Metaphysics Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 67 quotes )
Metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly. The fundamental conceptions of psychology are practically very clear to us, but theoretically they are very confused, and one easily makes the obscurest assumptions in this science without realizing, until challenged, what internal difficulties they involve.
If there are no self-evident first principles, as a foundation for reasoning to conclusions that are not immediately apparent, how can you construct any kind of a philosophy? If you have to prove even the basic axioms of your metaphysics, you will never have a metaphysics, because you will never have any strict proof of anything, for your first proof will involve you in an infinite regress, proving that you are proving what you are proving and so on, into the exterior darkness where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. If Descartes thought it was necessary to prove his own existence by the fact that he was thinking, and that his though therefore existed in some subject, how did he prove that he was thinking in the first place? But as to the second step, that God must exist because Descartes had a clear idea of him? that never convinced me, then or at any other time, or now either. There are much better proofs for the existence of God than that one.
This book is merely a personal narrative, and not a pretentious history or a philosophical dissertation. It is a record of several years of variegated vagabondizing, and it's object is rather to help the resting reader while away an idle hour than afflict him with metaphysics, or goad him with science.
In order to live, man must act; in order to act, he must make choices; in order to make choices, he must define a code of values; in order to define a code of values, he must know what he is and where he is? i. e. he must know his own nature (including his means of knowledge) and the nature of the universe in which he acts? i. e. he needs metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, which means: philosophy. He cannot escape from this need; his only alternative is whether the philosophy guiding him is to be chosen by his mind or by chance.
The tragedy is that we cannot believe the dogmas of religion and metaphysics if we have the strict methods of truth in heart and head, but on the other hand, we have become through the development of humanity so tenderly suffering that we need the highest kind of means of salvation and consolation: whence arises the danger that man may bleed to death through the truth that he realises.
I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had not; and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning for this world is not concerned exclusively with the problem of pure metaphysics; he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to...For myself...the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.
I guess that’s supposed to be deconstruction’s original program, right? People have been under some sort of metaphysical anesthesia, so you dismantle the metaphysics’ axioms and prejudices, show it in cross section and reveal the advantages of its abandonment. It’s literally aggravating: you awaken them to the fact that they’ve been unconsciously imbibing some narcotic pharmakon since they were old enough to say “Momma.” -Interview with Larry McCaffery (1993)
Suppose a human being has thus put his ear, as it were, to the heart chamber of the world will and felt the roaring desire for existence pouring from there into all the veins of the world, as a thundering current or as the gentlest brook, dissolving into a mist—how could he fail to break suddenly? How could he endure to perceive the echo of innumerable shouts of pleasure and woe in the "wide space of the world night," enclosed in the wretched glass capsule of the human individual, without inexorably fleeing toward his primordial home, as he hears this shepherd's dance of metaphysics? But if such a work could nevertheless be perceived as a whole, without denial of individual existence; if such a creation could be created without smashing its creator—whence do we take the solution of such a contradiction?
I was born the 26th of December. . . Arrive by dint of perseverance, but step by step. . . Tenancy to exaggerate the importance of earthly life. Avaricious of self. Constant in their affections and their hatreds. . . Yes, the Capricorn is a beast of solitude. Slow, steady, and persevering. Lives on several levels at once. Thinks in circles. Fascinated by death. Ever climbing, climbing. In search of the edelweiss, presumably. Or could it be immortelle? Knows no mother. Only "the mothers". Laughs little and usually on the wrong side of the face. . . Speaks truthfully instead of kindly. Metaphysics, abstractions, electromagnetic displays. Dives to the depths. Sees stars, comets, and asteroids where others see only moles, warts, and pimples. Feeds on himself when tired of playing the man-eating shark. A paranoiac. An ambulatory paranoiac. But constant in his affections - and his hatreds. Ouais!
Or on retiring to Prunesquallors' he might take down one of the Doctor's many books and read, for these days a passion to accumulate knowledge of any and every kind consumed him; but only as a means to an end. He must know all things, for only so might he have, when situations arose in the future, a full pack of cards to play from. He imagined himself occasions when the conversation of one from who he foresaw advancement might turn to astronomy, metaphysics, history, chemistry, or literature, and he realized that to be able to drop into the argument a lucid and exact thought, an opinion based on what might *appear* to be a life-time study, would instantaneously gain more for him than waiting until the conversation turned upon what lay within his scope of experience.
It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig. Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me. When it comes to dying even. Nothing ponderous, or portentous, or emphatic. No rhetoric, no tremolos, no self conscious persona putting on its celebrated imitation of Christ or Little Nell. And of course, no theology, no metaphysics. Just the fact of dying and the fact of the clear light. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling, on tiptoes and no luggage, not even a sponge bag, completely unencumbered.
Questions are not happenstance thoughts nor are questions common problems of today which one picks up from hearsay and booklearning and decks out with a gesture of profundity questions grow out of confrontation with the subject matter and the subject matter is there only where eyes are, it is in this manner that questions will be posed and all the more considering that questions that have today fallen out of fashion in the great industry of problems. One stands up for nothing more than the normal running of the industry. Philosophy interprets its corruption as the resurrection of metaphysics.