Metaphysics is the study of the one substance that necessarily exists and causes / connects the many material things we observe
- Geoff Haselhurst
- Geoff Haselhurst
This stipulated definition deviates slightly from previous attempts to define this science in order to include new information from the Theory of the Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) at http://wsminfo.org/articles/GREIT6Oct06.htm. An Intentional Worldview must include a stand on metaphysics because it's impossible to avoid making assumptions about existence, the nature of objects and their properties, cause and effect, and how these relate to each other.
Dictionary definition (from The Free Dictionary by Farlex)
1. (used with a sing. verb) Philosophy The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.
2. (Philosophy) the branch of philosophy that deals with first principles, esp of being and knowing
3. a branch of philosophy concerned with being, first principles, and often including aspects of cosmology and epistemology. metaphysician, n. metaphysical, adj.
Encyclopedia definitions ( Wikipedia)
1. a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world
2. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:
a. What is there?
b. What is it like?
3. Attempts to clarify the fundamental notions by which people understand the world, e.g., existence, objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and possibility.
4. A central branch of metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into the basic categories of being and how they relate to each other.
The dictionary and Wikipedia emphasize
- the nature of reality
- first principles
- being and knowing
- what is there?
- what is it like?
- objects and their properties
- cause and effect.
"Metaphysics is the study of the one substance that necessarily exists and causes / connects the many material things we observe".
The term Necessary existence will describe:
- the nature of reality
- first principles, being
- what is there?
- what is it like
- as well as objects and their properties
Table of contents
- Metaphysical Problems
- Historical Solutions to Metaphysical Problems
- The Problems with Modern Metaphysical Paradigms
- The Wave-Structure of Matter (WSM) Metaphysical Theory
- Proposed Metaphysical Truth Statements
- WSM Solutions to Metaphysical Problems
- Proofs of the Metaphysical Truth Statements
- 1. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #1: Space necessarily exists. This is self-evident and therefore axiomatic.
- 2. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #2: All things (including space) must consist of the same substance (Spinoza's ethics, http://www.yesselman.com/e1elwes.htm#IV)
- 3. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #3: This substance must be eternal.
- 4. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #4: This substance must be infinite.
- 5. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #5: This substance must be continuous.
- 6. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #6: This substance must be ageless.
- 7. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #7: This substance must have always been in motion.
- 8. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #8: There is an interconnection of all things with one another (From Spinoza's boundary proof (see above)).
Metaphysics as a discipline will attempt to solve the following seven problems:
- The problem of the one and many: What is the one thing that must exist to necessarily interconnect the many things? (Problem of causation; Problem of induction)
- The problem of the infinite and the finite: How do finite things form within one infinite thing?
- The problem of the eternal and the temporal: How is it that one thing must be eternal yet the many things (e.g. stars, planets, and people) are temporal and experience time?
- The problem of the absolute and the relative: How do we unite absolute motion, relative motion, absolute truth, and relative truth?
- The problem of the continuous and the discrete: How can one thing, which must be continuous, form many things, which must be discrete?
- The problem of the simple and complex: How can reality, being founded on one simple thing, form many complex things?
- The problem of space and matter / universe: How is space connected to matter - How does matter interact with all the other matter in the universe? (Uniting matter / universe, subject / object, self / other?)
Historical Solutions to Metaphysical Problems
The following paradigms have been suggested as a solution to the problems of metaphysics. Aristotle emphasized that there must exist one substance, and that one of its properties must be motion. Leucippus, Democritus, Epicurus and Lucretius proposed the atomist philosophy where particles are the building blocks of the universe. Spinoza describes God as a substance that is infinite and eternal; he described time as a function of motion; and, he had an insight that an interconnection of all things was possible. Newton's metaphysics may be summarized as consisting of mass points with invariable mass, instant action at a distance between mass points, and a law of motion for the mass point (Albert Einstein, 1940). Leibniz proposed a metaphysical theory of monads wherein reality consisted of one source, monads, and that these monads shared an interconnection with all things. Hume proposed that we do not know the necessary connection between cause and effect, which is called the problem of causation. Hume also proposed that if we don't know the a priori causes of events, then we have no certain way to deduce our empirical conclusions, which is called the problem of induction. Kant proposed space as a necessary a priori existent; space as containing nothing moveable; motion as being only experienced, but not a necessary effect of space; and that it's impossible to say anything of things in them selves. Einstein's metaphysics described matter as a continuous field in space-time.
