C:\B\B\blob\BLOBJECTIVIST MONISM 7 21 02.doc 7/22/2002 7:53 AM
Draft: Comments are welcome
Repulsive monism: One dynamic BLOB and no principles
Matjaž Potrč, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; firstname.lastname@example.org
“One BLOB no principles! One BLOB no principles!” (The crowd)
Thesis of monism affirms the existence of one. The distinctive characteristic of blobjectivist monism is affirmation of the dynamics of one. Dynamics of one underlies the specific metaphysics and normativity of blobjectivism. The common sense compatible metaphysics figuring middle-sized dry goods is elaborated. Dynamics links the first ontological thesis of blobjectivism with its second thesis, according to which the truth is construed as indirect correspondence. From the perspective of dynamic blobjectivist monism, static monism results from confusion of epistemic normative standards for ontological items.
Several forms of monism: existence claims about the world: the immaterial and the material, variation of semantic monism, normative monism
Monism is the teaching about one. The main claims then would be about the existence of one, although these may not be the only ones on offer. If we would affirm something about a number, then we would not necessarily be constrained to believe into the existence of this number in any straightforward manner. Our ontology would perhaps just consider numbers to be shorthand tools for referring to some pragmatic functions. But these pragmatic functions would not necessarily need to exist, even if their existence would get construed in some non-extensional manner. This possibility seems to deserve further discussion, which however will not be pursued here.
Somebody may affirm that there is just one cub, or that there is just one ball, or just one cat, just one of these and nothing else. These choices perhaps seem to be more appropriate than the already discussed existence of numbers, yet they would still be unusual. Then, somebody may claim that there is one God and nothing else. Or even that there is one world and nothing else. Or that there is one world that is identical to the God, and that there is nothing else. These are some monistic claims involving existence.
Semantic monism would claim that there is just one system of meaning. This is perhaps a position that is more plausible than the one affirming that there exists one single meaning and nothing else. Similarly the normative monism claiming that there is just one normative system seems more realistic than the monism that affirms the existence of one norm only.
Claims about the world seem to be good candidates for monism, for they encompass all that is the case, as the world encompasses all that is the case. But there is diversity here as well. Some monists may construe the world as immaterial, and some may construe it as material.
Monism about the existence is a claim about the whole of the world. This position is not as unusual as the claim that the world is identical just to a cat or to a cube or perhaps to a ball. The things we know from the side of science about the constituency of the world make our best bet to believe that the world is material rather then immaterial.
The static and the dynamics of the one
One important distinction that was not taken into account up till now is that between the static and between the dynamic. We may wish to tackle in a slightly more organized manner the exercise concerning possibilities about how to consider the monistic one entity. Here is the schema, to be commented in a while:
[static dynamic] Static Dynamic
reality/appearance one reality contextually variably approached
There are decisions to be made all along the itinerary. A first such decision was that the interesting kind of monism occupies itself with the whole world. But what should the world be like in order to be appropriate for monistic claims? There are already some restrictions related to this. One may affirm that there exists just one weasel and nothing else, and this would be a kind of monism. It would be even a monism comprising the whole world because in this case weasel would be identical to the world. But this monism would not be interesting, if nothing else because there is scarce evidence that the situation described by it obtains. On the other hand, there is at least some evidence that the constitution of the world matches at least some descriptions provided by the science of physics. Let us turn now to the main branches of the schematic tree as it is given above.
One world may either be conceived as immaterial or as material. The decision here is that the thesis of monism concerns one material world. A reason for this is again that science brings some proofs about existence of the material universe but perhaps there are no really conclusive proofs about the existence of immaterial universe. The decision in this sense seems to be sound even if there exists conceptual possibility that all these proofs about the existence of external world get exercised in the brain in a vat situation.
The next decision is that between the static and between the dynamic worlds. This is perhaps the most important distinction envisaged in this paper. It is important because affirming the dynamics is a distinguishable mark of blobjectivism, the monistic doctrine to be explained here. There is possibility to have the same distinction between the static and between the dynamic applied to the immaterial world. This possibility is indicated by the square parentheses in the schema above. But the decision was already made that the material world should be embraced. So blobjectivism, to be explained in a while, will then be the specific thesis of dynamics proper to one material world. The decision here is to embrace dynamics. A preliminary reason for this is that the experience shows us the world to be dynamic and rich, and not immobile or static. There are no proofs that the world would be static, whereas there are many data pointing into the contrary direction.
At least there are no empirical proofs about the world being immobile. This fact is actually confirmed by the distinction embraced by these subscribing to the immobile world. We are talking about the distinction between reality and appearance. Monists subscribing to the static view will claim that the world such as it is in reality is immobile, in opposition to what experiences of this world are showing us all the time. The real world will be immobile for these kinds of monists, although we do not have any proofs about this, with exception of certain logical reasoning. Once these kinds of monists acknowledge the deep down immobility of the real world, they are constrained to declare whatever experiences show us as belonging to the order of appearance. And this exactly is what is meant to subscribe to the reality/appearance distinction. What may underlie the reasoning though bringing the supporters of immobility to the reality/appearance distinction? In a nutshell, it is confusion between the manners of how we talk or think about the world under certain forms of normative constraints and between the way the world is. Sometimes, under certain mode of discourse, we talk or think about the world as a whole, and in this case we appropriate high normative standards. Of course we may talk about one world, and we will even say something true about it if monism is right. Doing this, we will not be attentive at myriad of details about how the world is. We will just be attentive at the observation of the world’s unity from a distance. We will follow the normative constraints that will present the world to us as if observed from the distance. The fact that we may think or talk about the world like that though does not bring us in a justified manner to the conclusion that the world is small, middle-sized object like and immobile. Similarly, observing a star as a small shining point will not justify us in concluding that the star has the form of a point and that it is immobile. A closer inspection with the help of telescope or a spaceship observation will show us just the contrary. Is this not just the case against what our senses show to us? And wasn’t the evidence from our senses used earlier as support for the view about dynamics of the world? In this case we might be in difficult position, for we have argued that the information provided to us through perceptual richness is the basis for embracing dynamic monism. But consider that cases are not the same. The case of observing a distant star does not exclude dynamics in the surrounding of the observed body we center at. The second possibility consists in buying the dynamics of one. In this case there will not be the need around for introducing distinction between reality and appearance, namely the distinction between an immobile reality and between the appearance displaying dynamics. Once we buy dynamics, we should acknowledge the dynamics as the main feature in the world. Dynamics is again not uniform itself, for it comes as displayed at different levels of magnitude and of zooming in.
We have specified some decisions that may be undertaken by a monist. We have presented these decisions in the form of disjunctive choices. We have chosen to defend as an interesting kind of monism the one aiming at the whole material physically specifiable and dynamic world. The dynamic ingredient of monism is important because it allows for the claim about the world as one reality that gets contextually approached in variable manners. Thereby, the distinction between reality and appearance does not need to be embraced by the view of dynamic monism. We may call such a view blobjectivism.
The name blobjectivism steams from considerations about what kinds of objects may be accepted into one’s ontology. The first kinds of objects are perfectly nonvague objects or snobjects. The second kinds of objects are vague objects or slobjects. The third kind of object is called BLOB, which is held to be nonvague. BLOB or blobject is the only object that exists and thereby it is opposed to snobjects and slobjects that only may come in plurality. It is also opposed to the one static object. The view adopting nonvague BLOB is called blobjectivism. Such a view allows for vagueness in language and thought, but not in the world itself.
The capitalized expressions, such as BLOB, are designed to show that we have to do with the ultimately existing entities. Notice though that the ultimately existing entity according to the existential monism may be just one. So capitalizing of BLOB shows that it exists in an ultimate manner, that it is the only existing thing. If there would be other existing things as well, such as PARTS, they should also be written in capitals. But there aren’t any PARTS. Although there aren’t any of these around, we may still recognize parts. As there really aren’t PARTS we do not encounter separate things; we rather encounter properties that we categorize as entities on the basis of the BLOB. But again, there aren’t really any of these entities around. Although we may talk about things that really and ultimately exist, such as about the one BLOB, and also about things that actually do not exist, we do not thereby wish to buy the distinction between reality and appearance. According to blobjectivism there is one BLOB all the way down, and it is dynamic. Zooming in on the BLOB will lead us to recognize dynamics. But there are some limit case possibilities where very high contextual standards are applied and where the whole of the BLOB may be envisioned as a static entity. The bottom line however is that no deep distinction between appearance and reality is allowed by blobjectivism, because from the starters BLOB is recognized as dynamic through and through. The BLOB shows itself as dynamic under all variable kinds of epistemic standards.
