|2008-12-04, by John Ringland|
What is this experiential process that is happening right now?
What is experience?
What is this individual stream of experience? What am I?
Why do I experience things right now and only remember past
experiences? What is the present moment, the arrow of time, time
itself, the process of change and memory?
What do the contents-of-experience (phenomena) represent? What is
the phenomenal world?
What is that persistent complex phenomenon that closely
accompanies my stream of experience? What is my body?
What is that ever changing dance of phenomena that appears to
surround me? What is the world-experience of which I am aware?
What is the relationship between an individual stream of
experience and the phenomena that arise within it? What is the
relationship between me and the phenomenal world (my body and the
Do some phenomena correspond to systems that are as real as I seem
to be? Is there something genuinely real about the world that I
Are all systems accompanied by a stream of experience of some
kind? Is some form of panpsychism true, (perhaps neutral monism or
type-F monism or panprotoexperientialism)?
Do other systems have their own perspective and experience a
phenomenal world? Do others experience a phenomenal world from their
perspective, within which other system's phenomenal appearances are
experienced as entities in their world that are separate from each
other and from themselves?
Do all systems experience the same voracity of experience as
myself? Regardless of a system's degree of systemic complexity and
feedback, does it experience things just as tangibly and intensely as
I experience things; or in other words, although it may have simpler
form, is a system's world-experience just as real to it as my
world-experience is to me?
Do the experiences of one system effect another? Does the form of
other's experience of life have an effect on the form of my
experience of life?
Why is it that I can use abstract symbolic states and processes to
represent aspects of my world semantically within a conceptual space,
which can then be communicated? Why is it that symbolic thought,
language, mathematics, science, web ontologies, simulation and so on
are so useful for structuring rational thought and communicating
Is there an objective world that underlies the phenomenal world,
which can be inferred using observation from multiple individual
perspectives and refinement via symbolic communication? What is the
objective universe and can it be scientifically known?
What is the relationship between the phenomenal world and the
objective universe? What is naïve realism?
Why are some systems tangible and others not? What is matter?
What is that active principle that animates systemic events? What
Why do systems seem to be processually structured in relation to
each other? What is causality?
Why do systems seem to be spatially structured in relation to each
other? What is space?
Why do complex systems with both a complex stream of experience
and complex phenomenal form exist? What is systemic evolution?
Is the growth of complexity of systems and experiential processes
the overall trend in the process of change? Does the process of
systemic evolution move in the direction of greater complexity of
both physical form and conscious awareness?
How do the integrated experiences of subsystems evolve into the
more complex functions of consciousness? What is the systemic
structure of conscious self-awareness and mind?
In general, what is it like to be a
system-within-a-systemic-universe; experiencing a phenomenal world
and participating within an objective world of interacting complex
systems; emergent from the interactions of subsystems; and
participating in the emergence of supersystems? What are the
generalised systemic analogues of birth, death, pleasure, pain,
health, illness, hope, despair, destiny, choice, community, solitude,
love, hate and all the different aspects and subtleties of life?
Why is it that phenomena appear as they do? What is the intrinsic
nature of the phenomenal world?
Why is it that experiential processes operate as they do? What is
the intrinsic nature of experience and conscious awareness?
Why is it that systems exist as they do? What is the intrinsic
nature of all systems?
Are these intrinsic natures related? Is there a common source, a
What can be said about the existential/causal
foundation of all that is? What can be said about the
The world-experience that we each contemplate is
conditioned by many prior beliefs. Metaphysics is the science and art
of bringing unconscious beliefs into mind and questioning them.
Ponder these questions deeply.
“scientific theories often presupposed a conceptual framework
that was not itself empirically testable, but which was required for
the theory as a whole to be empirically testable... metaphysics is
the a priori science of the necessary structure of rational thought
about reality” (***)