As to what truth is- search for truth
Saying the objective of our study is to ‘search for the truth’ is somewhat misleading because implied in this proposition is the misapprehension that truth is presentable upon request to the reader, like an object which can be located and then pointed to when asked “what is the truth?”, people except a straightforward answer. Specific things are forms of truth but the universality problem concerns how is something in general be many things in particularTruth in this sense is the ultimate nature of things and is therefore the totality of the way something is specified, which is what logic is, constitutes the same question as to what truth is. In this way the truth is not a thing, in the sense that we point to an object and we say ‘it is that one thing’. Yet we cannot but help think that there is something certainly true. That truth is certain does not mean it is limited to a certain thing only even though that is the way we commonly come to know things.
We cannot merely bring before the reader an object and claim that is the truth because the view of a single object must excludes other things so that it can be singled out as not everything. By this definition an object subjects a limitation onto truth generally for a particular instance of it, which so far is true by being part of the whole, is at the same time not true by being a narrow abstraction of it. Yet the conception of truth manifest as particular parts of itself. It is not having a quantity of truth that makes knowledge, having as many facts as possible is equally the limitation of truth, having too many true facts without knowing any one of them truly, or having truth in the vaguest sense. Knowing the truth at every instance does not constitute the truth if one does not live a good life. For example it is like in the “myth of Midas”, the man who knows the truth but lives a bad life, the truth becomes his curse and torment because he sees it everywhere but he experiences non of it, as in the case of the king, he has all the wealth but cannot enjoy the fruits of what it buys, wealth as the means become useless without the end it derives. In this way seeing the truth in things but living a bad life is called “vice” defined as “missing the mark” or rather missing the point, just like Midas who knows that gold is valuable but does not know in what way it is valuable, so he misses the mark in viewing its value. Knowing the truth without acting on it is the same case of seeing value without knowing what the value is. But to say “act on the truth” is itself as elusive as saying “to know the truth”, but what we mean by the connection of both claims is that to act on the truth is to know that the truth is an actual reality on can go into, or one can conceive into realization and be in that reality. To see the truth in things but be in a bad reality is not acting on the truth, but rather acting on disagreeing with the truth, which is missing its point. Truth is certain not in the sense that one can know true instances, and then can be said to know the Truth. Even if someone knows instances of truth that occupy their entire day, but lack a true belief, a true worldview, then it is someone who knows the truth in the wrong way, which is what truth is not. Knowing the truth is living the truth
Knowing instances of truth is not the same as knowing the Truth, with the capital “T” to abbreviate the logical element of being fully comprehensive to include the ultimate qualitative aspect that there is something higher in the idea of Truth, something better. Now this idea has been historically qualified by the notion of God as the highest quality, that invariably everyone is equal under God, so as to mean, everything is equally inferior under God, but with the elusive idea of God, this just came to mean that everything is equally inferior, or inferiority is a feature in everything, in other words everything is corruptible, except God. The idea of God has brought, in a manner opposite to what it intended, if it’s intention was to bring the idea of the highest good, it instead brought the recognition of death and corruption and made man fully conscious of it. Animals do not have religion because they do not have the recognition of death. The problem with asking the question of what is true, presupposes it’s answer and than at the same time presupposes the opposite of that answer.
As to the question which naturally arises; ‘how do you know if something is true?’, is really a way of positing the same question; how can you properly explain something? Implied in the proposition of both questions, is the presupposition for their to be something actually existing and at least true in that sense, and the possibility for it to be known in a different way than the way it already exists, the potential for it to grow or become. The ontological question is not whether there is truth or not, because the answer is already implied in the question that there is obviously both “true” and its negation “not true”, both of which are true in the sense they exists but not true in the same way because they are not the same kind of existences. The real proceeding question is how to make the distinction between true and not-true, which is an ethical question because it brings its own difficulty of presupposing truth in what is not-true, that is, something not-true is true in being opposite to truth, brings back the question; what is the true?
