metaphysical_weber_phi_1000c_20[1]

metaphysical_weber_phi_1000c_20[1] - OR WEBBéK PHI/WC The...

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Unformatted text preview: OR , WEBBéK PHI /WC The world was made robe inhabited by beasts, but studied Sir Thomas Browne ”7672/3‘4/5/54; WAD/WM? , mflfizgfl Z W/E W024?! gum? SPWGOE mmzmwsz, biz-an: ,_ M coygri ms mass or THIS CHAPTER IS THAT The world is something that is found out about only by learning how to talk about it, and that » what metaphysicians have to say about the world amounts to lessons in improving on what we can already say. When I say that the world is :found out about only by‘leaming how to talk about it, I do not mean to deny that, we find out about water by stepping in it, chocolate by eating it, and fire by getting our fingers burned. But the world is another matter. For learning about it is not a matter of meeting something, but rather a matter of learning how to use an expression, “the werld.” It is a collecting kind of expression, and we must learn mm and what it collects. uses OF “THE WORLD”:- We have several uses for the expression ‘fmwprld." (1) It i_s_ our most generalname forJheslargest possiblesumm the .gsaletir or ‘ithsissnaomf autism: What- ever there is, it onrttes to' the makeup of'the grand total we call “the world." Now for some of us, this use of “the world" may cut across another, namely using “the World” to mean “the planet Earth.” So the world is no greater a totality than the Earth and all it holds. If someone thinks like this, then when he is thinking on a cosmic scale “the univgrse” may be his expression for the sum of all that is. i (2) . he world" may also be used to mark the outer-whaltg’of , , . when I speak; of what is_out there (3‘33”? public) as opposed to my thou hts andjffeellings'in me, (whiclure , e_ sum 9 . V canEee anthhinkabgut out there (an object ofuboth rception filldlhdllffifffildlfisihhc most general name forifiigii‘ohfigiit is‘fiiaéfi filive, move, and think. This last use of "the world" is closely connected with the phrase “the wow; {warm v METAPHY§10AL THINKING _ (3) We use the phrase “the world of” in several different ways ‘ and I shall distinguish them as We go along. (a) ~We talk about the ’ world of some particular perSon, as, for example, the World "of Shakespeare or the world of Darwin; and by means of pictures or descriptive inventories, we try to make someone see that world by ., fits—WW _ v showing him (telling him about) what Shakespeare or Darwm saw. In such phrases as “the world of Shakespeare" or “the world ' of Darwin," there is the; strong implication that someone’s world is ‘ what he 599s,;h_ezir~s:§hg__sg on. (b) xhts,impli.c.ati9n._.of “thew“ pt" is also to be'found in our talk of remote, types, as in Such phrases as “the world of the Kalahari tribesmen” or “the World‘? W 9.5 the flea." What the Kalahari trrBesmen see, or what the flea sees, is radically different {er and this very radical- - ness is brought out when we say that the tribesmen and the flea have worlds of their own. (c) There is a similar implication in (such phrases as “the world of the law," ”the world of high finance,” and “the world of physics." Lawyers, financiers, and h sicists‘ are somehow acquainted with things that ordinary people know noth- ing about. Torts, credit, or neutrons have dimensions of their own, and only those with the interests of lawyers, financiers, or physi- cists will encounter them. In our phrase “thcworld qgg'. “the worlsthen, means some- one’s (or at least some perceiver's, e.g., a flea's) pattern of experi— ence. We can acquaint someone else with these patterns by showing him something (say, a photograph of a room furnished in the style of seventeenth-century England), or telling him something (e.g., describing such a room), or by teaching him how to use a concept (cg, “tort"). So in our phrase “the world of," the implication is that there are "1‘11! we;£<!g...¢gg.end..i..gn sass/theessemansncc we are talking about. one way. We must wat’éli THE WORLD The first expression (a) implies ,thaLwhatever the _wo,dd__is_ its limits are my limits and it is but a_s;l_tgruv,l_ig_e,to_the.view—that~ther . werld‘is in seme way dependent on me. In contrast, (h_)_implies that whatever the world is, it is .th'e’f‘e" fér mete see;.but.it.is.by.no ragaysdependept on me;' and there maybe a great deal more to it than I can see now, or ever will see. , Now, thinking of the world in the (a) way is quite different from thinking of it in the (b) way; and I» suspect that most of us shift from one way to the other depending on what we want to say. Sometimes I may want to emphasize the extent to which my pow- ers of perception and action “narrow” the world. (I can't see any- thing in this fog. Or, Everything is blurry when I take my glasses off.) At other times, emphasizing my luck at making discoveries (Do you know what's in the refrigerator”, I regard the world as something out there for me to find out about. But here I mean