Important Note (September, 2012) - I have submitted an essay to a competition on the foundations of physical reality. It explains how matter and fields are just two different ways that space vibrates. It is very simple and obvious once understood, has profound consequences for humanity, our sense of self in the universe knowing that we vibrate with everything around us. Please read it, rate it, and I will reply to all comments. Thanks, Geoff haselhurst (11th Sept. 2012)

Site Introduction (2012): Despite several thousand years of failure to correctly understand physical reality (hence the current postmodern view that this is impossible) there is an obvious solution.
Simply unite Science (Occam's Razor / Simplicity) with Metaphysics (Dynamic Unity of Reality) and describe reality from only one substance existing, as Leibniz wrote;
'Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another'.
Given we all experience many minds and many material things, but always in one common Space, we are thus required to describe physical reality in terms of Space. We then find there is only one solution, a Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) where the electron is a spherical standing wave. See Wave Diagrams.
In hindsight the error was obvious, to try and describe an interconnected reality with discrete 'particles', which then required forces / fields to connect them in space and time. This was always just a mathematical solution which never explained how matter was connected across the universe.

I realise that there are a lot of 'crackpot' theories about truth and reality on the internet, but it is easy to show that the Wave Structure of Matter is the correct solution as it deduces the laws of Nature (the fundamentals of Physics & Philosophy) perfectly (there are no opinions). While the Wave Structure of Matter is obvious once known, to begin it will seem strange simply because it takes time for our minds to adjust to new knowledge.

For those who are religious / spiritual, I think Albert Einstein expresses the enlightened view of God. He writes 'I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.' This harmony arises from a Wave Structure of Matter in Space (we are all interconnected in this space that we all commonly experience). This unity of reality (God, Brahman, Tao, Spirit, Energy, Light, Vibration) is central to all major world religions, thus their common moral foundation of 'Do unto others as to thyself' as the other is part of the self.

Please help our world (human society / life on earth) by sharing this knowledge.
Clearly our world is in great trouble due to human overpopulation and the resultant destruction of Nature, climate change and the pollution of air, land and water. The best solution to these problems is to found our societies on truth and reality rather than past myths and customs (which invariably cause harm).
We are listed as one of the Top Philosophy Websites on the Internet with around 600,000 page views each week, and rank in the top 20 in Google for many academic search terms - so we just need a bit of help to get in the top five. Given the Censorship in Physics / Philosophy of Science Journals (founded on the standard model / particle physics) the internet is clearly the best way to get new knowledge visible to the world.
A world now in great need of wisdom from truth and reality.
Sincerely,
Geoff Haselhurst - Karene Howie - Full Introduction - Email - Nice Letters - Share this Knowledge

In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. (George Orwell)
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. (Mohandas Gandhi)
All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. (Edmund Burke)
Hell is Truth Seen Too Late. (Thomas Hobbes)

Postmodernism
On the End of Postmodernism and the Rise of Realism.
Absolute Truth from True Knowledge of Physical Reality.
Postmodern Definition and Quotes

Plato, George Berkeley, Friedrich Nietzsche, J. Ayer, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn

Postmodernism Post Modernism Postmodern: Plato - And isn't it a bad thing to be deceived about the truth, and a good thing to know what the truth is? For I assume that by knowing the truth you mean knowing things as they really are.Postmodernism Post Modernism Postmodern: George BerkeleyPostmodernism Post Modernism Postmodern: Frederick Nietzsche - This absolute will to truth: what is it? Is it the will to not allow ourselves to be deceived? Is it the will not to deceive? One does not want to be deceived, under the supposition that it is injurious, dangerous, or fatal to be deceived.Postmodernism Post Modernism Postmodern: A.J. Ayer - The quest for certainty has played a considerable part in the history of philosophy: it has been assumed that without a basis of certainty all our claims to knowledge must be suspect. Postmodernism Post Modernism Postmodern: Ludwig Wittgenstein - But what are the simple constituent parts of which reality is composed? - What are the simple constituent parts of a chair? - The bits of wood of which it is made? Or the molecules or atoms?Postmodernism Post Modernism Postmodern: Karl Popper - My thesis is that realism is neither demonstrable nor refutable. Realism like anything else outside logic and finite arithmetic is not demonstrable; but while empirical scientific theories are refutable, realism is not even refutable. But it is arguable, and the weight of the arguments is overwhelmingly in its favor. (Popper, 1975).Postmodernism Post Modernism Postmodern: Thomas Kuhn. Each paradigm will be shown to satisfy more or less the criteria that it dictates for itself and to fall short of a few of those dictated by its opponent. No paradigm ever solves all the problems it defines.

The ONLY ABSOLUTE TRUTH is that there are NO ABSOLUTE TRUTHS (Feyerabend)

I define postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives ... (Jean-Fran├žois Lyotard)

Finally, if nothing can be truly asserted, even the following claim would be false,
the claim that there is no true assertion. (Aristotle)

If anyone thinks nothing is to be known, he does not even know whether that can be known,
as he says he knows nothing. (Lucretius)

And isn't it a bad thing to be deceived about the truth, and a good thing to know what the truth is?
For I assume that by knowing the truth you mean knowing things as they really are. (Plato)


Introduction - Postmodernism Definition - Quotes / Post Modernism & Truth - A.J Ayer - Postmodern Philosophers - Logical Positivism - Postmodernism Links - Top of Page

Postmodernism Post Modernism Postmodern: Ludwig Wittgenstein - But what are the simple constituent parts of which reality is composed? - What are the simple constituent parts of a chair? - The bits of wood of which it is made? Or the molecules or atoms? Introduction / Summary of Postmodernism

The current Postmodern belief is that a correct description of Reality is impossible. This extreme skepticism, of which Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn are particularly famous, assumes that;

a) All truth is limited, approximate, and is constantly evolving (Nietzsche, Kuhn, Popper).
b) No theory can ever be proved true - we can only show that a theory is false (Popper).
c) No theory can ever explain all things consistently (Godel's incompleteness theorem).
d) There is always a separation between our mind & ideas of things and the thing in itself (Kant).
e) Physical reality is not deterministic (Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics, Bohr).
f) Science concepts are mental constructs (logical positivism, Mach, Carnap).
g) Metaphysics is empty of content.
h) Thus absolute and certain truth that explains all things is unobtainable.

