- The branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space.
- The branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between possibility and actuality.
I am kind of obsessed with metaphysics, but my fascination is not something that is easy to define. It’s kind of a slippery thing, requiring a specific mindset to think about something that is both abstract and somewhat unknowable. This can quickly get into an area that is not hard science – things can rapidly become very grey. Both of the above definitions resonate with me, but the second more accurately describes my obsession.
What is the nature of reality indeed?
I don’t know why I constantly think about this stuff, I just know these questions are always there, in the forefront of my mind, driving everything I do. The opening definition uses the term “first principles,” this is, of course, a hard science term. It essentially means “What do we know is true?” It can be a way to break down larger, more complex problems into smaller chunks. For example, let’s say you want streamline and improve or maybe just manipulate some complicated, multi-layered process. To better understand this complex system, you would break it down into the basic building blocks that constitute the whole system, examining each chunk and asking “Is this true?“
You could try and do this with something as macro as reality as well – it just now becomes a much larger and more complex system. I don’t know if any one person is really smart enough to define reality – the greatest physicists probably come close.
What’s the point of all this? Fuck if I know – I can’t always control the things I think about. All I know is that I’ve always been this way, but the closer to death I get the more urgent the questions become.