Let us summarize. Monism is the thesis that there is just one. Several possible forms of monism exist though, in support of which some basic considerations are given.
(a) One in the question may be conceived as immaterial, thus as not spatiotemporally located, or it may be material and thereby spatiotemporally located.
(b) One in question may be conceived as immobile, or it may be conceived as dynamic and rich.
(c ) One may be conceived as a really existing entity the access to which is occluded by the appearance of the many, or it may be conceived as the really existing only entity which displays richness in regional and local ways, without thereby allowing for any parts or for plurality of beings.
The overall thesis of monism to be presented, partially defended and explained here is as follows:
(T) The existing one entity is material and spatiotemporally located, dynamic and rich: it displays its richness in regional and local ways, without thereby allowing for any PARTS or for a plurality of being.
The thesis (T) should thus argue for the second disjuncts in considerations (a), (b) and (c). The disjuncts above to be adopted by (T) are thus:
(a’’) One is material and thereby spatiotemporally located.
(b’’) One is dynamic and rich.
(c’’) One is the really existing only entity that displays richness in regional and local ways, without thereby allowing for any parts or for a plurality of being.
The first disjuncts, to be rejected by (T), are covered by these subtheses:
(a’) One is immaterial and not spatiotemporally located.
(b’) One is immobile.
(c’) One is the really existing entity, the access to which is occluded by appearance of the many.
The thesis (T) to be further explained and elucidated here is the thesis of blobjectivism, to be distinguished from Parmenidean like monistic view that adopts at least some claims to which blobjectivism is opposed.
Blobjectivist monism specified by two claims: (1) The existence of one dynamic spatiotemporal world without any parts, and (2) truth construed as indirect correspondence.
Blobjectivist monism is the thesis concerning spatiotemporal material world. It consists of two theses:
(1) There exists just one spatiotemporal world, the BLOB, rich and dynamic but without any PARTS.
(2) Many affirmations of common sense and of science are true, their truth being construed as indirect correspondence.
These main claims of blobjectivism have both dynamics built into them as their basic distinctive ingredient.
Consider that the thesis (1) is actually just a basic monistic thesis up till the moment as the dynamic ingredients are moved in. The thesis first claims that there is one world and that this world does not have any PARTS. This is just the basic monistic affirmation. If there would be PARTS, namely, then there would be several objects, and monism would go down the drain. There is also the clause about spatiotemporality of the world, which seems to be a decision undertaken with basic naturalistic requirements in mind, besides to the desire to limit or to exclude less plausible monistic cases, such as that there exists just one weasel and nothing else. The real interesting remaining story relates to the dynamics of the BLOB. But just why would someone mention and accentuate dynamics? Dynamics needs to be mentioned in order to escape the distinction between reality and appearance. Consider that the distinction between reality and appearance was introduced because an ultimate way of looking at the world, the limit case of contextual consideration, was interpreted as a difference in respect to ontology. Instead of affirming how scores in the ways of discursively approaching the world have changed, we talk about the world as about one really existing, immobile and non-distinguishable entity. It seems that we thereby just project some way of contextually seeing the world – under high standards, from the distance – onto ontology. What happened here may be specified by the help of the second blobjectivist thesis.
The second thesis of blobjectivism (2) may explain tendencies involved into producing of reality/appearance distinction. The thesis distinguishes between several ways of talking about an object. Take any object. There are several discourses that we may apply while describing it, such as the discourse of common sense or again the discourse of science. All of these ways of talking still may possibly be true according to this thesis. Although the affirmations directly involving BLOB would be true under the strictest standards only. BLOB is the only entity that exists according to the dynamic monistic blobjectivism. But one may talk about many faces of the BLOB and even one may mention its properties in such a way as if these properties would be BLOB’s really existing parts. How can this be? Affirmations of common sense and of science have the contextual scores or standards differently attuned as this was the case with discursively ultimate score in talking about the BLOB. Because we have to do with monism, statements of common sense and of science may just refer to the one world, to the BLOB. But they refer to the BLOB under various gradients of contextual approach and under different ways of zooming onto the structure of the BLOB. Statements of common sense and of science are true in as far as they match ways the world or the BLOB really is. But they certainly do not always match the way the world or the BLOB is in the ultimate contextual sense. Common sense and science rather achieve truth as correspondence with the BLOB in an indirect manner. They refer to the world in local and regional ways. Why is dynamics important here? Because dynamics puts into question the static conception of truth that just allows for direct correspondence. According to this implausible conception there should ultimately exist the CUP or the CAT if something true could be said about them at all. But according to blobjectivism, which is a monism and which therefore admits just the existence of one object, the BLOB – we can affirm something about cups and cats and we could still refer truly to them even if this is really an indirect manner of referring to the BLOB. In order to see how this is possible, it is first appropriate to lay out the basics of blobjectivist metaphysics, which is a monistic metaphysics. The relation between two theses of blobjectivism in respect to the dynamics included by both of them will be pursued in a later section.
The order of being such as it is explained by some kinds of metaphysics needs not necessarily produce new entities. What seem to be independent entities at first sight may turn out to be manners of description of just one entity. This may be illustrated by description of an apple. But ultimately apple does not exist. The following manners of description of what exists may be distinguished once one adopts blobjectivism: the BLOB as the only existing object, regional subvenient properties of the BLOB, and BLOB’s local supervenient properties. The first of these belongs to ontology, while the second and the third are ontic. The first one is again prone to higher normative requirements, such as requirements leading ontological discourse in philosophy. The second accords with requirements underlying the discourse of science. This one and the third manner of description of what exists are subject to lower normative requirements. The third one complies to the requirements characteristic for everyday talk concerning objects. As this third one is the closest to us, it will mostly concern us in what follows.
An apple: no need for new entities, there are just manners of description
An apple is on the table. We can talk about it as about an apple, as we just did. In this case we are not attentive either at the inner structure of the apple or at its outer appearance. We may just wish to talk about the apple as about a thing, an entity, without any further specification. But we may also go on and describe the inner structure of the apple, the stuff that we see once we cut it: the juicy matter. And there is the color of the apple that appears on its peal, at its surface. Now, one may say that there is the apple, that there is the inner stuff of the apple, and that there are properties of the apple that we first see, such as its color. And one may conclude that the inner stuff may not have anything to do with the apple, that it has a kind of independent existence with respect to it. One may also claim that there exists a relation between the stuff and between the color and that there is most probably not any direct link there between these and between the apple.
But it is not difficult to prove that such a reasoning is misguided. You can simply see that there is this apple here, and that it has juicy stuff inside as you cut it, and that it is of red and yellowish color as you look at its surface. You can easily see that these are different specifications of the same apple, and that they indeed sort out some variable descriptive dimensions pertaining to this very apple. The situation is not such that there would be an apple, and that besides to it there would be its inner stuff, and that besides to that there would be the color. There is just one apple, and there are several specifications, ways of descriptions of the apple. Are these apple’s constituents? Yes, they are its constituents, because they belong to it. But they certainly do not seem to be parts of the apple, in the sense that apple would be constituted out of them by assembling them or by putting the pieces together. We may distinguish these matters as we describe the apple from several points of view. Of course, as we describe the apple’s outer peal, we do not describe the apple in its entirety; we just focus our attention at one of its aspects. In a similar way, we center our attention at another aspect as we describe the apple’s inner stuff at several levels of its fine-grained specification. These are not any additional entities or parts that we are talking about; they are rather different descriptions of the same complex object apple. The conclusion about the existence of several constituent entities or parts may originate in the mistaken presupposition that the apple with which we started is a simple entity without any inner structure or dynamics. To the contrary, apple is complex. It is complex to the point that there is this juicy stuff which it contains, and colors, and much more, which all may be spelled out according to several manners of the apple’s description. The starting point of the confusion is the presupposition of atomism and therewith the absence of dynamics in the apple.
The case of the apple furnishes a good illustration of some problems related to the metaphysics of blobjectivism. The metaphysics of blobjectivism distinguishes the BLOB, the regional subvenient properties of the BLOB, and local properties that supervene upon these regional properties. We may learn from the comparison with the description of the apple that we do not need to commit ourselves to the existence of additional entities or PARTS of the BLOB once we describe and distinguish some regional or local aspects of the BLOB or its properties. These properties are then perhaps just distinguishable parts, without being any real PARTS. Just distinguishable means that they may be sorted out by the powers of distinction proper to language and thought. Although these distinctions, if true, have basis in the language and in the mind independent world, they are not based in any really existing PARTS of this world. It does not need to be that there exist regional subvenient PROPERTIES besides to or in addition to the BLOB. Regional subvenient properties just belong to the BLOB without being its proper PARTS. But we may distinguish them as really existing properties of the BLOB.
