Tag Archives: primacy of consciousness and primacy of existence

How Aristotle is Both Right and Wrong About “A is A”

One may understandably take issue with my maxim that A is only A relative to B…because that which does not exist relative to anything else cannot be compared, and without comparison there is no definition, so you can’t claim that it actually exists. In other words, you cannot say what A is unless you can say what it is NOT. Making what A is NOT (e.g. B) an existential requirement for A, making A’s existence inexorably bound to B’s. This wrecks any distinction between A and B with respect to existence as a metaphysical primary. Meaning, existence implies no actual distinction between those things which are said to exist. Which destroys A and B entirely at the level of their root existence. This truth does not make me a subjectivist or proponent of consciousness as a primary. It merely makes me perceptive.

Now, having said that, this is correct in a sense:  that my point above does not, itself, provide for the full reconciliation of the existential paradox: Achieving a plurality of existence from a single metaphysical primary.  How are there distinct objects, relating to one another in an identical and absolute metaphysical context…that is, being direct functions of the same singular metaphysical root, and yet also being entirely and rationally distinct?

However, I submit that being correct here: That A must actually be A, utterly and distinctly so, if we shall assert that it is NOT B–does not make me wrong here: That A cannot in fact be A absent the relative existence of B (because that which cannot be compared cannot be defined; and that which cannot be defined cannot be said to exist). This makes A as much a function of B as it makes A utterly distinct from B.

The failure of Aristotelian apologists to observe and address this paradox is (partly) why Aristotelian metaphysics have ultimately lead nowhere except a repeat of the historic cycle of individuals conceding to collectivist ideologies, creating tyrannical states which eventually implode, killing millions in the process, with the survivors then rising from the ashes only to start the whole nightmare over again.

That A must be A (in an appeal to Aristotle) as a prerequisite for relatively comparing it to B does not in fact disprove the that A cannot in fact be A unless it is relatively compared to B.

It’s a chicken-and–egg type deal. Aristotelian metaphysics rest essentially upon one half of the paradox, and thus at best they tell only half the story.

The sum and substance of my journey into metaphysics has been:

A. to observe the aforementioned metaphysical paradox and the necessary resultant rational and practical insufficiencies of both Primacy of Existence and Primacy of Consciousness metaphysical models, and…

B. to offer a solution to the paradox in the form of a new, more effective primary: Ability.

A greater examination of that, and various related topics, will be undertaken in subsequent articles.

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Not Primacy of Consciousness or Existence; the Primacy is of the Relativity/Conceptualization Corollary

The only difference between an infinite singularity and an infinite number of (necessarily relatively existing) parts is that the former precludes conceptualization while the latter demands it. This being the case, the proof that there is no infinite singularity but rather an infinity of parts insofar as the ontological reality of the universe is concerned is that man conceptualizes. And the proof of this is the fact that I have written this post, and that you have read it.

The fact that there is only a relatively existing infinity of parts and not an infinite singularity also serves to prove that conceptualization cannot be existentially/ontologically/metaphysically/physically divorced from reality. Relativity and conceptualization must be corollaries. In other words, man’s ability to declare what things are is fully integrated into the object reality of the universe. Without man’s naming of that which he says is, by his ability to conceptualize the relative interaction of the infinity of parts he observes, there can be nothing at all.

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Cause, Effect, and Movement Exist Only by the Cognition of the Observer

The human ability to conceptualize from the frame of reference of the Self is not simply an evolutionary extension of the mathematically determined machinations of an “objective reality outside” of one’s consciousness/cognition, but is integral to objective reality itself, at the most fundamental level. I submit that absent man’s ability to conceptualize the movement of what he observes (that is, man as the Observer) and to establish Self as the reference–as the constant–it is impossible that there is any movement at all, and therefore can be no evolutionary/mathematical “cause and effect” interaction of objects in the material universe.

To claim that there is any such thing as as object movement, or cause and effect interaction, once the observer is removed from the equation is impossible. Because once he who provides the reference by which any such cause and effect interaction and/or object movement has any meaning (including relevancy,  purpose, direction, velocity, distance, etc.) there is no rational argument for asserting or believing that it is happening at all in some “objective reality” that can somehow excludes the very thing that gives that reality any value.

