Is metaphysics a product of fashion ? Is it dead, then ?

In his book “A brief history of metaphysics”, Nae Ionescu stated that metaphysics responds to the callings of fashion and trend, just as art, conduct or vestiary fashion do. Metaphysics is, thus, very sensitive to the contingencies of history, being in a tight relation with sscience or ethics. The huma spirit builds his system on a substrata made of the reality he lives in, so history indelibly puts its stamp on metaphysics, in a same measure as other branches of human activities.
In this sense, has the boost of science in the last two centuries rendered metaphysics obsolete ? Is metaphysics “unfashionable”, destined thus to be thrown into oblivion ?
Or, is it the mere result of progress: we are enetring a new phase in our history, the pozitivistic phase, a logical continuation of the metaphysical one ?
This means that metaphysics is not only out of fashion, but it is doomed to stay forever like that, because we have grown out of this stage, entering a new one.
All in all , does it mean that metaphysics is dead ? Are Ionescu and Comte right, or do they fail to see beyond certain appearances ?

I am always skeptical about the so-called “overthrow” of metaphysics, either of its historicist or positivist stance.

The idea that metaphysics is a “product” of history is false. It is true that all ideas are influenced by society, but saying that they are determined by them is just silly. Does society have its own mind? I think not.

With the positivist view, well, their whole philosophy is based on the rejection of metaphysics.

Perhaps the positivists can also use the historicist argument if they are desparate, like Comte.

Unfortunately not even scientists can avoid metaphysics. No-one can. A scientist claims to discover laws about nature. But what are laws, and what is nature? Is nature separate from the mind? How do we know that scientific laws are true? Can the external world be proved? Does the mind exist? Etc etc …

The strange thing about metaphysics is that it isn’t a field that has within it its own specialized vocabulary which would litigate it as another form of science. In practice the line between first-hand physics and metaphysics is always crossed without notice, and on either side of the line the same progress endures, however without a clear distinction as to which is the real and which is the meta. Physics moves to metaphysics in the blink of an eye.

For example, the phrase “the magnet attracts the other.” Here we understand magnetism and the behavior of electrons as the cause of the attraction. Simple enough. But we cross over into metaphysics when we understand the activity as force, because force cannot be observed- only objects and behaviors can be observed. Metaphysics, then, is actually a language metaphor, a type of poetry, that evolves into the use of adjective descriptions for reality. The magnets behavior and the force of it are two distinct things. Science plots the events and metaphysics narrates those events in a kind of screen-play or theme-making. The concept of “force” is considered to be a characteristic of a body, but it isn’t because a body is only a series of events.

Metaphysics is the ‘personality’ of scientific things, might be a way to put it.

Ah, a better example would be Schopenhauer’s conception of the Will. Arthur has given to several natural behaviors, such as growth, change, and destruction, a kind of ‘attitude’ in the likeness of his own psychological sensibilities. He has created an anthropological description for what would otherwise be the indifferent and ambiguous tendencies of physical existence. Which is to say, the world doesn’t will anything, it simply exists. The conception of “willing” is a metaphysical narration that is the result of making a comparison between his own intentions and the gratuitous world of activity. This is poetry and metaphor…not science. It is not the world that “wills” for Schopenhauer, it is Schopenhauer that “wills” the idea, in the image of himself, of a teleological organizing force that sustains existence.

So many words are metaphysical. Happy, sad, slick, resistent, respondant, hostile, passive, sexy, to name a few, are all metaphysical descriptions.

Comte and the positivistes do not reject metaphysics, but they consider we have outgrown its influence and find ourselves in a differnet stage of history, where science dictates the rules. The positivistic stage is not the contrary of the metaphysical one, it is just a reaction to it, a natural endorsement. One does not reject his having been a teenager just because his is now an adult, but sees that period as a necessary stage in his maturization.
However, it is undoubtedly that Comte views the positivistic phase as superior to the metaphysical, considering the latter as unapropriate to describe “modern” facts, that are to be set under a scientific light.