The truth is presented not as an object
When we say ‘the object of truth’ we do not mean an object for a faculty of knowledge but rather the knowledge faculty itself is taken as the object for its own study and all the conception that go along with it, among these conceptions are fundamentally objects. The reason for this predication is an ontological move as the notion of thought is made the most fundamental and everything after that, like physical objects, follows as determined aspects of it.
Truth is not located like an object in the environment that confirms the satisfaction of having found it. When we say that “Truth” is the object of our search, this causes the need for there to be something ultimate, without an idea of what that is, so the ordinary understanding simply associates the lowest common denominator of truth, what it is immediately confronted with, and associates that as the ultimate necessity. The pre-Socratics for example took the objects presented to their senses as ultimate causes for everything, but really even then, they picked out something in those objects that is ultimate, in the “water” of Thales for example, liquidity is the essence that can be derived from any object. The fault was that they took a single ultimate feature as being the first in the order of substances that cause things in the world. But Plato made the Forms which are innumerable and infinite in combinations the ultimate substance, in other words, substance is the power for infinite possibilities for combinations and structures, and so it is not a particular structure that is ultimate but capacity to formulate structures that is ultimate. Aristotle took this infinite substance to be pure activity, which he associates an abstract quality to is thought, forms cannot be substance without acting. The motion of going up brings with it an infinity of all the qualities that brings into the moment. My hand going up, which is a combination of flesh, bone, cells, which are formulated by chemicals compounds and molecules all operating within the general laws of nature in spacetime, all these are presupposed by the gesture of moving ones hand up. It is the particular that determines the universal in a specific direction, but the universal is present in every where and is determined particularly.
Knowing is the same as acting
“Innocent until proven guilty” in the legal framework presupposes the standard of truth where it is not what is known, but rather it is what can be proven, what can be justified that constitutes justice. The legal system is in this sense scientific because it depends on proof as basis for knowledge, but in metaphysics what is known alone constitutes a justification, knowing is the proof for its existing, because to know something means that a thing has to some degree have justified itself. To know something is simply being on the other side of something that has justified itself, and therefore there is no knowledge without the action of what the truth is based on. The individual must not only know information and facts about the world but must act good to capsulate their knowledge as evidence for knowing. In all specific domains action is taken to be the evidence of theory. Someone may know facts about the world or has the skill of doing complex abstract thinking like mathematics, but all that means nothing if they do not act well, if they do not have a “life worth living” (eudaimon). A worthy life is not subjective but here we are assuming an objective standard for what makes life worthy. We can say for instance that a virtuous homeless man is better than a corrupt rich man, but just because both these instances are extremes of not a worthy life, does not mean that there is no habits and kinds of ways that if someone would do would have a good life.
Acting well like knowing the truth is not specific in that you can learn from reading a manual, it is rather the individual self honesty in how they deal with their weaknesses and struggles
Someone who is bad knows the truth too in that he sees the truth in the world but wills the element of reality that is bad, which although is real cannot be called truth because to be true involves necessarily being ethical. Ethical in the general context is the conduct or behaviour of truth as the conception or the idea of the act. Aristotle associates Truth with the Good because he famously claims in the first sentence of the Nicomachean Ethics;
“Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and pursuit, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim. But a certain difference is found among ends; some are activities, others are products apart from the activities that produce them.”
The Good is the truth because it is the end of things which does not only mean the result or the product but rather the reason why something is done. The Good is therefore the aim at which an activity strives, this means that the good is the “measure” of things, for example, robbers say “you got the goods” as to suggest no matter what the means are, there is something good acquired, that they are after some good even though what they are after may not be good at all.
