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Question by Christine Louise: What is the original concept of metaphysics?
I am a bit confused. I have been researching this, and when I research the works of some philosophers it seems metaphysics is merely the question of “what is real?” but then whenever I research, articles get into this New Age stuff? So I guess my question is, does plain metaphysics differe from New Age metaphysics?

Best answer:

Answer by dude
It sounds to me like you want Ontology.

yes, metaphysics has been taken over by new-age wackiness. They are bascially synonymous.

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5 Responses to Q&A: What is the original concept of metaphysics?

  • Corkey says:

    I teach Metaphysics so I have a great understanding. New Age thinking has hijacked the Metaphysical world. THEY ARE NOT OF TRUE METAPHYSICS. Metaphysics is a latin word and means “meta- mind and physics – science. It is the science of the mind. It is how & why we think. It is the tools we can use to gain control of our lives and not let our lives control us.

  • Daddyskaggs says:

    Philosophy has had a long history of being hijacked by people who either don’t understand what they are talking about or are trying to introduce their psuedoscience into the study of reality.Often when I walk into a used book store I see the philosophy section crammed with new age books by well-intended but otherwise mis-informed book sellers who really ought to know better.

    Metaphysics originated with Aristotle when he wrote a book called Physics. Aristotle was terribly concerned with the natural world and sometimes is called the first scientist due to his preoccupation with it. Later he wrote a book that dealt with more eternal concepts rather than the state of nature. He had trouble titling it, so his copier suggested Meta (after)-physics. Philosophers have been stuck with this misnomer ever-after.
    Metaphysics is a sub-discipline in the study of philosophy along with Epistimology (How can we know?), Ethics (What is morality?) and Political philosophy. Metaphysics is indeed the study of What is Real, or the nature of reality. A question like “What is Time or the True nature of Time?” is a good example of a metaphysical question. How can we really know what time it is, is an example of an epistimological question.
    So to answer your question, New age is expressly NOT philosophy. It is more akin to religion, in that it require belief and faith for its tenets. In other words, “I believe if I stick this crystal up my arse it will cure my constipation.” Philosophy does not hinge on belief or faith but on logic, reason, proofs of arguments, and evidence from the natural world if needed. Philsophy goes hand in hand often with science. And like science, philosophy is often at odds, even an anathama to, religion – and since new age is closer to religion, that puts philosophy at odds with it.
    Philosopy, and thus metaphysics, is a stance, a constant vigilant search for truth and for answers to the meaning of life. New age, by contrast, is already an answer, not a search for them. It doesn’t present theories, proofs, or logic. Those are the tenets of philosophy, and new age need not apply.

  • bud85348 says:

    I think if we are looking for beginnings it could be found that the Hindus had a religion of metaphysics. It could be that metaphysics is the real introduction to the intelligent comprehension of cosmic meanings and universe interrelationships, cosmic reality.

    While the highest phase of Brahmanism was hardly a religion, it was truly one of the most noble reaches of the mortal mind into the domains of philosophy and metaphysics. Having started out to discover final reality, the Indian mind did not stop until it had speculated about almost every phase of theology excepting the essential dual concept of religion: the existence of the Universal Father of all universe creatures and the fact of the ascending experience in the universe of these very creatures as they seek to attain the eternal Father, who has commanded them to be perfect, even as he is perfect. Page 1030-1

    The Greeks sought for the solace of the soul in deep thinking–philosophy and metaphysics. They turned from the contemplation of self-preservation–salvation–to self-realization and self-understanding.

    Science ends its reason-search in the hypothesis of a First Cause. Religion does not stop in its flight of faith until it is sure of a God of salvation. The discriminating study of science logically suggests the reality and existence of an Absolute. Religion believes unreservedly in the existence and reality of a God who fosters personality survival. What metaphysics fails utterly in doing, and what even philosophy fails partially in doing, revelation does; that is, affirms that this First Cause of science and religion’s God of salvation are one and the same Deity. Page 1106-6

  • Uncle Remus 54 says:

    Yes I was confused with this concept as well. It did not surprise me that the New Age has hijacked such a field. Added this to my folder as well thanks to the answers you received.


  • Mountain Dweller says:

    Real metaphysics has nothing what-so-ever to do with New Age nonsensical ramblings of the great unwashed masses. The vulgar masses of New Age movement basically used the word metaphysics as a substitute for supernatural. Real metaphysics really begins with Plato, who never used the word, and fully become a subject of Philosophy after Aristotle (who has one work titled “Metaphysics” but I don’t think he actually used the word — his works, basically his notes to lectures, were titled after his death). Meta means after, hence metaphysics means after physics. It’s after physics because it’s those principles of existence that are implied in the study of physics; in other words, it concerns existence itself not existents of existence.

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