Source: Haselhurst, http://www.spaceandmotion.com/metaphysics.htm.
The Problems with Modern Metaphysical Paradigms
The pre-modern philosophers had important insights, but lacked the tools to tell us details about reality equivalent to what modern physics proposed. Newton used mathematics to describe a relationship between matter (F=MA), but could not explain action at a distance. Einstein labeled action at a distance as a field, but this label was still just descriptive, not explanatory a priori. There are other problems with modern metaphysics. The fields of relativity do not explain the discrete quanta of matter and light found in quantum mechanics. The concept of fields also requires particles, which is a kind of dualism. The field theory requires counter-intuitive concepts like singularities and infinite fields. Einstein wanted to reject both particles and motion, but motion is an a priori requirement for force (F=dE/dx). Einstein used fields to describe the relative motions of matter to matter, but then still needed ether for light to propagate. No one has yet created a unified theory of matter to relate gravitational fields with electromagnetic fields. Einstein's theory requires the counter-intuitive concept of a curvature in space-time. If the metaphysics of the WSM is correct, then it should unite relativity and quantum dynamics, while solving their individual problems. Further, it should provide the self-evident axioms needed to explain cause and effect, and provide the necessary connection for deductions to occur with certainty.
Source: Haselhurst, http://www.spaceandmotion.com/physics-einstein-problems-theory-of-relativity.htm
The Wave-Structure of Matter (WSM) Metaphysical Theory
The Theory of the Wave Structure of Matter (WSM) is proposed as the solution to the problems in metaphysics. Space exists. Space is a continuous, infinite and eternal wave medium. Space is vibrating. Space vibrations cause plane waves to move throughout the medium in all directions. Waves in space form two distinct patterns. Pattern 1 is a fixed vector or transverse wave moving in all directions which produces the quantum background field. In pattern 2, Space vibrates spherically around a central point - a scalar longitudinal spherical standing wave which produces matter particles. The plane waves in space have four phase arrangements. Two phases describe the spin states of the electron, and two phases describe the spin states of the positron. The vibration of space creates a duration which we experience as time. In short, the WSM Theory proposes that space exists as a continuous, infinite and eternal wave medium whose wave structures create the effects of matter and time.
Source: Haselhurst, http://www.spaceandmotion.com/.
If the WSM Theory is correct, then it should be possible to start from a few basic axioms and deduce the solutions to the problems of metaphysics (forming the laws of metaphysics), deduce the laws of nature, deduce the truth statements of quantum physics, and deduce the truth statements of the theory of relativity. Milo Wolff proposed three principles to describe space:
1. Principle I is: Quantum matter waves exist in space and are solutions of a scalar wave equation:
2. Principle II is: At each point in space, waves from all wave center 'particles' in the universe combine their intensities to form the mass-energy density of space.
3. Principle III (Minimum Amplitude Principle (MAP)) is: The total amplitude of all 'particle' waves in space always seeks a minimum.
A detailed explanation of the principles of space and their relation to the laws of physics are found at:
A consolidated list of truth statements about physical reality may be found at:
Proposed Metaphysical Truth Statements
At least 8 metaphysical truth statements can be deduced:
- Space necessarily exists (self-evident).
- Space necessarily consists of one substance (Spinoza's substance proof).
- This substance must be eternal (not created or caused by another substance) (Spinoza's substance proof), and (Aristotle's prime mover proof).
- This substance must be infinite (not bounded by another substance) (Spinoza's boundary proof).