As Taborsky writes of Postmodern philosophy;

.. the Mediated concept of Truth, is that it first admits that there is no such thing as absolute, pure Truth. There is a reality, which may be abstract or sensual ... but one cannot access it/know it ..'in-itself'. One can only 'know' it within the socially constructed (or species-constructed) 'mediative-habits' of one's particular society/species/whatever. (Taborsky)

Effectively Postmodernism comes to the rather strange conclusion that;

We CAN imagine things that DO NOT physically exist (e.g. dragons, particle-wave duality)
We CANNOT imagine things that DO physically exist. (e.g. reality of matter and human existence in universe)

The purpose of this website is to show that we can correctly imagine physical reality and prove that this is absolutely true (see below and links on side of page).

Postmodernism: The Failure to Understand True Knowledge of Reality

Post-modernism is arguably the most depressing philosophy ever to spring from the western mind. It is difficult to talk about post-modernism because nobody really understands it. It’s allusive to the point of being impossible to articulate. But what this philosophy basically says is that we’ve reached an endpoint in human history. That the modernist tradition of progress and ceaseless extension of the frontiers of innovation are now dead. Originality is dead. The avant-garde artistic tradition is dead. All religions and utopian visions are dead and resistance to the status quo is impossible because revolution too is now dead. Like it or not, we humans are stuck in a permanent crisis of meaning, a dark room from which we can never escape. (Kalle Lasn & Bruce Grierson, A Malignant Sadness)

The post-modern understanding that our language is too imprecise, our senses too limited and deceptive to ever absolutely describe Reality has been caused by the failure of physicists and philosophers (over many centuries) to discover / correctly describe Reality. In 1940, two hundred years after Hume first formalized the Metaphysical Problem of Causation, Einstein confirms that the problem of how matter exists and interacts with other matter in the space around it remained unsolved;

For the time being we have to admit that we do not possess any general theoretical basis for physics which can be regarded as its logical foundation. (Einstein, 1940)

Due to this past failure it is only natural human behavior (psychological) that this has resulted in our current Postmodern belief that it is impossible to directly describe and understand the physical reality of what exists. i.e. There is a tacit assumption within postmodernism that no theory will ever explain all things.
However, there is no reason for this assumption other than history showed that no theory had yet explained all things (see Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper).

Charles Darwin well understood this extreme 'skepticism' that claims we can never know the truth about things;

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. (Charles Darwin, Introduction to The Descent of Man, 1871)

I have quoted another very good summary of postmodernism below (that relates to this skepticism), with two important comments added.

Postmodernism is a general and wide-ranging term which is applied to literature, art, philosophy, architecture, fiction, and cultural and literary criticism, among others. Postmodernism is largely a reaction to the assumed certainty of scientific, or objective, efforts to explain reality. In essence, it stems from a recognition that reality is not simply mirrored in human understanding of it, but rather, is constructed as the mind tries to understand its own particular and personal reality.
For this reason, postmodernism is highly skeptical of explanations which claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person. In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretations of what the world means to us individually. Postmodernism relies on concrete experience over abstract principles, knowing always that the outcome of one's own experience will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than certain and universal.
Postmodernism is "post" because it is denies the existence of any ultimate principles, and it lacks the optimism of there being a scientific, philosophical, or religious truth which will explain everything for everybody - a characteristic of the so-called "modern" mind.

When we consider our experience of existing in space, then we find that this is common across all cultures. This is universally true for all humans - we all experience existing in the same space. Thus Space is both a concrete experience and an abstract principle (when we consider its properties as a wave medium).

The paradox of the postmodern position is that, in placing all principles under the scrutiny of its skepticism, it must realize that even its own principles are not beyond questioning. As the philosopher Richard Tarnas states, postmodernism "cannot on its own principles ultimately justify itself any more than can the various metaphysical overviews against which the postmodern mind has defined itself."

(Source: http://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/gengloss/postm-body.html)

Exactly. Due to its inherent uncertainty postmodernism cannot argue against true knowledge of reality.
The correct position must be one of open minded skepticism - that without true knowledge of reality then all our knowledge of the external world of our senses is uncertain. So postmodernism cannot say whether we can or cannot know reality / absolute truths - as it has no foundation to deduce absolute truths from. Thus the Feyerabend quote is not true (which is why it is a contradiction).

The ONLY ABSOLUTE TRUTH is that there are NO ABSOLUTE TRUTHS. (Feyerabend)

It is interesting that this 'postmodern' debate about absolute vs. relative truths was known to the ancient Greek philosophers (who were very smart / aware), as their refutations to the above quote show!

Finally, if nothing can be truly asserted, even the following claim would be false,
the claim that there is no true assertion. (Aristotle)
If anyone thinks nothing is to be known, he does not even know whether that can be known,
as he says he knows nothing. (Lucretius)

The correct postmodern statement should be;

Without true knowledge of physical reality then I do not know any absolute truths about my senses and their relationship to physical reality. I am limited to cultural truths (social constructs, words have meaning relative to other words) and truths relating to my personal experiences (my thoughts, feelings and sense experiences are true to me).

And once we know reality, as I am convinced we now do with the wave structure of matter in space, then this marks the end of postmodernism (and history will show how harmful this uncertainty of truth was to humanity).

The Consequences of Postmodernism

The problem with Postmodernism is that it leaves us without absolute foundations for determining absolute truths about how we should think and live wisely on earth. We can imagine pretty much anything as being true (human imagination is endless) which is how our world is (and has been for thousands of years).
This freedom to imagine anything as 'relative truth' is another significant reason why postmodernism has been universally embraced. Every culture, religion and diverse group on the planet can claim that their truths are just as valid as anyone else's This has led to the concept of 'tolerance'. That we must accept with equal validity the truths of Darwinian evolution with the truths of 'Adam and Eve' and the creation of our world in 7 days!

