The Last Greek Philosopher
By ron1980 | Posted December 10, 2014 | Chicago, Illinois
David Birnbaum, author of Summa Metaphysica
Progenitor of classic-modern hybrid ‘Potentialism Theory’
He defines the ‘cutting-edge 21st Century cosmologist; his original cosmological concepts have almost single-handedly overthrown 100+ year-old (British-centric) Randomness/Atheism theory; he melds Quantum Field Theory with General Relativity Theory; he is the progenitor of conceptual breakthrough and paradigm-changing Potentialism Theory.
But is Manhattanite David Birnbaum not, more accurately, indeed, ‘the Last Greek philosopher’?
Birnbaum may have been born in the 20th century and may have authored one of, if not the only, defining cosmological theories of the 21st century – but does conceptual theorist David Birnbaum arguably not have more in common with Aristotle than any of his 21st Century contemporaries? Dusting off such theories of antiquity as teleology and then arming them with original conceptualization, modern science and mathematics – Birnbaum has re-defined the field; like a Persian scholar in the Middle Ages, Birnbaum has become not only a protector of the wisdom of a past era, but also the consummate practitioner of inductive reasoning (see InductiveDeductive.com) – originally made famous by Aristotle et al.
Indeed, Birnbaum maintains that if the Greeks could be beamed-up (a la’ Star Trek) to the 21st Century to read his works, they would sign on to his theory – and help him do battle with the rrear-guard gambits of the reactionary British Randomness/Atheists. Birnbaum views the classic Greek philosophers as his natural intellectual allies; loyal to conceptual elegance and empirical observation, and not inhibited by the limitations of laboratory experiment.
In his three-part metaphysics/cosmology/philosophy treatise – Summa Metaphysica – David Birnbaum has set course to for a revolutionary re-writing of the rules of metaphysics, cosmology and philosophy, he has dug deep into classical philosophy to separate myth from insight; superstition from science; and the past from the future.
Potentialism Theory, at its core, revolves around just a few simple, albeit radically new, concepts and equations: (See also Glossary1000.com.)
Q4P∞ – This is the infinite Quest for Potential∞ – the (overarching natural force) prime mover of the universe. It is an inherent drive in everything that exists to seek out new levels of Complexity.
C+ On the intermediate level, infinite potential inherently strives towards greater and greater levels of what Birnbaum coins as Complexification (shorthand: C+) the drive for ever-greater
In turn, this C+ drives the universe towards what Birnbaum coins as Extraordinariation (shorthand: E+). Extraordinariation is a goal/horizon of sublime and utter super-Complexification – both in form and quality (see Extraordinariation.com).
The three key components noted just-above, in turn combine into the SuperLaw of Potentialism:
The SuperLaw of Potentialism Theory
Q4P > C+ > E+
Quest for Potential > Complexification > Extraordinariation
Potentialism Theory: Historical Context
While Potentialism Theory is the first of its kind to enter the realms of physics and mathematics, some of its core ideas reverberate in classical philosophy. From the works of Pythagoras to those Plato and Aristotle, some of the underlying concepts of Potentialism are refined, but not thoroughly new. Let us explore some the classic philosophical works of antiquity that are represented in Potentialism.
Pythagoras and the primacy of mathematics
To Pythagoras, the universe was governed by mathematics. He observed not only the orderly motion of heavenly bodies but its echoes in music. One of the first to recognize the earth as round, Pythagoras proved insightful beyond his time. His work in music was a study of numerics in music, noting harmonics were based on the mathematics of such properties as string lengths.
While Pythagoras' understanding of the cosmos was primitive and, ultimately, incorrect in a lot of instances, he did understand that the universe was governed by mathematical principle. It cannot be overstated how groundbreaking this was at the time.
David Birnbaum himself has revisited this assumption, but with the tools of modern mathematics, science and metaphysics at his disposal. Indeed, he has gone far to prove the universal math of the cosmos in his theory of Potentialism. Birnbaum shows that the universe is governed, in its entirety, on the mathematical principle of Infinite Potential. Far beyond simple macro or micro physics, Birnbaum has given the 21st century the key to understanding the interrelationship between matter, energy, thought and even emotion – all governed by one overriding principle, Potential.
Plato and the Demiurge
Plato, by comparison, is the father of the concept of the “demiurge.” Unlike the superstitions of other Greeks, Plato envisioned the creator of the universe, not as a human styled ruler of the cosmos, but as a “craftsman.” To Plato, the creator was a worker and an artist who sculpted the universe in the form of a predetermined pathway. The demiurge did not invent – it instead imposed form on the formless along a pre-determined pathway.
