Amystology is very much comfortable with Aristotle’s position of “universals in things “rather than Plato’s interpretation of “universals before things”. It rejects platonic forms, conceptualism, nominalism, dualism, any form of idealism; whether it is dogmatic or transcendental idealism as well as Locke’s secondary qualities. It advocates the materialistic view of the mind in summa; as was defended by Democritus and Professor David arm strong. Most writers like to call this form of realism as moderate realism; but, we just call it realism; because there is nothing moderate about reality; percepts create concepts end of story. Thus, what epistemological realism states is that objects or percepts ontologically exist independent of the observer; notwithstanding his interests, moods, bias, or intentions; so basically realism asserts the mind independent existence of reality; outside the observer; in a fashion that percepts create perceptions eventually leading to conceptions; where these conceptions themselves are material information and data in our minds; rather than some sort of abstract, non-spatial, spirits as naively proposed by idealists, and dualists.
Therefore, in amystology both percepts and concepts are both material; there is no conflict and distinction; where the outside world is denominated as material; whereas, abstract concepts like beauty, justice, love, happiness, wrath, aspirations, and so on are denominated as non-material. The evidence for proving that; the so called abstract entities or ‘phenomena’ which are studied under phenomenology are material; is the effect of material drugs like lithium, amphetamines, LSD, alcohol, as well as hormones like serotonin and dopamine on mood and human behavior.
Now let us test the idea of platonic forms; Plato paints a mystical view of epistemology where universals exist in their own right, prior to and independently of their instantiation by sensible particulars; which is an absurdity! I believe Plato is forwarding a form of mysticism where universals are not either ideas or objects; Plato has a mystical and mysterious interpretation and presentation of epistemology; where, what he calls forms are not either ideas or sensible particulars; they exist beyond our senses accessible only to the “philosophically schooled intellects” If these concepts are not either ideas or sensible particulars; then they are non-entities; to rebuff his concepts of forms we just need to realize that the so called abstract objects like beauty and justice are the representatives of objective reality in our consciousness viz. dimensions, curves, colors, harmony, odor, and locomotion; that, we observe in external reality. They are not some sort of mysterious entities which are not either ideas or sensible particulars in accessible to our senses; how can entities be inaccessible to laymen but to “schooled intellects” notwithstanding similar perceptual organs and capability of apprehension? Any man is capable of cognition if he is given the chance to do so.
Conceptualists reject the existence of universals in objective reality; they assert that universals and abstracts exist only in the mind not in external reality; furthermore, this philosophy states as insane as it sounds; that, there is no reality independent of our conception of it; the mind is not a passive template of experiences but a creator of experiences. Now, let us put this theory into a test, can anyone create a utopian world just by invoking his mind to create a better world? If this is the case why haven’t conceptualist created a better world just by conceptualizing and dreaming a utopian earth free from Darwinian brutalism?
When we come to nominalism; it states that abstract concepts, general terms or particulars have no independent existence but only exist as names. In other words it is a doctrine which states that general or abstract words do not stand for objectively existing entities. Now if this is so where did the general or abstract words to designate objectively existing entities come from? If general terms or abstracts do not represent objective reality then what do they represent? How did they come about in our minds in the first place if they are not representative of objective reality? As it can be noticed nominalism presents the opposite position of conceptualism; where nominalism rejects the existence of universals and abstracts; for individual particulars that alone exist objectively; whereas, conceptualism rejects the existence of universals in objective reality asserting that abstracts and universals only exist in our minds. To clear the confusion created by platonic forms, conceptualism, and nominalism; it must be stated that Universals like “dog” and abstract concepts like” beauty” exist in objective reality as well as representative concepts of objective reality in our minds.
