The Problem of the Nature of Being (What Kind of Being Is It? Views About the Quality of Being)June 28, 2021
“Is there an asset?” When the question “there is” is said, “What kind of being is?” The question (the problem of the nature of being) accompanies the first question. The answers given to the question of the nature and types of existence highlighted two main understandings of existence as an idea (idea-thought) or matter. Dealing with one or both of the idea or matter foundations of existence is a source for the defense of many existence understandings today (it is one of the main sources of the separations in philosophy).
The problem of arkhe, as the problem that the first philosophers dealt with in the history of philosophy, led these philosophers to search for the first cause and main substance of existence in nature. That Thales, one of the first philosophers, sees water as the main substance is such an answer. Since the first philosophers, the problem of the nature of existence has been discussed from different angles. As the determining factor in the discussions, human sense and mind abilities have been discussed. One of the prominent assumptions in these discussions is that the senses can mislead the human mind. This situation determined the understanding of existence.
Those who accept the nature of existence as “becoming”
According to Heraclitus, one of the philosophers of the first age, everything in the world is in constant motion, change and flux, that is, becoming. According to him, the first main substance of existence is “fire”. Everything that exists is made of fire. Again, everything will eventually turn into fire. The philosopher’s statements “You cannot bathe twice in the same river”, “Everything flows” show his belief in universal change.
MOMENT. According to Whitehead, everything in the universe is in a state of being. The existence of one thing is due to the cause of another thing. It is the creativity and continuity feature of God that enables the beings in the universe to change in the state of being. According to the philosophies of becoming or process, being is a being. Since existence is in a constant change, it is not possible to talk about the unchanging tangible or abstract essence of existence. Man’s knowledge of existence is limited to the knowledge of objects that change and interact.
Those who accept the nature of existence as “idea”
This view, called idealism, is opposed to materialism. He argues that there cannot be a world of objects or a reality independent of human thought. According to idealism, just as the letters of the alphabet do not stand alone, but meaningful words emerge when they come together, a mind that thinks and creates meaning is needed in order for matter to gain order.
Treating existence as an idea carries the claim that there is an essence in beings that cannot be perceived by the senses. In this respect, the idea is abstract. The fact that the being has an abstract aspect implies that it has a structure that can be noticed not by the senses, but by reason or intuition. Treating existence on the basis of idea is called idealism in philosophy. Although idealist ideas vary within themselves, they also carry the idea that there is a metaphysical field as a general acceptance.
Those who accept that the nature of existence is material
This view, called materialism, argues that anything that is not based on a material basis cannot actually exist. Materialism is considered the opposite of idealism. Materialism; whatever form the being takes, it claims that matter is the basis of existence (they see Idea as an abstraction of the common properties of matter). Materialism recognizes that what exists, including human thinking, are different forms of matter.
The first representatives of materialism are the ancient natural philosophers. Ancient materialists tried to explain the main substance of the universe with a material main principle that always remained the same and that everything came out of it. For example, according to Thales (Tales, 640-550 BC), this first substance (arkhe) at the basis of existence is “water”. Everything is made of water and will eventually become water again. Every object is a different mixture of water.
Those who accept that the nature of existence consists of two different elements
This view, which is in the middle of the view of materialism and idealism, is called dualism. This view was developed by Descartes, the founder of modern philosophy. According to him, existence has two basic qualities that cannot be reduced to each other, such as matter and mind. In addition to the ideas of idealism and materialism, there is a dualist view on the nature of existence. According to this view, one aspect of existence is matter and one aspect is idea. For example, seeing man as the sum of soul and body is a dualist point of view.
Those who accept that the nature of existence is phenomena.
Being is neither matter nor spirit. The nature of existence is the phenomena that are the reflection or appearance of objects and events in the human consciousness in the external world. According to Edmund Husserl, one of those who support this view, we can know through experience or our senses. We cannot perceive matter itself. What we perceive are only the properties of matter, its appearance in us. In the same way, when we look inside ourselves, we cannot perceive our soul. We only experience certain mental activities. However, the nature of existence, see