On the concept of Spatial Monism

1 Spatial Monism
Monism, in general, is the view that the universe is constituted by a unitary substance. It is the view that everything in the universe is made out of the same fundamental element.
In antiquity some thinkers conceived this element to be either water, air, earth or fire. Now we know that these are not fundamental elements (theoretical physics instead, is looking for them in a multiplicity of fundamental strings or loops in space).

We are going to sustain that the  universe is indeed a monist universe made out of a unitary physical substance. But we are not going to consider this substance to be any element in space; instead, we are going to consider it to be space itself.
We are going to sustain that space (that is, physical space) is a fundamental substance that is indivisible, irreducible, unalterable, imperishable and ungenerated. Furthermore, we are going to sustain that space is the sole fundamental substance constituting the universe. There is a logical and physical necessity that if there is a physical substance, it has to be all that there is in the world. So if space is this substance, then nothing exists out of space, everything can be reduced to its spatiality, and space cannot be reduced to any other element more fundamental than itself.

If spatial monism is true, then we would  expect two things form from its thesis. First, it would have to be self-consistent. And second, it would have to be consistent with the world: it would have to explain Nature, the  physical world, and the nature of man and society in this world. All these conditions we believe are met.

2 Monism and Nature
The existence of Nature in the universe is self evident… but why does Nature exist as it does is not. Monism in the universe explains why there is a Nature that is unitary, universal, immanent and invariable.

If physical space is dynamic, and there is an order on its behaviour, then one of the consequences of physical monism is that it sustains a unitary and universal order of change.
With our gradual progression on our understanding of the world, follows a gradual awareness that things don‘t have independent natures but there is only one Nature in the world.
The unicity of Nature is a necessary condition of physical monism. If the universe is constituted by a unitary space, and Nature is an order on the behaviour of space, then everything in the universe has the same Nature.
Another quality of Nature is its universality. Wherever we look in the universe we shall find the laws of Nature to be universal. Universality is another condition of monism. If the universe is constituted by a unitary space, then on every corner of the universe we shall find the same Nature.
Another quality of Nature is that it is not external to objects, but it is immanent to them. Space might be unitary but it is also dynamic. Everything in the physical world has a dynamic essence. If Nature is an order on the behaviour of space, then it is an immanent order on the dynamics of things.
And yet another quality of Nature is the invariability of its laws. And this is because space is not affected by time, therefore it is unalterable and always the same.

Monism can explain qualities which  are known, but otherwise unexplained. Nature is unitary, universal, immanent and invariable because it is an order on the behaviour of a unitary space with no gaps, no discontinuities, and which is everywhere and always the same.

3 Monism and perception
One of the main difficulties about physical monism is that, despite its essential simplicity, it is counterintuitive and opposite to ordinary perception. Monism is hard to contemplate in the physical world and this is partly due to the difference between the world as it appears to us from perception and the physical world as it is.

When we perceive physical elements we attribute them with a set of qualities that don’t belong to their  physical reality. For example, spatial discontinuity: we think of objects as if they were finite elements in space, temporal continuity: we think of objects as if they were the same in time, generalisation of ideas: with the idea of objects we treat them as if they were all the same, discontinuity in Nature: we think of objects as if they would have independent natures.
Physical elements, unlike ideal elements, exist in the continuity of space, they have a dynamic nature and they are never the same, they are all different, and in essence, they all have the same Nature.
And there is a reason for which we don’t perceive the physical world in its reality. First, because in rigour, it is unintelligible. And second, because it is useless. Our mind has a functional purpose. It didn’t evolve to form faithful representations of the world. Instead, it evolved to perceive the world and approximate it with useful mental constructions to our self-preservation (evolution in turn, is consistent with physical monism).
So monism is counterintuitive because we perceive a world of sameness, finitude and discontinuity. We only become aware of its unity, continuity and common Nature through a gradual learning process of increasing conceptual complexity (which is also a natural phenomena consistent with monism).


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