to do no more than argue thatiboth the :(a) way and the (b) way are possible ways of talking abOut the world, and that we need not make a final decision in favor of One way over the other. But whereas everyday meta h " ' may be unperturbed by the am— biguity in our use of “rm," the? philosopher doing metaphys- ics IS. aptto fawypmhavmowmane m... at! as and. consequently, urge that“ rld’hmu "be“‘undefirstoodvihflgfily . out for th‘i’si‘téhmdeh‘éy whenever we con- srder what a given meta h sician has, to s 1394;; thgegwprld. (5) The last use of "the world” that I want to node: is one that grows out of the (b) way introd also be used as the most 4M“ __ the understanding that (4) Now, in the next use of “the world” I shall mention, we are getting away from 411$ em ,hasis on_a_ .artigular viewgt's world. . But we shall do well to notice immediately an ambiguity in our phrase “the world" that shows up nicely in the contrasting expres- srons ( a) “the world I see" and (b) "I see the world." $2. METAPHYSlGAL THINKING unthinkable that we should ever world at all; and in some sense of always, whatever we find wher- ever we look was always there. , tential gymnastics? But similarly, there is no a what 195° “3.11“"! to it was jus pp w o aceett c act ' , proved, but because we unthinkingly assume it; and we reject the counterproposal because ‘it sounds Outrageous._ For it is wholly contrary to our experiences of' the way different ‘inds of thin s ‘ contemto existence. But one could. probably live With either View, «Wimp war since neither one implies that a— found in what we actually see. holds it: all in a larger system, embracingalLany one could ever perceive, which _we call__glze.y_tgggl_d_._ ' means “the sum of all that is," We started with ( l) "the World' I l l . THE WORLD look somewhere and find no answer it. Let me say, first of all, why I'think that the question is ill-conceived. If talking implies, as I think it must, that one has been brought up to lead a social life; then one cannot help but learn how to talk about the world. For the-Worl , or some aspect of it, is what we talk about most; and a large part of what we mean by “being human" is being able to talk about the world. Someone who can talk about the world can come and go, fetch and carry, find and lose, and generally can :get around in the world and help oth- ers‘ get arotmd too. So, in order for me to live with someone, as opposed to being merely that person's keeper, we must be able to _ talk together about the world. Of course, someone's being able to talk about the world presup— "1‘?wa «0 so not because it as been di.‘ ice is to be ‘ haystacks, and so on. In addition, there are certain powers of sup- and we have worked our way down to (5) “the world" means “all » ' ‘ ' I am perceiving, and all anyone might ever perceive." The effect of . - brou ht u . But if one is not bein ro erl bt' ht h ‘ eed have no use for the notion of the g P g P P y oug “P. e 01' Shh arni to talk about the world. Yet , .1 iflgductionisma" and it looks to. ‘xbeexperimental. The ‘ ' ' . . Program Is to flawethflflWii a unity , of the slug th ' ‘ at isthe essential basis of e ' g‘that is in " the world; . and. the..promise..is that. ever thn ' J's-wreedule-t. W ‘ - , .7”... ,MW , . _ kindlof‘ stuff, or at best a vegygiort list of essential stuffs. ne may be called ‘1Categorigingf Here,-the » (2) The second ii metaphysician pays attention. to 12?. way that wethink about things: __ e way the world is from the way we. (3) muggljggg! t than one kind of thi represent pluralism, he recognition that the world contains more. 08,..9!.919re thamontzkiniof asyfitent, As I shall it is the thoughtful Irv THE WORLD Might it not be that nndernea onetheiess a unit 7After all, an M Wail. fa}??? ' ’ ' ' ”ngaw . YMSO beyond that divers” a, g ’ ' " ‘ "W ”W49 some sitng lerstjxg {is I hat/e said,_,t,he progifatn is “Reductionism.” Many philos- tionists, bdt"‘théi€h‘fi”bécn METAPHYSICAL THINKING » MATERIALISM T_hc thesisof Matcrialismis that everything is reducible to matter“ .Jn motion. We may take the thesis as an answer to the question,‘ “What is the world made of?”. The question is to be understood 'as a what-went—into-the-stew? kind of enquiry; and the metaphysi- cian, acting as a sort of cosmic food taster for a metaphysical Guide Michelin, must now stand forth and _l_ist the ingredients of the world. The Materialistic metaphysician claims that the list is‘ very short: matter. in motion. ‘ Let us examine the terms of the Materialist thesis. We may begin with the concept of marge; and ask what is re uired to make it use- QIL What is the nature of the matter that everything can be reduced to? First of all, whatever it is, iLmust beflthought of as the last the simplest and most specifiable that we can think of, such as Size, a.