While this may liberating, it unfortunately offers little guidance and does not abide by the fact that humans are constructed of matter, interact with all other matter in the universe and have evolved certain genetic traits as part of their evolutionary ancestry. Thus there are certain absolute truths that humans (all things) must abide by if they are to live by the truth and the wisdom this attains. As Gottfried Leibniz wrote;

A distinction must be made between true and false ideas, and that too much rein must not be given to a man's imagination under pretext of its being a clear and distinct intellection. (Leibniz, 1670)

The consequences of this freedom of 'relative truths'? Just look at the problems our world now faces. Every one of them stems from conflicts caused by different cultures believing in different truth. It is disastrous - it is destroying life on our beautiful planet.

The Solution: From Postmodern Relativism to Physical Realism

The quest for certainty has played a considerable part in the history of philosophy: it has been assumed that without a basis of certainty all our claims to knowledge must be suspect.(A.J. Ayer)

Nothing seems of more importance, towards erecting a firm system of sound and real knowledge, which may be proof against the assaults of scepticism, than to lay the beginning in a distinct explication of what is meant by thing, reality, existence: for in vain shall we dispute concerning the real existence of things, or pretend to any knowledge thereof, so long as we have not fixed the meaning of those words. (George Berkeley)

The purpose of this website is to explain how the problems of postmodern physics and philosophy are solved by the Wave Structure of Matter in Space (Metaphysics of Space and wave Motion).

The solution was simple - to describe reality most simply, founded on one substance existing, Space, with the properties of a wave medium for wave motions that form matter. i.e. Absolute Truth comes from Necessary Connection which requires One Thing, Absolute Space, to Connect the Many Things, Matter as Spherical Wave Motions of Space.
Please see essays listed on the side of the page - in particular the metaphysics and philosophy essays are short, simple and important.

We hope you enjoy the following discussion of some very fine philosophers comments on Truth, Reality, and the current mess of our postmodern Science and Society. Most importantly, the solution to these problems is simple and obvious once known!

Geoff Haselhurst, Karene Howie, Email

Bradley. On Metaphysics and the Dynamic Unity of Reality. (Bradley, 1846-1924) We may agree, perhaps, to understand by Metaphysics an attempt to know reality as against mere appearance, or the study of first principles or ultimate truths, or again the effort to comprehend the universe, not simply piecemeal or by fragments, but somehow as a whole.

(Aristotle, 340BC) Metaphysics is universal and is exclusively concerned with primary substance.(Aristotle, 340BC) The first philosophy (Metaphysics) is universal and is exclusively concerned with primary substance. ... And here we will have the science to study that which is just as that which is, both in its essence and in the properties which, just as a thing that is, it has. ... That among entities there must be some cause which moves and combines things. ... There must then be a principle of such a kind that its substance is activity.

Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another(Gottfried Leibniz, 1646 - 1716) Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. ... I do not conceive of any reality at all as without genuine unity. ... I maintain also that substances, whether material or immaterial, cannot be conceived in their bare essence without any activity, activity being of the essence of substance in general.



Introduction - Postmodernism Definition - Quotes / Post Modernism & Truth - A.J Ayer - Postmodern Philosophers - Logical Positivism - Postmodernism Links - Top of Page

Postmodern Definition

Postmodernism is the belief that:

(1) Most theoretical concepts are defined by their role in the conjectured theoretical network. (A subset are 'operationally' defined by a fairly direct tie to observations.)

(2) The theoretical network is incomplete.

(3) It follows that theoretical concepts are 'open', or what logicians call 'partially interpreted'. Research continues precisely because they are open; the research task is to 'close' them, although never completely.

http://psycprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/archive/00000088/

Ernst Mach (a logical positivist) explains the scientific foundations of postmodern thought very well.

A piece of knowledge is never false or true - but only more or less biologically and evolutionary useful. All dogmatic creeds are approximations: these approximations form a humus from which better approximations grow. ...
We know only one source which directly reveals scientific facts - our senses. (Ernst Mach)

So while scientists realise that ultimately all knowledge of reality comes from our senses, the problem is that our senses are incomplete and deceptive representations of the mind. And given several thousand years of failure to work out what reality was, it is natural that science came to believe that true knowledge of reality was impossible. As Richard P. Feynman wrote;

The more you see how strangely Nature behaves, the harder it is to make a model that explains how even the simplest phenomena actually work. So theoretical physics has given up on that. (Richard Feynman, 1985)

The solution is simple though. Just get rid of the 'discrete particle and continuous field' conception of matter in 'space-time' and replace it with the wave structure of matter in space. See the Physics essays listed on the side of the page - the solutions are very obvious once known!


Introduction - Postmodernism Definition - Quotes / Post Modernism & Truth - A.J Ayer - Postmodern Philosophers - Logical Positivism - Postmodernism Links - Top of Page

Postmodernism Post Modernism Postmodern: George Berkeley Philosophy Quotations on Post Modernism, Truth & Uncertainty of Knowledge

The quest for certainty has played a considerable part in the history of philosophy: it has been assumed that without a basis of certainty all our claims to knowledge must be suspect. (A.J. Ayer)

Nothing seems of more importance, towards erecting a firm system of sound and real knowledge, which may be proof against the assaults of scepticism, than to lay the beginning in a distinct explication of what is meant by thing, reality, existence: for in vain shall we dispute concerning the real existence of things, or pretend to any knowledge thereof, so long as we have not fixed the meaning of those words. (George Berkeley)

If anyone thinks nothing is to be known, he does not even know whether that can be known, as he says he knows nothing. (Lucretius)

