Thursday, January 12, 2012
Physics And Being
The 'nature of being' as an academic discipline goes under the title of 'ontology.' Long ago it might have been called 'metaphysics.' And I say this, because I suspect that long ago we people attributed 'being' to much more than just ourselves, or to 'the higher primates' or perhaps to Crows. The word 'metaphysics' comes from the title of the book Aristotle wrote after the work he called 'Physics,' and in the old Greek 'metaphysics' literally means 'after physics.' And it was after his 'Physics' that Aristotle addressed the nagging questions in those areas of thinking that appear not to respond to scientific observation, to analysis, to disciplined experiment or to prefects and detention rooms.
I would argue that at one point on the infinite line we saw in both plants and animals, not so much a creation of unknownable origin, rather as 'beings' in and of themselves with attributable powers, or presence or existence and motive. An attitude which these days is generally considered perverse, and which means for example that talking to your vegetables is thought of as happily eccentric rather than any thing remotely connected to an actual communion. I could say, "wouldn't it be fun if one day physics took us back to that point." But I won't.