In this short article, I want to correct a common, underlying notion that is officially and generally associated with the definition of physics.
Basically, the word “physics” is derived from the Greek word “physis” and which means “nature”. So, when physics is defined, it is usually defined as “the study of nature.”
This definition is general and it also applies in this post-modern era. However, there is also an underlying and generally accepted notion that is associated with the definition of physics, which is that it is a branch of knowledge that deals with the physical study of the universe.
This general, underlying notion of physics as the physical study of the universe reflects the official perspective of how physics should be done and it is why we have such a thing as metaphysics, which deals with the metaphysical study of the universe or the study of the metaphysical universe.
Metaphysics never arose to the rank of a real, testable science until recently, and for this reason, it was officially ignored and placed only behind physics which was considered as real, testable science.
So, we have to consider the distinction between physics and metaphysics as the former is taken as the physical study of the universe while the latter is taken as the metaphysical study of the universe.
Thus, we consider the differences between physics and metaphysics only in relation to their underlying notions and not in relation to the fact that both contend to be the study of nature.
This is important. And usually, in this blog, when I refer to physics, I refer to it as it is defined as the study of nature and I do not refer to the official and usually-not-mentioned notion or bias it upholds that nature is physical or that the true study of nature is physical.
In the new definition of physics, physics is still taken as the study of nature but we don’t go further to accept the official notion or what one may take as an evident implication that it refers to the physical study of the universe.
This situation is why I usually refer to “physics” and the “metaphysics” in the same context. The former is usually applied as it generally refers to the study of nature and the latter is applied to emphasize the notion that this study is metaphysical.
One has to be careful in this post-modern era and in this blog to capture the nuances of the new meaning of physics.
So this article informs us that the longly held official notion or bias that the true study of nature is physical is no longer the case as the true study of nature is metaphysical. This is the new, underlying notion that is now associated with physics, even as it remains “the study of nature.”
Until next time,
I will be here.
– M. V. Echa