The Language of Philosophy
The universe is guided by empty mathematical formulas interacting with full physical matter.
Our observations of the physical can be physically reduced to smaller elements. The observed physical phenomena can be deduced to simple cause and effect. The physical can be trivialized and abstracted so that we see the underlying mathematical principles behind everything.
There’s two apples and two monkeys. You give two apples to one monkey. The other monkey reacts as if it’s mad.
We can express this scene in the form of a mathematical formula. We don’t care about the particular apples or particular monkeys. We create the abstract concept of “2” and how that abstract formula becomes “0” once you give it away.
From a biological aspect, we can observe what impressions we can get from the monkeys’ behavior. We can form theories that can be tested regarding monkey psychology. How that psychology works in groups (sociology).
We can monitor brain activity and see what part of the brain factors in during the whole scenario. How the monkeys’ brain respond to each moment. What’s happening neurologically to bring to life what we call “mad” or “jealousy” or “happiness.”
We can study the apples down to their atoms. We can study monkeys down to their atoms or genes.
The more we study all of this, the more we use math or statistics to reach sensible conclusions and understand why the world is as it is. Or if not math, logic. We expect the world to act with some order and that order can be traced and understood by many dimensions, many perspectives, and many levels of abstraction.
Math has a target. Biology has a target. Neuroscience has a target. The chemist has a target. And so on.
But when we say that math has a target, we mean that math has a context. There’s a contextual definition for the “math language” and whatever can be said in math has to use the “math language” to say it. Now “biology language” has the same thing. Biology has contextual definitions that constitute the “biology language.”
What is true in the “biology language” may not make sense in the “math language.” Or if it does, the “biology language” has to be re-interpreted and translated to “math language.”
There’s a progression that some sciences are more abstract while other are more physical. Like sociology is a soft science. Psychology is a bit less soft. Neuroscience is yet a little less soft. Biology is kinda getting more concrete. Physics is a more concrete. Chemistry also more concrete.
So when you’re translating everything to each other languages, you sometimes lose something in translation. You can’t say the same thing in all languages. You can only approximate the metaphysical through language and each language has its own meaning. The act of translating is an act in which you use near-synonyms of different languages to approximate similar meaning. When each language sets out to circumnavigate the metaphysics of objects, it doesn’t start of by translating another language. Each language originates with a different impression from the world.
So when translating something, you always have to appreciate the fact that that in a way you’re trivializing the impression that acted as the origin of that word. And that any translation is an approximation of these metaphysical phenomena.
Some people will trivialize softer sciences because they don’t translate as consistently or as abstract as chemistry or physics. But what they’re trivializing is not the sociologist or the psychologist. What they’re trivializing is the significance of the impression the sociologist and psychologist depend on to create their “sociology language” or “psychology language.”
But this in and of itself is immature if done incorrectly. The different languages provide different insight into the world. A fair criticism is that the impression that the sociologist and psychologist depend on is a lot more subjective than the impression used as the foundation for the language of chemistry and physics.
So what is the “philosophy language?”
The philosophy language is the impression itself left by the metaphysical. Translated by logic, epistemology, morality. Through the medium of math, art, science. It’s the study of essence. And everything has an essence (if it’s understood by us). So philosophy speaks of everything without losing anything in translation. Philosophy has a say in everything always. To some degree. It’s a gadfly, to be sure. (There’s a significant problem when we abdicate our own philosophy by getting lost in the words of more famous philosophers; you’re using their impression of philosophy rather than your own. This is fine for guidance, but philosophy means also working on your own capacity to understand the impressions the metaphysical leaves inside you).
Existence precedes essence — Sartre
It’s not just essence. It’s not just God. It’s the essence tied to existence. The existence that we all live. And it’s everywhere. As a thing of essence, our primary connection to the world is essence. The essence of other things and the essence of other people.
Just like the geocentric model for the universe laid the foundation for science hundreds of years ago, producing valid and functioning formula that somehow provided evidence that the Earth was the center of the universe. So can the “harder” sciences produce formula that don’t take into account the essence of things. Morally and metaphysically corrupt sciences. Whose languages often time don’t include philosophy. Same for the softer sciences but somewhat more open to the idea of the importance of philosophy.
But philosophy doesn’t care. Philosophy doesn’t care what the populace says. If it did, it would trivialize philosophy. Philosophy doesn’t care if the ones in power say that businesses can’t be held morally responsible for their actions. Philosophy is ever present. It’s the language that exist before language exist. Our eternal essence just tries to interpret the eternal existence while our temporal awareness allows us to.
You can live without philosophy. Never speaking its language. Never understanding its words. And some philosophers make it increasingly difficult for this to be the case. But it’s always there speaking.
The philosopher is the one that opens their ears to her like Boethius and translates her melody honestly and sincerely into science, art, math.
NOTE: This might agitate some people that think that they are honest and sincere at their job without the need for philosophy. I’m mostly referring to people that use dishonesty to forge false claims and pass them off as truth. The absolute Truth that philosophy talks about in its whole; whereas other discipline talk about absolute Truth in parts (broken down by discipline). To cheat, lie is to obfuscate truth. To be dishonest with yourself is to do bad philosophy. You can justify it using valid logic but this just goes back to my main point. You can turn a deaf ear to philosophy but its eternal metaphysical presence can’t go away.