The opposite thinking to this but similar, opposite because the good is not what is merely gained but the way something was done, this means that even if the result is bad or something is done in a bad way, there is still the idea or the conception for doing it that was fundamentally good, this similarly means that the conception of something, the desire or the idea for something is good for it is the necessity for anything to be done, this does not mean that bad things are at the same time also good, but that the initiation for anything whether bad or good is good, the first step to doing something is actually doing it, even if it is done bad, it is at least done and can be made better because there is the standard of bad which resulted from doing it. Doing something is it’s own good. But if we go further and say doing something bad is better if it was not done, but this has to still acknowledge that to know it is bad it has to at least be done, or rather exists. Here we associating doing something with something existing. If we counteract by saying that a killer had the aim to murder, how can we say that the carrying out the deed, going about and actually doing it, supports the idea that doing is a good of its own, as the doing in this case is murder? The concern here is not whether there should be no bad things at all, because not only is that a fantasy but also misunderstands the nature of bad things. In an infinite scale there is as much as bad events as good events, and this is why the development of the particular is a remedy to this contradiction. The universal made itself into a particular whose timeline is a constant happening at the moment, experiences events in “real time”, and this is a real element of time that the uncertainty of having an equally infinity of bad and good events require a particular element to be in the constant determination of one over the other. The universal developed itself into a particular so that it can have the chance to determine generally good events over bad, or in other cases generally bad events over good, in either case there is at least now the capacity to determine one side over the other rather than having an infinite indeterminacy of there being equally all standards of events. The logic of this follows in this sense:
Positive as deviating from the negative but not deviating from itself
If we begin from a purely negative route than any other course of action is positive, ( - - results in + -) unless that now is also negative, it at least now is contrasted with deviating from the negative, which is positive, positive is deviating from the negative, constitutes the force of deviating from the negative, and by that identity is now something positive (+ - results in + +) which unlike a double negative is not something other than itself, double positive results in positive while double negative results in positive, being positive is the quality of not deviating from one self identical identity. Yet the negative deviates so that the positive does not.
Bad things are failings of good things, and so they start out as good or at least have the good of starting anything at all, but deviate into doing things badly, which is opposite to excellence in the sense that when you start something you cannot undo it, and therefore you now have no choice but to do, if not one thing than something other but not doing nothing at all as that is itself a doing which can be done bad or good, as in the case of good or bad meditation, and so this is where doing it badly comes in because if you have no choice but to do something since you are already doing, then you can do it bad or good both of which take effort as they are aspects of doing. Bad has the hardship of suffering the consequences and good has the difficulty of practicing virtue. It is in this capacity that we can judge a thing to be good or bad at all because when your doing something bad you have chosen to do that over good because you had no choice but to do something in the first place.
If they know the good why would they do bad?
Metaphysics is not in “search of the truth” but is rather in favour of it. There is the classical Socratic notion which argues that those who do bad are “ignorant” because if they would know the good why would they commit the bad? For example, why would someone who can play beautiful piano music play it bad? But this idea is not to suggest bad people are not aware of what they are doing. The common understanding of the term ignorance by way of it being an adjective, is someone lacking information; ignorance in this sense is accidental. The meaning of ignorance as a verb however means to ignore, to deliberately pay no attention to, precisely means knowing the good but choosing otherwise, and this is why it is associated with the moral deficiency of vice. The question of asking what is true is the same question as asking what is good?
(William James choice 1.2.3 “faith in the reason”)
The ethical aspect of the rational notion requires there to be a choice but not in the sense of merely selecting one object over another, like choosing a cake over an apple, but rather the will for choice, or rather being in the moment of having to make a decision, has simply already been a product of a previous choice.
is the conception which places the observer in the situation where they have to choose between certain options. We acclaim in the onset that we are put in circumstances that we did not choose and then we have to act accordingly, in other words, we have to “adapt” to the circumstances. But this idea where we are put into circumstances out of our control, which drives theories like Darwinian evolution, misses the fundamental role of the conception in the determination of the situation. The conception is the simultaneity of the choice being available in the first place, because we cannot simply assume that to be given, you already made the choice by conceiving a situation which necessarily presupposes a set options that have to be chosen over others. We say ‘you put yourself in that situation’ as if to suggest there are inevitable situations that will necessarily follow from being in a certain circumstance.