I must confess that a man is guilty of unpardonable arrogance who concludes, because an argument has escaped his own investigation, that therefore it does not really exist. I must also confess that, though all the learned, for several ages, should have employed themselves in fruitless search upon any subject, it may still, perhaps, be rash to conclude positively that the subject must, therefore, pass all human comprehension. (David Hume, 1737)

If I ask you why you believe any particular matter of fact, which you relate, you must tell me some reason; and this reason will be some other fact, connected with it. But as you cannot proceed after this manner, in infinitum, you must at last terminate in some fact, which is present to your memory or senses; or must allow that your belief is entirely without foundation. (David Hume, 1737)

A piece of knowledge is never false or true - but only more or less biologically and evolutionary useful. All dogmatic creeds are approximations: these approximations form a humus from which better approximations grow. (Ernst Mach)

And isn't it a bad thing to be deceived about the truth, and a good thing to know what the truth is? For I assume that by knowing the truth you mean knowing things as they really are. (Plato)

What is at issue is the conversion of the mind from the twilight of error to the truth, that climb up into the real world which we shall call true philosophy. (Plato)

When the mind's eye rests on objects illuminated by truth and reality, it understands and comprehends them, and functions intelligently; but when it turns to the twilight world of change and decay, it can only form opinions, its vision is confused and its beliefs shifting, and it seems to lack intelligence. (Plato)

The object of knowledge is what exists and its function to know about reality. (Plato)

One trait in the philosopher's character we can assume is his love of the knowledge that reveals eternal reality, the realm unaffected by change and decay. He is in love with the whole of that reality, and will not willingly be deprived even of the most insignificant fragment of it - just like the lovers and men of ambition we described earlier on. (Plato)

Truthfulness. He will never willingly tolerate an untruth, but will hate it as much as he loves truth ... And is there anything more closely connected with wisdom than truth? (Plato)

There is nothing more necessary than truth, and in comparison with it everything else has only secondary value.
This absolute will to truth: what is it? Is it the will to not allow ourselves to be deceived? Is it the will not to deceive?
One does not want to be deceived, under the supposition that it is injurious, dangerous, or fatal to be deceived. (Nietzsche, 1890)

What if God were not exactly truth, and if this could be proved? And if he were instead the vanity, the desire for power, the ambitions, the fear, and the enraptured and terrified folly of mankind? (Nietzsche, 1890)
Do not allow yourselves to be deceived: Great Minds are Skeptical. (Nietzsche, 1890)

But what are the simple constituent parts of which reality is composed? - What are the simple constituent parts of a chair? - The bits of wood of which it is made? Or the molecules or atoms? (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

My thesis is that realism is neither demonstrable nor refutable. Realism like anything else outside logic and finite arithmetic is not demonstrable; but while empirical scientific theories are refutable, realism is not even refutable. (It shares this irrefutability with many philosophical or 'metaphysical' theories, in particular also with idealism.) But it is arguable, and the weight of the arguments is overwhelmingly in its favor. (Popper, 1975)

All we can do is to search for the falsity content of our best theory. We do so by trying to refute our theory; that is, by trying to test it severely in the light of all our objective knowledge and all our ingenuity. It is, of course, always possible that the theory may be false even if it passes all these tests; that is allowed for by our search for verisimilitude. But if it passes all these tests then we may have good reason to conjecture that our theory, which (we know) has a greater truth content than its predecessor, may have no greater falsity content. And if we fail to refute the new theory, especially in fields in which its predecessor has been refuted, then we can claim this as one of the objective reasons for the conjecture that the new theory is a better approximation to truth than the old theory. (Popper, 1975)

.. each paradigm will be shown to satisfy more or less the criteria that it dictates for itself and to fall short of a few of those dictated by its opponent. .. no paradigm ever solves all the problems it defines .. (T.S. Kuhn, 1962)

.. the puzzles that constitute normal science exist only because no paradigm that provides a basis for scientific research ever completely resolves all its problems. (Kuhn, 1962)

For the time being we have to admit that we do not possess any general theoretical basis for physics which can be regarded as its logical foundation. (Albert Einstein, 1940)

Uncertainty, in the presence of vivid hopes and fears, is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales. It is not good either to forget the questions philosophy asks, or to persuade ourselves we have found indubitable answers to them. To teach how to live without certainty, and yet without being paralysed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can do for those who study it. (Bertrand Russell, The History of Western Philosophy)

The Mediated concept of Truth, is that it first admits that there is no such thing as absolute, pure Truth. there is a reality, which may be abstract or sensual .. but one cannot access it/know it ..'in- itself'. One can only 'know' it within the socially constructed (or species-constructed) 'mediative-habits' of one's particular society/species/whatever. (Ediwina Taborsky)

This sounds like one of my own intuitions, that scholarly (aka "scientific" ) propositions are at best approximations to realities may never be fully known. At it's best scholarship approaches reality asymptotically -- approaching Reality as a limit but never quite getting there. It then becomes an interesting question how it is possible to assess some approximations as better than others. The notion that some provide a closer "fit" to observations that are, at least in principle, repeatable, seems like a good, if conventional, place to begin. The "social/species" mediation enters into the picture by constraining the kinds of observations made and the types of inferences permitted from them. Interesting stuff to look at anthropologically. (John McCreery)

'Truth' is an organized formulation of energy, and is contextual, current, flexible ... according to the individual who does the formulation, the group which does the formulation. (Taborsky)

Over much of the philosophical world in this century the doctrine of the impossibility of metaphysics became almost an orthodoxy, and the adjective 'metaphysical' a pejorative word. Some of the reasons for this devaluation should now be clear. The conceptual distortions and final incoherence of systems, the abstract myths parading as Reality, the grandiose claims and the conflicting results - these seemed to many the essence of the metaphysical enterprise and sufficient reason for condemning it. ... Having the avowed aim of arriving at profound truths about everything, it is sometimes held to result only in obscure nonsense about nothing. (Twentieth Century Philosophers, 1998)


