Philosophical metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that deals with fundamental questions about reality, existence, and the nature of the world. It is a complex and abstract field that has been debated by philosophers for centuries. In this article, we will explore two assumptions of philosophical metaphysics.
Assumption 1: Reality Has an Objective Existence
One of the most fundamental assumptions of philosophical metaphysics is that reality has an objective existence. This means that there is a world out there that exists independently of our perceptions or beliefs about it. In other words, reality exists whether or not we are aware of it.
This assumption can be traced back to the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who believed in the concept of “substance.” According to Aristotle, substances are the basic building blocks of reality and they have their own independent existence. This view was later developed by philosophers such as Rene Descartes and Immanuel Kant.
Descartes believed that reality has two distinct aspects: mind and matter. He argued that the mind is non-physical and exists independently of the body, while matter is physical and can be studied through scientific methods. According to Descartes, our perceptions of reality are not always accurate because they can be influenced by our senses or by external factors such as illusions.
Kant agreed with Descartes’ idea that there are two aspects to reality – the world as it appears to us (phenomena) and the world as it really is (noumena). However, he argued that we cannot know anything about noumena because our knowledge is limited to what we can observe through our senses.
Assumption 2: Reality Can Be Understood Through Reasoning
The second assumption of philosophical metaphysics is that reality can be understood through reasoning. This means that we can use our intellect to grasp the fundamental nature of the world and its underlying principles.
This assumption can be traced back to the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, who believed in the concept of “Forms.” According to Plato, Forms are abstract concepts that exist independently of the physical world and can only be grasped through reason.
Aristotle rejected Plato’s idea of Forms and instead argued that reality could be understood through empirical observation and logical reasoning. He believed that by studying the natural world, we could discover its underlying principles and laws.
Kant also believed that reality could be understood through reasoning, but he argued that our understanding is limited by our cognitive abilities. According to Kant, there are certain things that we cannot know about reality because they are beyond the scope of human reasoning.
In conclusion, philosophical metaphysics is a complex field that deals with fundamental questions about reality. Two key assumptions of this branch of philosophy are that reality has an objective existence and can be understood through reasoning. While these assumptions have been debated by philosophers for centuries, they continue to play a crucial role in shaping our understanding of the world around us.