Physics without Metaphysics?
With an Appraisal by Prof. Saju Chackalackal
Table Of Contents
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- An Appraisal of Physics without Metaphysics?
- General Introduction. Second Generation Scientific-Ontological Categories
- 1. Mutually Collusive Non-classificational Categories
- 2. General Method and Rationale
- 3. Transcendentals and Transcendents
- 4. Methodology of Mutual Collusion
- 5. Aim 1: Scientific-Ontological Categories and System-Building
- 6. Aim 2: Synthesis of Nominal ‘Being’ and Verbal ‘To Be’
- Chapter 1. Ontological Categorial Transcendent of Cosmology
- 1.1 Redeeming Cosmological Categories from Idealism
- 1.1.1 Entities and Predicates as Particularist Categories
- 1.1.2 Kant and Modern Physics on Phenomenal Categories
- 18.104.22.168 Understanding ‘Phenomena’ and Sensing ‘Noumena’
- 22.214.171.124 Conflating Seeing-that, Seeing and Seeing-as
- 126.96.36.199 Phenomenalistic Idealization of Forms and Categories
- 1.1.3 A Category from Phenomena-Noumena Continuity
- 1.2 Microscopic Categorial Features of Quantum Mechanics
- 1.2.1 Apriority in Scientific Categories and Realism
- 1.2.2 Wave-Particle Duality and the Concept of Reality
- 1.2.3 Nonlocality and the Concept of Reality
- 1.2.4 Ontological Categorial Foundation of Quantum Mechanics
- 1.3 Categorial Features of Relativistic Theories
- 1.3.1 Questions in the Origin of the Special Theory of Relativity
- 188.8.131.52 Inertial Referential Velocity of Light
- 184.108.40.206 Principle of Relativity and Superluminal Velocities
- 1.3.2 Space, Time, Mass and Causality from Newton to Einstein
- 220.127.116.11 Classical and Reformed Views of Continuous Reality
- 18.104.22.168 Beyond Scientific Causality and Categories
- 1.4 Ontological Synthesis of Categories of the Cosmos
- 1.4.1 Reality-in-total: The Ultimate Transcendent Category
- 1.4.2 Mathematical Entities vs. Ultimacy in Denotability of Reality-in-total
- Chapter 2. Ontological Categorial Transcendental of Epistemology
- 2.1 Transcendental Categorial Orientation in Epistemic Actualities
- 2.1.1 Laws of Nature and the Epistemology of Essences
- 2.1.2 Transcendental Categorial Orientation in Particularism
- 2.2 Transcendental Categorial Dimension of Probabilistic Essences
- 2.2.1 Categorial Confluence of Causality, Laws and Essences
- 2.2.2 System-Building vs. Absolutism and Probabilism in Essences
- 22.214.171.124 Gödel’s Theorem and System-Building
- 126.96.36.199 Gödel’s Result vs. Probabilistic Universals and Categories
- 2.2.3 Transcendental Aspect of Particularist Probability-Makers
- 2.3 Reality-in-general: Synthesis of Categories of Knowing
- Chapter 3. Ontolgoical Categorial Transcendental of Reality-in-total
- 3.1 To Be: The Einaic Ontological Transcendental Par Excellence
- 3.2 Einaic Objectual Ontology beyond Quine
- 3.2.1 Relevance of Quine’s Ontological Commitment and Holism
- 3.2.2 Objectual Ontology vs. Particularist Ontological Commitment
- 3.2.3 The ‘Is’ of Abstract Objects: Quine-Carnap Dialogue
- 3.2.4 From ‘Is’ to Language-Ladenness and To Be
- 3.3 Einaic and Semantic Ontology of Actualizing Possibility
- 3.3.1 The Ontological Transcendental vs. Semantic Holism
- 3.3.2 To Be as Possibilizing Actuality in Possibility
- 3.3.3 Dynamism of Einaic Semantic Connectivity
- 3.3.4 Einaic Logic and Ontology of Quantification
- 3.4 Trans-categorial Transcendental or Way of Being of Reality
- General Conclusion. Prospects of the Transcendental-Transcendent Categorial Synthesis
- 1. Founding Second Generation Speculative Philosophy
- 2. Nature of Einaic, Second Generation Scientific, Categories
- 3. Einaic Ontology: Blend of Einaiology and General Ontology
- 4. Cosmological-Theological Prospects
- 5. New Einaic Sense and Universality of ‘Category’
- Appendix. Beyond Heidegger’s Anthropologized Being: Nomic-Nominal, Verbal-Processual, Universal “To Be” in Einaic Ontology
The present monograph on the ontological foundations of physics and physical existence constructs the categories of Einaic Ontology and attempts to answer the question: Can physics be done without the dimension of foundational categories of metaphysics / ontology? The adjective ‘Einaic’ is from the Greek Einai, “To Be”. Einaic Ontology studies the whole Reality and the highest conceptual ideals of thought in terms of the To Be of Reality-in-total (hereafter whenever possible, termed ‘Reality’). The process of constructing a system that answers the above question gives rise to a set of mutually collusive and maximal case categories for second generation scientific ontologies. These categories are maximally collusive: each of them “plays together” with the others of them maximally.
