The World as Idea

I’ve been thinking, lately, about ideas certain philosophers, back in the day, spent quite a bit of time thinking about, which is, what exactly we can know of the world we inhabit. Generally, there seemed to have been the assumption that there is way more to the universe than we can ever know given our limited sensory capacity and intellect.

The thinking goes that while experiencing the world is one thing (shared by all animal life), perceptive understanding is limited and can only occur through our innate, implanted cognitive facility to organize phenomena in terms of space, time, cause and effect: that to know a thing is to visualize it in three-dimensional space and to understand it as being in the present, having some sort of past and likely future, what cause brought it about and effect it may eventually have.

Which is why, some of the old guys determined the only world I can know is nothing more than an idea, but, underlying my idea of the world lays an unknowable, substantive reality, world-in-itself, existing within the realm of the metaphysical.

But maybe science is making some headway. This whole other unknowable realm underlying our sensory and intellectual capacities seems likely to me to probably have something to do with sub-atomic particle physics, you know, quarks and things so small nobody’s actually seen them, which make up all that the universe is, and the meta- can probably be left off of the metaphysical, at least with regard to the idea of world.


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