Philosophy Solved

Jose asked:

How likely is it that someone will solve philosophy as a whole within our lifetime?

Answer by Peter Jones

Philosophy as a whole is metaphysics and this was solved long ago. The solution is discussed  at great length in the literature of the Perennial philosophy. You won’t believe this, of course, and not many do since few study these things.

I’m bored with explaining the solution since almost nobody wants to hear, but if you’re interested I explain most of the issues in the essays on my blog. I have not posted there for a long time but will pick up any messages. –

The solution is non-dualism. This is rejected by most philosophers and this is the reason why they find philosophy impossible. It is not easy to understand so expect to spend some time studying, perhaps a year or two, before you can decide what it’s all about.  A proper understanding would require meditative practice but not necessarily any great skill or insight. A decent grasp of the issues can be acquired by scholarship alone, but putting flesh on the bones of the theoretical calculations would require an examination of consciousness.

If you have any sense you’ll be sceptical of this answer but you should also notice that nobody can gainsay it. You’ll have to plough your own furrow if you want to ‘grok’ this solution for philosophy since you won’t get any help from the profession.  As far as I can tell philosophers are not interested in solving problems but only in acquiring prestige and paying the mortgage.

Metaphysics is not the whole of philosophy but because it is the foundations once it is solved so is the whole sorry mess. The explanation is simple but the list of ‘matters arising’ is endless.   If you are seriously interested in the solution then feel free to message me. I’m always keen to discuss these things with anyone who is interested, but this is a very small sub-set of philosophers. Most believe dogmatically and a priori that philosophy is incomprehensible and steer well clear of any hint of mysticism.

If you detect some annoyance and frustration in this answer then well spotted. The situation in philosophy is ridiculous. Very few philosophers take the trouble to study the whole field and few deserve their salary. Given their current approach they’ll still be pottering about a thousand years from now. Academic philosophy is a lucrative industry and nobody wants to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. The idea that ordinary people are usually perfectly capable of understanding philosophy would not benefit the working professional.

So, your question is based on a misapprehension. Philosophy has been solved within my lifetime to my satisfaction and it was solved long before this. It’s just that the philosophy department has not noticed.  They are happy tootling about in Kant’s ‘arena for mock fights’ and teaching their students that nobody understands philosophy on the evidential basis that they don’t. You have the opportunity to do better should you choose to do so. I’d be happy to help if you’re serious, but only on this condition. I’ve given up on the idea that people are interested in solving philosophical problems. Most seem happier to be free to form their own opinions and believe whatever suits them.

2 thoughts on “Philosophy Solved

  1. I was surprised and pleased to see the solution to philosophy as a whole to be non-dualism and your interesting commentary on the subject.

    I have, for a while now, been studying the relationship between Buddhism and Existentialism. After I became accomplished in the practice of concentration meditation, when I was able to release all thoughts and perceptions and remain aware of only being conscious, I found that I clearly understood what Sartre had described as the non-reflective consciousness, the absolute subjective nature of awareness, and the unconditioned freedom of the mind. What I have come to understand, and experience, is that the Not-self doctrine of the Buddha is accordant to the Nothingness of consciousness.

    The problem with understanding consciousness, I find, is that it is not anything, as the Buddha expressed in the Not-self doctrine; and this is which causes suffering, that is, the identification of the mind (consciousness) with something. Any concept of oneself as anything of the world, any idea of oneself, would make Unbinding impossible. However, the mind is not just a subjective point of view, it is truly, as Sartre was able to confirm, not anything at all, and yet at the same time, it is, as Heidegger explained, the source of the being of everything: it is and it is empty.

    I don’t see any dualism: there is only consciousness and the objects of consciousness. I believe it is an error to conceive a material reality outside of the consciousness of things: any concept of an existent beyond consciousness is just another idea within consciousness, and therefore a meaningless concept. This in the same sense as any concept of a God, even the concept of creator/creation, is also meaningless, as it would be a creation of human consciousness. Science and philosophy are limited to our limited conscious perceptions. The only thing that is transcendent is our consciousness itself; and this, I believe, should be the foundation of science and philosophy.

    1. Hi Armando – Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We clearly agree on many issues. There are some on which we might not. You seem to equate mind and consciousness but while mind is reducible consciousness is not, and while consciousness is not a ‘thing’ this is not to say it is nothing. Also, Satre’s view takes him beyond the subjective/objective distinction to the origin of this distinction. If we reify the subjective we must also reify the objective and Sartre does not suggest doing this. I mention this just to suggest that there is a way our of your difficulties. As you are a practitioner this stuff doesn’t matter much, but the theoretical justification for the practice does not run into any problems. I’d certainly agree that a rational psychology would be a study of the origin of mind and intellect, as Kant proposed. Thanks for the comments. All the best – Peter

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