- This substance must be continuous (not contain another substance) (Aristotle and Spinoza proof)
- This substance must be ageless (proof in Spinoza section) (*****Is this redundant? Aren't ageless and eternal synonyms?)
- This substance must have always been in motion (proof in Spinoza section) (Aristotle?)
- There is an interconnection of all things with one another (proof from modern physics?) (Or, just use the continuous property to deduce the necessary connection)
WSM Solutions to Metaphysical Problems
The solution to metaphysics is that the one substance required by metaphysics is this space we all experience existing in. Space is defined as a spherical wave-medium which propagates wave-motions. Space can be described by three principles:
Principle 1 (The Wave Equation): Quantum matter waves exist in space and are solutions of a scalar wave equation.
Principle 2 (Mass-Energy Density of Space): At each point in space, waves from all wave center particles in the universe combine their intensities to form the mass-energy density of space (affects on mass)
Principle 3 (Minimum Amplitude Principle, MAP): The total amplitude of all particle waves in space always seeks a minimum (affects on charge)
Space has properties. Space is necessarily infinite, eternal, continuous and ageless. Space has waves flowing through it.
What is the solution to the problem of the one and many? What is the one thing that must necessarily exist in order to connect the many things? Space necessarily exists. The waves moving through continuous space account for interconnection, causation and induction.
What is the solution to the problem of the infinite and the finite? How do finite things form from one infinite thing? Space necessarily exists as an infinite wave medium with waves propagating through it. The wave motion of space forms finite entities which we call matter.
What is the solution to the problem of the eternal and the temporal? How is it that one thing must be eternal yet the many things are temporal and experience time? Eternal space has waves in motion as one of its properties. The discrete oscillation of waves is temporal. The flow of in-waves into a wave center is the future, the wave center is the present, and the out-wave is the past (the future causes the past). In other words, the wave motion of space causes matter and time.
What is the solution to the problem of absolute motion and relative motion? How do we unite absolute motion, relative motion, absolute truth and relative truth? We only observe the motion of matter relative to all the other matter in the universe, thus Einstein thought that matter, rather than Space, must be the central perspective for representing reality. The metaphysics of space and motion is founded on the a priori fact that space is first necessary for matter to be able to exist and move about. In reality there is no motion of matter, there is only the spherical wave-motion of space, and the changing location of the wave-center gives the illusion of the motion of matter particles. Thus Einstein's relativity is founded on an illusion that matter moves, when it is space which is moving (as wave motions / vibrations). So, absolute motion exists in the sense of the wave motion property of space. The relative motion of matter observed in a naive real sense is an illusion caused by sense limitations.
What is the solution to the problem of the continuous and the discrete? How can one thing, which must be continuous, form the many things, which must be discrete? Space itself is very rigid (to explain such high velocity waves). It does not flow like water; it is a continuously connected wave medium (there are no parts / particles in its structure). Matter is really just spherically vibrating space. This is why all matter vibrates and has a resonant frequency. When many wave-centers become trapped in ordered standing wave patterns, they take on the properties of the nearly rigid space in which they are trapped. Discrete matter, then, is a visual illusion due to sense limitations, of a trapped ordered standing wave pattern.
What is the solution to the problem of the simple and the complex? How can reality, consisting of one simple thing, form many complex things? Space exists as one simple, infinite, continuous and eternal entity. Space has a property of wave motion which produces matter. Matter, as many spherical standing waves, interacts with all other matter in our finite spherical universe and these many trillions upon trillions of wave interactions are very complex (and allow the evolution of complex interconnected ecology of life that we have here on Earth).
What is the solution to the problem of space and matter? How is space connected to matter? How does matter interact with all of the other matter in the universe? Space is a continuously connected wave medium with waves moving through it. Space forms matter when the wave motions of space become trapped in an ordered spherical standing wave pattern. So, space is connected to matter because its wave motion forms matter. Matter interacts with matter because all matter is created by the wave motions of space, and one matter's in-wave can be another matter's out -wave.