To this extent the comparison between the description of the apple and of the BLOB sounds appropriate. But once we have realized this point, namely that there are not necessarily any additional real PARTS around in the cases where we distinguish several aspects of the thing that we describe, and that these may be just distinguishable parts, we may take another look at the status of the apple. It should be clear from what we said above that we did not buy the apple’s existence as separate PART, additional to the BLOB or to what really exists. Apple is not a PART of the only existing entity, i.e. of the BLOB. Apple cannot be an additional entity besides to the BLOB because this would put into question the basic monist departure. Apple is a property of the BLOB. More precisely, it is a MSDG-apple local property that supervenes not directly on the BLOB, but at the BLOB’s subvenient regional properties, i.e. the properties specifiable by the science of physics. MSDG is for Middle Sized Dry Goods, an expression borrowed from Quine, and serving here for specification of common sense compatible metaphysics, according to the dynamics underlying the blobjectivist views in this area.
We perhaps take apple to be an independently existing entity and thus to be a PART. But this may not be ontologically justified. And it is not justified indeed if we look at the problems resulting from the presupposition that these are PARTS or separately existing entities. One such problem is to find the substance of an apple, or perhaps trying to specify the apple in terms of tropes. According to blobjectivist monism, there is not any APPLE around, but just the MSDG-apple supervenient local property. The supervenient MSDG-apple property should not be mixed up with the ultimate ontology. Ontic things should not be mixed with whatever really exists, with the ontological. Problems arise once one takes what is ontic to be ontological, once one takes the ontic for a really and ultimately existing entity. This is a metaphysical mistake. One should not confuse the ontic for the ontological. The respect for die ontologische Differenz is needed!
Middle Sized Dry Goods (MSDG’s) such as cups or cats supervene on the BLOB in the similar sense as the Mental supervenes upon the Physical. But MSDG’s do not supervene on the BLOB in any direct way. They supervene on the regional properties of the BLOB. MSDG’s are properties that supervene on the subvenient base of BLOB’s regional properties. The subvenient local properties of the BLOB are spatiotemporal and they may be physically characterized. If the supervenient MSDG property figures cat, then its subvenient basis is whatever may be ultimately specified by the science of physics as constituent matter underlying the existence of the cat. Supervenient properties are resultance upon the subvenient basis. There are not really any MSDG’s around. MSDG’s are properties that supervene on the subvenient regional spatio-temporal or physical properties of the BLOB. This explanation of MSDG’s is realistic: it recognizes them as construal of linguistic or mental categories upon the regional physical properties of the BLOB. This explanation is also ontologically fruitful in that it does away with hurdles steaming from unjustified trials to present ontic entities – products of categorizing power of language and thought matching MSDG properties supervening upon the regional subvenient basis of the BLOB – as entities belonging to the ultimate ontology. Once the real ontology of the BLOB and the realm of the ontic get distinguished, and thus once die ontologische Differenz gets respected, one can do away with misguided search for individual substances and for other techniques whose aim is to present MSDG’s as belonging to the level of the ultimate ontology. In the ultimate ontology, there is just one, the BLOB. But regionally, there are many properties of the BLOB that really do not exist as spatio-temporal separate entities or as PARTS.
We will now reproduce the main claims of blobjectivism, equipping them with the just acquired metaphysical terms such as BLOB or MSDG’s. The limitation to MSDG’s is understandable, because common sense and Quinean logic deal with local supervenient properties and not so directly with the subvenient physical basis of these categories.
(1) There exists just one rich and dynamic spatio-temporal object without any PARTS, the BLOBJECT.
(2) Many affirmations concerning ordinary objects or Middle Sized Dry Goods (MSDG’s) are true, their truth being construed as Indirect Correspondence (these affirmations correspond to the BLOB in an indirect manner).
Why is there an emphasis here on MSDG’s, again? Blobjectivism is a teaching about the spatiotemporal or physical constituency of the world. Thus, it does not primarily deal with whatever is not spatiotemporally extended, or with whatever does not have a naturalistically respectful basis, such as immaterial spirits and fictional entities, like Little Red Riding Hood. At some stage blobjectivism may also wish to account for these, but it should primarily occupy itself with cups and cats, and of course through these it should occupy itself with the BLOB. Blobjectivism handles cups and cats not because there would be any of these really around, but because cups and cats present some ways how the BLOB is regionally. Thus giving a story of cups and cats amounts to giving a story about the spatiotemporally located things, although really there do not exist any such entities besides to the BLOB.
What does it mean that Mental supervenes on the Physical? It means that
there is a Physical subvenient basis P, and Mental is the property that supervenes on this subvenient Physical basis, in such a way that if there would be another Physical basis, equivalent to the first one, there would be the same kind of the Mental around.
In a similar sense, MSDG’s should be treated as a resultance from the subvenient basis of the BLOB. We could say, in a parallel manner to the above:
(*) There is the subvenient basis of the BLOB, and MSDG cat is the property that supervenes on this subvenient BLOB-basis, in such a way that if there would be another BLOB-basis, equivalent to the first one, there would be the same kind of MSDG cat around.
At the first sight, it may seem that there is a parallel here between the Mental supervening on the Physical and between the MSDG supervening on the BLOB according to (*). But the proposal that might have been plausible for the Mental in respect to the Physical does not turn out to be plausible for the MSDG’s in respect to the BLOB.
Why? The main reason seems to be as follows: Whereas it is possible to furnish another subvenient Physical basis for the mental to supervene on it, it is in principle not possible to furnish another BLOB as the subvenient basis for the MSDG’s to supervene on it. If another BLOB would be furnished, and even if this would be considered as a possibility only, the blobjectivist presupposition (1), according to which there exists just one BLOB, would be put into question. But this cannot be done without abandoning monism. This will be elaborated in next sections, where regions will be proposed to do the trick. Recurrence to regions though faces the following possible preliminary worry.
First, if there are regions introduced, there seem to be PARTS introduced. But a blobjectivist does not need to buy REGIONS, by claiming that BLOB may behave in region-ish ways.
The second worry for a blobjectivist is that regions would integrate anything that is interesting for a metaphysics. But this would then suck all the fun from the BLOB itself that would stay immobile, not dynamic and not interesting at all. One should prevent to interpret the BLOB as being only regionally dynamic and rich, whereas it would stay immobile and not interesting in the ultimate ontology, as the BLOB. This would be a wrong move because it would mean introducing the difference between appearance and reality, the difference that is taken over by the static brand of Parmenideans, but not by blobjectivists. Richness and dynamics would then be only appearance, and immobility would be the reality itself. But this cannot be the case, for the BLOB, according to blobjectivism, is rich and dynamic qua BLOB. In this way, blobjectivism does not allow for distinction between appearance and reality.
There is no distinction between appearance and reality. There is just distinction in the norms that are applied to the BLOB. If norms are applied as tight norms, then the reference is to the BLOB itself, such as it is conceived under ultimate standards of seizing reality. If on the other hand norms get applied more loosely, then the BLOB such as it is locally and regionally is under question.
Here are some simple clarificatory examples of different standard scores as applied to the same reality. Is the table flat? Yes. Is the table really flat? No. Yes under loose everyday standards, no under stricter standards where we inspect the surface of the table via microscope. Is this theatre performance good? Yes. Is it really good? No. Yes under loose colloquial standards, no under the standards where we look into all details, and we discover that several of these could have been much better. Is the Earth round? Yes and no: yes as seen from the space, no as seen from this mountain. Is the BLOB rich and dynamic? Yes, if seen from the point of view of its regional properties. Perhaps it would not appear so rich and dynamic if we would be able to look at it in a detached way from the distance.
In order to return to the main point of our discussion: If (1) holds, so that there are no PARTS around, then only the BLOB exists. Whatever is there is the BLOB, and anything that we eventually recognize as a spatiotemporally located entity has somehow to participate in the BLOB, without that it would be a real part of the BLOB. This then seems to be the case for MSDG’s. They are what supervenes upon the BLOB.
If there is just one object, the BLOB, then there cannot be any MSDG’s, such as cats around. MSDG’s though, whatever they are, must be supervenient upon the BLOB. But they cannot be supervenient on the BLOB in any direct manner, as this may be read off from the characteristics of supervenience.