Dualism is a doctrine which states that mental phenomena are non-material; or that the mind and body are not identical. Dualism is related with the French philosopher Rene Descartes who holds that the mind is non-physical and therefore non-spatial; so, according to Descartes the consciousness i.e. the mind is a non-spatial entity which operates in a spatial space-time fabric; which is an absurdity! How can there be a non-spatial consciousness in a spatial universe? If the mental and the physical are distinct entities; why does happiness (mental state) be created by physical objects like money? If the mental was distinct non-spatial, non-material entity; why does then the feeling of disgust (mental state) be created by material objects like gruesome scenes in a movie if the mental and the physical are two different entities? Why does the odor of fine coffee (physical state) create a strong desire (mental state) to have a cappuccino? In short why do physical states create mental states? Unless the mental and the physical have an interaction; and “interaction” could only be possible if the objects are compatible as well as one and of the same kind; Therefore, substance dualism does not make any sense at all; it does not survive rational perlustration.
The concept of idealism; which asserts that reality is fundamentally mental or immaterial; it even goes further in to asserting that all entities are composed of spirits. If ideas or thoughts make fundamental reality then why not create a utopian world through the so called “law of attraction” (which is a branch of idealistic theory) or through biocentrism or through spiritualism by invoking the consciousness/mind/spirit as idealist like to denominate the material mind? Albeit the piles of evidence to suggest that the consciousness came into being after the big bang and creation of our universe; idealists like to place the consciousness before the big bang; as if nothing or (virtual particles) need to be conscious to create a universe. Idealism it does not matter whether; it is Berkley’s subjective idealism or Kant’s transcendental idealism or Plato’s objective idealism; they all do not survive realistic and rational criticism.
Locke’s secondary qualities imply that the mind somehow “imposes” secondary attributes on primary objects independently; first of all the mind is an interpreter of reality not a creator of reality—–an apple’s redness emanates from the apple; because the apple is red; there will not be any redness if there was no red apple in the first place; furthermore, a feeling of hunger is created by the apple or by low blood sugar not by the mind independently; hence, the mental is created by the physical. In other word any attempt to place the mind before matter; concepts before percepts; subjects before objects is dismissed by amystology. Amystology does not reject mental qualities like desire, sweetness, bitterness, happiness, anger, fear, love; but states that they are totally created and are dependent on objective reality. They are either the creation or interpretation of objective reality. For instance, let us consider that some has caught a terrible cold disorienting his tasting capabilities; then, that does not mean that a fruit is not sweet anymore; sweetness exists in the fruit. In short the mind is the interpreter and dependent organ on reality not a creator and independent organ; love cannot exist without something lovely out there; hate cannot exist independently without something abhorable; bitterness cannot exist without something bitter out there; beauty cannot exist without something beautiful out there; possessing dimensions, and colors composed in harmony; fear cannot exist without something fearful out there; justice cannot exist without something just out there; for instance if you buy a book at a fair cost then that is just; thus, mental qualities are not some mysterious concepts imposed by the mind; but representatives of objective reality or the creations of objective reality.
Therefore, we need to be very careful in epistemological outlook not to fall into perplexion; universals and abstract concepts exist both in objective reality as well as representatives of external reality in our minds. It is critical not to follow our passion but our reason; when, it comes to philosophical issues; people who are biased, follow their passion are called dogmatics; whereas, people who follow reason and evidence are people of commonsense. As a reminder to the reader; I would like to state that when I came up with amystology as a philosophy, my main objective was to encourage people to embrace evidence based concepts or theories; whether, it is in epistemology, metaphysics or ethics. Hence, amystology will be amended as time goes on consecutively in upcoming versions if evidence suggests that there are other efficacious forms of acquiring knowledge (epistemology), dimensions (metaphysics) or virtues (ethical values) other than the present eight chapters which make it up. Thus amystology is corrigible; if you think any of its chapters are inconsistent with reason, reality and evidence; then you are more than welcome to point them out for corrigibility.
Correction: This article has been edited on November 18, 2016 to replace the name Aristotle by Democritus because it was the great philosopher and physicist Democritus who said that the soul/mind was made from fire atoms.
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