- shape, and weight. (Its_relation tcucorngleLphenomena, such as teacups and tables and chairs, to name arr y easy instances, »is.a. ~casual onCJThat is,\large complex phenom _._r.1~a___are.the. producteof motions or changes in ..th9;-mfld WEI-1‘1. matter. Indeed, matter’s causal role"here must t ought or as not onl ori inativeflbut' supportivejs well; and the continued existet§§__of gross phenom- ena depends on the continued motions of “the gundamggtal.matter. wmwmmw«wmfl T ;___ .. . y. the finalstufithat analysis mightfigveaLbut THE WORLD agglomeratipns‘disintegrate back into. the .QtfigingL atoms. 6m mmat appears to dominate atomistic Materialism is that of a brick walDThe wall is built u of indiflggg‘aisbggkéunfiiii is an ag- W glom‘eration that is sufficiently impressive to make us think of it as a thin in its own ri ht. But the wall’s gross anggeflp‘herngral charge- ter can Be iiiustratefi at any time by pulling outthe individual METAPHYSIQAL THINKING uses this criterion to either rule, or rule out, a termJ‘he criterion is severely tested, of course, b ' y such terms asumind, purpose, 'or- . .der, andwgad, W ' The Materialist criterion of existence is simply that for some- thing to exist it must be material; and if something cannot be thought of as material, then any claim for its existencemust be . _meaningless. hgfiaterialistgcriterion of existence simplyuparal- lels tthateriafigt criteriog g'meaning; so to ask “What is X?” is but anot er way of asking “What does X mean7’: Since the Mate»- rialist tells the meaning of X by showing the aspect of matter in motion that it names, the existential account of X must be showing that it is, or that it is reducible to, matter in motiong “ ver thi _th_n wemcorngto,,the._‘.‘reducible-to.’.’.. parts of a. a. Raise-.- dgcible t9 matter inmotion," we can see that any accounto it may,“ g?) in two directions; Is the reduction one that is' to ,bercarrtiggc‘o‘ut '.__ ' W “fir-54533 in thought? That is, is the reduction conce tualbonl—g? r is the £59539 to be the fulfillment of an empiricalpromisg; and are we to get to the actual atoms that the Materialist claims are to be found at the fundamental end of the scale of existence? But whether we go in the conceptual or empirical direction, the aim-‘of the reduction must be to give a complete account of whatever we say it is that is reducible to SC . . . ore will be a critical‘couw Materialism. Let us take first the poss ibility of conceptual reduction. Follow- ing the Materialist‘s criter ion of meaning, sentences about any ' suggestion that the title “matter" be THE WORLD We have been considering what it would be like to think like a Materialist, to suppose that things can be analyzed Materialisti- cally. But now we should g y _ . an wigs; ”cauldbscams‘iotut Venetian seeiLhé' pmcai E remiss there is to the Materialist’s c is reducible to matter in motion. Let us lim' should be the easiest case for Materialism, 88* whefliertalkabout that.!s.iag..9i,,9bja9t cm of matter in motion. 7 it'fiaterialiSm‘ ' should succeegshaggg. I So long as we regard “matter” as a title that Materialists may bestow on something in the world, possible Materialisms are le- gion. But the proposal with the greatest range and power is the given to the atoms of modern . physics, which are capable of both combining in molecules and molecular structures, and dividing; into subatomic particles. I see no profit.,iaaasamtaesbsetymtity, direct or' indirect, of atoms. I choose rather to g ' ‘ ; and when such etc, we should feel that little has .been lost. METAPHYSIGM THINKING with. plus the knowledge that lumps of gold are indeed reducible to a set of individual gold atoms. When we come to a given uantit ”of waégg the physicist's story takes on new complications. For any given quantity of water is an aggregation of water molecules, with the gmga__uzo; so the physicist's story about the water must include an afic‘ébflfit of h0w hassosssnswsosyssaaoasamssbs.sstersstecass and an account of how a given quantity of water may be sepa- rated into its constituent molecules. Here, too, we may contem- plate the distinction of a gross phenomenon (water) into scientific simples (water molecules), with no great sense of loss. We feel we still have pretty much what we started out with; and we have this feeling, even though we know that quite different things can be said about a quantity of water and a water molecule, and that these differences in what can be said mark differences in the kinds of things that we have to deal with. But when we turn from gold and water to a teacup, we take the physicisggfistggmfigpwanother,,dimcnsion. For a teacup is not only acertain quantity of pottcr’s clay, slapped and fired. It has a use, “::;:,_r«rax:,:u~zflym a purpose, an end. It is made to hold tea; and it can be used to .