Integration is a metaphysical fundamental


What are some metaphysical fundamentals which constitute the reality? This question has occupied philosophers for a long time. The western tradition once dealt with conceptions of earth, air, water, fire, ether whereas the eastern tradition has studied notions like yin-yang(陰陽), taiji(太極), lichi(理氣). The question is now being researched under the name of physicalism or naturalism, and yet what is not yet clarified is the relationship between electromagnetic force as the fundamental of the physical and consciousness as the fundamental of the mental. What is puzzling is that most philosophers insist on the overcoming of the traditional dualism while they tend to accept the distinction between electromagnetic force and consciousness. If they decide that the metaphysical paradigm of the duality is plausible then they should first present the grammar of functions of those concepts like individual, identity, causation. If they can see that the prospect of that traditional metaphysical paradigms are not hopeful, then they better start to look for an alternative metaphysical picture where the world can be understood more holistically. There have been alternative paradigms such as metaphysics of process and integration. It’s time to take a look at one of these. This paper tries to interpret the latter. The notion of integration(誠) has been the subject studied for a long time as a teaching of Zhongyong, one of the key Confucian texts. Many has taken the word “誠” of Zhongyong to mean sincerity or faithfulness. Certainly there are anthropological or ethical dimension to the meaning of the word. But the whole text seems to direct a reader to see how the world is, the metaphysical dimension of the world. I will interpret the major thrust of Zhongyong to say that integration is a metaphysical fundamental. If one is to accept the evolution thesis of the body of human being then she is also to concede the evolution thesis of the mind of human being. If one is positive toward the evolutionary theory of the human mind then she is more likely open-minded toward the powers of the mind of physical things. This may allow to proceed to a thesis that integration is an information consciousness(chapter 1). Suppose that physical things of the world are integrational. Then the integration is not to be given from the outside but from within. Then when things are integrational they become integrators. Integrators are bound to possess some sort of power. I will discuss the thesis that integration is a dispositional power(chapter 2). If all things are bundles of informations then information is ubiquitous(chapter 3) and things may be passive in certain contexts but are active toward their informations, processing them in their own ways. If these three hypotheses are reasonable then my thesis of integration as a metaphysical fundamental would be plausible.

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