If the MSDG property cat would directly supervene upon the BLOB, then the entire BLOB would be its subvenient supporting B-basis. In a sense, this is true. But take a look at the following possibility. Supervenience claims that property A1 supervenes on the subvenient basis B1 in such a way that, if there would be another subvenient basis B2, upon which another supervenient property A2 would supervene, then A2 should be the same property as A1 in the case where B2 would be identical to B1. If St-Francis1 subvenient basis determines his supervenient property of being Good, then St-Francis2, his twin, must have the property of being Good as well, provided that their subvenient bases B1 and B2 are the same. But there cannot even be these two individuals St-Francis1 and St-Francis2 around. For if they would be around, there would have to be two identical subvenient bases. If BLOB is the basis to the first one, we can just affirm that it is impossible to have two BLOBs. If there would be MSDG property of cat1 supervening on the BLOB, and if there also would be the MSDG property cat2, then there would have to be two BLOBs. But this is impossible by the monistic presupposition of blobjectivism.
Take a look at the following as well. If BLOB would be the only subvenient basis of all the different MSDG’s in a direct manner, then all the MSDG’s should be identical between themselves. I.e., there could not have been a MSDG cat property and besides to that a MSDG dog property. And neither could there have been a MSDG cat1 property and a MSDG cat2 property. There could have been just the repeated MSDG cat1 properties, and nothing else, supervening on the BLOB. This would have to be so, because any change in the subvenient basis for determining a MSDG property would have as its consequence the change for this complete MSDG subvenient basis, for the BLOB. But as per supposition there cannot be more than one BLOB, there cannot be any multiplicity of supervenient MSDG properties. BLOB would be just supporting one single property, say MSDG cat property, and nothing else. So BLOB would equal this cat. But this does not seem to be acceptable. So, if there is rootedness of MSDG’s in the BLOB – which has to be the case, for there is just one BLOB around – then this rootedeness, dependency or grounding relation at least will not be possible directly, but only in an indirect manner.
MSDG’s such as cats have to supervene on the BLOB, for there is nothing else around according to the blobjectivist presupposition (1). If MSDG’s such as cats supervene on the BLOB, then they have to be properties, for there cannot be any real entities or PARTS around besides to the BLOB. And it will be taken as uncontroversial here that besides to the BLOB, one may allow for the existence of properties. The reason is that properties are not spatiotemporal entities, whereas the thesis of blobjectivism takes care about spatiotemporally characterized entities. In this sense, the talk about properties does not compromise blobjectivist monism and it is compatible with it. Although they do not exist, properties specify the ways in which BLOB is region-ishly dynamically. Besides to this, properties are widely accepted by philosophers, and one may just wish to embrace them according to an uncontroversial sort of departure.
Here is a sound methodological principle: If you have a subvenient basis and if you take a look at whatever supervenes upon it, then it is appropriate to stay with the same quality in both cases. If your ontology includes facts, then you may wish to adopt facts both in the subvenient basis and in the realm of supervenient properties. And if you perhaps prefer properties, then you will be well advised to adopt properties in both the subvenient basis and also in the realm of the supervenient. But it would be misguided according to this principle to mix things. So, it would be wrong to have properties in the realm of the supervenient, and to have facts in the subvenient basis.
It is thus a good departure, once we start to talk about properties (MSDG properties) in the realm of the supervenient, also to adopt properties in the subvenient basis. But subvenient basis seems to be the BLOB itself, as it should be according to the presupposition (1). And it further seems that BLOB just cannot be identical to a property, or not even to several properties.
So where do we get properties from, once we adopt the existence of only one object, of the BLOBJECT? The answer is that these properties are those of the BLOB, as it is in local ways, undergrid by how the BLOB is in regional ways. The subvenient base for MSDG property cat1 then will not be the whole BLOB in a direct manner. It will be the subvenient base of regional properties of the BLOB. And these regional properties of the BLOB may differentiate themselves from one area to another.
Supervenience is a determination relation. What is supervenient is determined by the subvenient, in such a way that if there is the repetition of the same subvenient base, then the fitting supervenient property upon this second subvenient base will have the same quality. What determines MSDG property cat1 is not the BLOB itself in any direct manner. It is rather the BLOB as it is regionally. It is the regional subvenient properties of the BLOB.
So if there is a MSDG property cat1, then this supervenient property is grounded upon the subvenient base of properties that are regionally there in the BLOB. In general, MSDG’s are properties that supervene on the regional properties of the BLOB. What are these regional subvenient properties of the BLOB? As a naturalist and materialist one may claim that these regional properties of the BLOB are physical and other natural properties. In this sense we get the parallel between the supervenience of the mental upon the physical properties and between the supervenience of supervenient MSDG properties, such as cat1 on the regional properties of the BLOB. So MSDG properties supervene on the subvenient base of regional BLOB properties, namely upon the BLOB’s physically characterizable properties. The approach then stays compatible with the blobjectivist presupposition (1), according to which there exists just one object, and with the general naturalistic departure that is typical for supervenience, namely that the subvenient basis usually consists from physical properties.
MSDG’s are local properties supervening upon the subvenient base of BLOB’s regional properties
Some examples of MSDG’s present cats, dogs, cups and cars. We are usually confident that these are basic kinds of entities and that they are whatever supports the ontology. Certainly these are the kind of things with which we have most interaction. But as we asked about the real basis of MSDG’s, from the point of view of blobjectivism, we have first found out that no such entities as mentioned right now can really be around, as the matter of principle. They cannot be around because of the thesis (1) of blobjectivism, which claims that there cannot exist any PARTS or other entities besides to the one object, the BLOB. The consideration has shown though that although BLOB has to be the basis for MSDG’s, it cannot be this basis in any direct sense. But how could an indirect kind of MSDG’s basis look like? With the help of the principle of supervenience, which requires the appearance of the same quality both in the realm of the supervenient and in its subvenient basis, we have concluded that properties in the BLOB basis should ground supervenient properties. So, if we have already taken MSDG’s to be properties, they will be something that supervenes on the subvenient properties of the BLOB.
BLOB thus regionally displays subvenient properties. We are not talking about PROPERTIES here as really existing PARTS of the world. We just talk about properties. And if these properties should have regions as their basis, this certainly will not be REGIONS. For properties have vague regions in their regional basis. And in this way it may be already clear that REGIONS do not exist, similarly as MSDG’s do not exist either. The reason is that regions, similarly as MSDG’s are vague. But BLOB just cannot be vague, for each supposition of a vague entity would bring us into contradiction. (Suppose there would exist a mountain. Now you run Sorites reasoning over the mountain, starting with the presupposition of its existence. This will result in an unconciliable situation concerning the considered individualistic and collectivistic sequences. Contradiction follows. So the mountain does not exist. Extend now this reasoning to other objects and also to the BLOB. Other objects cannot exist either. And so cannot the BLOB if it would be a vague entity. So, BLOB has to be a nonvague entity.) So, if there exist MSDG’s in some way, they have to exist as vague entities. So they really do not exist, at least they do not exist as genuine parts or as genuine spatio-temporal entities. But although they really cannot exist, they still can present themselves and they can be sorted out in their indirect dependency upon the BLOB.
If MSDG’s exist in some way, they exist as supervening on the subvenient B-basis of the regional properties of the BLOB. So, there is this BLOB as complexly rich and dynamic one and only object. As BLOB is richly dynamically variable, it is not all the same; it is diversified in its properties. Now you can distinguish properties in this rich dynamic diversity of the BLOB, although there are not really any PROPERTIES around. You may categorize some patterns in the rich dynamics of the jell-o. Call these properties, although they cannot be PROPERTIES. They are vague and so they really cannot have any separate existence. Now, these vague properties may also be seen as subvenient B-basis for MSDG’s. Take this cat. According to the story here this cat is a MSDG, but also it is actually a property. It is a property that supervenes upon this subvenient property B-base of the BLOB. In this way we have obtained a supervenience of MSDG as a property not directly upon the BLOB, but indirectly upon the subvenient base of the BLOB’s regional properties. Why regional? Because BLOB can be a subvenient base for MSDG property in some of its vague regions only; it cannot be the basis for the supervenient property as a BLOB in its entirety.
What are the subvenient regional properties of the BLOB? The most appropriate thing to say, especially if one is naturalistically minded, is that the subvenient properties are physical properties, understood in a wide sense. Notice that subvenient basis is usually meant to be physical, as this is the case for the subvenient basis of the mental, or for the subvenient basis of moral or esthetic supervenient properties. In a similar sense the subvenient basis for supervenient MSDG properties is spatiotemporal and physical. This is even more plausible because MSDG’s are the first examples of spatiotemporally and thus of physically characterized entities that come to the mind.
