metaphysical

English translation: above the mere appearance of the physical

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:metaphysical
Selected answer:above the mere appearance of the physical
Entered by: Stephanie Ezrol

12:58 Mar 27, 2010
English language (monolingual) [PRO]
Social Sciences - Philosophy
English term or phrase: metaphysical
I confess that neither the structure of languages, nor the code of governments, nor the politics of various states possessed attractions for me. It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world.

Does metaphysical have any realtionship with physical secrets?
Shirley Fan
Local time: 20:35
above the mere appearance of the physical
Explanation:
Especially in this context, this is how Frankenstein is discussing the classical idea of metaphysical, as not merely the physical appearance of the phenomenon, but searching for causes.

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Note added at 5 mins (2010-03-27 13:04:36 GMT)
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Metaphysical can have different shades of meaning. In this context he seems to identify that search for invisible causes, as that which lead him to the study of the occult writers whom his father told him were worthless.

Metaphysical studies do not necessarily go in that direction.
Selected response from:

Stephanie Ezrol
United States
Local time: 08:35
Grading comment
thanks a lot!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



SUMMARY OF ALL EXPLANATIONS PROVIDED
5 +2above the mere appearance of the physical
Stephanie Ezrol
5transcendental experience
Alexandra Taggart
3 +2beyond the physical
Rolf Keiser
Summary of reference entries provided
Info
Kim Metzger

  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
above the mere appearance of the physical


Explanation:
Especially in this context, this is how Frankenstein is discussing the classical idea of metaphysical, as not merely the physical appearance of the phenomenon, but searching for causes.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 mins (2010-03-27 13:04:36 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Metaphysical can have different shades of meaning. In this context he seems to identify that search for invisible causes, as that which lead him to the study of the occult writers whom his father told him were worthless.

Metaphysical studies do not necessarily go in that direction.

Stephanie Ezrol
United States
Local time: 08:35
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
thanks a lot!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kim Metzger: First principles.
2 hrs
  -> Thanks Kim, and thanks for your reference which fills out "the classical idea of metaphysical."

agree  Michael Barnett: The study of the physical at its most fundamental levels, ie quantum physics, often challenges our intuitive understanding of the nature of reality, and leads invariably to contemplation of the metaphysical meaning of it all.
10 hrs
  -> Thanks Michael.
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32 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
beyond the physical


Explanation:
Principles of reality transcending those of any particular science seeking to explain the fundamentals of being

Rolf Keiser
Switzerland
Local time: 14:35
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jenni Lukac (X)
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Jenni, and have a nice weekend.

agree  Harald Moelzer (medical-translator)
1 day 8 hrs
  -> Danke, Harald.
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
transcendental experience


Explanation:
- going beyond the limits of human knowledge of physical wor, empirical experience; or human REASON in a mystical way. I would like to quote here illustrious Immanuel Kant:
"Human reason has this peculiar fate that in one species of its knowledge it is burdened by questions which, as prescribed by the very nature of reason itself, it is not able to ignore, but which, as transcending all its powers, it is also not able to answer.
The perplexity into which it thus falls is not due to any fault of its own. It begins with principles which it has no option save to employ in the course of experience, and which this experience at the same time abundantly justifies it in using. Rising with their aid ( since it is determined to this also by its own nature ) to ever higher, ever more remote, conditions, it soon becomes aware that in this way - the questions never ceasing - its work must always remain incomplete; and it therefore finds itself compelled to resort to principles which overstep all possible empirical employment, and which yet seem so unobjectionable that even ordinary consciousness readily accepts them. But by this procedure human reason precipitates itself into darkness and contradictions; and while it may indeed conjecture that these must be in some way due to concealed errors, it is not in a position to be able to detect them. For since the principles of which it is making use transcend the limits of experience, they are no longer subject to any empirical test. The battle-field of these endless controversies is called metaphysics."

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Note added at 7 hrs (2010-03-27 19:58:45 GMT)
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Sorry - "going beyond the limits of human knowledge of physical world"

Alexandra Taggart
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:35
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in RussianRussian
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Reference comments


2 hrs
Reference: Info

Reference information:
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that investigates principles of reality transcending those of any particular science. Cosmology and ontology are traditional branches of metaphysics. It is concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world.

Before the development of modern science, scientific questions were addressed as a part of metaphysics known as "natural philosophy"; the term "science" itself meant "knowledge" of epistemological origin. The scientific method, however, made natural philosophy an empirical and experimental activity unlike the rest of philosophy, and by the end of the eighteenth century it had begun to be called "science" in order to distinguish it from philosophy. Thereafter, metaphysics became the philosophical enquiry of a non-empirical character into the nature of existence.

Metaphysics is called the "first philosophy" by Aristotle. The editor of his works, Andronicus of Rhodes, is thought to have placed the books on first philosophy right after another work, Physics, and called them τὰ μετὰ τὰ φυσικὰ βιβλία (ta meta ta physika biblia) or "the books that come after the [books on] physics". This was misread by Latin scholiasts, who thought it meant "the science of what is beyond the physical"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics



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Note added at 2 hrs (2010-03-27 15:49:22 GMT)
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Book Alpha Outlines "first philosophy", which is a knowledge of the first principles or causes of things. The wise are able to teach because they know the why of things, unlike those who only know that things are a certain way based on their memory and sensations. Because of their knowledge of first causes and principles they are better fitted to command, rather than to obey. Book Alpha also surveys previous philosophies from Thales to Plato, especially their treatment of causes.
"Little alpha": The purpose of this chapter is to address a possible objection to Aristotle’s account of how we understand first principles and thus acquire wisdom. Aristotle replies that the idea of an infinite causal series is absurd, and thus there must be a first cause which is not itself caused. This idea is developed later in book Lambda, where he develops an argument for the existence of God.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics_(Aristotle)

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Note to reference poster
Asker: thank you very much!

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