Source for solutions to the problems of metaphysics: Haselhurst, http://www.spaceandmotion.com/Metaphysics-One-Many-Infinite-Finite.htm
Proofs of the Metaphysical Truth Statements
1. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #1: Space necessarily exists. This is self-evident and therefore axiomatic.
2. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #2: All things (including space) must consist of the same substance (Spinoza's ethics, http://www.yesselman.com/e1elwes.htm#IV)
1. Axiom 1: Everything which exists, exists either in itself or in something else.
2. Axiom 4: The knowledge of an effect depends on and involves the knowledge of a cause.
3. Axiom 5: Things which have nothing in common cannot be understood, the one by means of the other; the conception of one does not involve the conception of the other.
4. Axiom 6: A true idea must correspond with its ideate or object.
5. Definition 3: By substance, I mean that which is in itself, and is conceived through itself; in other words, that of which a conception can be formed independently of any other conception.
6. Definition 5: By mode, I mean the modifications of substance, or that which exists in, and is conceived through, something other than itself.
7. Proposition 1: Substance is by Nature prior to its modifications.
8. Proof of Proposition 1: This is clear from Defs. iii. and v.
9. Proposition 2: Two substances, whose attributes are different, have nothing in common.
10. Proof of Proposition 2: Also evident from Def. iii. For each must exist in itself, and be conceived through itself; in other words, the conception of one does not imply the conception of the other.
11. Proposition 3: Things which have nothing in common cannot be one the cause of the other.
12. Proof of Proposition 3: If they have nothing in common, it follows that one cannot be apprehended by means of the other (Ax. v.), and, therefore, one cannot be the cause of the other (Ax. iv.). Q.E.D.
13. Proposition 4: Two or more distinct things are distinguished one from the other, either by the difference of the attributes of the substances, or by the difference of their modifications.
14. Proof of Proposition 4: Everything which exists, exists either in itself or in something else (Ax. i.),â€”that is (by Defs. iii. and v.), nothing is granted in addition to the understanding, except substance and its modifications. (4:2) Nothing is, therefore, given besides the understanding, by which several things may be distinguished one from the other, except the substances, or, in other words (Def. iv.), their attributes and modifications. Q.E.D.
15. Proposition 5: There cannot exist in the universe two or more substances having the same nature or attribute.
16. Proof of Proposition 5: If several distinct substances be granted, they must be distinguished one from the other, either by the difference of their attributes, or by the difference of their modifications (Prop. iv.). (5:2) If only by the difference of their attributes, it will be granted that there cannot be more than one with an identical attribute. (5:3) If by the difference of their modifications as substance is naturally prior to its modifications (Prop. i.), it follows that setting the modifications aside, and considering substance in itself, that is truly, (Defs. iii. and Ax.vi.), there cannot be conceived one substance different from another that is (by Prop. iv.), there cannot be granted several substances, but one substance only. Q.E.D.
17. There exists only one substance (from proof of Proposition 5).
18. Therefore, all things consist of the same substance.
3. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #3: This substance must be eternal.
1. Eternal: Being without beginning or end (The Free Dictionary by Farlex, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/eternal)
2. Premise 1. Substance exists and cannot be dependent on anything else for its existence. (http://www.yesselman.com/e1elwes.htm)
3. Premise 2. No two substances can share an attribute.
4. Proof (Premise 2): If they share an attribute, they would be identical. Therefore they can only be individuated by their modes. But then they would depend on their modes for their identity. This would have the sub-stance being dependent on its mode, in violation of premise 1. Therefore, two substances cannot share the same attribute.
5. Premise 3. A substance can only be caused by something similar to itself (something that shares its attribute).
6. Implied is Premise 4. Substance cannot be caused.
7. Proof (Premise 4): Something can only be caused by something which is similar to itself, in other words something that shares its attribute. But according to premise 2, no two substances can share an attribute. Therefore substance cannot be caused.
