Blog 2 Metaphysics

Kris Castaneda
Mr. Sears
Philosophy 100
Blog Number 2
The concept of metaphysics was first developed by the Pre-Socratic Philosophers. The module content because back then myths and religion in ancient Greece were looked upon as the primary reference to the philosophical ideas that they had (Module 4 Pg.2). Pre-Socratic Philosophers however changed that and began wanting to know more answers and search for deeper meaning of the nature of existence and the universe. There are two branches in which metaphysics is build upon according to Module 4 Metaphysics; the branches are ontology and cosmology. It is safe to safe that with the two branches that metaphysics consists of provided an outline for science to develop into what it is today. Both branches also explored what the fundamental substance in which the nature of reality, existence and what the universe is made out of. Pre-Socratic Philosophers used a form of ontology to make sense of the complex world that can be viewed in terms of a simpler underlying reality (Module 4 Pg. 2). For instance a Pre-Socratic Philosopher named Thales first asked a question that only related to reality and not questions based on mythology and religion (Web). He asked, “What is the fundamental stuff out of which the world is made. The answer to his question was ‘water.’ The underlying substance would have to be able to take many forms and water takes all three forms that we know of: solid (ice), liquid and steam (air)” (Module 4 Pg. 2). The basis of going back to the fundamentals shaped metaphysics to develop a more general and simpler way to answer questions of the complex world. Philosophers after Thales took his concept of water being the fundamental stuff out of which the world is made out of and expanded that idea.
Anaximander for example according to Module 4, took the idea and proposed a kind of “general stuff” because he felt that water was too specific to be the basis of which the world is made out of. He called his “general stuff” Indeterminate (Pg. 4). Indeterminate according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, states that it is “the basic, fundamental substance because humans, animals, plants-everything-is based on the Indeterminate so that everything may exist. Without the Indeterminate, nothing could exist” (Web). No one knew exactly what the indeterminate was exactly but many more theories and concepts formed with Anaximander’s idea. Anaximentes according to Module 4, claimed that the basic substance was “air” based on Anaximander’s “general stuff.” The reason being was because air is essential for every living thing to survive, without air nothing could exist. Concepts and theologies of metaphysics then got more complex as more philosophers formed new philosophical ideas surrounding the fundamentals in which the world is made out of. It wasn’t until Plato and Aristotle where the core concept of metaphysics took its true form and is seen as what it is today.
Both Plato and Aristotle took the concept and expanded metaphysics to what it is today. They both took and incorporated one of the branches of metaphysics, ontology and all the Pre-Socratic’s philosophical theories of the fundamental substance in which the world is made out of to push it into new boundaries. Both Plato and Aristotle used a form of the central branch of metaphysics called cosmology. Cosmology, according to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is defined as, “the scientific study of the origin and structure of the universe.” Or according to Module #4 Metaphysics 1 cosmology can also be defined as the “study of the totality of all phenomena within the universe.” Plato’s metaphysics defied and differed from the Pre-Socratic Philosopher’s philosophical concept of metaphysics. Plato’s philosophical concept of metaphysics according to Module 4 broke new boundaries in a sense that “it covered many aspects of reality and human endeavors.” Plato’s system according to Module 4, covered a wide variety of subjects such as science, psychology, learning theory, politics and many more but his metaphysics emphasized more on different realities and dimensions (Module 4 Pg.7).
Plato’s philosophical ideas according to Module 4, focused more on alternate realities that we are able to reach through gaining intellectual wisdom as we go through life. He disagreed with the idea that the objects we can see in this world with our naked eyes are real. His metaphysics states that realities where forms or ideas resides are more real and but can only be grasped or reach through seeking them intellectually (Module 4 Pg.7). Forms or ideas according to Plato in Module 4, are a different sense of reality; he states that there are two worlds. The world or reality where there are objects, which he describes as a changing world and a world of forms which he describes as the eternal world (Module 4 Pg.7). In accordance to Plato, the eternal world where forms or ideas are is more real than the changing world. For example our bodies age and decay overtime because we are in a world of reality that is on a constant change. When we pass on our physical self is no more than the form or idea that we did exist is eternal thus creating a new reality that is more real compared to the changing reality. Not all forms or realities are the same. According to Plato forms shape how different an object or a person can be identified but by having the same essence, even though they may have different characteristics on how they are perceived, they will still be identified as the same thing (Module 4 Pg.8). The reason being is because he believes that there are universal versions of an object and that every object in space participates in the eternal idea of that particular object. Aristotle however focused more on the science of existence.
Though both Aristotle and Plato believed in the idea of forms, Aristotle did not believe that one may reach a new world, reality, dimension or existence through intellectual gain. His metaphysics according to Module 4, focused on the idea of becoming, instead of Plato’s idea of timeless being. Aristotle had the desire to explore who or what caused life, the universe to form and why it formed. He began by saying that “All men by nature desire to know.” This module relates to module 5 in that it is serving its importance to formulate an underlying structure for concept of epistemology to expand on answering the ultimate question and also make sense of the nature of existence and the universe.

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