Existence and Experience · Jens Oliver Meiert

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Existence and Experience

An attempt *.

Something exists. (If we know anything, then this. There was nothing if there wasn’t something. The fact that this is here, means there is something. And we are here, too, and must be part of something-exists.)

If something exists, it has qualities; whatever something there is, it must be describable (in whatever way).

But: If something-exists is “absolute” (i.e., it’s one inseparable part), it cannot experience its qualities, and therefore itself. (There is nothing to compare and relate anything to.)

If something-exists is “relative” (i.e., it consists of separable parts), it can experience its qualities, and therefore itself. (Each of its parts can be compared and related to the others.)

Now: Our being able to experience must mean something-exists is relative.

And yet: Something-exists may be able to be both absolute and relative; we might not be able to tell.

❧ What does this mean? It means there’s more to what “existence” means. It may not just mean that something “is there.” Another interesting point is the dichotomy of something-exists being one and several parts; other interesting points arise when we dive into what “comparing” and “relating” means. While this may not answer what it means—it may answer why it matters.

* I paused (academically) studying philosophy in

2018
DATE

, pretty much halfway through. It ended a period in my life that I invested in experimenting and researching different non-technical topics. I came out with a greater awareness and humility around how little I know. When it comes to this post, I therefore also submit that this may be nothing new. (Whom does this remind of?) And yet it’s fascinating to think of something as fundamental as existence.

About Me

I’m

Jens
PERSON

, and I’m an engineering lead and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like

Google
ORG

, I’m close to W3C and

WHATWG
PERSON

, and I write and review books for

O’Reilly
ORG

and

Frontend Dogma
ORG

. I love trying things, not only in web development, but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.

If you have a question or suggestion about what I write, please leave a comment (if available) or a message. Thank you!