Plato's universe described several key concepts. Let us see how they align with Birnbaum and Potentialism:
The Demiurge – Plato's universal craftsman. This is most closely aligned with Birnbaum's Q4P (infinite Quest for Potential). It is the eternal spark that drives creation and Complexity.
The Form – This, to Plato, is the perfect form things in the universe strive to be. This concept is very similar to Extraordinariation – it is a hyper state of perfection – something which can be strived for but never perfectly attained.
Imitation of the model (Form) – Plato describes this as what exists in the universe, the tangible forms that seek to emulate the perfect form. Birnbaum describes this as current reality as it moves towards greater levels of perfection/Complexity.
The Receptacle – Plato describes the Receptacle as the place where everything in reality becomes. Birnbaum describes a similar concept of the Cosmic Womb. While Plato's receptacle only properly identified where matter, Birnbaum's Cosmic Womb describes the “space” in which everything becomes – matter, energy, thought and expression.
In many ways, Birnbaum picked up where Plato left off. Using some of the core concepts, devoid of Plato's mistakes, Birnbaum shows that, nevertheless, many of Plato's base concepts have modern day applications in cosmology to this date. Birnbaum is able to take what basic concepts Plato conceived and filter them for quality and validity through the lens of modern day science.
Aristotle and teleology
Another predecessor to a piece of Potentialism Theory is accredited to Aristotle – teleology.
“A teleology is any philosophical account that holds that final causes exist in nature, meaning that — analogous to purposes found in human actions — nature inherently tends toward definite ends.”
Aristotle rejected the idea that everything in the world happens without purpose. Specifically, when viewing nature, Aristotle found it absurd that everything happens without a final cause in mind. To Aristotle, the natural world was capable of acting with extrinsic finality. That is to say, it could behave with an external end goal in mind – like when a person does something for a loved one with no gain of their own.
While this was highly contested during Aristotle's time, Birnbaum has picked up the banner for teleology. This might seem a daring maneuver, but as it turns out teleology has faced off well with critics in modern times. Central to Potentialism, Q4P is a pervasive teleological force. It defines how and why the universe progresses towards Complexity.
While atheists vehemently seek to discredit teleology as it raises, to them, the frightening specter of religion – modern biologists have begun taking a more pragmatic approach, citing the poor science of avoiding teleology when it does so well to describe some models in their simplest forms. In the best scientific principle of Occam's Razor, biologists point out the strength of teleology. This is of little surprise to Birnbaum, as it is just the most easily referenced proof of the cosmic drive of Potential.
Potentialism Theory: return to the classical
David Birnbaum represents a fundamental change in cosmology. During the Dark Ages, mankind lost much of its scientific knowledge. It fell to the Middle East and Persia to protect the knowledge so it would not be lost – to one day lead us back to the Renaissance. Now comes Birnbaum – modern metaphysicist – to lead us back to the lost wisdom of the ancient Greeks once again. More than that though, Birnbaum represents the cutting-edge, scientific mind applied to the logic of our predecessors (see ParadigmChallenge.com).
One part Pythagoras, one part Aristotle, one part Plato and every part modern, and indeed revolutionary, Conceptual Theorist and, of course cosmologist – Birnbaum gives new meaning to old teachings. In seating Potentialism firmly within the reams of mathematics and science, he breathes new life into old theories. The philosophers of a bygone era were headed somewhere, seeking something, and in Birnbaum we have arrived at a possible answer, perhaps the true theory of everything (see TTOE1000.com) – Potentialism Theory.
No flaw has been discerned in Birnbaum’s Theory of Potential since first introduced to the world
via Summa I (Ktav Publishing, 1988). Summa Metaphysica was the featured and prime focus of a 3+ day international academic conference hosted by Bard College (Upstate NY, April 2012). See Conference1000.com ).
A Course Text at over a dozen colleges (see SummaCourseText.com), Summa Metaphysica has been the focus of over eighty feature articles in 2013-2014 alone. See SummaCoverage.com.
Recent hi-level academic works dovetailing with Birnbaum's Theory of Potential (see PotentialismTheory.com) include the following:
Programming the Universe (Knopf, 2006)
by Professor of Quantum Mechanics Seth Lloyd of MIT
Mind & Cosmos (Oxford University Press, 2012)
by Professor of Philosophy & Law Thomas Nagel of NYU
Our Mathematical Universe (Knopf, 2014)
by Professor of Physics Max Tegmark of MIT
Potentialsm Theory: The Summa series
Summa Metaphysica I: Religious Man: God and Evil (Ktav, 1988);
Summa Metaphysica II: Spiritual Man: God and Good (New Paradigm Matrix, 2005);
Summa Metaphysica III: Secular Man: The Transcendent Dynamic (New Paradigm Matrix, 2014).
See SummaMetaphysica.com .