The Substance-Accident Metaphysics
Theory of Knowledge
back to homepage
Every philosophy, and certainly every theory of Being, is intertwined with one or another view of the nature of knowledge, i.e. every philosophy is acknowledging a certain theory of knowledge.
Such a theory must always presuppose, albeit implicitly, a certain metaphysical structure of that what is being known. But, also the other way around : If we adhere to some metaphysical theory we presuppose something that tells us how knowledge is obtained.
In the history of Philosophy many different theories of knowledge have been proposed.
Two main types are the following :
The main questions relating to knowledge are :
- Idealistic Theories of Knowledge. Such theories make Reality dependent on the knowing subject.
- Realistic Theories of Knowledge. Such theories pose a reality that exists independent of the fact whether it is known or not.
Do we create (a) Reality (of our own), or is Reality independent of its being known?
Our ability to abstract leads us to a consideration about the ontological (metaphysical) status of abstract entities. Are we -- while doing metaphysics -- mislead by our way of knowing, or by the structure of language, i.e. are our abstactions only belonging to our way of knowing?
Does language contain, implicitly, some very basic and fundamental pre-cognition, underlying all subsequent knowledge?
Or should this knowledge, implicit in language, just be of a primitive (versus primary) nature only, appropriate for everyday life, but one that has to be superseded by advanced Natural Science?
But every natural science must presuppose certain things. It cannot start from scratch. What it presupposes is implicit and cannot be made explicit by Natural Science itself, which means, it cannot be questioned by it.
What are these presuppositions?
How can we ever distinguish in an unambiguous way between those matters that exclusively belong to our way of knowing, and those that pertain to Reality, i.e. to the known?
Is there an absolute separation between subject and object, i.e. between the knower and the known?
Do our senses, and possible instruments, span the whole of Reality, or are some parts of Reality forever excluded from any knowledge?
Our metaphysical theory should be a universal ontology (a universal theory of Being), so it should cover everything whatsoever. So we even don't know whether such a metaphysical theory is possible at all.
Hence it is clear that a theory of knowledge must be included in any metaphysics.
I have already sketched such a theory (one which is adhered by me) in the Essay on The Realistic View of Knowledge, so let us click this link in order to see what such a theory is all about, and see whether -- on the basis of such a theory -- a Substance-Accident Metaphysics is at all possible.
back to homepage