To achieve this aim, the work (1) synthesizes Kant’s phenomena and noumena, (2) discusses the cosmic ontology of Reality-in-total presupposed in the physical sciences through trans-phenomenalistic, trans-instrumentalistic interpretations of causality, continuity, values of velocity, objectuality, objectivity and other notions in QM and STR, (3) moves to a viable epistemology of connotative universals and their Gödelian connotative probabilism necessarily implied by the cosmic ontology of Reality, and then (4) develops the foundational categories of the ontology that pertains to Reality, and characterizes the categories by an episemological version of the implications of Gödelian probabilism and an ontological version of the implications of Quine’s semantic holism. This provide the essential trans-scientific touch to ontology. It necessitates ontological and epistemological probabilism, an infinite, infinitesimal and objectual causalism, transcending of ontological and epistemological particularism and the ways-of-being interpretation of ontological universals. I name the new categories and the science that works on such a machinery as Einaic (Greek, Einai, “To Be”) Ontology – which synthesizes the nomic-nominal (‘nomic’ from the Greek nomos, “rule”) and objectual-causal concept of To Be with the processual-verbal concept. I show that its ingredients are Einaiology and General Ontology. The processual-verbal concept of To Be is what I mean always, when I speak of the verbal meaning of it. It reflects the very processual “thus-ness” or “that-it-is-so” of everything together. It is the most processual sense of all verbs and actions culminating in ‘To Be’.
The synthesis of the nominal and verbal concepts of To Be and the transcendence of particularism impels me to analyse, in the Appendix, Heidegger’s concept ← 21 | 22 → of Being and point out its major achievement (emphasis on man’s conscious connection with the thinking of To Be allegedly as the “Be-ing” of human existence / “standing out”) and its defect (forgetfulness of the nomic-nominal, processual-verbal aspects of the To Be of Reality).
By ontological commitment I mean the ontological a priori presupposition or seeing-that-there-is-something behind any (concrete or abstract) object/s in the process of conceptual grasping and/or propositional expression. A concrete object is a causal process; and an abstract object / ontological universal is an acausal and abstract way of being of processes. Instantiating the ways in consciousness, and given in an abstract conceptual formulation that always connotes (“notes together”) the many similar causal processes, the same ontological commitment is made in consciousness, language and discourse. Quine distinguishes between the ontological commitment behind abstract and concrete terms:
For I deplore that facile line of thought according to which we may freely use abstract terms, in all the ways terms are used, without thereby acknowledging the existence of any abstract objects. According to this counsel, abstract turns of phrases are mere linguistic usage innocent of metaphysical commitment to a peculiar realm of entities. For anyone with scruples about what objects he assumes, such counsel should be no less unsettling than reassuring; for it drops the distinction between irresponsible reification and its opposite.1
A responsible way of reification of abstract entities is to consider them as ways of being of beings / processes, that is, as general, irreducibly causal relationalities of processes, given connotatively in mental concepts based on the generalities of the processes. Thus, concrete entities (irreducibly and always token processes) are imbued with ontological abstract entities (based in concrete processes, and not in cognizing minds), i.e. ways of being of processes. If so, we cannot speak of an entity as what is spatiotemporally (i.e., according to measurements of extension-motion regions) the bare itself. It is bounded by ontological universals given in an array of similar ones, even in their particular expressions as instantiations of many universals. Every utterance has thus ontological commitment to there being universals, particulars / natural kinds,2 tokens and the whole Reality, from the ← 22 | 23 → causal potentialities of which universals issue. I study ontological commitment in Quine in a detailed manner in Chapter 3, and show its particularistic problems in comparison with ontological commitment in Einaic Ontology.
