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Well put. Metaphysics is essentially irrelevant to modern concerns and developments. Indeed this is true across all times and places. Whether or not the Platonic Forms exist, I still have to eat, work, procreate, and deal successfully with other people. Even if it turns out that we are all really 'One', I am presented with exactly the same problems of social reality (including, nastily enough for the truth of us being 'one', the requirements to act at least occasionally as an individual with distinct interests). It doesn't matter what the metaphysics of the age say: we are presented with our particular material and social circumstances which we have to deal with. Ancient China had very different metaphysics, much more interesting and touchy-feely for us Westerners bored with our own stale version (and that includes me), but it was still a hierarchical society based on the exploitation of the peasantry, and it would have sucked to live there, metaphysics notwitstanding. And modern affluent Chinese now behave very much like ideal Western consumers, again metaphysics notwithstanding. Indeed they will enthusiastically help us destroy the Earth ... regardless of an entirely different provenance of metaphysics.

The faulty ideas that do concern us, that do actual damage, lie not in metaphysics but in other realms (principally the 'science' of economics). Even if our allegedly faulty Western metaphysics is entirely replaced in short order, the ideas that cause the damage will remain in place because they are serviceable for those who make the money.

by wing26 on Thu Jan 3rd, 2008 at 12:12:56 AM EST
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