View Single Post
Old 06-30-2016, 08:15 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 144
Marwhini has just left Hobbiton.
The Metaphysics and Ontology of a, Arda, and Middle-earth

This is a subject on which I have been utterly consumed for many years.

It seems to have been neglected by most in considering Tolkien's works.

As I have pointed out elsewhere, Prof. Tolkien seems to have believed that Arda/Middle-earth was a "Real World" (in what way he believed this is certainly open to question), as this seems to be the Philosophical Definition of a "Sub-Creation" (something given reality/life by the Creator for the work of one of his Creations - we fall down a murky rabbit-hole of Philosophy here).

But it seems as if there exists in Middle-earth a set of rules by which the world operates, and Tolkien does seem to have suggested this (I can't cite Letters here, as I don't have my digital copy with me, and searching a physical copy isn't easy for me, seeing as I have not re-read it in about two years - I need to fix that).

I do have a solution for a Metaphysical Foundation for a, Arda, and Middle-earth, which allows everything we see within Tolkien's work to be explained without the need to resort to Kludges. I.e. both the "Natural" and "Supernatural" in Middle-earth are both "Natural".

In other words:

*That Gandalf can light a fire in the snow on the Redhorn Gate with a few Words of Power is, within Middle-earth, Natural.
*That Lthien can cause the walls of Sauron's fortress on Tol-en-Gaurhoth to collapse by singing, or to lull Morgoth to sleep by the same.... Natural.
*That Sauron can create Rings of Power that prolong life, and cause the bodies of Mortals to fade into insubstantial Wraiths... Also Natural within Middle-earth.

These things can be explained with a few simple assumptions about Middle-earth, some of which Tolkien tended to be rather dismissive of. Yet regardless of whether he was dismissive of them, these things tend to be predicted and indicated by his works. Tom Shippey points them out in The Road to Middle-earth, yet he never goes so far as to look at an underlying Metaphysics, out of which falls an Ontology, and Unified Physics (and thus Chemistry - which is applied Physics, and thus Biology - which is applied Chemistry, and so on....) that collectively seem to explain everything that exists within Middle-earth assuming that it is indeed the Sub-Creation Tolkien suggests.

Has anyone else fallen down this Rabbit Hole?

Marwhini is offline   Reply With Quote