KARL  JASPERS  FORUM

TA110 (Mind and Metaphysics)

 

Commentary 8

 

 

THE  LAW  OF  RELAPSE  INTO  MIR-BELIEF

by Herbert FJ Müller

2 December 2008, posted 6 December 2008

 

 

<1>
Whenever the subjective aspect of experience is omitted (inadvertently or intentionally) the epistemological point of view is by definition metaphysical-ontological.   Metaphysics has in the past several centuries mostly been denounced as meaningless or impossible, but nevertheless it remained the basis of all views that proclaimed that reality is mind-independent.   The result is an eventual relapse into metaphysics (MIR-relapse).   This can be observed in all epistemological developments since Descartes.   

 

<2>
For instance it happened in the empirical-positivist-analytical tradition of Anglo-American epistemology, which has in recent decades embraced metaphysics with a quite unexpected intensity (although a century ago Whitehead had already been a metaphysicist).  Now there are philosophers who practice what they call ‘analytical metaphysics’, such as those whose work was discussed in connection with TA110.

 

<3>
It also happened in idealism, which claimed absolute knowledge.  And it happened in the phenomenological-existential type of Continental epistemology, despite its proclaimed aims of destruction or de-construction of metaphysics.    Not even Derrida wanted to renounce mind-independent ‘referents’.   

 

<4>
Without inclusion of subjective experience, and without a complete de-construction of metaphysics-ontology, MIR-relapse will always occur.   And on the other hand, such a complete de-construction of metaphysics is a pre-requisite for 0-D design (structuring).

 

<5>
Another point is closely related to this.  Subjective experience always has a holistic aspect, which is essentially religious in character, even when atheism is the avowed opinion.    Religion does not necessarily mean ‘theistic’, since there are non-theistic religions like Buddhism with a nirvana holism;  or attempts to design a science-based ‘theory of everything’.    Efforts to design coherent holistic (overall) structures meet with difficulties, because they try to structure the center of structure-generation in experience, which cannot be structured. 

 

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Herbert FJ Müller
    e-mail <herbert.muller (at) mcgill.ca>