keskiviikko 7. helmikuuta 2018

Joachim Darjes: Elements of metaphysics 1 - Connecting substances

While in previous post I discussed Darjesian notions of entity and substance, when regarded in abstraction from other entities and substances, now we shall see what happens when entities and substances are connected to one another. Darjes notes that these connections fall into three general classes, depending on whether the connection exists between mere entities, between both mere entities and substances or between substances. In case of the first kind of connection the things connected are regarded as just being impenetrable to one another. Example of a such a connection would be placing many entities into a same space so as to form a figure.

If in addition to or in place of mere entities substances are added to the connection, Darjes notes, we get forces to the equation. Such connections involve either the existence of substances or then their states – for instance, existence of certain substances might be connected with a state of one substance. In other words, such substantial connections concern various interactions between substances, for example, when one substance acts upon a passive substance or when one substance removes obstacles stopping some substance from acting.

All connections involving mere entities are extrinsic in the sense that it doesn't affect entities if we e.g. arrange them to form a figure. Thus, these connections are completely contingent. One might think that the case might be different with substantial connections, but Darjes notes that this is not so – substances can exist independently of one another, so there is no necessity that e.g. a substance affects another substance. Because no connections between entities or substances is necessary, Darjes says, these connections must ultimately be dependent on some necessary entity.

A particular type of connection Darjes mentions is the relationship between cause and what is caused. Like always, Darjes makes interesting divisions rarely seen in previous Wolffian philosophy. Thus,he notes when discussing cause or caused, one can firstly regard cause and caused as mere subjects – that is, as a material cause and caused – secondly as containing a reason for the possibility of something or having a reason of possibility in some other entity – this is what Darjes calls active/passive causating reason – and finally, as containing or having in something else a reason for actuality – active or passive causality. Like many other Wolffians before him, Darjes goes into great lengths in describing various causal notions, such as principal cause and instrumental cause or mediate and immediate cause, and we need not follow him in such a detail.

Just like almost all Wolffians thus far, Darjes defines the notion of space through the spatial relations an entity could have. Indeed, spatial relations are based on certain connections between entities, in which one entity cannot take the place of the other entities. Such space is then no true entity, but merely an abstraction out of real entities and their relationships. While spatial relationships are completely external to the entities or substances, if one adds activities to the equation, the connection becomes at least more internal. Darjes speaks of presence, by which he means the factor of one substance affecting another – the more a substance affects another, the more present it is to that other substance. Darjesian presence is then a much stronger relationship than mere spatial closeness – if one unites entities by bringing them close to one another, the union is merely external, while a union involving substances being present to one another is internal.

Before moving to more particular parts of metaphysics, Darjes finally considers the notions of infinity and finity, which he defines simply through the notion of perfection – finite entity is such that something can be more perfect than it, while an infinite entity is as perfect as is possible. The finity of an entity does not mean it couldn't be also perfect in some measure. It just isn't completely perfect and all perfection it has must belong also to the infinite entity. It is then immediately clear that all passivity, incompleteness and possibility of non-existence are signs of finity.

Already at this place in metaphysics, Darjes introduces Wolffian aposteriori and apriori proofs of God's existence, although he is, of course, not yet speaking of God. He notes, firstly, that since all finite entities are contingent, they must ultimately depend on a necessary infinite entity. Hence, if finite entities exist, an infinite entity surely must exist also (aposteriori proof). Since it is clearly possible that a finite entity would exist, an infinite entity must also be a possibility. Because infinite entity can be only impossible or necessary, it must then exist necessarily (apriori proof). We see here a similar dual role played by the two proofs as in Wolff's theology, the difference being that Darjes has to assume only the possibility of something finite.

Infinite and finite form then the major division of entities. Infinite entity is essentially unique, so no further division of that species is possible. Finite entities, on the other hand, can divide into further subspecies, depending on whether they are simple or complex.

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti