A Relational Metaphysic by Harold H. Oliver (auth.)

By Harold H. Oliver (auth.)

C. S. Peirce's indictment that "the leader reason behind [metaphysics'] backward situation is that its major professors were theo­ (Collected Papers 6:3) falls seriously at my door. For it logians" was once out of mirrored image upon non secular event and its that means that the current relational metaphysic was once conceived. My wish, even if, is that its scope is satisfactorily wider than its theological origins to justify its visual appeal as a piece in philosophy. Having been nurtured in existential philosophy and having reached a few degree of adulthood with the clever tips of Professor Dr. Fritz Buri, of Basel, I got here to consider that theology as a contemporary self-discipline had reached an deadlock because of its overextended commitments to a subject-object paradigm of inspiration. Even these theologians who despaired of those ties appeared not able to discover an self reliant substitute idiom for his or her rules. A moment stress in my pondering resulted from the inordinate overlook via theologians of the flora and fauna. additionally, my common curiosity in actual realizing appeared unfulfilled in the slender confines of theology, even of philosophical theology as then practiced. As I grew to become decisively towards the learn of recent physics, and particularly of cosmology, a brand new global looked as if it would speak in confidence me. After vast research with renowned astronomers and physicists, it all started to sunrise on me that the recent physics has devised conceptual paradigms of concept that could be generalized right into a metaphysical process of common interest.

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For many today, nature is the world of natural objects; but for Kant it meant "conformity to law as such; it therefore means ... " 11 1 The connection between nature and physics lies for Kant in mathematics which is, in his view, a theory of relations. "112 So far I have been talking about the Critique and making judgments about Kant's commitments to Newton. "113 There are many who would disagree with Heidegger's re-presentation of the Critique: I am convinced, nevertheless, that Heidegger's specialized approach to the essence of its argument is sufficiently faithful to it to serve to illustrate, even for those who would state it otherwise, my central thesis that the Newtonian concept of nature determined its structure.

58 Leibniz's view that space is a continuum served to link his ideas to the developments which brought about the end of the Newtonian domination of physics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The negative side of Leibniz's ideas is more important than the positive. Negatively, he rejected Newton's idea of attraction-at-a-distance, regarding it as an "occult quality" which seemed to depend on the hermeticism of Renaissance Naturalism. 61 Leibniz did not live to reply to Clarke, but it is clear that his answer would have continued his objection to the inverse square law, for his objection was rooted in a totally different physical vision.

THE SUBJECT-OBJECT PARADIGM 33 Kant's concept of nature was accordingly a special synthesis of Leibnizian metaphysical ideas and Newtonian science. If Popper is correct, Kant assumed that Newton had achieved episteme; his only question was, how was it possible? Nothing we have reported about the ontological (metaphysical) status of nature in Kant is incongruous with an acceptance of the validity of Newtonian laws. It only defines the sphere in which these laws are operative. It could even be argued with some merit that the antinomies arise when the attempt is made to extend the validity of these laws to the realm of the things-in-themselves or, conversely, to extend the ontological claims valid for the things-in-themselves to the sphere of the phenomena, or Nature.

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