I must say I’ve been a little shocked by the attention this blog has gotten since I created it. Nothing spectacular, but I was expecting a trickle of folks here and there, and in reality I have had a steady stream of visitors who seem to be interested in the topics of Aristotelian metaphysics and experimental psychology. It shows that there is a need out there for this information.
However, I am no longer in any classes that touch on either philosophy or psychology. I have also come to a personal realization that my reservations about the current experimental methodology in psychology, and the system that forces professors to find significant results and publish them on a regular basis (resulting in quite a bit of, in my opinion, dubious publications) make it unlikely that I will pursue a career in experimental psychology. I will be mostly applying to clinical and counseling PhD programs, in order to bring the benefits of psychology to regular people who don’t read academic journals. But even more than those personal changes, I have spent a lot of time reading blogs online and have come to the realization that I’m not sure I’m qualified to really talk about this stuff.
This might seem like a surprising admission on a blog, considering that bloggers are by their very nature quite convinced that they have an underappreciated super-intellect that needs to be shared with the world. In my case, I simply don’t think I’m even in the Top 50% of bloggers that post on issues of metaphysics and psychology. Rather than clutter up the Internet with information that is nearly – but not quite – as insightful, clear, or useful as the other blogs, I would prefer to have people read those blogs instead.
Does that mean I am no longer going to blog here at Aristotle’s Revenge? No, I will continue blogging here. However, I think I am going to retool the site in such a way that it reflects a subject matter that is more in my area of expertise and more fitting to satisfy the hubris I do have: myself.
For me, Aristotle’s “revenge” was not to come back screaming into the worlds of science and philosophy, overthrowing the materialist monoliths that have been set up, and ushering in a new enlightened science. Rather, his “revenge” was to pull me away from a traditional Mormon view of God and back to a classical theist view. This is ironic in my opinion because I have noticed that Mormon scientists (and to a lesser extent, philosophers) are materialists, and many of them are quite smug with the notion that materialism has been proven and therefore the Mormon God is both plausible and likely given enough time for such a being to evolve. A progressive, enlightened Mormon interested in science such as myself would therefore be in a very good position to sit back and laugh at the “backwards” and “primitive” forms of theism that posit an immaterial, transcendent God who is the source of existence (rather than an evolved, material God who has existence completely “figured out”).
Instead, a careful examination of the way the brain works, the properties that matter can have, and an introduction to Aristotelian modes of metaphysics have convinced me that such smugness would not be warranted. I just don’t think materialism is or can be true, given the facts of consciousness, change, and matter, for reasons that I, unfortunately, can’t articulate as carefully as others.
I have been making an attempt over the last couple years to try and adapt Mormon doctrine in my mind to accommodate classical theism, or to try and understand the different flavors of Mormon materialism that might salvage my belief in it, however, I have experienced considerable personal stress trying to do this. The two views seem to be in tension without any clear resolution. Should I abandon this attempt completely and begin looking elsewhere for spiritual fulfillment? Should I recognize that I probably am not qualified to take sides in this issue and just “follow my heart?” These are the issues I might tackle here.
Once again, I apologize to those who were excited by my blog, hoping that I could shed more light on the way psychology interacts with metaphysics, but I don’t think I can say anything that others haven’t already said better.