On Substance

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A reflection on Aristotles Physics

In previous reflections, I have looked at attempting to reconcile, from a metaphysical perspective, the physical world and mind (see on Symbols), along with contemplating the issues of pluralism and motion (see on Delusion). Both of these initial investigations have danced around the more important issue – what is there and how does it interact. Despite my initial foray (see on Reality) I think that a clearer definition of my metaphysical conception of reality will be productive – acting as a frame in my attempts to harmonise my cosmology and ethics.

If we accept that time and matter are two parts of the same whole, then the question stands how does cognition interact with physical reality? I have previously postulated that motion is divisible into that which is intentional and that which is unintentional – a necessary requirement for individual cognition to achieve virtue. However, if matter and time are to be considered singular wholes I am forced to admit – is not cognition also prey to these same arguments? It would appear to me now that perhaps cognition is less atomised individuals but once again wrinkles in a single cloth – solving the issue of metaphysical values and relative viewpoints. If all minds are but a fragment of the greater mind, then reality can permit a common base upon which ethics and reality can be based.

It would now appear that the grand number of substances is reduced to three: matter, time and cognition. However, once again it would be remiss not also to apply the same argument: how can time, cognition or matter impact upon one another if they are individually discreet? With this in mind, how can we not consider true reality the complete unification of all time, matter and thought? Truly, this grand unity can be thought of nothing less than true reality – the only substance from which all plurality arises.

If, however, we accept a grand unification of substance a more significant issue now faces us – how does one account for all of plurality, and more particularly why do we not perceive the rest of all cognition with our own minds? I would argue, that our mind is not entirely comprised of cognition – in fact, all our emotions, memories and biases are physical aspects of our brain. The only aspect of self that is cognition is the Self – that core nucleus of the mind (see on the Self).

Original text

Aristotle’s Physics


Winslow Homer, Northeaster, 1895

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