Regarding the problem of accounting for the universals in the mind I am opine that mind connotes universals in its epistemic processes. Thus, ontological universals, which are ways of being of processes as such, become the ameliorated connotative universals in the mind. By ‘connotation’ I mean epistemologically the connection between the ontological and conceptual universals by the conscious manner of “noting together” the relevant ontological universals. It refers epistemologically to the conscious activity of involving ontological universals in sensing, conceptualizing, referring and speech by ontological commitment. More clarity on the concept of connotation – within the limits of a few sentences – yielded while connecting it with the Whiteheadian concept of eternal objects, will be found under the title: “4. Methodology of Mutual Collusion”. Eternal objects in purely conceptual prehension are connotatives. Connotation is the conceptual activity of ‘noting together or referring together to’ the many by means of involvement of respective universals – which never denote any thing but only are involved with other ontological universals in ‘noting together’. This differs from denotation, which is direct reference to one or a few actual processes to which it pertains, of which it is. Just like objects / processes, universals too are denotables: we denote them with terms.
All that there are for ontological commitment and without which discourse is naught, are tokens (bare singular entities / processes, e.g. the book / a book), ontological particulars (actual species [Latin, “appearance” / “mirroring”], e.g. book, with its final instantiations in tokens), epistemologically connotative (“noting together”) universals in consciousness (conscious notions, e.g. ‘bookness’, ‘possibility’, ‘actuality’, ‘temporality’, ‘spatiality’ etc.), ontological universals (connectives and “ways of being of beings” in processes, e.g. generalities / universals like possibility, actuality, temporality, spatiality etc.), particular species universals that are instantiative in species (e.g. bookness instantiating in book, which in turn instantiate in a specific token, which is a / the book) and totalities (ever-greater totalities of tokens on par with and at the level of the ontological universals that ← 23 | 24 → encompass a certain level of actual entities, and specific actual entities that too are conglomerations of minute actualities).
If one accepts these ultimates as categories, one has an ontology proper to them, as in most of today’s metaphysics. The question arises: Should we justify the level of primordiality of these notions as final, or, are there still deeper generalities capable of being taken as most general categories? Our conclusion – to anticipate the argument in this work – is that it is not enough to have recourse to this sort of classificational categories. We should look for their maximal cases, which make these and all their other specific cases possible. The present work concerns itself about the questions pertaining to this conclusion and attempts a systemic answer, so that the system will begin to explain issues that arise in this regard in an ever-more dynamic and systemic manner. The listed classificational ultimates of disourse are what the various ontological and scientific traditions have taken as categories. Einaic Ontology argues that the alleged primitiveness of these notions must be questioned. There are some foundational implications behind them, which are least classificational but most collusive of all notions that are categorial of systems and sub-systems. We seek here a system of systems based on most primitive, dynamically systemic categorial mould-notions that allow adequate explication of their own selfsameness. We should not need to dig deeper than these notions but only ever deeper in its definitional explications, because these themselves will then arise in ever more adequate forms – an expectation which, I believe, does not betray the process of philosophizing.
