Metaphysics: Ontology: Dualism vs. Materialism

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The original idea of the word 'philosophy ' was a 'love of wisdom ' (Cowan 2). Philosophy is meant to explore the 'big questions ' and try to find answers as best we can in the time we have been given. One of the areas of study in philosophy is metaphysics, which deals in the ideas of the nature of reality. "We look at the world, and we assume that it is the way it appears to be. It is not." (Carreira 7). There is much to reality that can be discussed, debated, and disagreed upon. Within metaphysics is the realm of ontology, which poses the question 'what is there? ' (Cowan 146). Two of the major views in ontology are Dualism and Materialism, both of which deal with the nature of the
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Logical positivism is the second presented obstacle to the study of metaphysics and much simpler than Kant 's "Copernican Revolution". Stared by Schlick and the Vienna Circle the viewpoint of logical positivism sought to set up science to a standing as a 'unique and privileged ' way of knowing and get rid of speculative metaphysics (Cowan 150). They contended that knowledge was only gained through experience and theories were only worthwhile if they could be proven or disproven by experience (Kenny 799). This 'verification principle ' has undergone several changes and versions since its original development, but one of the most well-known defenders of the viewpoint, A.J. Ayer worded it this way: "A proposition is meaningful fi and only if it is empirically verifiable in principle." (Cowan 151). In other words, an idea or concept is only meaningful if it can be proven or disproven, even if only in theory. Since the concepts and ideas put forth by metaphysics are not able to be proven or disproven, even in theory, they are seen by those holding the logical positivism view point as being completely meaningless. The view point of logical positivism however, has a fatal flaw built right into it 's very definition and therefore can be disproven as an obstacle to metaphysics.

The whole principle of logical positivism is that a concept is only of value if it can be proven or disproven by experience, even if it is only in theory.

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