- . -.,.. Wu;__—.c.m~a hold any other liquid, or anything else that someone can get into it. When the physicist considers the teacup, he can tell us about the molecules that enter into its structure, and about how they bond together. In short, he cgnfitgdli us about the material of which the cup rs made. But a mbflQE-gll... 999g: of thegup ts not a comglgte .0... ”c... .k whzrw uammnwwrm account, Something more. must~mg;§i§. To hnderstand the cup, «axiom-w ‘, 45;, m. “~ one must also understand what the cup is for. Unlike our examples ' lmmaterialism, like Materialism, rm: woaLu ph sical anal sis of sensible obigctsfljn general. But wth3__iLCQmes. - m7 , tame 3,: u— 1 flasm'azbmfih 23““ to things like teacups, that is things ma e: or_a..purpose, the.claim that Materialism can give a complete acCount of..sensible objects I ‘ breaks down. What can be said about a teacup as matter in motion W - ' is not enough to enable one to understand the cup. One must also know what the cup is for. Teacups in their physical aspect have a place in physics. But they also have a place in human purposes and institutions. The net of Materialism, insofar as it is applied to sen- sible objects like teacups, catches only a part of the world. In that respect, it cannot be taken as a complete view of the world; and anyone who took it as such would be short-changed. These re- marks apply to Materialism whenit identifies itself with physics, to give empirical application to its doctrine that everything is re— ducible to matter in motion. Insofar as one agrees that physi “can- not give, indeed is not meant to give, a complete account of sensi- ble objects like teacups, then a Materialism that identifies itself with physics cannot be a complete view of the world. Physics will sufl'er no embarrassment when we say that it is con- fined to the analysis of the material. After all that is. what physics is about. But a Materialism that is identified with physics will suf- mk'AWWb fer embarrassment. For, unlike physicsffiitrefififii‘sffhwaims to give a compre ensrv’efligggggtfigwfithg’sworld. When we find more to the . W... . s. W . world than its material, Ma'ie’iiziiiith' will ‘be found to be inade- quate. IMMATERIALISM is a kindmofhreductionism and their oppgsitigg lies in themkind “of reduction tHé‘F““"1i“‘E‘E§“ues for. Both lmmaterialists andflflfififilfifiawt :fitfigs”’ii'it‘§*5p§ié§ and tables, and both say that thing; have parts. But “part" here does not mean something "59.4." apple's skin and meat, or a table’s Egg-fl 33. Rather “part""is’fil’iieiih‘g‘ii‘iis‘éidmi‘n a subtler way, his search forgshome kind of sim le be and which further reduction is way, we can see that apple impossible. When "part" is‘used' in this arts. So both Immaterialists Mmrfltsucnt THINKING We must notice immediately that if one resists the notion that things are complexes, subject to analysis into some sort of subtle simples, neither the lmmaterialist nor the Materialist can get his metaphysics off the ground. Eachsays or assumes that things are analyzable into simples, and gets to work. But we must not sup: pose that either one can somehow show us the complexity of an apple by taking it apart before our eyes. Neither one does any- thing that resembles peeling an apple to distinguish the skin frOm the meat. All their demonstrations occur in some kind of dis- course; and if I find things to be one or the other kind of complex that they recommend, it is because I take up a recommended way of *Speaking. What then are the recommendations ofmthe'lmmate- rialist'l ‘ "In‘ this examination of Immaterialism, I shall take George Berkeley (1685—1753) as a representative Immaterialist, and stick close to his arguments. Berkeley’s metaphysics had its origin in two enthusiasms, an enthusiasm for kunotw ledge gained. by gray gt the senses and an enthusiasm for the philosophical notion of .r'b- 51% jects are analyzable into their sensible qualities. When these qualities are regarded as separable and existing in their own right, we may ask what holds the qualities together to time name for whatever or a chair, for example. Now,.substagqaigsa”neutralfiterrpa; and the termination of the nature of substance is a problem for the metaphysician. M Before Berkeley, the candidate proposed to do the substance job was the Materialistzswggattgr. But Berkely rejected matter on two counts. On the one hand, how could we know that there is anything like the fundamental stuff the Materialist’s matter is sup- posed to be, since all we can perceive are an object's sensible THE WORLD .ca idate for th9.§$_q, . Berkeley’s Immateimism ##ng ' attempt to maintain both Immaterialism concurrently.‘ The reductionist claim of the Im- materialist is that things are ultimately mental, or mind-dependent; and Subjective and Objective Immaterialism divide over whether ultimate mind-dependency is to be understood as dependency on my mind, or on some other mind, netably the mind of God. Berke- ley begins with Subjective Immaterialism ‘ Immaterial- ,'W What they are worth at e. But what does the Imma— IMETAPHYSICAL THINKING and’jmuglr, certain tastes of sweet and sour, or mild and bitter; cer- tain sensations of hot and cold; certain smellings of perfumes and , putrescences; and certain hearings of clicks and clangs, and whines and roars...
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