Any discourse has a train of theoretically and pragmatically presupposed and idealized primitive notions discoverable in the idealized theoretical recesses of the discourse or theory. All primitive notions are categorial (classificational) in nature. They are not instituted merely by the mind in the process of learning a language or describing a process. They have ontological universal foundations in causal processes in Reality, which are vaguely discovered and epistemologically idealized by the mind as being active “there” in the measuremenally spatio-temporal but ontologically extension-motion interfaces of particular processes and their totality.
Matter-energy, Space-time and Causality are the most commonly accepted scientific categories. Spacetime is measuremental and so is epistemological. Extension-Motion is their physical-ontological counterpart. As explained in the Preface, space is the measure of extension; and time is the measure of motion, excluding the extent covered by the measure of extension. The present work analyses the particularism in the particularistic and classificational natures of ← 24 | 25 → prevalent cosmological, epistemological and ontological categories, and suggests three minimally classificational, mutually collusive and maximally representatve categories. In the process, it clarifies the nature of ontological universals as probabilistic in their conscious counterparts, and lays the foundation for a second generation scientific ontology that transcends the purely classificational and least collusive particularistic categories of the scientific3 and traditional ontologies of the bygone, more than two millennia old classificational tendency of ontologies and sciences in the West and the East.
Synthesis warrants least classificational categories. Western philosophy has witnessed many sets of first-generation scientific and metaphysical classificational categories that purport to facilitate ontological thinking. Today scientific data and theories are at the base of all ontologies. The sciences severally admit presupposing some or other ontology. We examine whether they generally presuppose merely classificational primitive notions, or whether they presuppose the most collusive of primitive notions. The set of collusive second-generation ontological categories here envisage maximally systemic scientific ontology. Collusion is the characteristic of involvement and mutual implication of categories and other derivative concepts in systems. As the three categories here are, respectively, cosmological, epistemological and purely ontological, it is impossible to attempt a system of thought by use of these categories within a short space. Therefore, I limit myself here to justify the merits of the projected systemic categories over classificational ones. Each chapter develops one maximal category. By the end of the third it will be clear that these ontological-collusive categories will substitute classificational ones with greater ontological merits and make the scientific categories ontologically subordinate. These categories are collusive: each of them “plays with” all of them.
The real (das Wirkliche) fundament of all thought, as will be clear, is Reality-in-total, not particular realities or actual entities in isolation from Reality. ‘Reality-in-total’ denotes an actual, ontological, partially phenomenal thing-in-itself that is all that are: that is, actual entities in all their implications and whatever there are, including concepts as conscious events, and even the Divine if it exists. ‘Reality’ does not primarily have, as in some scientific realists, the epistemological sense as given to Realität, but the ontological sense attributed to Wirklichkeit. ← 25 | 26 →
Chapter 1 investigates categorial possibilities in the philosophy of physics and derives the cosmological category of Reality-in-total, as presupposed in the ontology of all discourse.4 Chapter 2 explores some basic epistemological foundations of such ontology and derives the epistemological category of Reality-in-general, as presupposed in the epistemology of all discourse. ‘Reality-in-general’ facilitates to consciousness the generality of all generalities – universal of all universals – and presents the conceptual ideal of all thought, i.e. To Be. Chapter 3 transforms the concept of Being into the abstract, nominal, verbal and trans-categorial category, To Be, and overcomes the particularist analytic ontology of the “is” or “there exists” as presupposed in any sort of “ontological commitment” (Quine) to physical and abstract objects in discourse. To Be does not mean the universal Being of Aristotle, Aquinas, Spinoza, Hegel etc., nor the Heideggerian continuous openness of the event-ing of Be-ing of all that is with respect to Being-thinking human. Instead, it is the absolutely verbal-processual aspect of Reality, in its universal and totally processual characteristics. It is also law-like (nomic) and nominal. Throughout this book ‘to exist’ is equivalent to the general attribute, ‘to be’, of any actual entity. The term ‘to be’ is not coextensive with the To Be of Reality.