Introduction - Postmodernism Definition - Quotes / Post Modernism & Truth - A.J Ayer - Postmodern Philosophers - Logical Positivism - Postmodernism Links - Top of Page

A.J. Ayer - There is the experience of suddenly coming to realize the truth of something that one had not known before... But for the most part the things that we claim to know are not presented to us in an aura of revelation. We learn that they are so, and from then on we unquestioningly accept them. A.J. Ayer, Quotes from 'The Problem of Knowledge'

... we commonly claim to know much more than we really do; perhaps even to the paradox that we do not know anything at all: for it may be contended that there is no statement whatsoever that is not in itself susceptible to doubt.Yet surely there must be something wrong with an argument that would make knowledge unattainable. Surely some of our claims to knowledge must be capable of being justified. But in what ways can we justify them? In what would the processes of justifying them consist? (Ayer)

.. what we call knowing facts may sometimes be just a matter of being disposed to behave in certain appropriate ways; it need not involve any conscious process of judging, or stating, that such and such is so. (Ayer)

There is the experience of suddenly coming to realize the truth of something that one had not known before ... But for the most part the things that we claim to know are not presented to us in an aura of revelation. We learn that they are so, and from then on we unquestioningly accept them. (Ayer)

My point is that from the fact that someone is convinced that something is true, however firm his conviction may be, it never follows logically that it is true. .. Except in the rare cases where the truth of the statement in question is a logical condition of its being believed, as in the assertion of one's own existence. (Ayer)

There would be a contradiction in saying both that he knew the statement to be true, and that it was false; but this, as has already been explained, is because it enters into the meaning of the word 'know' that one cannot know what is not true. (Ayer)

We may make the truth of some statements depend upon the truth of others, but this process cannot go on for ever. There must be some statements of empirical fact which are directly verified. And in what can this verification consist except in our having the appropriate experiences? But then these experiences will be cognitive: to have whatever experience it may be will itself be a way of knowing something to be true. And a similar argument applies to a priori statements, like those of logic or pure mathematics. We may prove one mathematical statement by deducing it from others, but the proof must start somewhere. There must be a least one statement which is excepted without proof, an axiom of some sort which is known intuitively. Even if we are able to explain away our knowledge of such axioms, by showing that they are true by definition, we still have to see that a set of definitions is consistent. To conduct any formal proof, we have to be able to see that one statement follows logically from another. (Ayer)

..and it is through having some experience that we discover the truth or falsehood of any statement of empirical fact. In the case of some such statements, it may be even be that our having certain experiences verifies them conclusively. (Ayer)

And if we are asked what makes the law of logic true, we can in this and in many other cases provide a proof. But this proof in its turn relies upon some law of logic. (Ayer)

This is not to say that we do not know the truth of any a priori statements, or even that we do not know them intuitively, if to know them intuitively is to know them without proof. (Ayer)

Starting from the premise that consciousness, in the sense of cognitive awareness, must always be consciousness of something, they have perplexed themselves with such questions as what consciousness is in itself and how it is related to the things, or facts, which are its objects. It does not seen to be identical with its objects, yet neither does it seem to be anything apart from them. They are separate, yet nothing separates them. (Ayer)

..we could still speak of knowing the truth of a priori statements, such as those of logic or pure mathematics; and if there were any empirical statements, such as those describing the contents of one's present experience, that were certain in themselves, they too might be included: but most of what we now correctly claim to know would not be knowable, in this allegedly strict sense. (Ayer)

Whether there are any empirical statements which are in any important sense indubitable is, as we shall see, a matter of dispute: if there are any they belong to a very narrow class. (Ayer)

For our enquiry into the use of words can be equally regarded as an enquiry into the nature of the facts which they describe. (Ayer)

..A similar argument was used by Hume to prove that knowledge of causal relations 'is not, in any instance, attained by reasoning's a priori '. ' The effect ', he says, 'is totally different from the cause, and consequently can never be discovered in it '. Or again, ' there is no object, which implies the existence of any other if we consider these objects in themselves, and never look beyond the idea which we form of them.' As Hume puts them these statements are not obviously tautological; but they become so when it is seen that what he is saying is that when two objects are distinct, they are distinct; and consequently that to assert the existence of either one of them is not necessarily to assert the existence of another. (Ayer)

Many philosophers have in fact maintained that causality is a logical relation and that there can be infallible acts of knowing. (Ayer)

Words like 'intuition' and 'telepathy' are brought in just to disguise the fact that no explanation has been found. (Ayer)

Not everyone would regard a successful run of predictions, however long sustained, as being by itself a sufficient backing for a claim to knowledge. (Ayer)

.. the philosophical sceptic makes no such distinction: his contention is that any inference from past to future is illegitimate ... that it is to be doubted whether the exercise of sense-perception can in any circumstances whatever afford proof of the existence of physical objects. (Ayer)

If experience cannot justify the skeptic, neither can it refute him. Psychologically, indeed, he may receive encouragement from the fact that by following our accepted standards of proof we sometimes arrive at beliefs which turn out to be false: it would be hard for him to get a hearing if the procedures which he questions never lead us astray. (Ayer)

When we claim the right to be sure of the truth of any given statement, the basis of the claim may be either that the statement is self-evident, or that its truth is directly warranted by our experience, or that it is validly derivable from some other statement, or set of statements, of which we have the right to be sure. (Ayer)

..the problem of certainty; the question whether there are any statements whose truth can be established beyond the possibility of doubt. (Ayer)

The quest for certainty has played a considerable part in the history of philosophy: it has been assumed that without a basis of certainty all our claims to knowledge must be suspect. (Ayer)

Sometimes the word 'certain' is used as a synonym for 'necessary' or for 'a priori'. It is said, for example, that no empirical statements are certain, and what is meant by this is that they are not necessary in the way that a priori statements are, that they can all be denied without self-contradiction. Accordingly, some philosophers take a priori statements as their ideal. They wish, like Leibniz, to put all true statements on a level with those of formal logic or pure mathematics; or, like the existentialists, they attach a tragic significance to the fact that this cannot be done. (Ayer)

