Monday, 15 September 2008

What does Metaphysics mean?

This is one of those words that I consciously avoided understanding. My feeling was that even if it was explained I would not understand. However, while spending some time where one is not usually disturbed, I read a piece that gives focus.

Like all explanations and definitions there is always more than one interpretation.

Firstly, metaphysics is one of the branches of Philosophy.

The first explanation that was given was “a theory or view” is metaphysical if it seems complicated beyond comprehensibility, or, fanciful / imaginary.

Ok, the word and the meaning at this point remain vague to me.


It would appear as though Metaphysics, in ordinary Greek, meant, “that which comes after physics”, Meta, the Greek word for “after”.

Fair enough…what now?

It would also appear as though Aristotle had a bunch of treatises called Physics. After his death a number of untitled writings were found after the Physic Papers and were called the Metaphysics, “after the physics.”

Somehow this explanation does not seem that good compared to the second cited origin.

This one states that many of the early Greek philosophical writings were entitled “Concerning Nature”, the Greek term for nature being “physics”. The scope of these writings would cover what we call Physical Science today. However there were also speculations directed towards the meaning and nature of the Universe.

So, Metaphysics covers those issues that arise after the physical problems have been solved, or which are concerned with what lies beyond the physical world of sensory experience. Stuff we know nothing about and endeavor to understand.

A good example is that of the “Zeno paradoxes”, the most popular being that of Achilles and the tortoise…..more of that later…maybe, once I’ve finished the lateral thinking promise….
This posting was done from one source and not verified at all, cannot quote source as the book is still in the Loo..Picture from Wikipedia

1 comment:

kristina ciminillo said...
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