Classificational categories follow the method of predication by predicables (qualities) and class terms (particulars) about tokens of any layer of totalities. Predicables and class terms refer to either transcendentals (in the sense of essential qualities or universals pertaining to things / processes and/or their conceptual reflections) or to transcendents (in the sense of tokens and particulars, which are sets of tokens with their universals). Any entity and any particular is a transcendent to any other such and to other transcendentals. Similarly, any attribute or quality is a transcendental to any other such and to transendents: it indicates the involvement of transcendentals in both abstract and actual entities of all kinds. However, ontologically there are no pure transcendents without transcendentals for the following reasons: (1) Any transcendent exists by its ‘to be’ (in its particularity) and transcendental qualities; and the Transcendent Reality exists by its ‘To Be’. A “to be”, the qualitative universals and the “To Be” are transcendentals in their own unique manners. (2) Similarly, any transcendental is the case with respect to some transcendents. Transcendentals and transcendents are ontologically intertwined. Any predicable involves one or more ← 26 | 27 → such transcendentals. Hence, classification by means of predication is a transcendental and transcendent affair.
Classification always involves many entities and predicables, both mingled with particulars. That is, the domain of definition of classification by predicables is the many particulars proper to the predicable/s. There can be unique domains of definition of transcendentals and transcendents. As we shall see in the chapters, these are ideal cases of classification by predication. Thus, these can be the maximal cases of transcendents and transcendentals – (1) the ideally most inclusive Transcendent, which is the ontologically and cosmologically Total Entity that includes all that exist, (2) the broadest and deepest epistemological Transcendental, the ideal concept occurring in consciousness,5 and (3) the broadest and deepest Transcendental on par with Reality, i.e. the ontological ideal for there being anything. These are unique realities.
The terms applied to them are classifications, i.e. maximal and unique ideals of (1) actuals (both tokens and totals), (2) transcendentals (both particular and the more universal of ontological universals) and (3) conceptual activity (both the particular and more universal of conceptual universals, which are all veiled appropriations of ontological universals). Such maximal cases are also categories by reason of their uniquely defined domains of definition of classification. They are not disqualified from being categories: somehow they too are classifications of uniquely defined singleton domains that include all modes of reality. Nor are they classifications merely in the sense of there being nothing else in their domains unrelated to classification by each such other term: they cannot be thought of without the others of the set. The challenge that the present project is offered is to transform such maximal and uniquely defined predications as coextensive to the very objects of such predication, and then to show that they qualify as the best scientific-ontological categories.
The term ‘category’ is from the Greek katēgoría, “accuse, affirm, predicate, speak, accuse or classify someone in the assembly / public place (as notified or noticed by the ruler)”. In this original sense categories are basically classification terms. The Einaic categories are in that sense classifying terms. The maximality assignable to them reduces their classifying nature in comparison with the traditional non-maximal categories. Since the maximal nature of Einaic categories ← 27 | 28 → reduces their classificational function to the minimum, we choose to term them non-classificational.
This book does not proceed vertically into just one thinker or one theme in a thinker. It enters horizontally and cross-sectionally into a persistently single theme in and beyond some major philosophical disciplines and representative thinkers, most of them from the twentieth century. Its horizontal approach does not make it shallow.
Methodologically, I deem it appropriate to analyse here the theoretical recesses of the theme of categories in relation to its twentieth century scientific, epistemological and ontological revivals. I presume the ideas of some of the thinkers studied here; evaluate some of them; and advance from, without or beyond them – in order to enter upon the topic of this work. Justice cannot be done to depth of treatment in whole thoughts of individual authors. I avoid eclecticism (ekklegein, “selecting the best from a group of things”) and make sure that the material used from different thinkers is used only to generate the the Einaic axial categories for scientific ontology by transcending their specific modes of procedure and conclusions. The three proposed Einaic categories are new in themselves, developed in juxtaposition and dialogue with philosophies who have produced other metaphysical categories. The method of procedure carries us beyond classificational categories.
