Metaphysics: Understanding The World
By Lexi L Davis
Have you heard the word “metaphysics” being tossed around in conversation but are not quite sure what it means? Do you have a vague understanding of this philosophical concept but are intrigued and want to know more? Metaphysics is both a highly complicated and highly simple idea. The more you learn about it, the more you realize how much more there is to learn! If you want to broaden your mind and impress your friends in the process, read on for more information on the fascinating idea of metaphysics.
First, it is important to realize that “metaphysics” is a word which is extremely difficult to define. It has been described in countless different ways by philosophers throughout the ages. For practical purposes, however, metaphysics can be defined as that branch of philosophy which deals with the fundamental or basic nature of all things. Those who study metaphysics attempt to understand why the world is the way that it is.
It is also important to understand that popular culture commonly misuses the term “metaphysical” to mean “that which is not physical,” as in “metaphysical question” or “metaphysical being.” However, this is extremely misleading. Although metaphysics is an explanation of that which goes beyond our physical understanding of the world, it is not intended to be separate from the world’s basic physical nature. In other words, metaphysics is not the opposite of physics, but rather an extension of it.
Metaphysics is often written off by “serious” students of more concrete disciplines such as the physical and mathematical sciences. The reason for this is obvious: since metaphysics is difficult to describe concretely, clearly, or with fact and pure of speculation, it is easy to dismiss as “unscientific.” It is unfortunate that this stereotype exists, because it has surely cost the field plenty of bright, promising students who have devoted their studies to other interests instead.
If you want to learn more about the nearly limitless concepts of metaphysics, or just want to try answering life’s difficult questions for yourself, there is plenty of reading material out there for you. Many scholars start with Aristotle’s writings, but Immanuel’s Kant’s work is another great option. It is quite difficult to read their thoughts without background knowledge, clarification and addition context, however, so you might consider investing in a few study guides or history books to help you get started. No matter how you chose to begin, your tiny spark of interest in metaphysics is sure to grow into a burning lifelong desire to know more.
Lexi Davis is a writer who enjoys writing on a number of different verticals. For more on metaphysics, Eden Journal offers readers information on the various shades of metaphysics.