Thursday, February 6, 2014

Metaphysics and postmetaphysics, again

Continuing from the last post, to clarify metaphysics from postmephysics: If by metaphysics we mean ontology, our epistemic views on the ontic (real), then yes, postmetaphysics is that sort of metaphysics. I prefer the word ontology for that. What I generally mean by metaphysics is the sort of dualism that see a sharp distinction between the epistemic and the ontic, the relative and the causal, with the latter as a cause with teleos pulling the up the relative. Whereas what I mean by postmetaphysics is the sort of ontology like what I described in my linked diatribe, more closely akin to the OOO and SR crowd (in some respects) and the post-structuralist and alter-complexity dynamic systems crowds (in some respects).

Which of course relates to an ongoing inquiry here and elsewhere, the nature of the ontic/real. The likes of Bryant and many others accepts that we can never really know the real as it is in itself, i.e., there is no total direct access. We can only know it based on our inherent structures and translate it so as to survive and thrive, which often works well enough. In that sense our ontology is epistemic, and Bryant accepts this correlationism. It does though leave room for the ontic to be something other than our translation, and this ontic exists (subsists?) even within us as the withdrawn. We can posit attractors to account for its operation, but again they do not enter into the actual in toto nor do we have direct access to them. At best we infer them based on our empirical, actual observations.

And the latter epistemic observations indeed gain more comprehensive and accurate views with each iteration (2nd, 3rd, nth), thereby revealing just a bit more of the ontic, so our ontologies evolve. One such evolution is going postmetaphysical, hence it being one of the 3 main focuses of this forum. But again, it matters (pun intended) how such iteration is formulated and how we infer the ontic.

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