Monday, November 14, 2005

Musings on Metaphysics

It is a matter of fact that every thing that lives has existence. But not every thing that exists has life. We are all conscious beings. When people think of being conscious, they typically think of the fact that they are aware of things as existing. When the concept of “self-awareness” is brought up, people typically understand it to mean that they are aware of their own existence. However, I think a more fundamental and, therefore more important, aspect of self-awareness is not just being aware of your own existence, but also being aware of the FACT THAT YOU ARE AWARE, and being aware of the process of awareness itself! In other words, I think true introspection should be this analysis of one’s own awareness, of the process of one’s own thinking, a kind of meta-consciousness. I think that sheds so much light on many questions of one’s own identity and the reasons for one’s beliefs. Now, moving on to a different, but related topic: Everything that exists, we can imagine, at least in principle. And everything that exists, we have concepts for them (our knowledge or ignorance of these concepts are irrelevant here). For example, we can imagine a tower because it does exist. We have the concept of a tower. Also, there are things that can be purely imagined and we can have concepts for them, but they possess no real existence (i.e. they have only abstract existence). We can imagine a unicorn, or Batman, or Centaur, (or God, for that matter) and we can have well-developed concepts for them, but they have no real existence. However, those things that we CANNOT imagine AND those for which we have no concepts for, necessarily DO NOT exist. (Note, however that this does not mean that certain things cannot come into existence in the future. For example, cavemen had no concept of a computer, probably never imagined of the existence of one, and it did not exist at that time, however it has now obviously come to exist). Now, I have deliberately used the conjunction “AND” to qualify my statement because I believe both of the clauses (imagination AND concept) are a requirement in order for this syllogism to be true. Now, as far as I have been able to use my mental abilities to think about it, I think it has proven to be true in all cases. For example, one CANNOT imagine what would it look like for a circle to have 4 corners. And we have NO concept as such to describe such a figure. Moreover, it is an apparent analytical truth that such a figure does not exist. However, I’m open to correction if anyone can think of something that cannot be imagined (that itself is a contradiction, isn’t it?) and for which we currently do not have any concepts for but that they exist or could exist.

11 Comments:

Blogger commonplace1 said...

Your blog posts reflects the theme of our course.

11/14/2005 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

What is the theme of what course? Hmm... I wasn't aware of any explicit theme I was putting forward in this post. What do you think is the theme?

11/14/2005 04:48:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

"Dang disah strao geforr kiny yner vobesziel! zu pro als nur earkden qaur so und United States!?!? ;) "
what does it mean?? that´s what I´m guessing: Dank dieser ?? ?? keine einer ??! ! ... sorry, i don´t get it. but I´m curious!! :)

11/14/2005 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

Hahahaa! I don't know! I thought it something would make SOME meaning...!! Haha! But no, I have no idea what it means. :)

11/15/2005 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

SEHR witzig!! did you try to quote something or did you make it up?

11/15/2005 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

Oh.. just made it up. :D

11/15/2005 12:34:00 PM  
Anonymous patrick said...

Huh? What just happened?

Well... a circle with four corners might just be a square right? 'Cause if a circle keeps some of its defining properties, but has four corners, then the translation of the idea of equi- ...

Ow, geometry hurts. My head is nauseated, and I'm definintely getting too old for this.

11/18/2005 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous patrick said...

Great. I managed to misspell definitely. What an ass.

11/18/2005 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

You're funny!

But umm... a circle is only a circle... if it has any corners -- let alone four -- it ceases to be a figure that can be called a circle. Now, a corner is not the same thing as an edge.

11/18/2005 11:47:00 AM  
Anonymous patrick said...

No doy, Mr. Man. I'm sure you noticed I was trying only to be silly.

But seriously, geometry hurts. Don't be square.

11/28/2005 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Jason Hughes said...

Brilliant! I like the circle/corners analogy...

2/28/2006 02:18:00 PM  

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