As for metaphysics as product of historical context, I mean not exagerate. It is not society who Ionescu states is the actual ignitor for metaphysics, but the man itself who is under the auspice of exterior influences. Just as art has its periods, music has tendencies, so does metaphysics follow a trend.

I personally, do not agree with this. I hold metaphysics in the highest regard and hope that it will never go extinct. My firm belief is that, when attempting to philosophise, one must firstly “take off his shoes and wash his hands”, in other words purify himself of all exterior distractions, and only after that he should proceed in pondering over philosophical matters. One must be not with history, but against it, in a way that he abolishes time and dedicates himself only to the thaught, which must embrace as pure a form as possible, stripped of all subjective throw-backs. Because metaphysics addresses itself to what is indelible in man, and that is the way he acts and thinks, it is compulsory that it should be applicable indifferent of the historical moment.

Ay, detrop, agreed to what you say. But do current philosophers still have it in them to weave around this subject ?

I believe there is a genealogy of intellectualism which can be traced back to a set of specific evolutionary changes in the human species. I’m putting my money on the theory that the two major contributors to metaphysics and mysticisms alike are language and the dream (interpretation of, as exemplified by Nietzsche)- these additions in human cognition allowed for the possibility of dualistic thinking, in turn, becomming doctrinal and established as “religious sciences” or theology through generations of traditional teaching.

Metaphysics developed when language was good enough to express the experiences of a dream in communication.

Lothar jumps up suddenly and tells Lorax “holy shit! I was just hanging out with Lorgon (a buddy who had died a day earlier) while I was asleep. What in the hell was that!?”

Presto. You now have philosophy and theology, which grows into art and religion. Our dreams were our first dionysian experiences. We lived like machines before we dreamed, and musta been pretty dull.

But yes, metaphysics is here to stay. The only thing one can do is do it better than the last man. See, we are a generation that was born into a language atmosphere of metaphysics- even in arguing against the existence of God we use metaphysics.

I say invent your own lexicon and move to Vegas.

Could it be that Vegas’ clamorous backdrop be a perfect environment for a new metaphysics to be born ?
Indeed, you never fell more alone than in the middle of a great concentration of people.

metaphysics is the best shit
if you can spell it, you’ve done it!
If you can do it, you’re a one-hit-wonder
like Ockham’s Razor,
whose reductionism I wouldn;t trust as far as I can separate his constructive efforts from those of the protectivism of politics…

You’re write.
Metaphysics is a sly game, like fashion, etc., therefore.

It’s the “Vegas” of antiquity, no media of its advent could withstand its dense presence, well not “its” but “its” stand-in…

Metaphysics is the language FOR the dream…
The dream is no less real than reality, in any rationally demonstrative way.

The science of metaphysics is the attempt to linguistically capture reality, which doesn’t Nietsche say can only be done by the artist?

Therefore, if this is so, “fashion”, as it were, as it were, as it were
IS metaphysics no less than “metaphysics” is metaphysics,
because the integrity of its (art’s) artful fulfillment of demonstration
is a metaphysically valid presentation
as an embodiment

…or not.

(the proof is not “here” per se.)

I’m sorry, I seem to have shot from the hip.
There is a scientific component to metaphyscis as a serious study, that HAS been sort of replaced by modern scuence. The interesting thing is that mod. science still seems to require a suspension of disbelief on some issues, a metaphyscial constructive representaion unto one self (I’m thinking primarily of the big-banmg theory, which, with all of its jargon, lacks rational assimilation based on its very confusing spatial/temporal concept that there was a time when nothing existed-- an absurdity beyond faith.)

To label metaphysics as art is sort of a mean thing to do in a serious philosophical discussion, so I apologize. perhaps what I might say better is that science gives great systems an interactive display of functional relevence, but does not answer ultimate questions any more so than say, fashion. Indeed, ther would have to be a metaphysics TO fashion, but would it ever translate beyond the sensationalism of fashion itself, beyond indeed the sensationalism of sensationalism itself, for which perhaps “fashion” is the metaphysical language in the same way “metaphysics” as a label is the metaphysical language for the object of its pursuit, an object strangely divorced from sensation where it might not need be