Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A priori givens? How about non-physical givens?

To return to the initial post and focus of the involutionary given thread, for me the question on 'involutionary' givens relates to apriori metaphysical axioms out of thin air, or the kind of self-defining tautology Layman brought up. And which are based on false reason per L&J. So real reason grounded in embodiment to me leads to more accurate meta-theory, or at least more postmetaphysical given the 'givens' of its definitions explored in the history of this forum.

Perhaps that is one question of inquiry for us? Can a postmetaphysical meta-theory contain apriori or involutionary givens? And I don't mean can we accept that someone at a 'lower' level can see it that way and we have to include their perspective. I'm asking can a postmetaphysical metaparadigm itself accept metaphysical apriori axioms? Most all of the postmeta-paradigms we've explored say this cannot be an axiom.

For example this from Integral Spirtuality, Appendix Two:

"What this means for spirituality in general is that metaphysics needs to be jettisoned, or at the very least, completely rethought. All of the traditional categories of metaphysics—including God, immortality, the soul, mind, body, and knowing—simply cannot stand up to the scrutiny of critical thinking, not in their fundamental, pre-critical, ontological forms. In the modern and postmodern world, they are simply obsolete notions that are as embarrassing to religion as, say, phlogiston, St. Vitus’s dance, and  phrenology are to medicine. [...] These metaphysical assumptions are, quite simply, unnecessary and cumbersome baggage that hurts spirituality more than helps. Spirituality, to survive in the present and future world, is and must be post-metaphysical. [...] These structures of consciousness cannot be conceived as ones that are given eternally or timelessly—they are not archetypes, they are not eternal ideas in the mind of God,they are not collective forms outside of history, they are not atemporal eidetic images, and so on. For the most part, these post-metaphysical levels of being and knowing would have to be conceived as forms that have developed in time, evolution, and history.This is not to say that spiritual philosophy can do completely without any a priori forms (no philosophy can); but the fewer, the better. And the a priori forms that are postulated had better be defensible with at least some reference to modern and postmodern forms of justification (and validity claims). Simply asserting that they exist will categorically not do. And claiming that you know God personally won’t help, either" (271 - 75).

And there's the crux: can we have a non a priori philosophy? Not one that doesn't have 'givens' but one without a priori givens? How about non-physical givens?

Let's compare Bryant and Wilber on the non-physical. Bryant first from this post:

"When I speak of incorporeal machines, I am not referring to ghostly entities that float around without bodies.  At present [...] I’m committed to the thesis that incorporeal machines always have to have a corporeal body.  Consequently, there is for me no incorporeal machine that is not embodied" (12).

Wilber from excerpt G:

"Matter is not on the bottom rung of that evolutionary spiral, but is rather the exterior form of an evolution whose interiors contain correlative levels of feelings, awareness, consciousness, and so forth. [...] It is not merely that higher levels (of life and mind and soul) imprint matter or leave footprints in matter (which itself remains on the lowest level), but that what we call matter is the exterior form of each of those interior levels."

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