Notice that subvenient properties are not supposed to be transparent. There is perhaps a kind of transparency for supervenient properties. So one mostly has direct access to the mental. Whereas this is not the case for the subvenient basis of the mental. This subvenient basis is supposed to be physical and normally we are without any direct access to it. It is therefore not surprising to learn that the subvenient basis for MSDG’s will also be spatiotemporal and physical, thus consisting of spatiotemporal and physical regional nontransparent properties of the BLOB. In as far as these are regional properties of the BLOB, their nature will perhaps inherit some of the nonvague characteristics that go with the BLOB. The nature of the supervenient properties on the other hand will be vague as they are determinately showing the categorizing power of language and thought. Though this categorizing power operates over the property basis that is rooted in the BLOB, over the spatiotemporal or physical basis.
Subvenient basis of supervenient properties is spatiotemporal and may be physically characterized in a regional sense. While the characteristics of the subvenient base get provided these are not the characteristics of the whole of the BLOB. They rather show spatiotemporal physical constitution of the BLOB’s regional properties. These properties may be regionally specified by scientific procedures involving physics. This is not unexpected, as the specification of subvenient basis usually proceeds in terms of physics. Specification of subvenient basis comprises anything that comes as an explanation of the material world from the current science of physics.
BLOB in its entirety is spatiotemporal and physical. This is the characterization in which blobjectivism is interested. Not all of the proposals coming from the side of the science of physics will be appropriate for blobjectivism though. The proposals introducing PARTS, such as atoms or other atomistic constituents of the universe (electrons, muons) cannot be seriously accepted by blobjectivism because of its principle (1) that does not allow for the existence of parts in the BLOB. Other proposals that do not presuppose any parts, such as these introducing forces and fields, and proposals that allow for various levels of description, will be more naturally accepted by blobjectivism. Does this exercise a direct impact on the subvenient basis provided by the BLOB in region-ish ways? It may be that the characterization would circumvent these questions, for they may not have a direct impact on the subvenient basis’ nature. Consider that the relation of supervenience is really interested in the characterization of subvenient basis in as far as it stays the same in respect to the supervenient properties that it would introduce in counterfactual circumstances. In this respect, the question about the nature of regional subvenient basis, whether it is discrete or continuous, is orthogonal to the characterization of counterfactual circumstances in which it functions. The specification is as follows. If there would be another B-basis B1 just like that, B2 say, there could not have been the case that supervenient property A1 coming with B1 would be different from the supervenient property A2 coming with B2. Even if the question of the nature of subvenient basis such as it is actually discussed is orthogonal to the question about the discrete or continuous character of the subvenient basis, it may still be claimed that this subvenient basis is best interpreted as consisting of forces and fields, because of necessity for the blobjectivist to keep her principle (1). In any case, properties of the subvenient basis that are regionally offered by the BLOB will be presumed as being of spatiotemporal and physical nature.
Supervenient properties are grounded on the subvenient basis and they result from it. In this way, they depend on the subvenient basis, without that they would be identical with this basis. They have an independent existence. This is the reason why supervenience is close to nonreductionist hearts.
The relation of resultance may be given in counterfactual terms: if there would be another basis B2, just equal in its physical and spatiotemporal constitution to the basis B1, then the same supervenient properties A2 would have to exist upon B2 as there are supervenient properties A1 that supervene on B1.
The supervenience resultance relation should not be sui generis though. This would happen in the case where emergence is allowed as the resultance relation. Emergentists held it that there is not really any explanation around about the way in which emergent properties at the level above appear upon some physically or spatiotemporally specified basis. Contrary to this there should be a lawful explanation in the case of supervenience relation, where supervenient properties get lawfully characterized by conditions of equality involving supervenient properties in respect to the possible equivalent subvenient bases.
Supervenient properties appearing upon the BLOB are grounded in the subvenient regional properties of the BLOB. But they also have an independent characterization. While subvenient properties are usually provided in physical or spatiotemporal terms, supervenient properties get specified by terms that pertain to such areas as morals (good) or esthetics (beautiful). The autonomy of these areas may be underlined by the fact that these supervenient properties may have causal efficacy qua supervenient properties. I may be thrilled by this orchestral performance because I found it beautiful. I performed this act of charity because I found such act to be good. But this does not necessarily imply the existence of GOOD ACTS as independent entities, and neither that goodness would always be a reason to perform some kinds of acts. Particularism shows that such may not be the case and that it is also most probably not the case. Again, this issue may be orthogonal to the question concerning the resultance of supervenient properties upon the subvenient base. At this stage it was important to find out that supervenient properties may have their autonomy, which is underscored by their possible causal efficacy qua supervenient properties. Besides to this, supervenient properties are explanatory appropriate.
Reductionists would tend to claim that there is no such quausation from the part of the supervenient properties, and that accordingly each such quausation may be reinterpreted in terms of efficacy concerning subvenient physically or spatiotemporally characterized properties. But nonreductionists seem to be winning a score here because it seems that there exists some causal efficacy of supervenient properties qua such supervenient properties.
MSDG’s are resultant properties as well. They are supported by the physical regional subvenient basis of the BLOB, and so they get supported by the BLOB in an indirect manner. They are thus not directly rooted in the BLOB, although they are still rooted in it. They are rather directly supported by the subvenient regional properties of the BLOB. Supervenient properties, even if they result from the subvenient basis, are not identical to it. They are independent kind of properties, with their own particular quality.
We have characterized MSDG’s as supervenient properties. According to the above they should be supervenient properties resulting upon the subvenient basis. They also should have their own causal efficacy qua these supervenient properties, i.e. qua MSDG’s. This is not hard to confirm. I do not use this telephone under the description of its physical properties that build its subvenient base, but qua this tool that happens to be useful to me. The many properties of the telephone being a MSDG property itself are important for me and they have their efficacy qua telephone, i.e. qua MSDG property, including many other supervenient and also subveniently grounded properties. The multiply layered causal efficacy of the MSDG property qua telephone is thus important for me. Supervenient properties get into the foreground. But these supervenient properties still have subvenient physical or spatiotemporally characterizable properties in their basis. Telephone is rooted in the BLOB as all MSDG’s finally have to be according to the principle (1). But it is not rooted in the BLOB in any direct manner. It is rooted in the regional subvenient properties of the BLOB, such as properties that may be specified by physics. In sum, MSDG properties display their own quality as supervenient properties. Nonreductionism thus seems to offer itself as more plausible option than reductionism in respect to the nature of supervenient properties in the blobjectivist framework.
MSDG’s do not exist if the existence is meant in the sense of the existence of independent entities. They do exist however – not as direct properties of the BLOB, but as properties supervening upon the subvenient basis of the regional properties of the BLOB. MSDG’s thus have their basis made in a more direct manner from regional properties of the BLOB. It is however still the basis of the BLOB itself, although this time in a more indirect manner. MSDG’s may be claimed to be properties and thus inexistent as entities, but again they are existent in the sense of being ultimately rooted in the BLOB. Where there are MSDG’s there is the BLOB. MSDG’s are properties that supervene upon the subvenient regional spatiotemporal or physical properties of the BLOB.
Here is the blobjectivist hierarchy of existence according to the just discussed aspect. It captures the direction from the BLOB towards the MSDG’s:
(a) BLOB as the grounding background: just indirectly accessible, complex, dynamic. (There are traces of complexity and dynamics of the BLOB at later stages; this is as well the proof that BLOB as BLOB grounds whatever supervenes on it, in a direct or in an indirect way).
(b) Regional subvenient properties of the BLOB: these properties are indirect groundings of MSDG’s from the part of the BLOB.
(c) Local supervenient properties: MSDG is such a supervenient property, ex-sisting upon the regional subvenient properties of the BLOB.
The already given ranging displays how blobjectivism takes the BLOB’s existence for granted. Whatever exists, though, is not necessarily displayed as existent or as only existent. This is ultimately the proof that there is a mismatch here between the order of being and between the order of knowledge. Whereas BLOB is the very existent object, it is rarely directly accessible to our knowledge if at all in a direct manner. In this knowledge, it functions like dynamic background of that which appears in the foreground of whatever we get acquainted with. The traces of the BLOB’s existence are nevertheless directly present to our senses in the form of dynamics and richness. The traces of grounding in the BLOB also appear directly in difficulties that are there for determining MSDG’s as most directly accessible items.
MSDG’s are rooted in the BLOB, but only indirectly so. They supervene upon the subvenient regional properties of the BLOB.