8. If substance is not caused, then substance has no beginning.
9. If substance has no beginning, then substance is eternal (from definition of eternal).
10. Therefore, substance is eternal.
4. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #4: This substance must be infinite.
1. Premise 1. Substance exists and cannot be dependent on anything else for its existence. (http://www.yesselman.com/e1elwes.htm)
2. Premise 2. No two substances can share an attribute.
3. Proof (Premise 2): If they share an attribute, they would be identical. Therefore they can only be individuated by their modes. But then they would depend on their modes for their identity. This would have the sub-stance being dependent on its mode, in violation of premise 1. Therefore, two substances cannot share the same attribute.
4. Premise 3. A substance can only be caused by something similar to itself (something that shares its attribute).
5. Implied is Premise 4. Substance cannot be caused.
6. Proof (Premise 4): Something can only be caused by something which is similar to itself, in other words something that shares its attribute. But according to premise 2, no two substances can share an attribute. Therefore substance cannot be caused.
7. Implied is Premise 5. Substance is infinite.
8. Proof (Premise 5): If substance were not infinite, it would be finite and limited by something. But to be limited by something is to be dependent on it. However, substance cannot be dependent on anything else (premise 1), therefore substance is infinite.
9. Implied is the Conclusion: There can only be one substance.
10. Proof of Conclusion: If there were two infinite substances, they would limit each other. But this would act as a restraint, and they would be dependent on each other. But they cannot be dependent on each other (premise 1), therefore there cannot be two substances.
11. Therefore (from h), substance is infinite.
5. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #5: This substance must be continuous.
1. Continuous: Uninterrupted in time, sequence, substance, or extent.
2. Something that is continuous can't be divided.
3. The parts into which substance as thus conceived would be divided, either will retain the nature of substance, or they will not. (2) If the former, then (by Prop. viii.) each part will necessarily be infinite, and (by Prop. vi.) self-caused, and (by Prop. v.) will perforce consist of a different attribute, so that, in that case, several substances could be formed out of one substance, which (by Prop. vi.) is absurd. (3) Moreover, the parts (by Prop. ii.) would have nothing in common with their whole, and the whole (by Def. iv. and Prop. x.) could both exist and be conceived without its parts, which everyone will admit to be absurd. (12:4) If we adopt the second alternative, namely, that the parts will not retain the nature of substance â€”then, if the whole substance were divided into equal parts, it would lose the nature of substance, and would cease to exist, which (by Prop. vii.) is absurd.
4. If it could be divided, the parts into which it was divided would either retain the nature of absolutely infinite substance, or they would not. (2) If the former, we should have several substances of the same nature, which (by Prop. v.) is absurd. (13:3) If the latter, then (by Prop. vii.) substance absolutely infinite could cease to exist, which (by Prop. xi.) is also absurd.
5. Corollary. (13:4) It follows that no substance, and consequently no corporeal extended substance, in so far as it is substance, is divisible.
6. The indivisibility of substance may be more easily understood as follows. (6) The nature of substance can only be conceived as infinite, and by a part of substance, nothing else can be understood than finite substance, which (by Prop. viii.) involves a manifest contradiction.
7. Therefore (from e), substance is continuous.
6. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #6: This substance must be ageless.
1. Ageless: Existing forever; eternal.
2. G-D (by Def. vi. ) is substance, which necessarily exists, that is (by Prop. vii.) existence appertains to its Nature, or (what is the same thing) follows page 63 from its definition; therefore, G-D is eternal (by Def. viii.). (2) Further, by the attributes of G-D we must understand that which (by Def. iv.) expresses the essence of the divine substanceâ€”in other words, that which appertains to substance: that, I say, should be involved in the attributes of substance. (19:3) Now eternity appertains to the nature of substance (as I have already shown in Prop. vii.); therefore, eternity must appertain to each of the attributes, and thus all are eternal. Q.E.D.
3. Therefore, this substance must be ageless.
7. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #7: This substance must have always been in motion.
