Tag Archives: flawed metaphysics of Existence

Why Metaphysics Cannot Get Away From Ability as Metaphysical Primary

Let’s use “chair” as an example for this explication of the metaphysics of Ability vs. Existence.

We don’t say that the chair IS existence, we say that the chair HAS existence.

But “having” implies action, which implies the ABILITY to act. In this case, the chair’s ability to have existence is the root WHY of itself. That is, existence is not why the chair HAS (action) existence, the chair’s ABILITY (to exist you could even say) is why the chair HAS (action) existence .

Now, I understand that the chair cannot have ability unless it IS, in fact, the chair. I get it, chair implies ability and ability implies chair…you don’t get ability without someTHING having it; and you don’t get an it without the ABILITY to BE . But that’s precisely my point. When dealing in metaphysics it is all about corollaries.  The trick is finding the REAL and rationally perfect corollary, not a contradiction masquerading as one.

What this shows us is that not only is the chair, itself (or specifically its ability), why it “has existence”, or why it is (being) the chair, but that the chair is entirely DISTINCT from existence. Meaning that “existence” is NOT a natural corollary to “chair” at all. The chair and existence, though they may have some conceptual relationship, are not in essence one and the same. Chair and the existence of the chair are not essential corollaries. The chair must be able to be the chair BEFORE it can possess existence…its singular (to itself qua itself) ABILITY TO BE the chair is why it is also ABLE TO HAVE existence. The CHAIR is; and the CHAIR has. Existence here really has nothing to do with it. Existence only enters the picture (at the epistemological level) AFTER the chair has already been made manifest by its ABILITY to be (its ability to be and its being are of course corollary, as I explained above). This seems quite a contradiction to the commonly understood notion of “existence”…that is, existence at the metaphysical level.

It is the chair and its ABILITY which are metaphysical corollaries, not the chair and its existence. Existence, however, we are told is supposed to be the metaphysical synonym for “chair”…the general primary of “existence” supposedly implying the specific ( in this case chair). But as I have explained it actually does not because we don’t say the chair IS existence, we say the chair HAS existence. Which again, contrary to existence, implies ABILITY at root…of the chair to act…to be…to have. Ability is the root essence which implies chair, not existence. Ability = action = a specific thing which acts.

The metaphysical corollary is like this: Ability implies chair (in this case), and chair implies Ability. “Chair has Ability and Ability has chair” is also a logical way to render it; chair does Ability and Ability does chair. Ability manifests chair, manifests ability. It’s a perfect corollary.

In summary:

We cannot say that the chair has existence WITHOUT IMPLYING ABILITY, thus undercutting existence as the metaphysical primary. However we CAN say that the chair has ability—is able to act as (be)—without implying existence. For “being” is an act, not an is. DOING/ACTION cannot be divorced from chair. AT ALL. Metaphysics is active, not passive. Ability, not existence, implies a PLURALITY of objects which all share the same exact, absolute root. Ability ALONE reconciles the paradox of a metaphysical singularity which not only allows for but NECESSITATES a rational, efficacious plurality.

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What Exists? What is Able?: Why the first question is meaningless and the second is not

1. There is no such thing as a “not”, or “nothing”. “Not” or “nothing” cannot exist. Because if it IS, then it is SOMETHING. And if nothing is something then…well, you get the idea. The absence of things cannot itself be a thing

2. Existence, if not a function of the ability to act–to do–means that Existence can do nothing (is at root UNABLE), which means that Existence cannot actually exist. Logically and practically speaking, however, existing IS the SAME thing as Existence…hence the common metaphysical claim “Existence exists”. The two are functionally identical; they are corollary. Existence, then, implying EXISTING, must possess an underlying ability to act–an ability to exist. Therefore, the metaphysical claim, “Existence exists” is in fact proof that Existence is not the metaphycial primary. The primary is Ability.

I could end this article here, for the point has been made and proven. But I wish to belabor it a bit; and I still am obliged to explain why Ability does not fall into the same trap of rational fallacy as Existence.

3. Existence cannot precede the action of existence–existing–because that would imply that Existence at its root does NOT exist. This would be in effect the synthesis of Existence with its own contradiction: Existence which does not exist. But the fact is, as I said, they are corollary. There cannot be one without the other.

4. To say “Existence exists” objectively and clearly implies that Existence ACTS, which necessarily means that it possesses the Ability to act. To say otherwise is to claim that it is either UNable to exist at root, or that it simply doesn’t DO, at root; that action is itself incompatible with Existence. But if this is the case then you cannot define anything according to Existence. You cannot claim that the chair exists (as the chair) vs the ball which exists (as the ball). You could say that the ball is Existence, and the chair is Existence, but that wrecks any distinction. If everything is Existence as opposed to EXISTING, then there is no such thing as a ball or a chair. Again, Existence and Existing are arrant corollaries. If the chair and ball are EXISTING then Existence itself is active, not passive. Which means that it is empowered by Ability. And if they are not existing then they obviously cannot be what they are claimed to be (ball and chair)…because how exactly do you define (or even conceptualize) that which doesn’t exist? Nothing cannot be called something. See point number one.

5. Absent the underlying Ability to act, and absent then the corollary between Existence and Existing, “Existence exists” is a rationally impossible claim. It would need to be rendered instead “Existence”, period. Which neither implies nor allows anything beyond the meaningless tautology, “Existence is”…which rendered another way becomes “Existence is Existence”…an idea which serves no rational or practical purpose whatsoever.

6. “Ability is able” is not a contradiction as a primary metaphysical premise, like “Existence exists”, because Ability, by definition, and obviously endemic to its root self, is not UNABLE to act. Unlike Existence, which alone, absent Ability, cannot be said to be compatible with doing. “Existence exists” clearly means that Existence is DOING ITSELF; but doing, without the underlying Ability to do, is impossible. “Ability is able” likewise means that Ability is doing itself. But this of course is entirely rational because the ability to do is EXPLICIT in Ability. Again, this is simply not the case with Existence.

7. Since “Existence exists” as a root metaphysical claim is a contradiction, the question “What exists?” becomes meaningless. It’s not a question which has an answer at the ROOT metaphysical level because it’s NOT a question which has anything to do with root metaphysics. Existence is an epistemological sub-category, not a metaphysical primary. On the other hand “Ability is able” is not a metaphysical contradiction, and therefore the question “What is able?” is perfectly legitimate. The answer, of course, is elementary:

“What is able?”

Answer:

“What is able.”

Meaning that whatever man declares to BE via the perception/conceptualization corollary, including himself, is at root ABLE to be whatever what he declares it to be. It is ABLE to BE, relative to himself. And that–meaning Ability–is why it can be said to exist AS it is defined and given meaning by man, who is the Observer.