If empirical statements had the formal validity which makes the truths of logic unassailable they could not do the work that we expect of them; they would not be descriptive of anything that happens. (Ayer)

Thus neither 'I think' nor 'I exist' is a truth of logic: the logical truth is only that I exist if I think ... It is that their truth follows from their being doubted by the person who expresses them. The sense in which I cannot doubt the statement that I think is just that my doubting it entails its truth: and in the same sense I cannot doubt that I exist. (Ayer)

There is nothing more to me than what can be discovered by listing the totality of the descriptions which I satisfy. This is merely an expression of the tautology that if a description is complete there is nothing left to be described. But can it not be asked what is that one is describing? The answer is that this question makes sense only as a request for further description: it implies that the description so far is incomplete, as in fact it always will be. (Ayer)

To know that one exists is not, in this sense, to know anything about oneself any more than knowing that this exists is knowing anything about this. (Ayer)

Our experiences themselves are neither certain or uncertain; they simply occur. It is when we attempt to report them, to record or forecast them, to devise theories to explain them, that we admit the possibility of falling into error, or for that matter of achieving truth. For the two go together: security is sterile. It is recorded of the Greek philosopher Cratylus that, having resolved never to make a statement of whose truth he could not be certain, he was in the end reduced simply to wagging his finger. (Ayer)

The ground, then, for maintaining that, while one is having an experience, one can know with absolute certainty the truth of a statement which does no more than describe the character of the experience in question is that there is no room here for anything short of knowledge: there is nothing for one to be uncertain or mistaken about. (Ayer)

What we do not, and can not, have is a logical guarantee that our acceptance of a statement is not mistaken. It is chiefly the belief that we need such a guarantee that has led philosophers to hold that some at least of the statements which refer to what is immediately given to us in experience must be incorrigible. But, as I have already remarked, even if there could be such incorrigible statements, the guarantee which they provided would not be worthy of very much. In any given case it would operate only for a single person and only for the fleeting moment at which he was having the experience in question. It would not, therefore, be of any help to us in making lasting additions to our stock of knowledge. (Ayer)

Inductive reasoning is taken to cover all the cases in which we pass from a particular statement of fact, or set of particular statements of fact, to a factual conclusion which they do not formally entail. The inference may be from particular instances to a general law, or proceed directly by analogy from one particular instance to another. In all such reasoning we make the assumption that there is a uniformity in nature; or, roughly speaking, that the future will, in the appropriate respects, resemble the past. (Ayer)

For the most part, attempts to solve the problem of induction have taken the form of trying to fit inductive arguments into a deductive mould. The hope has been, if not to turn problematic inference into formal demonstration, at least to make it formally demonstrable that the premises of an inductive argument can in many cases confer a high degree of probability upon its conclusion. (Ayer)

For what matters to them, (philosophers of science), is the worth of the hypothesis itself, not the way in which it has come to be believed. And the process of testing hypotheses is deductive.The consequences which are deduced from them are subjected to empirical verification. If the result is favourable the hypothesis is retained; is not, it is modified or rejected and another one adopted in its place. But even if this is the correct account of scientific method it does not eliminate the problem of induction. (Ayer)

..we have no access to physical objects otherwise than through the contents of our sense-experiences, which themselves are not physical: we infer the existence of scientific entities, such as atoms and electrons, only from their alleged effects. (Ayer)

There can be no description of our sense-experiences, however long and detailed, from which it follows that a physical object exists. Statements about scientific entities are not formally deducible from any set of statements about their effects, nor do statements about a person's inner thoughts and feelings logically follow from statements about their outward manifestations.(Ayer)

The problem which is presented in all these cases is that of establishing our right to make what appears to be a special sort of advance beyond our data. The level of what, for the purposes of the problem, we take to be data varies; but in every instance they are supposed to fall short, in an uncompromising fashion, of the conclusion to which we look to them to lead us. For those who wish to vindicate our claim to knowledge, the difficulty is to find a way of bridging or abolishing this gap. (Ayer)

It is the gap between things as they seem and things as they are; and the problem consists in our having to justify our claims to know how physical objects are on the basis of knowing only how they seem. (Ayer)

And we can then work out what the object must itself be like in order to have, in such conditions, the effects on us that it does. It then turns out to be just what science tells us that it is. (Ayer)

It is possible to maintain both that such things are chairs and tables are directly perceived and that our sense-experiences are causally dependent upon physical processes which are not directly perceptible. This is, indeed, a position which is very widely held, and is perfectly consistent.(Ayer)

However hard they, (phenomenalists), may make it for us to construct an imaginative picture of the physical world, they may still be right in claiming that statements about physical objects are reducible to statements about sense-data, that to talk about the way things are comes down in the end to talking about the way they would seem.(Ayer)

At the present moment there is indeed no doubt, so far as I am concerned, that this table, this piece of paper, this pen, this hand, and many other physical objects exist. I know that they exist, and I know it is on the basis of my sense-experiences. Even so, it does not follow that the assertion that their existence, or of the existence of any one of them, is logically entailed by any description of my sense-experiences. (Ayer)

But here, as so often in philosophy, the important work consists not in the formulation of an answer, which often turns out to be almost platitudinous, but in making the way clear for its acceptance. (Ayer)

Or is there some difference between the past and the future which would account for our making the distinction between them when we speak about the possible effect of our acts?(Ayer)

Our reward for taking sceptism seriously is that we are brought to distinguish the different levels at which our claims of knowledge stand. In this way we gain clearer understanding of the dimensions of our language; and so of the world which it serves us to describe.(Ayer)


Introduction - Postmodernism Definition - Quotes / Post Modernism & Truth - A.J Ayer - Postmodern Philosophers - Logical Positivism - Postmodernism Links - Top of Page

Postmodern Philosophers

Lyotard, Jean-Francois (Postmodernist) 1924
Postmodernism is a sceptically inclined form of philosophy which calls into question the certainties of other discourses, and Lyotard is one of the movement's leading theorists.

