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

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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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1answer
47 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
71 views

Where do things come from?

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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3answers
106 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
258 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
56 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
101 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
97 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
108 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
58 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 ...
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1answer
79 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
123 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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3answers
135 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
98 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
164 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
177 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
62 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
115 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
103 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
141 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
157 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. ...
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0answers
28 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
56 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 ...
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1answer
87 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
159 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
1k 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
121 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
128 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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0answers
55 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) ...
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4answers
152 views

Is there any reality or substance in matter and energy without God?

Substance {Gk. ουσια [ousia]; Lat. substantia} "What a thing is made of; hence, the underlying being that supports, exists independently of, and persists through time despite changes in, its ...
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2answers
139 views

What is value of a philosphical argument/theory when a conclusion can never be reached?

I have seen several questions and discussions recently on this forum concerning p-zombies, whether or not what we call consciousness is a tangible entity or merely an illusion or elaborate scheme ...
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1answer
67 views

Does nihilism deny that any objective value ever existed or just now?

I read that the viewpoint of nihilism denies the existence of objective values and meaning. But does it also say that the values never existed, never can or will exist or just that these values don't ...
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1answer
140 views

How to express Kant's notion of existence on first-order logic according to Ayer?

In Language, Truth, and Logic, Ayer writes: [As] Kant pointed out, existence is not an attribute. For, when we ascribe an attribute to a thing, we covertly assert that it exists. However, I ...
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2answers
289 views

Can we create the Matrix?

Can we fully simulate the reality for a Brain in the Vat (BIV)? For example i clone myself and connect the clone's brain to a very sophisticated computer, which simulates a part of the universe (for ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the meaning of “predicate” in this definition?

I have trouble understanding the article on existence in this Philosophy dictionary. Instantiation in reality, or actual being. Kant pointed out that existence is not a predicate. What is the ...
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1answer
116 views

Is gender a property of essence or existence?

In his address, the Holy Father said: According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. The use of the word ...
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1answer
169 views

A Don Quixote existential question [closed]

I guess everyone knows about Cervantes's character "Don Quixote" and the metaphor within it's lifestyle. Even though every single individual understands it differently, in my opinion Don Quixote is ...
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2answers
418 views

Can one prove a negative existential claim?

A major concern in epistemology is just what we can know about existential claims, that is, claims about the existence (or lack of) something. Suppose for example that I assert the following: The ...
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8answers
606 views

Proof Universe Came From Nothing?

Consider the following proof: (1) Let the Universe be defined as the set of all things. (2) It is impossible for a thing to come from itself. (You can't be your own parent) (3) 2 implies a set of ...
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3answers
225 views

“I think, therefore I am” - How does “I” establish “I” before “I” can “think”?

The famous Cogito ergo sum opens with "I" can think, therefore "I" am. How does "I" establish "I" before "I" can "think"? in other words how did "I" establish "I" before it could think in the first ...
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1answer
163 views

What were Descartes's justifications for the human ability to doubt, and why did he think it was so important?

In his Meditations on First Philosophy, Rene Descartes resolved to systematically doubt that any of his beliefs were true. This was done in order to build a system of belief that would consist of only ...
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2answers
165 views

Is Descarte putting the cart before the horse when he says 'cogito ergo sum'?

Famously Descartes said 'Cogito ergo sum'. I'm a bit puzzled by this. I do not need to think in order to assert/understand/intuit that I exist: when I wake up in the morning I immediately intuit that ...
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3answers
1k views

How should we understand the teletransportation thought experiment?

Please read the short story here:Beam me up First, I'd like to to know whether there is anything inherently inconsistent about this teletransportation idea? Is there fundamental reasons which say ...
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1answer
2k views

Aristotle and the Eternity of the Universe

In the Middle Ages, Aristotle's belief that the world was eternal posed a major theological challenge for the many people who held a religious belief in Creation. Moses Maimonides, in his Guide for ...
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1answer
414 views

One sentence to describe everything [closed]

How would you put together a reasonably short sentence, in order to describe everything? By everything, I mean that the sentence would be broad enough to cover any possible subject by recursive ...
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1answer
228 views

The meaning of life [closed]

What's the purpose of our existence? :) Religions say that without the made-up gods humans have no purpose to live. Is meeting your maker the ultimate reason to live?
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4answers
421 views

Proving that man is not born with certain skills?

I was arguing with my father about the nature of the human mind. I believe that a man is not born with a predetermined skill, such as painter or composer, and that through hard work and dedication, a ...
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2answers
257 views

Does time exist? [closed]

When we try to define time, we define it based on an event which happens periodically. For example, in a clock,we say that the time elapsed is 1 minute if the second hand completes 1 revolution. Here ...
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5answers
382 views

Does the concept of existence entail the concept of death?

Does the concept of existence entail the concept of death? I am asking this because many philosophers have tried to prove the existence of god (Descartes through the Meditations) by saying that he ...
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5answers
933 views

In what sense if any could something without mass or energy exist?

I have long been interested in physics as (working toward) a description of absolute truth and, as a consequence, have had a number of discussions with people with religious and metaphysical beliefs ...