Metaphysikos To Thaumatos

Metaphysics of Wonder - Kazis Kripaitis

Disjecta Membra

Appendix A: Ontology Deduction - Translation and Interpretation

NB: In these paraphrasings and commentaries, the electron will serve as a model of a part of reality (a particle) that science considers fundamental. We kindly refer the reader to the particle physicist with further ontological or epistemological questions. Obiter Dictum means simply, ‘incidentally speaking’, or ‘oh, let me add…’.

1.1 Collections of parts have no hidden ‘partness’.

Translation: A collection of sub-atomic parts is not, in itself, a fundamental thing. A single ‘neutron star’ is a collection of neutrons; in the same way, and according to the parts-paradigm, a person is a collection of parts.

Obiter Dictum: Scientists are not done dividing matter in a quest for fundamental things, but we have an unhealthy habit of stuffing epistemological gaps with a hearty, “it’s turtles all the way down”, as though ontological questions could be dismissed with a joke or satisfied in farce. Cf. 1.10.

1.2 Parts exhibit directly observable partness and, because of the non-sequential causality we encounter in Quantum Theory, indirectly observed ‘non-partness’.

Translation: Sub-atomic particles appear to be particles, but physicists tell us that they also behave as though they are not particles.

Obiter Dictum: Fundamental particles behave in ways we expect, as well as ways we do not expect. In the example of the dual-slit experiment, particles interfere with themselves in a way that implies that they exist at more than one place/time at a time. Thus, they behave as both something that is exhibiting the normal qualities of a part (‘partness’) as well as qualities we do not expect to see from parts (‘non-partness’). From this, we state that there are at least some things in this world which behave in this manner, and must be included in our ontology in order to have a foundation on which to build our epistemology and ethics. Because this is the nature of ‘matter’, that which composes the entirety of our ontology, we expect logic to reflect this point or acknowledge the inherent sloppiness.

1.3 Partness is traditionally called Being, which is ontology’s traditional concern.

Translation: Ontology is the study of what kinds of parts and collections of parts exist; existence is called ‘being’ in almost all ontological paradigms.

Obiter Dictum: A discussion of being already assumes that there are ‘things’ that can be. But even if we find that there are no things or that nothing has being, we should yet be able to discuss what kinds of things exist. This category of existing entities is captured in the concept of meontology, which describes ontology’s externalia, principles not described by ontology. For the purposes of this text, I prefer to keep things simple, and use the term ontology, but in a stricter sense, I am always speaking of meontological principles.

1.4 Being tries to identify a part ontologically in four dimensions, describing the ontology of three dimensional partness in one impossibly specific moment in time.

Translation: Ontological paradigms which assume that ‘being’ is something that exists, use a familiar four-dimensional perspective: three of space, one of time. We are able to rationalize three dimensions, but we are incapable of rationalizing single dimensions.

Obiter Dictum: The usual one-dimensional concept of time assumes precision of knowledge to abstract an idea that knowledge is not capable of defining. In perceived reality, time has as many dimensions as space, though we ascribe it only one dimension, which accounts for the errors of flat, linear logic. In actuality, space and time do not entitate, which is to say, do not exist – only the braid of both can entitate, which Einstein correctly, but sadly, called ‘spacetime’. Can you hear the desperation in his definition, and do you feel nervous for him that he had to use words like ‘space’ and ‘time’ to define something, the actuality of which, transcends the grammatical power of both?

1.5 Doing describes the ontology of an ever-changing part over time, which, in four dimensions, is understood and indirectly observed as ontologically probable non-partness; ‘becoming’ is not sufficient in that it depends on a model of the idea of ‘being’.

Translation: The idea of doing describes action and change-over-time, and implies an ontology apart from the static being paradigm. From our problematic but familiar four-dimensional perspective, the ontologically fundamental form of this is something we understand and experience much as the physicists model the ‘electron’: a fundamental part as a cloud of probability.

Obiter Dictum: We seem to understand electrons better by what they ‘do’, rather than what they ‘are’. We are precise in measuring behavior, forever imprecise in our determination of is-ness.

1.6 If partness describes the individuation of an existing part, non-partness describes an existing part as something not individuated.