.. This line of development culminated in The Postmodern Condition (1979), where the notion of universal theories was dismissed out of hand, the argument being that such 'grand narratives' (for example Marxism) had lost all credibility. Against grand narrative, with its authoritarian connotations, Lyotard championed the cause of 'little narrative', essentially the narrative of individual human beings, which needed no foundational justification, Lyotard is a committed anti-foundationalist.

Deconstruction

Derrida, Jacques (Post-structuralist, phenomenologist, phil of language, metaphysician, aesthetician) 1930

Derrida is the founder and prime exponent of deconstruction, a method of textual analysis applicable to all writing, philosophy no less than creative literature, which by means of a series of highly controversial strategies seeks to reveal the inherent instability and indeterminacy of meaning. One of his primary objectives is to draw attention to the inescapably textual character of all philosophical writing, which he feels that most philosophers try to deny, regarding it as pure argument instead. Deconstruction is best approached as a form of radical scepticism and antifoundationalism.

Derrida takes an oppositional stance towards Western philosophy from Plato onwards for its unacknowledged commitment to the 'metaphysics of presence' , the belief that meaning is essentially stable and determinate and can be grasped in its entirety. Western philosophy is in this sense logocentrist, committed to the idea that words are capable of communicating unambiguously meanings that are present in the individuals mind.

For Derrida, on the other hand, meaning is marked by the continual play of difference ..
.. essentially a linguistic enquiry- he takes his lead from Saussure's identification of the sign as arbitrary. Heidegger, influence and source of his idea of deconstruction, that presence is subjected to close scrutiny.

Derrida delivered some devastating attacks on the notion there being underlying structures to discourse. He insists that philosophy is above all a form of writing as dependant as any other on the operation of figures of speech.

Derrida has had an enormous impact on modern thought, with deconstruction proving itself to be one of the most controversial as well as most stimulating developments in the late twentieth-century intellectual life. There is now what amounts to a Derrida industry- Christopher Norris has spoken of a 'deconstructive turn' to academic discourse in recent years - and few works in the general field of cultural studies fail to acknowledge Derrida's influence or engage with his ideas.

One Hundred Twentieth-Century Philosophers - Stewart Brown, Diane Collinson, Robert Wilkinson


Introduction - Postmodernism Definition - Quotes / Post Modernism & Truth - A.J Ayer - Postmodern Philosophers - Logical Positivism - Postmodernism Links - Top of Page

Logical Positivism & Rudolf Carnap

Logical Positivism Definition - The chief tenets of logical positivism were that:
(1) the only genuine propositions (that are strictly true or false about the world) are those that are verifiable by the methods of science;
(2) the supposed propositions of ethics, metaphysics and theology are not verifiable and so are not strictly 'meaningful' ;
(3) the propositions of logic and mathematics are meaningful but their truth is discovered by analysis and not by experiment and observation
(4) the business of philosophy is not to engage in metaphysics or other attempted assertions about what is the case- it is, rather, to engage in analysis.

(Ayer, Carnap, The Vienna Circle.)

In the 1960s there was a broad reaction against scientism in the West. The scientific orientation of the logical positivists had been repugnant to some philosophers such as Wittgenstein all along.

Carnap, Rudolf (Logician) 1891-1970
In the heyday of logical positivism Carnap led the assault on metaphysics. Like many empiricists he espoused a form of the analytic- synthetic distinction, according to which knowledge can be only of two basic kinds: 'necessary' truths or tautologies which hold independently of particular matters of fact and are true in all possible cases: and factual propositions about the world. Consequently there are just two permissible categories of proposition which exhaust what can be meaningfully said.
By contrast, the assertions of traditional metaphysicians fail to qualify for either category, being neither tautological nor empirically verifiable. Thus, while the sentences of metaphysics might, by virtue of their seductive syntactical appearance, suggest that great profundities were being communicated, they in fact lacked any literal sense at all, although they could have some emotional significance for using them. Indeed Carnap stigmatized metaphysicians as frustrated poets or musicians, seduced by the fundamental confusions about language.

- philosophy had no business masquerading as a source of knowledge beyond science, and its proper role is to concerned with the logical syntax of language, especially the language of science.
He also endeavoured to extend the application of logical rigour to the topic of induction, seeking to provide a basis for measuring the degree of inductive support, and produced substantial work on probability.

Only once a framework was adopted, did it make sense to ask 'existential' questions. Thus the decision to adopt the mathematical framework of numbers was external, a practical question of whether to accept certain linguistic forms.

.. Carnap's stance on induction and probability brought him into contact with Karl Popper who notoriously questioned whether any degree of inductive support or 'confirmation' increased either the probability of a theory being true or one's rational entitlement to believe in its truth.

One Hundred Twentieth-Century Philosophers - Stewart Brown, Diane Collinson, Robert Wilkinson, p. 26 - 29


Introduction - Postmodernism Definition - Quotes / Post Modernism & Truth - A.J Ayer - Postmodern Philosophers - Logical Positivism - Postmodernism Links - Top of Page

Postmodernism Post Modernism Postmodern: Ludwig Wittgenstein - But what are the simple constituent parts of which reality is composed? - What are the simple constituent parts of a chair? - The bits of wood of which it is made? Or the molecules or atoms? Postmodernism Links / Post Modern Philosophy, Postmodern Philosophers

Kuhn,Thomas - On the Structure of Scientific Revolutions - Kuhn's Paradigm shift from Space and Time to Space and Motion as the New Metaphysical Foundation for the Sciences. 'The historian of science may be tempted to exclaim that when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them.'

Nietzsche, Friedrich - Famous Philosopher Nietzsche on Postmodernism and Beyond Good and Evil. God is not Dead, God is What Exists and Causes all things thus God is Space and (Wave) Motion.

