Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Essay on Metaphysics and Epistemology

Essay on Metaphysics

Reality is made up of physical objects and ideas. They are both forms of reality. Reality is what we see, hear, touch, and smell, using all our senses.

The postmodernists view is that there are multiple simultaneous realities. They feel that there is no one objective reality or truth. According to the postmodernists, all groups with ideas of what is real are correct at the same time. Another example is women who are feminists, and feel that their reality is different than males.

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The postmodernists reject the traditional ideas of philosophy and metaphysics. They believe that reasoning is not sufficient to find truth. Postmodernists don’t make any attempts to find the truth about reality. They think that since there are multiple groups using the word “reality” differently, then there must be multiple realities existing at the same time.

I believe that there is one ultimate reality in which we all exist, and that the mind and matter are equally real. It is made up of both physical and mental properties, such as in Dualism.

Much of what happens with us in our daily life is physical; however, we also engage in thinking, we have a perception of things, and we feel emotions. Both the mind and the body exist and are separate substances. They are all different forms within our ultimate reality.

Each person within this ultimate reality creates and has his own individual experience of it. Each person has an individual perception of it and a different perspective on it. That is why the feminists perceive reality differently than the males. There is one reality of which people perceive and experience differently.

I believe that what one person believes may not agree with another person’s belief. Also, what may be real to one person may not be real to the second person. That is, that person’s perception of reality may not be the same as the second person’s perception of reality.

I don’t believe that each group and each person is entitled to believe in their own reality. They are, however, entitled to create their own individual experience within one ultimate reality. Therefore, they have their own individual perception of reality and their own perspective on it.

When there is a conflict between two different “realities”, the dominant group will try to impose their views on the lesser or minority group, in an effort to have them conform and accept the dominant group’s way of looking at things. It is possible that the group in power can determine the criteria used to define reality in order to suppress minorities.

Conflicts in reality are resolved through the use of force and violence. Certain groups in power use the concept of reality as a tool to control other groups in society that are considered threatening to their political and economic order.

In this way, the idea of reality is used as a tool for social organization, politics, and also, racial oppression and discrimination. The group or culture which has the most power decides what reality is and imposes this view on those with less power, minorities, who might otherwise disagree.

The resolution of conflicting realities, unfortunately, can be that the group with the most power will determine what is real by its criteria and force it upon the other group.

The resolution of conflicting claims, as stated by C. S. Pierce, was to postulate an ideal community who would come to agreement in the long run. This pragmatist’s view is not feasible.

One of the values that the pragmatists attempt to promote is tolerance and respect for the right of others to hold their own views. There don’t have to be different realities existing at the same time, but different perceptions and perspectives by different people – that is, different views. Unfortunately, tolerance of others so far has not worked in our society, and violence still exists.

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