perceived by the mind without the intervention of any other idea
Is an evident and certain to the knower with a proof a sensation?
A POSTERIORI AND A PRIORI KNOLEDGE
Is the kind of knowledge that is derived from experience? The empiricist is those who claim that all human knowledge drives from experience and that there can be no knowledge which is not derives from sense experience.
To the rationalist, they deny that all knowledge which is a product of experience and that reason alone can attain knowledge without reference to experience.
Is a product of feeling, emotion, reason or faith which may be a product or reason of experience of an individual or a community of people on religious ideas the knower may claim to have gotten the inspiration through revelation, either privet, or property, by God or Holy write-up or by nature
May be drive from memory conviction with proofs are not easy to come by and are not without preceding doubt, which are not so clear.
DISTINGUISH BETWEEN PHYLOSOPHICAL SEEPTICIST AND METHODOLOGICAL SCEPTICISM.
PHILOSOPHICAL SCEPTICISM METHODOLOGICAL SCEPTICISM
1. It held that nothing can be It consist of doubting all things
Known: that is was futile to until something is reached that
Seek objective knowledge; cannot be doubted
If there was any knowledge
Such knowledge was subjective
And constantly change.
2. That nature is not uniform that nature is static
(It does change) (It does not change)
3. Everything that we see are everything that we see re the true
Not the way they are pictures of what they are.