> Empiricism as a philosophical movement has traditionally been opposed
> to metaphysics. It hasn't just been a mild disagreement either, but an
> at times vicious dispute (well, as vicious as philosophers get). David
> Hume suggested that the best place for books on metaphysics was
> in the fire, and his successors including logical empiricists and analytic
> philosophers of the past century have generally tended to agree with
> Stathis Papaioannou
It's one of my favourite lines from Hume!.... but the issue does not live
quite so clearly into the 21st century. We now have words and much
neuroscience pinning down subjective experience to the operation of small
groups of cells and hence, likely, single cells. It's entirely cranial CNS.
Cortical, Basal, Cerebellum, upper brain stem. So....
Q If empiricism demands phenomenal consciousness as the source of all
scientific evidence (close your eyes and see what evidence is left. QED.) of
the science of the appearance of things, then what is phenomenal
consciousness itself evidence of?
A. An underlying reality, deserved of physics but untouched by science,
eschewed as 'mere metaphysics'.
It was "traditional" once to think phlogiston was all there was to
combustion until Lavoisier got some extra evidence to tell a different
story. The current attitude to scientific evidence is logically identical to
a belief in phlogiston despite 50,000,000 Lavoisiers (scientists) proving
otherwise in the act of doing their craft every day.
So... metaphysics of the Deepak Chopra/Shirley Maclain/space cadet kind: Yes
to the fire! (as science). But..... physics of an underlying reality
witnessed/evidenced intimately moment to moment in the minds of everyone...
does not deserve the same treatment.
Indeed isn't the physics of the underlying reality THE physics and the
physics of appearances ('traditional empirical physics') the
'aboutness'-physics = 'meta'-physics? Seems to me the nomenclature is
backwards. Not that I care... as long as both physics get done... the name
does not matter.
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