MSDG’s do not really exist, although they are epistemically close to us. They at least do not exist as physical or spatiotemporal entities, as what they are usually supposed to be. They ex-sist as supervenient properties upon the subvenient regional properties of the BLOB. Regional means here that these subvenient properties are characterizable by physics, whereas BLOB itself may not be directly characterizable by physics. MSDG’s as supervenient properties have their causal efficacy, but this does not confirm their claim to the ultimate existence. It will be pointed out in a while how the existence in the ontological sense distinguishes itself from the existence in the ontic sense.
If properties exist, then MSDG’s exist as well. But supervenient local properties do not have the kind of existence characterizable by physical and spatiotemporal means.
One can argue that exactly MSDG’s are characterized by physical and temporal means. Isn’t this the way to talk about my telephone as about a material entity? The blobjectivist will reply that what is characterized by physical and spatiotemporal means are not MSDG’s, as MSDG’s are supervenient properties and not their own subvenient basis. Subvenient basis which is the regional basis of the BLOB is that which is characterized by physics and in spatiotemporal ways. On the other hand, MSDG property is not directly characterized by the means of physics and in spatiotemporal ways. The proof: this telephone as MSDG has many functional properties, and it is a property itself. But these functional properties, its useful function for calling someone, are not characterized themselves at the time when the physical basis of the telephone gets characterized. Just the preconditions of the MSDG property get characterized in this manner, the way the telephone is underpinned by the subvenient regional properties of the BLOB. Physical characterization does not directly provide the way telephone is functionally efficacious as the supervenient MSDG property, with an array of its further embedded properties.
Realistic explanation of MSDG’s recognizes them as construal of linguistic or mental categories upon the regional physical properties of the BLOB
So, there is the BLOB, and there are no PARTS. But this is still consistent with our recognition of parts, which is an epistemic matter. MSDG’s should be explained. Just what are they? They are construals of the linguistic and mental categories. But they are not just pure linguistic or mental categorization without any independent basis. BLOB is their ultimate base. So MSDG’s are categorizations exercised upon the regional physical properties of the BLOB. There is thus a base to these categories. It is the BLOB, in an indirect manner, such as it offers itself over its regional physical properties. As subvenient basis already consists of properties, one can now conclude from this side as well that supervenient stuff figures properties. As these are properties, it will not be unusual that they are close to the linguistic or mental categorization. Being ultimately rooted in the BLOB, supervening on the BLOB’s regional properties, gives MSDG’s their sense and touch of reality.
There is this cat. It does not really exist, surely it does not exist as an ontologically independent entity. But it may be categorized, and even correctly categorized because it is rooted in the subvenient regional physical properties of the BLOB.
MSDG’s are thus recognized as parts, even as according to the basic monistic principle they cannot really be parts. In this sense then, MSDG’s are epistemic constructs. As such epistemic constructs, they may be understood as undertakings of categorization. And categorization is precisely achieved by linguistic or mental means. I categorize that thing over there as a cat, another thing over here as a dog, and a third object as a telephone. But this does not mean that there really and ultimately exist such objects. What really exists though is the BLOB. And categories, if appropriately recognized as MSDG categories, are rooted in the BLOB, but only in an indirect manner, as we have learned, ex-sisting upon the subvenient regional properties of the BLOB. Thus although categories are linguistic or mental by their nature, they are also ultimately rooted in the BLOB, if categorization in the form of MSDG properties should be appropriate and correct. MSDG properties may be themselves resultance of categorization by several other properties, that are also of linguistic or mental nature and that are as well rooted in the BLOB. An example of categorization for the MSDG bird figures considerations of typical properties that are used in order to categorize something as a bird, the salient nature of these properties, or their middle ground nature: you categorize MSDG as a bird in this case, and not as an animal, which would be too wide. All of these properties, if they are correct or appropriately categorized, bear their ultimate relation to the BLOB, besides bearing the marks of the linguistic and of the mental.
It is not surprising that MSDG’s have linguistic or mental characterization if they are really properties and not any genuine ontologically determined entities. Besides to the traces of categorization MSDG’s also bear traces steaming from their ultimate belonging to the BLOB.
MSDG’s are ontic entities – products of linguistic or mental categorizing cum fundamentum in BLOB
The result of the above discussion may be put in the following way: MSDG’s do not really exist in the strict meaning of the existence. But they do exist somehow, namely they do ex-sist as results of linguistic or mental categorization upon the regional properties of the BLOB. In other words, they are ontic entities. They are just what we find around us, by epistemic means, without any necessity or deep meaning of existence. MSDG’s, such as cats, thus do not have any ontological import, they are just ontic creatures. But even if language and thought are important in the individuation of MSDG’s, these MSDG’s still have their ultimate basis in the BLOB, through the ways how the BLOB regionally offers itself.
What is ontic is different from what is ontological. Whereas the ontological has a direct claim to existence, this does not seem to be the case with the ontic. Ontic is not entitled to the existence claim in any substantial manner. MSDG’s are typical for ontic entities. These are things that we encounter, that we first build and that we have knowledge about. But we do not touch the real ultimate being as we get involved with these. Just think about your shopping bag while you stroll through the supermarket. There are many items in the bag, and you will have to pay for them. But you cannot claim that the real being offers itself to you through these items. The existence of goods in your shopping bag is somehow superficial. They are just the things that we encounter on everyday basis, and that we treat as practical objects, without having any deeper thoughts about their being or about the being in general while handling them. Such is the nature of MSDG’s. Although I can take a sausage and hit you on the head with it, perhaps proving that it is physically and spatiotemporally located, this still would not be the proof of its ontologically independent existence. The sausage is just another stuff that we categorize. The sausage and the telephone, as well as the cat are ontic entities, products of the linguistic or mental categorization with their ultimate foundation in the BLOB.
Realistic explanation of MSDG’s escapes the pitfalls that result from confusion of the ontic with ontology, such as search for substances and other techniques aimed to present ontic items as the real ontological stuff
What does all this mean? One consideration is that we are usually inclined to take MSDG’s as ontological entities, as things that exist in their own right as PARTS of the universe. But there is no real basis for doing this. MSDG’s are not parts. They even do not ex-sist as PARTS.
Pushing MSDG’s wrongly in the direction of being recognized as PARTS and thus trying to present them as ontologically founded entities has interesting and curious consequences. If there is just one BLOB around, rich and dynamic, then the wrongful forcing to see MSDG’s as ontological entities leaves traces of this wrongdoing, traces in the form of substances or of tropes, say. There are not any substances or tropes around as independent entities. There is just BLOB. But there are – wrongful – suppositions of the existence of substances and tropes. Substances and tropes are then traces of the difficulty which is the result of trying to force into an ontological mould supervenient properties upon the subvenient regional properties of the BLOB. But this just cannot be done. One should take care to distinguish the ontic from the ontological.
There is this mistaken presupposition that MSDG’s are not just epistemic categorization dependent and just ultimately BLOB rooted items, but that they are genuine entities in ontology. Once one adopts this presupposition, it becomes natural to search for the ontological basis of MSDG’s. What is the substance of this cat, what exactly are the tropes that build this telephone? All these questions turn out to be misguided if one takes MSDG’s as what they really are, namely as mental or linguistic categorizations appearing as supervenient properties upon the subvenient regional properties of the BLOB. Confusion then follows, propelled by taking something that is ontic, i.e. MSDG’s, as being of the ontological nature, really existing as proper PARTS. This confusion shows itself in difficulties for determining what exactly is the substance or what is trope. There are many problems with substances. Just how many substances are there? What exactly is their basis? Many dead ends await you if you take the route of trying to determine what substances are. You will have to recognize that substances are nothing but results of wrongfully taking something that is just ontic to figure as something belonging in its full right into the realm of being. Once you do away with this presupposition, you will see that all the search for substances, for tropes and similar, as supporting the independent existence of MSDG’s does not lead into good direction. Substance is nothing but a trace of confusion as we take something that is really ontic to be ontological.
MSDG’s are ontic. They are products of linguistic and mental categories that shape supervenient properties upon the regional properties of the BLOB. MSDG’s are not ontological because ultimately they do not exist. Just BLOB is ontological, it has the being and it may perhaps be said to be the BEING.
MSDG’s are just ontic and not ontological because their nature is the linguistic and mental categorization upon the BLOB in an indirect manner.