In other words, once movement is no longer observed (and by “observed”, again, I mean not only perception, but the cognitive power of conceptualization), movement has no specific context; no reference by which it can be gauged as “movement” qua movement. This means that without a reference, all movement–and therefore all cause and effect interactions and their “mathematical” deterministic mechanisms–is relative not to a specific but to an absolute degree. And absolute relativity of movement–that is, relative interaction with no set reference provided by the conceptualizing observer–means that all movement of all objects “mathematically” sums to zero. Meaning that absolute relativity, by nature, instantaneously nullifies any movement by any object at any given moment. And if all movement in all moments sums to zero because of un-referenced relativity, then there is, in fact, no movement at all; because movement with zero value is the absence of movement, by definition.

For a simple example, let’s take object A and object B in co-existing in a vacuum (where all must exist if we concede a plurality of existence–that things which exist are utterly distinct from one another). Because of the relative nature of movement, existence in a vacuum demands that any movement by A is automatically and instantaneously transferred to B, and vice versa. There is no way in this vacuum, absent an observer, to claim that only A moves, and not B. In other words, because their existence is again necessarily relative, any movement of A is also the movement of B. And by this I mean that B’s movement is not a reciprocal movement; it’s not a corollary movement; it is the same movement; the movement of A is the movement of B. There is one, un-shared movement. B moves equally as A moves as though B were in fact acting categorically as A.

How can this be?

A scenario where two objects with a single movement by both but no reference to measure which object has moved contradicts the plurality of existence between A and B. There can be no interaction between such objects; no distinction. Any action of one is the action of the other…and because existence is an action, even rank co-existence is impossible.

In a vacuum with no observer, object A moving relative to B while B is not moving, demands the corollary that B is moving relative to A while A is not moving; which means it is axiomatic that objects A and B in the instance of any movement must have both moved and also must have both not moved at the same time. And what this means is that movement in such an absolute relative relationship is a context where the movement of objects and the absence of movement by objects are one and the same.

Which is impossible. The integration of mutually mutually exclusive properties (e.g. movement and non-movement) nullifies them both, rendering to them an existential, moral, and rational value of zero; of NOT; of VOID. That is, of a purely abstract, imagined, placeholder status.

The relative context then, and again, necessitates at a fundamental, axiomatic level the conscious perspective of the observer, who is able to conceptualize relative distinctions between objects using himSELF as the reference.

Now, Objectivists and other “empirical” philosophers will almost certainly accuse me of promulgating a Primacy of Consciousness metaphysic, but this is in large part because they suppose that one can separately categorize evidence and reason, which is not actually possible. There can be no objective, empirical evidence which is also a conceptual contradiction. Of course the light wave/particle paradox is often trotted out as a rebuttal to this assertion, but this is easily rebuffed using reason (which I won’t explain here).

I wish to be clear that I am not proposing a purely subjective, “ethereal” metaphysic…and frankly, this is an amateurish criticism. On the contrary, because rational consistency is necessary to the apprehension and definition of Truth, as the above discussion on relativity and movement indicates, it is impossible that one can claim any efficacious philosophical (metaphysics through aesthetics) positions based purely upon subjective standards. This is because subjectivism necessarily equals contradiction. And contradiction is NOT an idea, it is the absence of one.

Further, to argue that the individual conscious observer’s self-evidentiary and necessary inclusion in anything objectively true (self/evident because truth is only known by conscious individuals) is somehow a bias and a liability to reality is the very definition of absurdity. But further discussion of this is better suited to a separate article…the topic is too complex and involved to serve as a side note for this one.

The point of this article is that man’s consciousness–his conceptualizing ability–is much more than a perfunctory extension of some ethereal, evolutionary, determinative force in the “objective” universe–a force which must necessarily contradict itself by spawning such a consciousness in the first place. Rather, it is a fundamental component of rational consistency, and thus is indespensible in any definition or discussion of objective reality. Human cognition; consciousness; conceptualization; awareness of Self is inexorably tied to the metaphysical axiom–the irreducible Truth from which ALL things spring.