Translation: If the idea of ‘partness’ describes the quality of an individual part which makes it fundamental and part-like, the idea of ‘non-partness’, as we use in this deduction, describes that quality of parts like electrons which seem to behave as though they are not static, being-like parts.

Obiter Dictum: We encounter the same species of problem when we try to imagine a terminal end to infinite smallness, a crisis which can help us to isolate the core error of individuation. There are at least two options: either infinite smallness somehow terminates into a solid, tangible part; or we must accept the ontology I detail in this chapter, and we must begin to try to understand it by assuming a new set of ontological foundations. What we find at the sub-individuation level is surges of force and energy, never static parts, intersecting and interacting fields, never things; the flames of ever-changing, never-pausing spirit, never objects of Self. We know this, but we shield this knowledge from the ontology at the center of our epistemology and our logic, and consequently, our ethics.

1.7 Non-partness implies non-linear time in more than one dimension, as a probability cloud, swarming around a nexus of entitation.

Translation: To rationalize the idea of a truly fundamental particle, e.g. a lepton/electron behaving as though it is not a static part, but a cloud of probability, we must rationalize a ‘part’ existing at more than one place at more than one time. What we want to call being, or something that is an ‘entity’, must be the static result of a non-static ‘thing’, if it is an ‘entity’ at all.

Obiter Dictum: Can reason help us here? It cannot, but we must do the best with what we have. Once we extend time to more than one dimension, we can rationalize time outside of the restrictions of dimensions. Space does not need three dimensions to expand into nothingness, and to create time as it goes. Time does not need space to operate as what we can perceive, which can only ever be probability. The ‘probability cloud’ is a constrained, ordered window into the actual from the reality of our perception, but can only ever be adequate in describing that actual to our perception.

1.8 Probable non-partness is not bound to Being’s singular time dimension, so we call non-partness Doing, the consequence of a necessarily continuous probability state of constant flux.

Translation: Because non-static entities exist at more than one place at more than one time, we describe those entities by what they do, not what they are (‘to be’).

Obiter Dictum: ‘Being’ as a concept fails us in our hope to apply reason in understanding ontology. The reasonable mind can only place this insight outside of being, and categorize it as meontology, but the wondering mind accesses what we experience as aspect of the actual in realizing first-hand that the universe only ever does, but can never ‘be’.

1.9 In the four-dimensional non-partness context, Doing is the consequence of a state of ontological probability which exists prior to the present moment, and surrounds the impossibly small part of time we call the moment.

Translation: Coming from our familiar four-dimensional paradigm, trying to rationalize the concept of doing forces us to image something which must exist prior to the present moment, in a cloud of probability surrounding the ‘now’.

Obiter Dictum: The rational mind wants to think it grasps the concept of the now, but it grasps only the liquid of the ever-changing actual and is frustrated to ever comprehend ‘the now’, or make sense of the idea of ‘the moment’. But understanding ‘the moment’ concisely is essential to the value of any discourse on physics. We can only approximate ‘things’, which is not compatible with the requirements of lawful epistemology, and does not satisfy our definition of truth. If we try, using the best definitions and science that we have, we can only imagine that the ‘thing’ exists prior to the perceived ‘now’, and leans forward toward its future as it falls backward onto ‘the moment’ that it is perceived.

1.10 Doing does not require a thing in order to do, because the doing is the thing, even when the language of our logic or the meaning of our language require us to call that which does, a thing.

Translation: This selection requires no translation.

Obiter Dictum: Doing does not require a subject in this meontological framework. Nietzsche got this wrong in his metaphysics, as much as Bošković was right to stick to physics.

1.11 Doing describes non-partness better than Becoming: the later assumes the part moving forward into time, while the former implies a continuum of probability collapsing onto perceived partness from a surrounding non-dimensional future probability state.