Causes are particular, effects are universal
How a general notion comes to take on particular forms means how the same self identical conception, whether it be a set of things or no thing at all, organizes the arrangements of relations in a particular order. The distinction between the universal and the individual is not one where one is a separate category from the other, but rather they are different interactions of the same source. For example we can take our ordinary life as arranged and organized by the individual but in turn life arranges and organizes the individual. The individual acts particularly or does a series of particular actions that organize their life, but their life or everything generally outside the individual reciprocates back to the individual with effects. For example entering a door and a door being entered are the same event but not for the same entity. If you do bad things then bad things will happen and vice versa. At a more general level the life of the individual, their circumstances, events and everyone else is the universal side relative to and for the individual. The individual is part of the environment that acts in many ways, the general character of these actions is exhibited by their results takes on a general character on its own that reciprocates in a general way back to the individual who initiated those set of finite actions. If you usually act violently life will exhibit a generally violent vibe. We can express this relation between the individual and the universal in the realm of time. We know that the past affects the future but it is difficult to say how the future affects the past because the future did not happen so how can it affect something that has already happened? However if we introduce the present as the moment where it is not yet the past and not yet the future, then what you do in the present is affected by a potential. Take an arbitrary example of tying your shoelace before you run; in the present moment you tie the shoe in a clumsy manner so that half way through the run the shoelace gets untied and it interfered the run, however it have you just enough moments to gain some rest that you were unwilling to take because of your pride. Your future self influenced tying your shoelace in a loose manner on the anticipation of the potential that you needed rest you are unwilling to take to enhance the overall run. We always wonder as to why certain things happen.
Determining the universal to govern the particular
even if we say distinct variables constitutes different parts of the same nature, that still does not explain how they are different. There is an interaction between the universal and the particular that makes them distinct not that they are already distinct and then they interact. The universal is not an identity like “God is the universal” for he governs all things because this is just another abstraction. The idea that God is a distinct entity from the environment that manipulates it for man, and man is another identity which is manipulated, like in the Abraham stories man is the individual that undergoes through a series of divine tests. This notion has the right idea in the sense that the environment is manipulated, but wrong idea because it is not manipulated by an entity distinct from the particular, because the universal is a particular, or that it’s identity can be particularized, even if it is a set of particulars or the culminations, the total sum of particulars, that is still particular identity. The universal is distinct form a single particular by having a superior force over it but it is the force for particulars without itself being a particular that constitutes it’s peculiarity. This idea can be understood in the following way; the individual operates in the environment by doing a set of actions that change it, these changes have certain effects back to the individual. The manipulations of the environment done by the individual themselves take on an independent force against the individual, this is called the universal. But the universal is not a mere byproduct of the individuals actions having effects because these actions the individual makes has at one point in time been universally determined, they have been conceived and this forms the specific moment of the individual. We say that when somebody makes something like a piece of art or a technology that it is universal, means anybody with certain capabilities can use, understand, and appreciate it. The product of art moulds the man not just that man moulds the art.
Imagine man to be man
Universally developed individuals
Marx says: imagine humans to bear human senses; Marx explains that “art” requires developed capabilities for appropriation:
"Assume man to be man and his relationship to the world to be a human one: then you can exchange love only for love, trust for trust, etc. If you want to enjoy art, you must be an artistically cultivated person; if you want to exercise influence over other people, you must be a person with a stimulating and encouraging effect on other people. Every one of your relations to man and to nature must be a specific expression, corresponding to the object of your will, of your real individual life. If you love without evoking love in return—that is, if your loving as loving does not produce reciprocal love; if through a living expression of yourself as a loving person you do not make yourself a beloved one, then your love is impotent—a misfortune.” (Marx The power of money)
Marx explains that “relations of mutual recognition” must be both reciprocal and mutual. Synonymously with artistic work, it must be recognized mutually and reciprocally. Man must develop the skills to make art, and upon making art, his production in turn develops other men with the capabilities to make art.