what exactly does metaphysical mean?

what exactly does metaphysical mean?

I’ve read it in so many places, but I can’t quite put my finger on just what it means. The context never seems to help, because every context makes no sense without knowing what metaphysical means! The cloest I can come is that…it is the line where science and philosophical thought cross. Thats the best I can come up with…any ideas?

  1. smileApr 23, 2010

    literally means -after physics, usually refering to consciousness which some consider to not be physical but rather some kind of soul thing.

  2. Niry NApr 23, 2010

    Think of it simply- it means beyond the mere physical.
    Using big words to define big words never works out.

  3. Pirata2Apr 23, 2010

    metaphysical means something that is beyond the physical universe. Such as heaven, hell, etc. It also means where the physical and the spiritual dimensions meet- they meet in the human mind (or/also they meet in the minds of animals or minds of all living beings). I read a book on metaphysics.

    meta- “beyond”

  4. Jeremy BApr 23, 2010

    It literally means “after physical.” It comes from Artistotle’s “Metaphysics,” which he wrote after his “Physics.” It came into vogue in English with a group of 17th century poets known as metaphysical poets, among whom John Donne is probably best known.

  5. Caterina SApr 23, 2010

    supernatural, spiritual, paranormal, ect…

  6. Phoenix QuillApr 23, 2010

    Meta means beyond. So Metaphysical means beyond the physical or beyond physics.

    Both Science and Metaphysics could be described as philosophy, so Metaphysics isn’t the line where science & philosophy cross, it’s just the line where science stops.

    In general this means things/subjects like God, Ghosts, Karma, Astrology, casting magical spells etc…, anything non-physical & non-testable by physical means.

    The reason you can’t quite put your finger on what Metaphysics means, is because it means “something you can’t put your finger on”

    Most Empiricists or Existentialists reject this notion entirely. There is no Metaphysical, only the physical that we do not yet understand. This sense is reiterated in AC Clark’s famous quote: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”, which is to say “Magic is not Metaphysics, it is just technology not yet understood.”

    The concept of Metaphysics has also suffered from scientific forays into things like radio. Unseen waves that let you talk to a robot on another planet are regarded as purely physical phenomena. There is an increasing belief that to be real, a thing must be measurable. Modern ghost hunters wouldn’t dream of investigating a haunting without an array of electronic surveillance equipment. Modern theologians quote statistics when discussing the healing power of prayer.

    So should we toss the word? I’d say no.

    If the subject under discussion is one for which no proof will ever be offered or requested….

    ………it’s nice to have a warning.

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