Translation: The idea of parts as non-static is a better belief-model than some alternatives, like the being and becoming ontologies we see in Nietzsche or Heiddeger, which are forced to reconcile linear and non-linear time, but shy from the impossible task. Heiddeger relies on obscurity and neologism to distract us from the deficit, while Nietzsche is expert in changing the subject and leaving riddles non-unriddled.(98)

Obiter Dictum: We cannot pause time, for time cannot be individuated; moments can be only ‘perceived moments’, or ‘moments of perception’, just as Self can only be perceived Self because we cannot pause existence. We can also say that collections of time have no hidden ‘momentariness’, which is to say that collections of time do not have the hidden momentariness that the parts ontology of being and becoming need them to have. Cf. 1.1.

1.12 Time’s indivisibility as a continuum disallows static partness persistence; the past and future are a part’s non-partness in more than one state of time, and flow toward and away from the idea of the moment by means of the probabilistically necessary mechanics of causal sequence.

Translation: If we imagine time as a continuum, we cannot rationalize it in parts – we cannot pause time; if we cannot rationalize time into parts, anything we might want to imagine as a static part would not have grounds to persist in time. From our familiar paradigm, and with casually disregard, we imagine the past and the future as a kind of place in time; instead, the past and future are not things on their own, but made up of nothing more than things existing as probability before and after they ‘are’ things. The state of things, rather than the state of time, is compelled toward and away from the moment of existence by the dynamics of probability and the side-effect of probability and action: what we call more generally the causal sequence.

Obiter Dictum: Reason allows only a reasonable flow of time in a reasonable line. Yet by this same faculty of reason, we have developed sciences that reveal modes of time which do not make sense to reason, and even a reasonable dissolution of the idea of time. These modes conflict with our need for individuated time, for ‘moments’, for a place where time is not time, where the causal flow is frozen into an understanding of ‘things’, where ontology can explain what everything is. Reason knows better, but is forever uncomfortable admitting it.

1.13 In this way, non-partness, or the probability of a part at a certain place and a certain time, surrounds the fulgurant moment to a paradoxically small point, which we want to call that which has four dimensional partness.

Translation: The dynamics of probability and the impossibility of stasis in a never-pausing universe compels us to imagine the single moment in time as an impossibly small point at which the probable is the actual, and ignore our inability to rationalize this concept which stands at the core of this erroneous ontological paradigm.

Obiter Dictum: The closer the rational mind gets to the individuated point in time or in space, the further we move away from it, and the more and more impossible it becomes to ever arrive at that place and that time. Our longing for precision amplifies the legitimacy of approximation. In our exasperation, we toss the equals sign into our science, declaring ‘this impossible thing is… is a part!’ It is at least adorable that we wish to get something done.

1.14 Non-partness surrounding a singular point of central, paradoxical partness, appears to observers as Being on a linear timeline, with the expected causal sequence.

Translation: Though the idea of an electron is paradoxical to the foundations of our familiar logic, because it seems to be at once both a static thing and a non-static thing, it is something we speak of as though it were a single thing which ‘is’ (‘being’), reacting to cause with effect in a chronologically linear fashion, which indeed seems to be the case!

Obiter Dictum: What we call ‘doing’ as a lawful description of the chaotic actual, always appears as ‘being’ in perceived reality, and always within the reasonable flow of causality. We perceive the thing as a ‘being’, when it is actually only ever a ‘doing’. When we name the thing, we try to pause it in time, but as was written thousands of years ago, “The name that can be named is not the eternal name”.(99)

1.15 Being requires moments of individuated time in and at which to entitate whereas non-partness only requires individuated time to negotiate the mechanics of sequence and cause.

Translation: The familiar being paradigm assumes that we can split time into fundamental parts, places in space and time within which (on which? under which?…) entities live, exist, and ‘are’. But non-static parts only need what we call ‘time’ to negotiate a handshake agreement with themselves in the future and in the past, (what some physicists call ‘transactionalism’), in order to constitute the causality of lawful perception.

Obiter Dictum: We could replace our understanding of divisible, linear time, with the idea of a cloud of probability, which swarms forever around locations where physics mandates sequence, where experience declares causality, which is anywhere that there is physics.

1.16 Entitation is negotiated by the probability of whether something will become an entity at a certain time and place, and the probability of whether it entitated at a certain time and place, perceived in a sequence we understand as causality.

Translation: If we accept certain physical principles advanced by the transactional interpretation of Quantum Theory, we could understand ‘causality’ as the sequence of handshakes of an entity with itself over time – between things as they are in probabilistic terms, before and after the impossibly small ‘present moment’.

Obiter Dictum: Whether or not a thing exists enough to come into the scope of our scrutiny depends on whether it already existed, and whether or not it will allow its existence to be lawfully perceived in a causal flow.

2.1 Parts behave relative to the observer’s spacetime context: observers observe partness; non-partness is exhibited when there is no direct observer.

Translation: An electron seems to exist as a particle or a wave depending on how we interact with it physically and how we measure it; we call them things when we ‘see’ them in ‘real-time’, and probabilistic things when we cannot see them; e.g. in the dual-slit experiment.

Obiter Dictum: Where 1.6 is the impossible object, 2.1 is the impossible subject, and the questions turn from identifying the ‘thing’ in a surrounding cloud of probability to identifying the mechanics of Self, while the thing entitates in more than one dimension of time and flows toward the perceived moment exhibiting the expected causality. The conscious Self as a thing, that subjectivity which we want to think of objectively, as an existing ‘part’ or ‘collection of parts’, is illusion, if it ‘is’ anything. A person is never more then the sum of their ‘parts’, but the mechanism of parts creates perception, (the physical meat of the sense organs, and how they deliver data to the brain), and the means to receive perception, (the brain processing transmitted sensory data), which is as tangible as matter in the ‘existence’ state, (a state of probability prior to the present moment). Selfness cannot be partitioned into Self and Selves any more than time can be partitioned, and while Self and partness can be argued and discussed, they are ‘things’ that are perceived and have apparent partness, even as modern physics renders these ideas incoherent. Self can ‘be’ a ‘part’ when perceived by four-dimensional sense organs, but Self can never achieve static ‘partness’, any more than an electron can be more of an objective, material thing rather than a probable flicker of energy, a continuation of existence as part of causality, an entitation of the spirit or force of the cosmos, insofar as ‘partness’ is an impossibility. In this context, the ‘part’ that a Self achieves is an illusion consisting of the high probability that a ‘thing’ will still ‘be’ here in the next moment, behaving as we expect, and following the laws of causality and sequence.

2.2 In the partness context, partness is exhibited necessarily at the observation moment, never in the past or the future.

Translation: In the familiar paradigm, we speak confidently about things as though they definitely exist at the present moment, never as ‘things that exist in the future’, or ‘things that exist in the past’.

Obiter Dictum: We will always have this problem when we try to put our finger on the actual. If the observation moment is in the past when we observe it, then it is beyond our means to access.

2.3 The observation moment is past at the moment it is individuated as a moment, however the idea of a moment feels to observers like logical necessity.

Translation: The very moment we attempt to individuate time, we relegate that part of time to the past, so any moment of observation must be a place in time somehow ahead of our observation of things in time; despite this, our familiar paradigm, the ‘parts ontology’, has this paradox at the foundation of the idea of being.

Obiter Dictum: At the heart of all philosophic quandary is the disparity between actual and real, thing-in-itself and perception, meaning and sign, lawful and chaotic. As much as we feel that time exists, and that we must split time into quantified moments in order to make sense of the causal flow, all of this is native only to what we perceive of the actual. We mistake the actual for something containing time, quantities, and causality even as we inflate our hope that these ideas can help us understand the actual world.

2.4 The observation moment is past when stimuli reach an observer’s brain, so we can never synchronize with what we assume must be a part’s moments of partness.

Translation: The ‘now’ is already past when the sensory perception of it reaches a person’s brain, (it takes time for a signal to travel the neural network), so we are never truly able to synchronize our experience of a part (e.g. an electron) with what we think that part is, in the familiar paradigm.(100)

Obiter Dictum: We can imagine individual things, but we can never be at the same place in space and time as the individual things we invent to make sense of the actual. In actuality, there are no individual things, and our struggle to meet them in our perception is forever insufficient, ineffective, unproductive, and fruitless.

2.5 Partness remains forever ahead of us, so we can only observe a part’s non-partness, or the illusion of a part’s ‘partness’.