MSDG’s such as cats, cups and cars were found to be properties supervening upon the subvenient regional properties of the BLOB, and in this manner they are just indirectly rooted in the BLOB. They are ultimately rooted in the BLOB, as by the blobjectivist principle (1) nothing else than the BLOB exists. The nature of MSDG’s is epistemic. They present in indirect ways how the BLOB is, as mediated through categorization by linguistic or mental means. MSDG’s are not the items that would really independently exist. Therefore, they are ontic items. As properties already, MSDG’s are proven to be secondary to the BLOB. But according to the principle (1) of blobjectivism claiming that BLOB is the only existing object and thus the only ontological entity, MSDG’s cannot be ontological either. Their ontic nature is underscored by the fact that MSDG’s are things partially based in our epistemic faculties. They are entities that we mostly encounter, handle and are concerned with in our everyday. They are not something that would usually guide us towards thoughts about existence and ontology.
MSDG’s are not of the realm of ontology, they are the ontic everyday stuff. From this perspective, all the ontologies that do not subscribe to blobjectivism but to the MSDG’s as their ontological departure are really folk ontologies. They just handle the everyday stuff, without asking the real ontological question, that of being or of the nature of the BLOB.
It is necessary to respect die ontologische Differenz. Respecting the ontologische Differenz means that one avoids confusing the ontic with the ontological. Then one needs to give its due place in ontology to the being or to the BLOB, as to the only existing entity. And BLOB should be an important entity already because it is the only entity. But first of all one should be careful not to confuse the ontic for the ontological, not to confuse MSDG’s with the ontological. MSDG’s are just ontic.
The characteristics of the ontological in respect to the ontic may be given in several ways. One of these pertains to the methodology that is appropriate for the approach to the being or to the BLOB in our ways of talking. There are questions of being qua being, i.e. questions about the BLOB. BLOB should not be confused with MSDG’s and so it should not be confused with the cat. There are different registers involved if we talk about the BLOB or again when we talk about the cat. Whereas cat as MSDG is from the area of the ontic and it is only indirectly rooted in the BLOB as the supervenient property upon the BLOB’s regional subvenient basis, BLOB belongs to the area of being. You should not confuse cat with the BLOB, or for a really existing PART, as for that matter, because really – under high enough standards – there is no cat around. Such confusions are often made however because of epistemic vicinity of MSDG’s to our everyday practices. These confusions though leave some difficulties as traces, showing that MSDG’s are really not from the register of the ontological. With the blobjectivist view of things such confusions between the ontic and between the ontological can be avoided. And it is in fact the bottom line for any ontology to avoid confusion between the ontic and between the ontological: Respect die ontologische Differenz!
In the ultimate ontology, there is just one, the BLOB; locally, BLOB displays MSDG’s and other supervenient properties which are not really its parts
This is the teaching of blobjectivism. In the ultimate ontology there is just one object, the BLOB. This is the only important ontological object. But region-ishly (because there are not any REGIONS around) BLOB supports by its subvenient properties MSDG’s and other supervenient properties that are not really its PARTS. MSDG’s and other properties of the kind do not supervene on the BLOB in a direct manner, but only indirectly so, via its regional subvenient-functioning physical properties. Physics is understood here in a broad manner, so that it encompasses forces. From this perspective BLOB may be understood as a superfield composed of many dynamically intertwined regional and super-regional fields. An account of blobjectivism has also to provide an explanation of its epistemic side categorization. This is what the story about MSDG’s ultimately amounts to with respect to the BLOB.
Normativity is important for blobjectivism. It is important for an account of BLOB’s dynamics, according to the presented metaphysical lines that figure regional subvenient and local supervenient properties. There are different normative standards necessary for the reference to the BLOB according to the ultimate ontological discourse and according to the regional or local discourses. This is the part of dynamics involved into changing of scores in the language game that we use in order to approach the BLOB according to several manners of zooming onto and from its complex structure.
There is dynamics of the BLOB, according to the thesis of blobjectivism. It is dynamics of the BLOB matching properties in its subvenient regional basis with its supervenient local properties. This dynamics provides criteria for correct application of different normative standards.
In order to correctly apply the dynamics of normativity one should look at the question in what kind of shape comes the BLOB. The question is about dynamics of the BLOB itself, so that this dynamics would allow for application of contextually changing normative standards. We have distinguished subvenient and supervenient properties as related to the BLOB. These properties may come in patterns. But do these patterns really have support in the world? On the one hand, they seem to have such a support because we seem to recognize repeatedly occurring properties in the world. On the other hand, the recognition of these repeated occurrences of properties might be just a feature of our epistemic abilities by which we project these general patterns onto what is a metaphysically complex stuff. In this sense, the recognition of patterns that occur as general patterns imposed onto the world does not necessarily mean that indeed there are such patterns in the world, the patterns with locally identical subvenient bases.
If dynamics of the BLOB gets restricted, only then there is the place for such general patterns. There are repeatedly occurring features in the world that are in the basis of normative dynamics. Normative dynamics would then consist of combinations that support tracking of these repeatable patterns in the world. But dynamics of the world itself also may come in a generalized shape. In this last case the holism of the world is basic. General patterns then cannot be anything but the epistemic linguistic and mentally induced projections onto the generalized richness and dynamics of the world. Normativity then fits the generalized dynamics of the world, and not just a restricted dynamics.
Against atomistic and tractable presuppositions of restricted dynamics, which ultimately turns out to be compatible with generalist normativity, undermining the ontological monism.
Restricted dynamics of the world allows for generalist patterns. There are then the patterns that are recognized as repeatedly occurring in the world. They occur in such a way that they allow for application of tractable procedures. Some subvenient properties in the world often come in vicinity of or together with other kinds of subvenient properties, so that their outcome is again the same kind of supervenient property, another MSDG cat. If there are properties such that they tractably combine in order to result in some composed kinds of properties, then the world actually consists of PARTS that may be recombined. Such a world is then tractable and dynamics in it comes from tractable ways of combining and recombining elements, i.e. properties. But this seems to go against monism, as the existence of PARTS would then be recognized besides to the existence of the one world. And there is another question. The world or the BLOB should be nonvague, according to the blobjectivist presuppositions. So it is sometimes supposed that, if one allows for kinds of parts in the world, even if they are not interpreted as ultimate spatiotemporally located ontological PARTS, such as subvenient properties, then these parts should be of nonvague nature. The thought is that blobjectivist should sooner adopt the nonvague entities if she adopts some, for vagueness of the world itself cannot be desirable at all. In this sense, the metaphysics of regions or of points would be closer to blobjectivism than the supposition of existence of vague properties or points. But this should perhaps not be seen as a viable option, because of the following. Several kinds of properties may be distinguished in the BLOB, for example properties such as MSDG’s. But this does not imply that properties of the BLOB, such as MSDG’s, do indeed exist as genuine entities. They rather ex-sist as linguistic and mental categorizations upon the BLOB, according to its local ontic constituency. It would be a wrong consequence to draw from the ex-sistence of BLOB based or rooted subvenient properties to the conclusion that such properties exist as nonvague entities. This would go counter monism. So it is substantial for monism to adopt a nonrestricted ontological dynamics of the BLOB. It would be wrong to think that properties should be nonvague if BLOB is nonvague. BLOB is nonvague and it is extremely rich and dynamic, but this does not imply that there need to be nonvague properties recognized in the BLOB. As properties, such as MSDG’s, are in part constructions of linguistic and mental categorization exercised upon and rooted in the BLOB, they may well be vague and they are vague indeed. In fact these properties do not exist, they at least do not exist as separate entities.
If properties would be nonvague, it would be possible to recombine them in order to constitute BLOB out of them, preferably by using tractable procedures. But properties, such as MSDG’s are vague and they are irreducibly rooted in the BLOB. They are actually just regional or local manners of how the BLOB exists. It is important to preserve the rootedness of properties in the BLOB to conceive them just as manners of BLOB’s description. Along this job of description vague properties are the only appropriate ones for presenting monism.
Only BLOB is a nonvague entity, but things recognized in the BLOB are vague because their recognition presupposes linguistic and mental engagement, which is of course rooted in the BLOB and which has its reality correctively grounded upon it.
BLOB is nonvague and rich, which is difficult to understand if one starts with tractable and atomistic presuppositions. This ultimately goes against the generalist normativity that is rooted in patterns imposed over the nonvague rich and dynamic landscapes of the BLOB. Nonvagueness and richness support monism. Nonvague nontractable richness serves well the ontological monism.
Generalized dynamics fits particularist normativity, promoting holism and intractability instead of atomism and tractability
Generalized dynamics of the BLOB fits well particularist normativity. Particularist normativity does not buy authority of general principles. There is normative monism which claims the existence of just one normative principle. Generalized and tractable laws may be introduced upon this basis. Normative pluralism allows for several principles that come together into the hopper as we decide to evaluate a situation from a certain perspective, such as whether an action was morally appropriate. Particularism does not acknowledge any general principles. Each case is just unique for it, and should be evaluated on the basis of intuition and not on the basis of any general normative principles.
