Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Onto

Before we think about how we know, we must know what it is we think we know. And so begins the spiral into madness that is the irrelevant little sidetrack of most TOK students these days.

The solution is simple. Ontology precedes epistemology. Something is. As a knower, at the very least you exist. Very likely also, whatever it is, that allows you to have existed and to continue to exist, also exists.

The question of whatever that -it- is which must necessarily exist is ontology. The question of what you claim to know is epistemology. But before all your claims, you must first be.

And here is where worldviews come in. There are only two worldviews. One is that the knower is all that is needed, and everything is derived from what the knower thinks the knower knows. One is that there is something supernatural, something beyond natural observation and which can never be proven to exist. Some people have listed up to seven or eight different possible worldviews, but they all come down to this.

What?

This: either you can explain everything from nothing, or you can explain nothing from everything.

We shun the latter, because then the underpinnings of what we know must necessarily be accidental, revelatory, matters of faith. We love the former, because it is the ultimate reductionism. In the beginning, nothing. Then symmetry. Then symmetry-breaking which isn't quite so. And everything comes from nothing.

But we would then be part of the everything that came from nothing. We would be prisoners of our world. Why is that more acceptable? It's called 'pride of life'.

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