Translation: The quality of a part which makes it seem like a part (and not a non-part), is ahead of us in the timeline, so that which we perceive of a part is already necessarily an aspect of that part’s past or future, but never what it ‘is’.

Obiter Dictum: Non-partness is imminent to lawful perception and wants to be reasoned, but the aspect of that non-partness that reason can witness can only ever be a translation into the paradigm of reason, which is partness, and which never gives us more than an approximation of the actual.

2.6 As non-partness, probability seems to observers as probability collapsing into partness, which passes seamlessly through an essentially non-existent present moment into a non-probably existent past.

Translation: From where we stand in time, and in our comfortable, familiar paradigm, an electron moving through linear time transforms from a probable future thing into a non-probable past thing by passing through an impossibly small quantity of time called the observation moment.

Obiter Dictum: By ‘collapsing’, I mean that ‘the thing’ is suddenly no longer probable, and can now be discussed as something non-probable, for it has transitioned from the future to the past, from something ahead of us in time to something behind us in time. ‘Collapsing’ refers to a part’s probability wave, which is caught in the sequence of causality, and ceases to be a probability wave at the point of a thing’s ‘thingness’. I am arguing here that a thing’s thingness can only happen in an impossible place in time, which would need to be divisible to meet any other demand. A thing thus exists as much as itself on one point of our timeline as any other. Further, if we accept the Heraclitan proposition of constant change, reception of perception occurs past the ‘point in time’ when the thing perceived occurred, in a medium that is already impossible to quantify, partition, or individuate. Our idea of individuation is entirely internal, native to lawful perception and rational logic, even as the world changes. Cf. 1.9.

2.7 Observers perceive non-partness as present moment partness; to observers, non-partness can only be a quality of a past part.

Translation: From our familiar paradigm, we perceive electrons, things we understand to be ‘clouds of probability swarming the present moment’, as things with ‘being’. From this paradigm, the quality which makes an electron just such an actual cloud, can only be erroneously understood as a quality of a part which is already past, in order for us to reconcile our timeline with the reasonable ideas of being and probability.

Obiter Dictum: ‘Being’ is the best we can do with the usual tools we have, to make sense of the actual. To do better, we should turn to the existential – to our own experience of ourselves as actual entities, as representations of the actual. Are we perceivers not actual, not actually here to perceive? If we are, we have a basis to reflect on the nature of the actual. But we can only do so beyond the default paradigm of Self, which keeps us in the reality of perception, obscuring our own actuality from ourselves.

2.8 Since parts can only have partness in a present moment, we only observe a part’s non-partness in the observation moment, which is a past moment by the time we perceive it.

Translation: Our familiar paradigm requires that parts exhibit the qualities which make them what they are at the present moment, the moment that we observe a thing; the moment that we must use for our observation of any part, cannot synchronize with the place or time that a thing actually exists, because of the physical parameters of our familiar paradigm.

Obiter Dictum: For all we think we understand of observation and perception, the elasticity of time encourages disparity between the real and the actual, between what we perceive and what we are perceiving outside of our observation of it. This disparity antecedes the rift between science and knowledge, between our understanding of the world and our experience of it.

3.1 ∴ Collections of parts are only ambiguously individualized by other collections of parts called ‘subjects’, which are collections of parts that, by virtue of the mechanics of causality and sequence, perceive, and receive perception as the perspective of a conscious Self.

Translation: Therefore, people are the only things which ever consider collections of things individual things; people are collections of things which perceive and receive perception by the sequence of causality of other things interacting with things, which is the experience of the subject, or what we call conscious Self..

Obiter Dictum: The act of observing, which is always the act of a subject, is the origin of all individuating. Outside of the subjective experience, nothing is ever individuated. Logic depends on the subject’s individuating, which is why logic can never correlate to the non-individuated actual.

3.2 ∴ The subject is the only individuator; nothing ever individuates other collections of parts when no subject is present.

Translation: Therefore, people are the only things that ever individuate anything into discrete parts; no non-people ever perceive other things as parts, rather as other aspects of a causal sequence in which they are participating.

