I (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) in opposed to all metaphysics! Actually, that's a "teaser" I distinguish two kinds of meta[-]phyics and support one but not the other, and the one I support almost nobody thinks about while the one I reject is everywhere. I call it: "meatphysics".
The universe is a physics theory. The kind of metaphysics I reject is what may briefly be characterized as objective reality. People talk about what's "really there" as opposed to their perceptions and ideas which they ideate may just be illusions. A model here might be a person standing in front of a translucent screen through which they can see the stuff behind it but not very presicely. Behind the screen we place a cinderblock. The person sees a cinderblock. Now we replace it with a hyper-realistic photograph of a cinderblock without telling the person. They still think they see a cinderblock but they have been "tricked". This kind of metaphysics is concerned with what's behind the translucent screen. I
reject suspend judgment about it.
The second kind of meta-physics which I do very much like is the study of the social praxis of doing physics which is not itself physics but rather about (i.e.,: meta) physics. This is not trying to figure out what's behind a translucent screen; it's studying what's going on in front of the screen, or, for one thing: what the whole screen setup is about. Instead of looking for what's behind the screen, we look at what looking for what's behind the sccreen is all about. In Marshall McLuhan's famous words:
"The medium is the message."
Or in his friend Prof. Louis Forsdale's words:
"Always ask of anything: 'What is this an instance of?'"
Or Arron Beck (who's he?):
"There is more to the surface than meets the eye."
I call metaphysics "Meatphysics" because it reduces me to being a piece of meat, and I don't like it. It is difficult to talk about this stuff precisely because everyday and much philosophical and other specialized discoure is saturated with meatphysics. But to be colloquial: People can treat me as a human resouces to send out onto a battlefield to die for the furtherance of their war aims. A teach can grade me. A boss at work can jerk me around. I would not object to any of this if they just had the decency to wait until two physicians had certified Iwas dead before doing it to me; then I welcome them to eat my meat however they like, raw or cooked, and, if cooked, rare, medium or well-done. But all this writing in this paragraph is meatphysics too, just more salubrious for me.
So where does the other kind of metaphysics come in, the kind I approve of? very simply: It is the study of the conversation in which the conversants dispose of the meat. "John, my friend, who should we send to die on my battlefield today, or give a pop quiz to in your classroom?" "Well, Sam, I was thinking about Bradford McCormick, whose given name means, more or less: 'doormat'. Let's do it to him. What to you think?" "Sounds good to me, John. We definitely wouldn't want any part of it for ourselves, would we?" "You bet, Sam. It's so much fun to jerk people aroud, isn't it?" "Well, John, we mustn't speak that way in public, you know." "Of course, Sam. I gotta go now. Bye!" "Leaving already, John? Well, take care of yourself and enjoy the rest of the day." "You, too Sam, Bye for now!"
John and Sam's conversation is metaphysical in the meatphysical sense: their topic of conversation is what to do with a piece of meat, namely, me (BMcC[18-11-46-503]). But heir conversation itself is not meatphysical. they do not discuss how to dispose of each other. To study their conversation qua conersation and not jsut as an objectivity to, e.g., blow up with a machine gun, is metaphysics in the other sense: It is studying what is not physics. Physics determines what is the case, but it cannot decide what to do about it. The decision process qua living event of deciding, is metaphysical in the second sense.
To study a conversation qua onversation is to try to interpret its meaning(s), not to try to get "behind" it. Prof. John Wild:
"We are a conversetion.
Let us examine that sentence in detail: "We" are a converstion, not Fred and Phil's conversation over there which we as conversants can converse about. Me and thee, not: those: "are": Not some thing being studied but the living, immediate, first-person, in-process, experiencing,... we are conversing. "a conversation": we are not cinderblocks. We are conversants conversing about cinderblocks (or whatever). No other people count, because they are all just more stuff being talked about unless we welcome them into our conversation: the conversation we are. I doubt I have made myself clear to "you" who are an object for me but a "subject" for yourself. One might call my kind of metaphysics: "meetpyhsics", i.e.: a meeting about some piece of meat or other, e.g.: Joe Smith, God, a chair in the next room, World War I, whaetever.....
The conversation the teaches were in St. Paul's Illiberal Day Carcel for Pubescent Male Virgins except-for-omerta-sanitary-services-for-jocks certainly processed me like the USDA does dead animal carcasses. They even graded me: Prime or "A", Choice or "B", down to "F" which simply has to be thrown out as of no use. "Oh, but we certainnly did not mean it that way We were educating you to become like us after we prerpped (we are a 'perp' shool, you know), cooked and served – Oh, Dear! I didn't mean that either: After you would go on th ecollege and grow up and get a job and get married...." "Yeah, why didn't you put me on the payroll, guys?" "Uhhh..."
