Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Guidelines for a Metaphysics Journal

   In the following I have taken different elements from the Doctrine of Method in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason which I think may be useful to inform an editor of a possible journal of metaphysics. I will work on some additional remarks later, but this a start.
   I have had various plans to start an online journal at some point, and here I am making some of my plans available so that I might benefit from input. I don't see these guides as being suited to any writing, but it seems specifically well suited (at least as an experiment) for articles on metaphysics.

Definitions: there are no definitions, only exposition, in metaphysics. Expositions, wherein a concept or principle is clarified, are the result of metaphysical work, not the first step.

Axioms: there are no axioms, since metaphysics uncovers a priori principles by analysis, and does not assume them first.

Demonstrations: there are no demonstrations, since metaphysics proceeds by analysis, not synthesis. Otherwise, there is nothing standing outside of the objects metaphysics has available which is of interest to it.

Polemics: (Internal) There are no genuine polemics in metaphysics, where polemic is understood as one side opposed to another. All parties are engaged in continually clarifying the principles of reason. (External) It is impossible that a proof external to metaphysics can undermine a principle in metaphysics. Metaphysics has no grounds to contest empirical claims except so far as they overstep their bounds.

Hypotheses: There are no hypotheses as Metaphysics is only concerned with what is necessary (necessary here is considered in terms of the category).

Proofs: There is no use of apagogic proofs, since proving how one alternative is not possible will not necessarily reveal any solution (consider the Antinomies); such proofs can have use from a skeptical, but not a critical, perspective. Proofs in metaphysics must first prove the objective validity of their principles or concepts.

-Metaphysics aims to clarify the means and ends of reason, not to bring reason further to its ends (which would require synthesis). No claims should be advanced synthetically, rather a critical attitude should be maintained towards whatever material is provided.

-The distinction between Practical and Theoretical should be actively preserved and explicit stated. All activity should be considered both in terms of how it cognizes its object, as well as any maxims of the activity. Even our own metaphysical research should not go unconsidered as to the conditions of its aims.

-The divisions in opining, believing and knowing should be preserved, and it should be clear which sort of taking-to-be-true is used in any case. Metaphysics does not have any need for taking-anything-for-true which is not necessary, and its powers are all spent on the clarification of the necessary.

-Philosophy (distinct from metaphysics) is not an actual science, but a science in idea. Philosophy as science is the legislation of human reason. We are concerned with advancing towards such a legislature concerning two different areas: causes of nature and causes of freedom. The would-be philosopher continually seeks a more unified life.

-The division between the different branches of metaphysics, which should be preserved, are as follows:
1) ontology (transcendental philosophy)
2) rational physiology (containing rational physics and rational psychology)
3) rational cosmology
4) rational theology

-The metaphysician's interest in doing history is in order to hold that history together under one view - that of pure reason. Whatever is mathematical, empirical, scriptural, &c in the history, in terms of its theses, hypotheses or positions, should be clarified from the main body of the metaphysical work. Where principles are blurred with what is unnecessary, then the history should document the error of the inclusion (or exclusion).

-There should be a unity in all the sciences, and since history is a body of knowledge, the principle that organizes it also allows for their unity, if not agreement.

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