Meaning of metaphysics for scientific cognition
The characteristic feature of metaphysics as a philosophical method of thinking - one-sidedness, absolutization of one side, real world, and the living process of cognition. There are three basic meanings of the concept "metaphysics".
1. Metaphysics as the science of the universal (synonym of philosophy), first the prototype of which was Aristotle's doctrine of supposedly higher, inaccessible organs feelings, only speculative comprehensible and invariable beginnings of all existing, obligatory for all sciences.
2. Special philosophical science - ontology, the doctrine of being as such; metaphysics in this sense in the period of the formation of classical natural science is closely related to natural and humanitarian knowledge (R. Descartes, G. Leibniz, B. Spinoza, etc.).
3. Philosophical way of thinking, opposing the dialectical method as an antipode. This understanding comes from G. Hegel, who contrasted his philosophical method with the method of metaphysics (philosophy) of the 17th and 18th centuries. Such a way of thinking, or "old metaphysics," until the middle of the nineteenth century. dealt mainly with objects (and their mental reflections) as with something finished and unchanged.
The specificity of such metaphysics is the denial of the universal connection and development, the logical operation of the "unmediated opposites" ("yes, yes," "no-no"), the belief in the final completeness of the system of all world ties, the analysis of objects mainly in their isolation and isolation. The objective basis of such metaphysics was the need to explain particulars, elements of the whole. To solve such a problem, individual parties must be "torn out" from the whole, are considered in isolation, beyond their connection and development. This was the important task of knowing classical science.
The metaphysical way of thinking is acceptable for solving precisely such particular scientific problems - the tasks of preliminary research of objects (including social objects) as such - in their stability, immutability, beyond their interconnection. Such preliminary research acts as a condition for the subsequent systematic study of the changes taking place with them. The methodology of such an investigation is already dialectic.
Indeed, at the initial stage of the formation of any science, it is first of all necessary to identify those objects that it explores, from the point of view of their own nature, as if in a "pure form". This requires stop their development, fix in a static state, clear from external influences, abstract from the system of connections with other objects.
Thus, metaphysics has a limited, but at the same time justified by the particular tasks of scientific research the scope of application. It is unacceptable for research of developing systems or interconnection of objects. Attempt of metaphysics application to the solution of such tasks in the second half of the 19th century. showed its methodological inconsistency.
Strengthening under the pressure of the facts of the idea of the dialectical nature of the surrounding world, which took place in a sharp struggle with the old metaphysics, led to the emergence of a new variant of antidialectics. VP Kokhanovsky refers to it as a "new metaphysics" and notes the following features:
- it does not reject either the universal connection of phenomena or their development - this would be absurd in the era of the tremendous achievements of science and social practice;
- her efforts are focused on finding different variants of interpretation, interpretation of development.
For dialectics, development is the unity of emergence and annihilation, mutual transitions, the unity and struggle of opposites, the self-movement of all things in a spiral, the unity of gradations and leaps. The new metaphysical concept interprets development in the following variants.
1. As simple, universal and perpetual growth, increase or decrease, without fundamental qualitative transformations, without leaps (flat evolutionism & in its various modifications) - the absolutization of quantitative changes.
2. As soon as qualitative changes, as a chain of continuous jumps without preparing gradual quantitative changes. This is the downside of the "flat evolutionism", which absolutizes qualitative changes.
3. As a monotonous process of strictly linear orientation, ignoring the complexity of real development with its returns, zigzags, turns, etc.
4. As an eternal movement along the same circle; a classic example - the theory of the historical cycle (O. Spengler, A. Toynbee, etc.).
5. As a movement, from which its essence is virtually withdrawn - a contradiction, a unity of opposites.
The essence of sophistry and eclecticism as forms of a metaphysical way of thinking is that the comprehensiveness, universal flexibility of concepts they apply subjectively, arbitrarily.
Sophistics (from Greek sophistike - the skill to cunningly debate) - reasoning based on intentional violation laws of logic, on the use of false arguments; a way of thinking activity whose main goal is the distortion of truth (as a rule, conscious, deliberate), a subjectively perverted view of reality. Often, sophistic arguments are used by those social groups whose interests are contrary to the objective tendencies of social development, and therefore their "logic of ideas" disagrees with the "logic of things". So, already in the XXI century. The US justified armed attacks on a number of Middle Eastern countries with sophistic reasoning about the prevention of the threat of use of weapons of mass destruction.
Eclectic (from Greek eklektikos - selective, electing) - an artificial mix of thoughts, ideas, contradicting to each other and not agreed with each other. Eclecticism often becomes a component of sophistical reasoning.
Note: a number of social work theorists believe that the philosophical basis of such work is eclecticism: "Eclecticism is the basis of knowledge of social work". The main idea of this position is that a social worker can use the methodological provisions of various philosophical teachings, not particularly caring how these provisions are related. Obviously, this view is erroneous. Even when using the methodological apparatus of various philosophical theories (phenomenology, hermeneutics, postmodernism) its application must be interconnected and logically consistent.
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