The rationale of this enterprise is the intuition that although pragmatic and scientific purposes circumscribe meaning from within the immediately given, their justification requires an ontology that circumscribes (not just totalises) meanings from within their course to and from the whole, and is theoretically implied in every instance of meaning6 that has its foundation on ontological processes and universals beyond them in the backdrop of the actuality of ever greater wholes (totalities). The concept of ever greater wholes is never completely whole and final. This opens the way for a set of categories capable of continuing to evolve more and more wholesomely and make each other evolve in a truth-probabilistic manner. Therefore, I hold it possible to derive a progressively more ← 28 | 29 → science-enhancing, realism-enhancing, more exact, speculative, synthetic and yet ever more continuously truth-probabilistic second generation scientific ontology by creating a set of non-classificational, mutually colluding, particular-possibilizing, Transcendental and Transcendent categories – re-generalized beyond the categories, essences, Being, universals and realistic-empirical categories, respectively, in Kant, cosmology, epistemology and analytic ontology.
The possibilizer of this ontology is its highest nomic-nominal verbal-processual (both discussed later) trans-categorial condition, To Be, which is the purely ontological Transcendental (that connects everything with all possible others) of the two other proposed categories. Reality-in-total is not merely epistemologically taken as “objective”, but as “objectual-causal”, i.e., in its trans-mental entirety, with ontological commitment to there being something as the toal object, beyond but ontologically related to the cognitive activities of the mind. Reality-in-general is, conceptually / “connotatively” speaking, taken purely as the conceptually universal conditio sine qua non and maximal case of all thought – in which, connotatives are active in constituting concepts by mixing connotative universals with elements in conscious activities. ‘Objectivity’ has the overtone of adequacy of a concept or a point of view with respect to the actual. By ‘objectual’ I mean ‘of actual objects (processes) in their mind-independent otherness’.
Conceptual and extra-conceptual entities are all that there can be in ontology. Conceptual entities are not non-entities, but are transcendentals (generals) expressed based on conceptual events that have some basis on the ways of actual processes. These are based on conceptual events insofar as they are conceptual reflections of ways of being of processes in their inter-connectedness. Ways of being of processes are what we (agree to) call ontological universals. Hence, their conceptual reflections are connotative universals, by use of which we have concepts, words, sentences, their expression etc. Moreover, ontological universals are not mere functional entities in discourse: they are real ways of being of processes. Universals may be denotative (purely ontological, in processes) and connotative (active in concepts as derived variously from many processes). The connotative aspect is the reflection of ontological universals, and the denotative aspect is that which is qualitative in processes, without consideration of the blend of the ontological aspect with actual conscious elements and concept-formation, and it is functional in denoting by reference. The functional quality of denotative ontological concepts is supported by their ways-of-being quality and the connotative quality of their conscious reflections in concepts. ← 29 | 30 →
To clarify the concepts of ‘object’, ‘event’ and ‘process’: An event is so called based on the isolated activity or process of the object dealt with in naming it as entity. In the Kantian and Husserlian traditions one tends to understand ‘object’ as the mental counterpart, wherein there is something objective in the content of the act of perception or cognition. Even from this point of view, one tends to make ‘object’ universal-bounded, by arguing that this mental counterpart, present and active in the mind, is involved with other pre-reflective and reflective particulars, universals and concepts. For example, Brentano speaks of mental objects as objects: “Nothing distinguishes mental phenomena from physical phenomena more than the fact that something is immanent as an object in them.” Having an object is “… having-of-something-objectively.”7 This is not the concept of ‘object’ I use. As Chapter 1 concentrates on redeeming cosmological categories from Kantian idealism and dualism of phenomena-noumena, and as we approach the concept of the infinitely and infinitesimally objectual concept of Reality by the end of that chapter, I hold that objects are mainly those processes that have direct or indirect causal effect on others or those ways of being of causal processes that can have ontologically universal-bounded objectification in the mind. Such objectification is some ameliorated reflection of processes (not objects) in conscious and conceptual processes, so that consciousness and speech give these processes referring capacity by fixed nominalization in consciously reflected, spatiotemporally sensed or imagined or rationalized, extension-motion processes.
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- 2015 (March)
- Physical Ontology Quantum Physics Special Relativity Scientific Realism Analytical Epistemology
- Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2015. 386 pp.