Normative monism such as utilitarianism, which claims just the existence of one general principle, is opposed to the ontological monism. According to the ontological monism presented here there is just one entity without any PARTS, rich and dynamic but not tractable. Such ontological monism is best holistically construed and the radical diversity that it promotes is best served by normative particularism that claims how there are no general principles or patterns in the world. Dynamic ontological monism best fits particularist normativity. Normative monism on the contrary needs general rules and to sustain these it needs atomistic cases which should be put together by the power of general principles. This does not seem to be in accord with the ontological monism.
The role of dynamics in the match between blobjectivism and particularism
BLOB is dynamic and intractably rich. Because there is nonrestricted dynamics in the BLOB, each detail in it that one might zoom onto will be different and unique. Normative particularism will then naturally fit the unrestricted dynamics of blobjectivism’s dynamic richness.
Dynamics linking two theses of blobjectivism: one world and truth construed as indirect correspondence
Transition between the blobjectivist ontological thesis (1) and between the blobjectivist thesis concerning truth (2) is possible because of the dynamics claim
Dynamics provides the link between one entity and between its assessments via various grains of truth as indirect correspondence.
The first thesis of blobjectivism claims that there is one dynamic world without any PARTS. As already mentioned, the affirmation that there is one and that there are no PARTS is just the standard monistic affirmation. The affirmation about dynamics though is more interesting. It is a specifics of blobjectivist monism as compared to other forms of monism, such as Parmenidean teaching about one.
Notice that Parmenidean monism, which is not dynamic, allows for dynamics in the area of appearance. But there is no dynamics for it in the area of reality. So the importance of dynamics gets played down by Parmenidean monism. Now, blobjectivist monism does underline the importance of dynamics, and not just in one area, such as it is the area of reality for Parmenidean monism. Blobjectivist monism rejects the very idea of apperance and reality coming in separate manner. Blobjectivist monism thus denies the reality/appearance distinction and instead of this it makes the reality itself dynamic, submitting it under variable contextual normative standards. This is what the second blobjectivist thesis actually claims. It says that despite there being no PARTS in the BLOB, affirmations of science and common sense are often true. They are not just true full stop; they are true under variable contextual circumstances. One such contextual variation enables for truth of affirmations concerning MSDG's, although there are no such entities around as MSDG's. In this way, the truth may be affirmed about supervenient properties of the BLOB. Truth may also be affirmed about BLOB’s subvenient properties, which means that there is possibility to have true affirmations of science. These affirmations of science may still plead for the existence of PARTS, such as atoms, and these affirmations may still be true although there aren’t any atoms. It is not just that there really aren't any PARTS. There just aren't any PARTS at all, while affirmations about them may still be true under certain contextual normative standards. The truth is secured then as the correspondence with the BLOB, namely with subvenient properties of the BLOB.
Because dynamics figures as specification of the blobjectivist monistic thesis and as it also figures in the blobjectivist thesis about truth, it provides a common thread to both of these aspects and accordingly it enables transition between the two blobjectivist theses.
Dynamics of one world without PARTS and contextually attuned dynamics of truth as indirect correspondence
There is dynamics of one world without any PARTS, and this dynamics fits well with dynamics of truth as indirect correspondence, contextually attuned. But in a sense, there is no direct correspondence to be distinguished from indirect correspondence in the same way as the reality is sometimes distinguished from the appearance.
An example of how the world and the truth about the world are linked through dynamics is given by MSDG’s. MSDG’s are rooted in the world, i.e. in the BLOB. So truth concerning affirmations about MSDG’s also depends on how the mind independent world is. But it cannot be the story about how the world is under the ultimate normative standards. The truth of affirmations about MSDG’s depends on the normative standards that are accustomed to the description of local supervenient properties of the BLOB. These are thus not the cases that would be shaped up according to the normative standards of how the world is ultimately, but just according to the normative standards about how the world is locally.
Dynamic kind of monism or blobjectivism was presented here as affirming dynamics in both the world itself and in various sizes of contextually language and thought related standards that are efficient in recognizing such items as supervenient properties. Supervenient properties were represented by MSDG’s, because these provide a case where blobjectivist metaphysics may be understandably specified in its difference to other kinds of metaphysics.
What about the static monism then? It is a teaching that affirms static or immobility for the world such as it ultimately is. But even static monism does not affirm that the world as appearance would be static. What does this mean? It means that immobility is not affirmed for the case where there are lower normative standards, such as they appear in the context of appearance according to the static monism. Immobility is not affirmed there just because we have to do with lower standards. If the standards became higher, as this is the case when we are talking about the world as it ultimately is, then immobility of the world gets affirmed. In order to understand why this is so we may take a look at what generally happens once we introduce higher standards into the story. A comparison may be useful here in order to understand this. If we look at the world around us, we see a lot of dynamics going on in our local environment, in the supervening environment. There is the backyard to your house. Now once you sit yourself into the airplane and you observe the same spot from the distance, you do not perceive much dynamics in it anymore. But now imagine that you go into a spaceship and that you observe the whole Earth from the distance. If distance will be big enough, then there will be practically no movement or dynamics on the Earth that you will still be able to observe. Similarly, if we use the ultimate normative standards of referring to the world, there will perhaps be no dynamics observed or imagined either. The situation will be similar as the one where we observe Earth from the distance, as we are not zooming in on any details of the Earth and thereby we seem to perceive the lack of dynamics. All this seems to be natural and right. The only real failure of the static monistic approach though is that it confuses what rightly presents itself as immobile under high normative standards as being an immobile entity. High normative standards become confused for ontological static items.
One idea of the static approach is that there is a multiplicity of items, but only in the register of appearance. There cannot be a multiplicity of items around at all though if monism should hold. This is acknowledged by static monism in that the multiplicity as appearance does not really exist according to its view. Multiplicity is the result of capacities pertaining to language and thought, without that ultimately any real entities would be involved. This denial of ontological multiplicity is of the utmost importance if monism should be preserved.
Static monism thus introduces the distinction between the appearance and between the reality. Although reality is the prevalent area of static monism’s interest, this teaching also introduces the area of appearance. Thus static monism introduces two areas, a move that is self-defeating for a monistic view. This is why ontological status is denied to the area of appearance by static monism. Whereas for the area of reality, concerned with how the world really is, dynamics is thoroughly denied. If nothing else there remains tension according to this view between the two areas of reality and appearance. Although they are designed to solve monism, these two areas work as separating the epistemic from the ontological, the appearance from reality.
Static monism is self-defeating because it separates the things that belong to the same world into an area of reality that figures a static world and into an area of appearance that displays a treacherous multiplicity of items.
Blobjectivist monism does not make any such distinction. It introduces dynamics in the metaphysics and also into the contextually attuned and changenable standards. These standards do not imply in any tacit way that there would be two kinds of worlds around: one static and one dynamic, one true and another apparent only. Blobjectivist monism is the real monism. For it, there is just one dynamic world. And different normative standards are used in order to correspond to various manners for accounting of the real features of this world, such as regional subvenient and local supervenient properties.
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Horgan, Terence and Potrč, Matjaž . Unpublished. Addressing Questions for Blobjectivism.
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 About just distinguishable parts compare Brentano 1995.
 Quine’s criteria of existence do not belong to the ultimate ontology, they promote regional and local ontic determinants.
 Campbell 1990, the chapters where the implausibility of presupposing substance ontology is dealt with.
 Quine in many places stresses the continuity of categories of logic and of everyday talk with science. But his categories do not primarily deal with science (perhaps stimulus meaning is an exception), rather with what is common sensically sorted upon the scientifically specifiable subvenient properties.
 MSDG’s are properties that supervene on the subvenient physically specifiable properties. All of these properties indirectly refer to the BLOB. But supervenient properties are first grounded upon subvenient properties, and only then in the BLOB. So they are doubly indirect.
 Compare Tienson, Horgan and Potrč, unpublished, forthcoming in Facta Philosophica.
 We could observe BLOB from the distance if we would be in the position of God. But even this is impossible if monism should be preserved. So theistic monism seems to invite pantheism.
 Kim 1993.
 MSDG bird supervenient property consists of an array of properties that are not MSDG’s, such as having feathers, nesting in the trees. All of these properties however also supervene upon the BLOB’s subvenient basis. A question is whether MSDG properties also supervene on these other properties, such as having feathers, and in what a way if they do.
 Thanks in preparing of this paper go to Terry Horgan, Vojko Strahovnik, John Tienson.