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Philosophical Metarealism

Hassan Ajami
2018 / 11 / 20

Philosophical metarealism says that it is indeterminate which philosophical theory (among the different and competing philosophical theories) is true. For example, according to philosophical metarealism, it is indeterminate whether materialism´-or-idealism is true. And this is why both materialism and idealism are successful in describing and explaining the universe, although they are different from each other.

In other words, since it is indeterminate whether materialism´-or-idealism is true, it follows that both of them behave and --function-- as if they are true. Hence, this is why both of them are successful in explaining and describing the universe, although they contradict each other. All of this shows that philosophical metarealism has a successful explanatory power, leading to its acceptance. It successfully explains why competing philosophical theories are successful (such as materialism and idealism), although they are different.

The universe could be successfully described and explained as being material, such as consisting of material atoms and their energies. And, at the same time, the universe could be successfully explained and described as being abstract and thus ideal, such as consisting of abstract mathematical structures and relations. All of this indicates that both materialism and idealism are successful in describing and explaining the universe.

The only and/or the best explanation of the fact that both materialism and idealism are successful, although they are different from each other, is that it is indeterminate which one of them is true. If one of them is true, then only that true theory should turn out to be successful. Yet both materialism and idealism are successful. Thus, it is indeterminate which one of them is true, exactly as philosophical metarealism says. Therefore, philosophical metarealism is accurate.

Philosophical metarealism could successfully solve most, if not all, of the essential philosophical debates due to its principle of the indeterminacy of which position´-or-theory is true. This is because any debate between any two competing theories´-or-positions could be resolved through maintaining that it is indeterminate which position´-or-theory is true, leading the debate itself to be resolved. In this manner, philosophical metarealism provides a unique method for solving any conflict among different and competing systems of beliefs.

An additional example of the application of the method of philosophical metarealism is the following: it is indeterminate whether rationalism´-or-empiricism is true. And this is why both rationalism and empiricism behave and --function-- as if they are true, although they contradict each other. Hence, this is why both of them are successful, although they are different. This shows that the problem of deciding which one of them is true is now resolved. From the same perspective, philosophical metarealism maintains that it is indeterminate which scientific theory is true. And this is why all of the scientific theories (such as Newton’s theory, Einstein’s theory of relativity, and quantum mechanics) are successful (in explaining and predicting the natural phenomena), although they are different from each other.

In light of these considerations, philosophical metarealism is actually saying that we could always acquire knowledge through a priori reasoning (i.e. reasoning without relying on the senses, experiences, and observations), as rationalism holds, and through a posteriori reasoning (i.e. reasoning through relying on the senses, experiences, and observations), as empiricism says, given that it is indeterminate whether rationalism´-or-empiricism is true. From the same perspective, philosophical metarealism is actually saying that materialism provides us with knowledge exactly as idealism does, given that it is indeterminate whether materialism´-or-idealism is true, leading both of them to be successful. Similarly, philosophical metarealism holds that we can acquire knowledge through any scientific theory, given that it is indeterminate which scientific theory is true, leading to the success of all of the scientific theories.

All of this implies that, according to philosophical metarealism, it is indeterminate what knowledge is, and it is indeterminate which beliefs constitute knowledge. This is a virtue in itself because the indeterminacy of knowledge leads us to endlessly continue to carry out our inquiries in order to have better systems of beliefs.




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