Determining the Consistency of Reality: An Epistemological Surmounting of Ontological Dualism


Classical dualistic ontology (the objective-subjective divide)—tilted to the axiological primacy of the objective (objectivism) over the subjective—advances what it holds as a   truism   that objective reality is basically consistent within itself. If we find inconsistencies in it, these are not in reality but in the way we look at and describe reality in human terms (the subjective).

However, looking at reality is not a unilateral act; it is perspectival in a situation of innumerable perspectives. On this basis, a specific description of reality is actually that of a perspective of reality. In other words, what is out there (the objective) is epistemically well-placed and the things that constitute it cannot in anyway contradict themselves. It is what is in one’s mind (the subjective) that creates contradictions . . . stultifications. . . clashing notions . . . contrasting opinions . . . irreconcilable differences . . .

But what is reality in this sense? What is the meaningfulness of things “out there” which are said to be constitutive of the so-called “objective reality”?  How do we get to the point of tentatively determining   that   those   things   “out-there”   are   epistemically   “well-placed”?   What   ontological agency has determined once and for all the “consistency” of reality within itself?

Hence, “objective reality” qua objective is meaningless. Reality as a general notion becomes meaningful only via the operation of the subjective: the human mind whose   “reality” is characterized by a continuous stream of consciousness that interacts with what is “out there” and   in   the   process   makes   reality   a   world   of   experiences   in   all   their   varied   forms   and substances . . . at times consistent . . . at times contradictory . . . at times harmonious . . . at times clashing.

This is the true, genuine Reality that transcends and dissolves classical dualism—an epistemological realization of the dialectics of the subjective and the objective where a contradiction is elevated to the more philosophically distinguished level of a paradox.

(c) Ruel F. Pepa