1. From his considerations of the nature of motion in Physics, in Book 8, Aristotle concludes that there must be a logically first unmoved mover in order to explain all other motion. In Physics 8.1, he argues that motion is eternal. Motion cannot begin without the prior existence of something to impart motion in another thing, so that there will always be something in motion, since something at rest cannot cause motion in another thing. In addition, if motion were not eternal, then time would not have always existed, since time is the measure of motion; but, according to Aristotle, no one would be willing to say that time has not always been in existence. Nor can motion cease, since to do so something must cause it to cease, but then the thing that caused motion to cease would require something to cause its cessation and the process would continue ad infinitum. Aristotle concludes, "That there never was a time when there was not motion, and never will be a time when there will not be motion" (252b 6-8). Aristotle also objects to the idea that motion may have begun self-caused; he points out that, in those things in which motion is said to be "self-caused," in fact, there is a part of the thing that is already in motion and imparts motion to the whole. Self-caused means that motion is not imparted from without but from some part of the whole that is already in motion. In such cases, the motion of the part that moves the other parts of a thing requires a mover. (http://www.abu.nb.ca/Courses/GrPhil/PhilRel/Aristotle.htm)
2. Since everything is moved by something and since motion is eternal, Aristotle concludes that there must be something that imparts motion without itself being moved; otherwise, there would be an infinite regress of movers, the moved and instruments of moving, which is unacceptable (Physics 8.5). (An axiom for Aristotle is that an infinite regress is impossible.) According to Aristotle, all movable things are only potentially in motion, and require something else to act upon them in order to be set in motion: "So it is clear that in all these cases the thing does not move itself, but it contains within itself the source of motion, not of moving something or of causing motion, but of suffering it." (Physics 8.4; 255b 29-31). Thus, if there were no unmoved mover, there could be no motion, because a moved mover requires a cause of its own motion and no infinite regress is possible. In Physics 8.6, Aristotle argues that, since motion is both eternal and necessary, the first mover must be equally eternal and necessary. Because those things involved in the eternal and continuous process of motion are not eternal and necessary, since they come into being and perish, there must be one or many eternal and necessary thing or things outside the process of motion that imparts or impart motion to the things in motion. This is the only way that there could be any motion, for non-eternal and contingent movers cannot explain all motion, because their own coming into existence needs a cause. He explains, "There is something that comprehends them all, and that as something apart from each one of them, and this it is that is the cause of the fact that some things are and others are not and of the continuous process of change" (Physics 259a 3-5). It is not possible to explain eternal motion by postulating a plurality of unmoved movers capable of imparting motion but that do not exist eternally, for "There must clearly be something that causes things that move themselves at one time to be and at another time not to be" (Physics 258b 21). Aristotle determines that there is only one unmoved mover, not only because many unmoved movers are unnecessary, but because only one mover could produce a continuous motion, in the sense of being an interconnected system of causes and effects. Moreover, since it is continuous, motion is one; one effect requires a single cause, so that the unmoved mover must also be one. He concludes that an unmoved mover causing eternal motion must likewise be eternal (Physics 260a 1-2).
3. All motion of substance requires a cause.
4. The ultimate cause of motion is either a first cause, or just that the nature of substance is motion.
5. A first cause is impossible because of the infinite regress problem.
6. Therefore, the cause of motion is that the nature of substance is to be in motion.
7. Substance is eternal (from Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #3).
8. Therefore, substance has always been in motion.
8. Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #8: There is an interconnection of all things with one another (From Spinoza's boundary proof (see above)).
1. There exists only one substance (from Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #2).
2. Anything perceived by man must be made of this substance (from Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #2).
3. This substance is continuous (Proof of Metaphysical Truth Statement #5).
4. A continuous substance means having no boundaries.
5. Having no boundaries implies having an interconnection.
6. Therefore, all things are made of one substance and are interconnected.
Source for Spinoza Proofs: http://www.yesselman.com/e1elwes.htm#IV