Ontological and metaphysical questions about the study of existence, being and the structure of reality.

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In regards to Rene Descartes meditations, if there existed an all powerful evil demon, why couldn't it trick you into believing you exist

If it is all powerful, why can't it trick you into thinking you exist and have thoughts? If the cogito is unbreakable, then how could the demon be all powerful if it is bounded by laws it cannot ...
3
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3answers
56 views

Philosophically, what are ways in which one can define “intelligence” in general?

I've always been wondering, what with I.Q. tests and all, how one can better sense intelligence. Not intelligence as in how much we are measured to know, but how much of what we know is actually known ...
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4answers
77 views

Consciousness without thoughts or feelings?

I have noticed that I can sit in a room around people and be consciously aware ... but have no thoughts at all. People often say that your "mind is always thinking", but I can literally stare at a ...
3
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4answers
99 views

Do some things not exist? [on hold]

Quod sic: The Statue of Zeus no longer exists (it was destroyed by fire in the 5th century A.D.) Therefore, there is something (the Statue of Zeus) that does not exist. Contra: How can there be ...
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2answers
95 views

Could a philosophical zombie conclude “cogito ergo sum”?

Could a philosophical zombie conclude "cogito ergo sum"? Assume a philosophical zombie which is a hypothetical being that is indistinguishable from a normal human being except in that it lacks ...
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0answers
38 views

Why Bad Things (Habits/Pessimism) prevails automatically,But Good Things(Optimism) wont be adhered even if induced? [closed]

Good Habits are not adhered to our routines even if practised where as Bad Habits are too much attractive implicitly without any effort. Why? Here, Please dont simply Divide Good & Bad Habits are ...
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2answers
268 views

Why does human race has to survive and continue to exist?

For some questions in philosophy and ethics, the ultimate answer is the welfare and continuation of the human race. Nations are spending millions of dollars on space programs in case of a global ...
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1answer
73 views

Why do we have a problem about understanding the concept of the “empty set”?

   The title seems quite bit more generalized, but I'm saying about the philosophers and mathematicians in the past who discussed about the concept of nothing, or the empty set. I'm ...
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1answer
75 views

Is the universe just a mathematical construct?

Consider some continuous mathematical function. You can define it as a set of initial conditions and a set of rules to extend it to the rest of its domain. For instance, for a linear function, y = mx ...
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3answers
65 views

Can I have thoughts about fictional characters?

For: I can be thinking about Frodo. I can think, e.g. that Frodo was the character introduced in the second chapter of LOTR, or that Smeagol was the hobbit who fell to his doom at the end of the book. ...
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34 views

Why does everything exist? [duplicate]

Why does everything exist? By everything, I mean each and every atom in each and every place in the complete universe. What would have been the problem if the whole of universe didn't exist? What is ...
2
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3answers
96 views

Do thoughts exist? How about ideas?

Do thoughts exist? (Yes, I know it depends what I mean by 'existence' but I want that to be included in any answer; another way to phrase my question would be, can you define 'existence' with a ...
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5answers
199 views

Are there any other things like 'Cogito ergo sum' that we can be certain of?

Are there any other things we can be certain of? Are there any 'hooks' that can be hooked into 'I think therefore I am', that one could be 100% certain are truthful as 'I think therefore I am' ...
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2answers
64 views

The inability to imagine general nonexistence [duplicate]

After reading the question regarding "Why is there something instead of nothing?" I stumbled over the first part of "Sauls" answer: Before anything else one should be aware of the instrument used ...
5
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4answers
439 views

What is the meaning of “meaning of life” and why do people seek it?

One of the oldest questions is "What is the meaning of life?". But what does the concept of "meaning of life" actually mean? What does it mean for something to be the "meaning of life"? And why is it ...
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2answers
88 views

Considering the universe has a limited timespan, how would god fit into this? [closed]

Let's consider the universe to have an existence that is temporally limited (i.e., it will eventually implodes on itself or falls apart). Now, let's consider that there is a god in that universe. ...
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3answers
267 views

If the universe came from “nothing”, why is it assumed that there is no life after death?

I've been thinking today about the Big Bang theory and how I've heard people claim that before the big band there was "nothing". And that when we die, there is nothing. No more life, etc. But is that ...
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1answer
128 views

Illogical part of universe

This question is based on many assumptions: That since universe could not appear out of itself and could not be created by someone there has to be a other part of 'universe' (I am not sure if ...
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0answers
42 views

What is the analytic-synthetic dilemma concerning existence?

Reading a paper on Descartes I found the following summary of criticism: Stuart Hampshire, on the one hand, emphasizing the indubitability required of the principle by Descartes, concludes that ...
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7answers
2k views

Analyzing a secular pro-life argument

I've been thinking about the pro-life position (by "pro-life" I mean the position that abortion should be illegal. I.e. on par with murder) for awhile, and it is normally presented as a religious ...
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10answers
258 views

Death: A finite ending?

From the viewpoint of an atheist, when you die, you cease to exist. Your brain has grown old, and can no longer sustain the trillions of electrical signals that constituted who you once were. ...
4
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2answers
86 views

Existence of abstract objects for a physicalist

Let's say I'm a physicalist. Usually then, I will think of abstract objects as mental constructs, which are dictated by mental states, which, as a physicalist will say, are manifestations of physical ...
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2answers
128 views

What does Spivak mean exactly in her paper “can the subaltern speak”?

What does G. Spivak mean by epistemic violence in her essay "Can the subaltern speak"? What I understand by her paper is that intellectuals in Europe and western countries control the kind of ...
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5answers
89 views

Where do things come from? [closed]

Nothing is...not for long anyway.Everything is in a state of flux and this implies that every object has a story behind it.However,the possible options for stories of origin are not satisfactory: 1.We ...
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2answers
148 views

Could our universe simply be abstract mathematical existence?