Obiter Dictum: If you remove the species that names, nothing has a name; if you remove the subject who perceives, no individual things are perceived. This is true for all individuation.(101)

3.3 ∴ Reality without subjects consists of an existing swarm of probability surrounding the place where the probable immediately becomes a causal sequence that can only be perceived in the past by a perceiving subject, after the objective fact.

Translation: Therefore, without people, reality is at least a continuum of non-individuated probability, everywhere but the observation moment, where we find the side effect of this dynamic: the after-the-fact sequence of causes which people can only perceive after the fact of the observation moment.

Obiter Dictum: Reducing perception to the perceiver is to place Self back into the world of forces and illogic where they are home, where they have always been, where they always are, even as perception convinces the rational perceiver that the world is made of logical parts. Perception imposes causality over the actual by the perceiver in order to perceive reality as logical and reasonable, for if we reduce the perceived aspects of a part, the part is nowhere found.

3.4 ∴ Individuation is an incoherence; in relation to space (parts) and time (moments), I call this incoherence, the ‘parts-ontology’. Doing, and not becoming or non-partness, better approximates the idea of a part’s partness in time’s continuum.

Translation: Therefore, the logical, lawful paradigm is incoherent when tested against the ontology implied by our best physics. We approximate closer to something rational when we use a term like ‘doing’ instead of incoherent terms like ‘being’, ‘becoming’, ‘parts’, ‘partness’, and ‘non-partness’.

Obiter Dictum: Declaring a thing ‘is’ something, is to declare that it is something else, which is to declare that it is the same as something else, betraying the flux of nature and imposing a law of sameness over that which is never the same. Every electron ‘is’ every other electron only because electrons, as perceived parts, do not exist, and constitute a useful mythology for the reasonable mind in combating an absurd physics in the futility of maintaining reason.

3.5 ∴ Being is four-dimensionally subjective, and ontologically incompatible with non-partness; not accounting for non-partness results in ontological incoherence, even while it allows us to invent logic and language. Thousands of years of inconclusive philosophy is testament to this fact.

Translation: Therefore, any concept or perception we can call ‘being’ is subjective to our problematic paradigm, and ontologically incompatible with ‘doing’. That we have ignored the many paradoxes pointing us toward this conclusion is clear from the millennia of complicated and inconclusive debate over what things are and what things are not.

Obiter Dictum: Philosophies which support this perspective only ever do so by re-engineering the idea of being into something that is not being, something active, actively ‘becoming’, even as they do not break from the principle of sameness, clinging to the idea of being; here is the central error of rational philosophy. Philosophies which resist the equals sign are thus far better described as mysticism, oracle, or riddle.

3.6 ∴ Reality appears, from the human perspective, as a backward-leaning forward-falling of things onto the moment of time, a falling-onto-place; outside of the singular state of time, probability comprises the ontological thing, as a ‘possibility of is-ness’, surrounding the singular point in space and time where the observable moment occurs fulgurantly to four-dimensional observers.

Translation: Therefore, from our familiar perspective, reality must be a kind of backward-leaning-forward-falling of things onto the point of time called the ‘now’, a falling-onto-place; when we step away from the familiar paradigm, we see that what we want to call an ontological thing can only be that cloud of probability which exists ahead of us in our time paradigm.

Obiter Dictum: Nothing can help but fall into place – disorder falls into order, which gives us the selfsame order that invariably falls apart, as entropy depends on order for there to be disorder. The ontology of the actual functions on a handshake over time, in which that which is falling backwards into its own absurd disintegration is leaning forward into the order in which it will be rationally perceived in the future.

3.7 ∴ The irrationality of irrational numbers is not irrational, while the rationality of rational numbers is not rational.

Translation: Therefore, when we find it irrational that we cannot individuate a point along a curve, we are mistaken – rather, it is irrational to think that we can pause time and zoom-in on the timeline to any fundamental number-point.

Obiter Dictum: Reason describes its opposite, as do all things. The sprout of one thing grows within its opposite such that all growth and movement in time describes the thriving of its own opposite, for opposites describe each other. While one expands, the other retracts; while one breathes, the other is asphyxiated.(102) In the same way, there can be no opposites.

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