fragmental study of philosophy 1–5

  1. Schelling’s Natural Philosophy
    Schelling assumes four strata in nature: matter created by gravity; which, enhanced by light and heat, creates physical processes such as magnetism, electricity, and chemistry; which, evolved by life, brings into being organic nature, whose function is to reproduce, sense, and respond; which at last gives birth to self-consciousness. In other words, the four strata are each physical, chemical, biological, and psychological. It seems that nature goes up from simple to complex, from physical to chemical to biological and to psychological, in which process it graduates from mechanical to organic.
  2. Mechanicalism vs. Organicism
    In the following, the former viewpoint is mechanicalism, and the latter organicism.
    1) part and whole:
    Logically, part precedes whole and the whole is just the sum of its parts and no more. Or, whole precedes part and the whole is more than just the sum of its parts.
    2) cause and effect & means and end:
    Every phenomenon in nature is the product of cause and effect. Or, it can also be that of means and end, kind of teleology. You can adopt teleology if you find spontaneity in materials.
    3) motion:
    Every motion is possible only by external force; living or nonliving, a matter is moved. Or, every motion is also possible by internal force; living or nonliving, a matter just moves.
  3. How Spinoza was Accepted
    Spinoza defined God as ‘substantia,’ which may be just abstract and metaphysical. Herder’s re-definition of Spinoza’s God, that God is the fundamental force, out of which everything else emerges, is physical and organic; the idea is physical because if something emerges then it is found in the physical world, and it’s also biological because this force triggers birth of something. Which was how and why Pantheismusstreit began.
  4. From Philosophy to Science
    Schelling wrote something like this, that light is unlimited heat and heat limited light. This statement suggests that light and heat is one and the same, hen kai pan; that one form can change into another, like water to ice and ice to water; that everything in nature can be just one substantia, an idea derived from the philosophy by Spinoza. Johann Wilhelm Ritter, a physicist and big fan of Shelling, believed in the connection between electricity and magnetism. On the other hand, Hans Christian Oersted, physicist and chemist and at the same time a follower of Kant, who supposed the unity of nature, when told by Ritter about the idea of the above connection, began his study of physics, until at last made a great yet incidental discovery that a compass needle was deflected from magnetic north by a nearby electric current, which confirmed a direct relationship between electricity and magnetism. This is one of the routes from metaphysics to science.
  5. On Enemy in Marxism
    I think Socrates tried to find truth with interlocutors in discussion and criticism, no matter how many times he failed in it. Interlocutors were kind of his partners of the quest for truth. As for Marx, on the other hand, discussion or criticism is not on the way to finding truth. In A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, he wrote, “…criticism is no passion of the head, it is the head of passion. It is not a lancet, it is a weapon. Its object is its enemy, which it wants not to refute but to exterminate.” Objective search for truth in cooperation with opponents was subjected to conflict for the purpose of exterminating the enemy. Here, science gave in to conflict and scientists whose opinions differ from him were all the enemies to be annihilated.



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Hiroshi Satow

Hiroshi Satow

A teacher in Japan, teaching English and kind of philosophy to highschool kids. A big fan of Shogi and chess. And a poet.