"We are a conversetion.
Try to get "behind" the conversetion you are in your own mind right now. Everywhere you go, there you are. You can't get behind yourelf, can you? You can get behind where you were. That's experience and reflection on experience. But it's not the experiencing of that reflection itself. That's always just the "here nd now". Everything is "the here and now", from the Big Bang to the heat death of the uiverse. If it is not in the conversetion you are, where is it? Found it! Yeah – in the converstaion you are. Everywhere you go, here (or there) you are.
"Man weiss nicht von wannen er kommt und braust', wrote Schiller of the surge of language from the depths to the light. No man knows from whence it comes...." (George Steiner, "After Babel", p. 108)
Who are "you"? I.e., who am "I"? I am not anything in my "here-and-now". "I" simply am it, but that is not me or you or anybody or anything else: it's just where all of them play their parts in the play. But the play itself cannot just be part of he play or else we could deposit it on a shelf in the library. We don't likely have any idea what's going on, what "you" and "i" are, only that the conversation (and is not nothing) and (not anything else). Prove that wrong!
"OhNo!hen I say other people matter to me only insofar as they share in my living experience ("here and now") poeple don't like it; they get uncomfortable even though I h=just said word and did not attack them with sticks and stones which can break their bones (and therr'e probably somebody somewhere who even likes that? Maybe because they are an inmates in the Gulag and a broken bone will get them respite in the camp hospital? That might make sanse, yes?).:
"OhNo!hey throw their worst insult at me: "You are selfish" or: "You are antisocial". That serves a purpose in their living experience for which we should be able to run an audit trail to figure out where that idea/feeling of theirs fame from and what it's real objective is, not just the words' dictionary content. Because it does not matter to them whether I am being selfish or not. What matters to them is that, for some reason TBD (To be Determined), they feel I am what they have learned to call selfish and that they also feel, again for some reason, that is important. But it's not bad in itself that matters; what matters if that they feel what htey call "bad in iteslf" (jus what is that?) matters. Everything is you. You are everywhere you are. But words can be deployed in all sorts of ways, for instance for you to believe that what I am stating i not true and that matters to you. Change your emotional valence and the whole thing looks different – maybe not even worth wasting your time on. It's what you think about it that matters and do you think you should think about that? Or just keep gong through the motions unthinkingy as a Mr. Dialtone☏? "Huh?"
It seems to me that the normative interpretation of empathy goes something like this: There are two boxes, each with a self-lump in it. The self-lump in one box can look out a porthole and see that there is another box in the area. The self in the first box hypothesizes there is a self-lump in the second box and analogically imagines what that self-lump is up to. Etc. Thus dying for our country is helping other boxes continue to box on at the expense of your box being taken out of action, permanently.
An alternative interprettion: In the here-and-now event of experiencing [whatever contents of the experiencing...] there are voices, regions of bodily expression, etc. They all interact. Part of the interaction in modern society is a content of the experiencing which is the foregoing "box model". It participates in the interaction. Thus part of the experiencing is an image of what the experiencing is: the box model. But it's only a model and it's just part of the experiencing like all the other [whatever] contents. So the experiencing contains voicings describing itself as the box model. But that is not what is going on; it's just one of the things that's going on in what's going on. Descartes' "Cogito ergo sum" asserts too much. What can be asserted is "Ideas are". That statement provides evidence for what it asserts, but no further. "We are a conversation>" (John Wild and others) Take that literally. This paragraph is self-reflective. Got it?
"The net", colloquially is: Respect me and I will respect you; You don't respect me, I will not respect you. You can be The Arahamic Deity or Elon Musk or The Madonna who is not a Virgin or Joeph Kennedy Sr's shoe shine man or a Wokie or an ET or a cat or an amoeba or an oncogene or a cinderblock or whatever: it applies everywhere. Friend or foe? Stated in philosophical terms: Are you transcendental intersubjectivity or are you the noematic correlate of a noetic act?
Specfication: I will not "sacrifice myself" (die) for anybody's war. The whole thing is a metaphysical hyposthesis, from nation states down to spent machine gun shells. They are all products of transcendental constitution. So if you want me to die for your war you will have to justify it in terms of my constitution of my lifeworld, not your meatphysics. I am not saying that is not possible. I am just saying that nothing matters except in "my" (again, that is just a deceptive colloquialism) "here and now", not any kind of facts a student may be tasked with answering in a college history course exam or term paper which are all just meatphysics. Fair enough?