Say we imagined a mathematical model so detailed that it completely describes a universe like our own. Now if we simulated such a universe on a futuristic supercomputer then obviously the beings ...
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4answers
285 views

How do the meanings of *to exist*, *to be*, and *real* differ?

What definition of to exist, of to be, and of real preponderates contemporary philosophy? How do the terms differ from one another?
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1answer
96 views

What theory suggests that the world is an illusion?

I recentally had a conversation wih a man who thought that nothing actually exists. He believed that we are only imagining everything and thus are the product of some kind of illusion. Could you ...
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1answer
120 views

“cogito ergo sum” and then…?

After his ever so famous "cogito ergo sum", Rene Descartes' second (deep?) thought was something like "God exists" (according to my literature). I think he brought this up mainly due to historical ...
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2answers
129 views

Is Suicide Courageous or Cowardliness? [closed]

Another good question which the movie Cloud Atlas presents by a gay love story, which ends tragically. Robert Frobisher commits the deed, sadly, but in his very last letter he wrote: My dearest ...
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3answers
158 views

How can we represent 'nothing' or 'nothingness' in predicate logic?

The question says it all. I'm at lost for how to do this edit: what had motivated this was Heidegger's "What is Metaphysics." This was my first stab at philosophy of a continental persuasion and ...
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2answers
69 views

Theseus Ship and Aristotle's cause

I'm referring to this page as a primary source of information. I don't get what Artistotle wants to show here. Or I didn't get the main idea he wanted to express. Let's take another example from ...
2
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1answer
93 views

What step in this argument is the least valid?

I know this is not a totally formal argument, and it is not mine, I just tried to distill it as much as I could to find where the weakest point is. Please help me if you want. It goes like this: H ...
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2answers
146 views

Does existence precede quiddity?

Is there an undisputed argument about the existence of God, as for instance Avicenna's and Mulla Sadra's metaphysical argument, which states that "existence is ontologically prior to essence"? Some ...
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171 views

Defenses of Descartes's rationality in regards to “cogito” fallacy?

What philosophers and in what writings, if any, have attempted to explain or defend Descartes's rationalism in respect to the "cogito ergo sum" fallacy pointed out by philosophers like Russell, and ...
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3answers
116 views

Is it necessary/possible to prove that facts exist?

I am having a debate with someone on the internets. He claims that there are no such things as facts absent interpretation. For example, if I see a ball dropping, it's not a fact that a ball is ...
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2answers
247 views

what lies beyond absurdity?

What should I read to break out of the endless loop that brings me back to the absurdity of (my?) perceived reality? (I'm not talking on a human scale but on an endless time scale) If the question has ...
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3answers
223 views

Eastern philosophy for a Western audience

I have been listening to and reading a lot of Alan Watts material on Eastern philosophy which I find to be greatly edifying literature. I am having difficulty finding information on who is currently ...
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1answer
85 views

A discussion of consciousness and existence

Consider the following three scenarios: 1) Two clones with the same memories, feelings, etc. are in a room. Clone A is killed by Clone B. Clone B immediately loses all memories of Clone A and the ...
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1answer
125 views

If there is life, then there is more complex life as well?

Researchers in Switzerland have developed an Altruism algorithm that shows how altruism in a swarm of entities can, over time, evolve and result in more effective swarm behaviour. For an ant colony, ...
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4answers
119 views

Is a pile of ants a, more or less, intelligent being?

Due to the definition of life an ant colony acts and reacts like a life form. There is even a "Ant colony optimization" Example Algorithm... Does this mean that the whole pile of ants, not its ...
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2answers
176 views

If there is anything that could behave like a god, is it then a real god?

Let's assume that the our universe's physics allows time travel. This is my main assumption! Let's further assume that there is an quite intelligent, invulnerable being, that found a way to achieve ...
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4answers
168 views

Is our existence perfect?

The definition of "Perfect" is having all of the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics. Simply put, when something is perfect, it is as good as it can possibly be. ...
0
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1answer
49 views

According to Marx and the Material Theory of History, what is the definition of consciousness?

It's important to note that I'm not referring to class consciousness, or other types of political consciousness. I'm just wondering how he explains the ability of conscious beings to experience ...
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1answer
57 views

If a being creates a given concept, can this concept be used to describe the being or prove something about it?

Given an abstract definition of a being "A" and a concept "B". Can a being "A" be defined or described in terms of a concept "B", if it was "A" who gave rise to "B" ? In other words, can "B" be used ...
2
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1answer
102 views

Is it possible to show that something does not exist?

I am aware that I could show that something does not exist with the knowledge of an implication. If B is true if A exists, then A does not exist if B is false But if we have no implications, is it ...
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4answers
197 views

Nothingness cannot be. Does that imply something must be?

Nothingness doesn't be, that's the definition of nothingness (at least in this question) that what is not, does not exist. If there was no Universe, if there was nothing, nothingness would be, that ...
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5answers
2k views

Can something come out of nothing or not? Why?

In our current state of affairs it is safe and reasonable to assume something exists - be it a universe, pure conciousness, illusion or other designations. If some readers nevertheless assume ...
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2answers
137 views

Is a void where the laws of physics hold actually a void?

I don't have much background in Cosmology, but an argument I've heard is that the universe sprang into existence from the void via a quantum fluctuation. That is both spacetime & its matter/energy ...
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4answers
131 views

Would matter without any living individual also exist?

Suppose that everything that is considered as living individual suddenly dies out. What would happen to matter if now there is nobody who can think about it?
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58 views

How does indefinability affect existence?

If something cannot be defined using outside references, does that mean that such a thing does not exist? For example, Totality (supposed to mean absolutely everything including this statement) ...