Popper, Karl - On the Evolution of Absolute Truth - Wave Structure of Matter Solves Popper's Problem of Induction by explaining how One Thing (Space) Necessarily Connects the Many Things (Matter as Spherical Wave motions of Space). See Hume's Problem of Causation. 'If a theory corresponds to the facts but does not cohere with some earlier knowledge, then this earlier knowledge should be discarded.'

Metaphysics: Skepticism / Skeptics - On Truth and Certainty - Scientific Minds are Skeptical and Open. On how we can be certain we know the Truth about Reality.

Philosophy: Existentialism - Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus - On the True Foundations of how we exist as Matter in Space.

Philosophy: Realism Idealism - The Rise of Absolute Truth and Realism, the End of Post Modern Relative Idealism. Berkeley, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Einstein. 'The more plebeian illusion of naive realism, according to which things 'are' as they are perceived by us through our senses ... dominates the daily life of men and of animals; it is also the point of departure in all of the sciences, especially of the natural sciences.' (Albert Einstein)


Philosophy
On Love of Wisdom from Truth & Reality

In Eastern philosophy, the main terms used in Hinduism and Buddhism have dynamic connotations. The word Brahman is derived from the Sanskrit root 'brih' (to grow) and thus suggests a reality which is dynamic and alive. (Capra, 1972)
Eastern Philosophy: Buddhism Hinduism Taoism Confucianism
Greek philosophy begins with the preposterous fancy, that water is the origin of all things. Is it necessary to stop there & become serious? Yes ... because it contains the idea we find in all philosophy: everything is one! (Nietzsche, 1890)
Ancient Greek Philosophy: Stoicism, Quotes, Pictures
All things come out of the one and the one out of all things. ... I see nothing but Becoming. Be not deceived! The very river in which you bathe a second time is no longer the same one you entered before. (Heraclitus, 500 B.C.)
Heraclitus: Biography, Pictures, Philosophy Quotes
Are you not ashamed that you give your attention to acquiring as much money as possible, and care so little about wisdom and truth, which you never regard or heed at all? (Socrates, The Apology, 469 - 399 B.C.)
Socrates: Life & Death, Biography, Pictures, Quotes
The philosopher is in love with truth, that is, not with the changing world of sensation, which is the object of opinion, but with the unchanging reality which is the object of knowledge. (Plato, 429-347 B.C.)
Plato: Greek Philosopher. Republic Quotes, Biography
The life of theoretical philosophy is the best & happiest one can lead. Few are capable of it (and only then intermittently). For the rest, the second-best way of life, is moral virtue & practical wisdom. (Aristotle, 384-322 B.C.)
Aristotle: Politics & Philosophy Quotes, Biography, Pictures
Frequently consider the connection of all things in the universe. ... We should not say 'I am an Athenian' or 'I am a Roman' but 'I am a citizen of the Universe. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 121-180 A.D.)
Marcus Aurelius: 'Meditations' Quotes, Biography, Pictures
We are a part of nature as a whole, whose order we follow. ... He who lives under the guidance of reason endeavours to repay his fellows hatred, rage & contempt with love and nobleness. (Benedict de Spinoza, Ethics, 1632-1677)
Benedict de Spinoza: 'Ethics' Philosophy Quotes
Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. I do not conceive of any reality at all as without genuine unity. (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, 1646 - 1716)
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: Monad Philosophy Quotes
My purpose therefore is, to try if I can discover what those principles are, which have introduced all that doubtfulness and uncertainty, those absurdities and contradictions into the several sects of philosophy. (George Berkeley, 1710)
George Berkeley: Philosophy Quotes, Biography, Pictures
And though the philosopher may live remote from business, the genius of philosophy, if carefully cultivated by several, must gradually diffuse itself throughout the whole society, and bestow a similar correctness on every art and calling. (David Hume, 1737)
David Hume: Biography, Pictures, Philosophy Quotes
It is the duty of philosophy to destroy the illusions which had their origin in misconceptions, whatever darling hopes and valued expectations may be ruined by its explanations. ... Pure reason is a perfect unity. (Immanuel Kant, 1781)
Immanuel Kant: Critique of Pure Reason Quotes
There is nothing more necessary than truth, everything else has only secondary value. One does not want to be deceived, under the supposition that it is injurious, dangerous, or fatal to be deceived. (Nietzsche, 1890)
Friedrich Nietzsche: Biography, Pictures, Philosophy Quotes
.. by nature man is a political animal. Men have a desire for life together, even when they have no need to seek each other's help. Common interest too is a factor in bringing them together, contributing to the good life of each. (Aristotle, Politics)
Politics: Political Science Globalisation Democracy, Utopia
Since philosophy is the art which teaches us how to live, and since children need to learn it as much as we do at other ages, why do we not instruct them in it? (Michel de Montaigne, Essays, 1592)
Philosophy of Education: Teaching Philosophy
Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments. An artist recreates those aspects of reality which represent his fundamental view of man's nature. (Ayn Rand, On Philosophy of Art)
Philosophy of Art: Renaissance Impressionist
Modern Art Gallery
If we take away the subject (Humans), or our senses in general, then not only the nature and relations of objects in space and time, but even space and time themselves disappear ... they cannot exist in themselves, but only in us. (Immanuel Kant, 1781)
Philosophy of Mind: Idealism to Realism
Uniting Matter & Mind
.. the puzzles that constitute normal science exist only because no paradigm that provides a basis for scientific research ever completely resolves all its problems. (Thomas Kuhn, 1962)
Postmodern Philosophy Postmodernism Vs. Realism



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Biography: Geoffrey Haselhurst, Philosopher of Science, Theoretical Physics, Metaphysics, Evolution. Our world is in great trouble due to human behaviour founded on myths and customs that are causing the destruction of Nature and climate change. We can now deduce the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter in space. By understanding how we and everything around us are interconnected in Space we can then deduce solutions to the fundamental problems of human knowledge in physics, philosophy, metaphysics, theology, education, health, evolution and ecology, politics and society.

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