Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the essence of things, of the fundamental nature of being and the world and the principles that organize the universe. Metaphysics is supposed to answer the question "What is the nature of reality?"

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
4answers
73 views

Why is the problem of universals a problem?

Philosopher Gonzago Rodriguez-Pereyra defines the very old and well-known "Problem of Universals" thusly: But what then is the Problem of Universals? As I said, it is usually taken to be the ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

The unspoken “and” [on hold]

Is there a grammatical correctness to an unspoken "and"? Take two arbitrary sentences A and B. Each is considered a complete sentence. I do not think the unspoken "and" would work in every case A and ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Prop IX of spinoza's ethics

This is the english translation I am reading from for Spinoza's Ethics Geometrically. In proposition IX of this work, spinoza states: PROP. IX. The more reality or being a thing has, the greater ...
5
votes
1answer
53 views

Descartes's Third Meditation

Descartes's third meditation, which sets out to prove the existence of God from previous considerations, confuses me greatly. Descartes appears to be trying to make an argument that the source must ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Is the physicalism/materialism vs dualism debate really just a question of semantics?

Substance dualism is defined as being different from physicalism because it posits 2 different categories of substances in the world as opposed to one category. But throughout the ages, all sorts of ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Relationship between Western thoughts and “Eastern thoughts”

I sometimes feel an agony between these two, when especially considering the so-called philosophy developed in terms of modern terminology in Western countries. I am now particularly referring here. ...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

Please recommend a good book on Physicalism

Can you recommend a good contemporary book that is considered a definitive or classical exposition of Physicalism? I have started reading Daniel Stoljar's Physicalism, but while it seems good, it is ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

What logical fallacies exist in David Lewis and Stephanie Lewis' article called “holes”?

In David & Stephanie Lewis' Article "Holes" the nominalist/realist debate gets taken to a phenomena that all of us are likely directly aware of at one point in our lives. Holes. The absent ...
-2
votes
0answers
60 views

Do dreams provide a practical functionality? [closed]

An agent sleeps. An agent may or may not have dreams. An agent wonders, if a configuration for another agent exists where dreaming is not necessary. xA(x) ^ A(sleeps) xA(x) ^ xA(sleeps) -> ( ...
0
votes
3answers
82 views

Can a disembodied soul form empirical beliefs?

Is it metaphysically possible for a disembodied Cartesian soul to so much as form any purportedly empirical beliefs, even if only ones that are false?
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Does a Logical possibility exist necessarily or not-necessarily?

First off: What is the definition of a logical possibility? My personal suggestion is this: A logical possibility is a proposition in which multiple terms are connected in such a way that the ...
0
votes
2answers
117 views

How to define a number [closed]

What is the positive real number (say less than one) that is not a rational nor an irrational number? I have encountered a mathematical problem that confused me about the definition of real ...
4
votes
1answer
50 views

Questions on the second meditation by Descartes

Upon reading the second meditation of Descartes, I am perplexed by an illustration Descartes presents involving wax. For reference, this illustration, or argument, is contained within the 11th and ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

why analogies work?

I am a philosophy noob. I have been reading about analogies and how they form the core of cognition. Consider this analogy: Putting a resistor reduces the flow of electrons in a wire. Putting a ...
2
votes
2answers
56 views

Nature of Persons and Mathematics

First, let me define 'Person' as anything complex enough to perceive truths about reality in the level that we do. Now, i'm gonna provide two mutually exclusive options about the nature of persons 1 ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

How can one interpret impenetrability in Schopenhauer?

In Schopenhauers Die Welt, he writes: How early again was this truth recognised by the wise men of India, appearing indeed as the fundamental tenet of the Vedanta philosophy as ascribed to Vyasa, ...
4
votes
2answers
71 views

Causality vs. implication

Implication is said to be more general than causality since, for example, being a dog implies being a mammal but it doesn't cause it. Is there a formalization of the difference between implication and ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Ontology: How do ideas exist?

There are several ways of looking at ideas. There is a platonic way of looking at ideas which sees the ideas as kind eternal entities. Augustine puts these ideas in the mind of God. In either case ...
1
vote
2answers
120 views

The Copernican Principle and the Giant Void [closed]

Daniel Holz writes on a popular science blog Cosmic Variance:"The Copernican principle is a guiding foundation of cosmology. In short, it states that we are not in a privileged place in the Universe. ...
2
votes
3answers
201 views

Why does philosophy exist?

If Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and language. As defined by Wikipedia. Then if ...
1
vote
3answers
108 views

How can “essentialism” ever make sense?

So, searching for J. L. Mackies "argument from queerness", I stumbled upon this blog entry. Now, Mr. Feser seems to be a quite... controversial figure, to say the least, but please let's resist the ...
3
votes
4answers
123 views

How do modern metaphysicians respond to Kant and Wittgenstein?

As far as I've understood, Kant argued that metaphysical knowledge is impossible because the human mind is not capable enough to acquire it. Wittgenstein, on the other hand, claimed that metaphysical ...
2
votes
2answers
82 views

Patterns and Computation

Suppose we are going to start a celullar automata and we are expecting some patterns to emerge. My question : Do the patterns exist before the computation and they gain form or get instantiated in ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Quine's “to be is to be the value of a bound variable”

Quine's definition "to be is to be the value of a bound variable" seems uncontroversial and in fact quite natural as it's compatible with modern approaches to the semantics of natural language. My ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Berkeley's idealist view of physical objects

Berkeley sees objects as a set of ideas. His strict view on objects allows for cases like his relativity of perception argument (where a bucket of water can be both warm and cold, one person can find ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Ontology and the Future

I know that we have no right to automatically discard claims that are not falsifiable, however i was curious as to whether some claims in Ontology could be falsifiable in the future. I've ...
0
votes
3answers
81 views

Can Zenos paradox of motion be applied to a flashing blue light?

Zenos paradoxes of motion generally refer to actual motion through space; however for Aristotle this is motion in only one sense; an other sense could be alteration, for example change in shape and so ...
6
votes
5answers
241 views

Can we know the fundamental nature of space and time?

Can you please point me to an argument by a notable contemporary philosopher arguing why we may know the fundamental (metaphysical) nature of space and time? In a recent answer to a question I wrote ...
1
vote
3answers
93 views

Sets and typical elements

In (computational) commonsense reasoning, so-called typical elements of sets are used (as described her). I understand why they are useful from the point of view of applied logic but what is their ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

How does “is” work in contemporary ontology

Sorry for being really vague and throwing out a really dumb and stupid question, i just need some help understanding the following bit, which appeared after i started reading about Ontology. What ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

What's the difference between 'things' and 'rules'? [closed]

As I understand the world - there are 'things' which are everything and 'rules' which modify them. An example I'll give is this - let's say I'm free-falling from a plane. Then a thing is my view of ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Which branch of philosophy (metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science, etc…? ) does the question of properly defining life fall under?

Questions like: - Are viruses forms of life, or just very complex replicators? - Would a Von Neumann machine be considered alive? - Does life have to be organic? - Is reproduction a necessary ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Cheap ontology, expensive ontology and ontological commitment

In the book introduction to philosophy by william james earle, in the metaphysics chapter I couldn't understand those concepts clearly : Cheap ontology. Expensive ontology ontological commitment. ...
1
vote
3answers
133 views

Is it possible to prove the invalidity of logic without using logic?

Is it possible to validly invalidate logic without using logic? Mere assertion gives rise to the question, "How do you know?". At that point, you end up having to use logic to justify the thesis ...
2
votes
5answers
146 views

Is quantum physics based on language wordplay? [closed]

Sometimes I think that most of the Quantum Physics is deliberately complicated. For example, look at the Schrodinger's cat. Now I know that the cat represents various other complex phenomena for ...
1
vote
0answers
91 views

Why are French postmodern philosophers (like Baudrillard) so hard to read/understand?

I've read my fair share of philosophers. Now I won't say that proper philosophical texts are ever easy to understand, but it seems that French postmodern philosophers like Baudrillard are extremely ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Is this description of “universal systems” with regards to Deconstruction valid?

EDIT : I have accepted an answer for the time being I have accepted an answer to this question. The answer and subsequent comments exchange has given me some more insight into my question. It does ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Can a priori principles be applied to deduce 'Principal Bundles' as principles in Modern Physics?

Kant supplied a priori arguments for Newtonian Physics in his Metaphysics of Natural Science Has something similar been done for Modern Physics; which in its geometrical intepretation are concieved ...
3
votes
2answers
229 views

Does everything have a cause/reason?

I was reading on arguments for the existence of God and came across the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) which describes that everything must have a sufficient cause/reason to exist. Looking at ...
6
votes
5answers
247 views

What is the purpose of answers to metaphysical questions?

Generally speaking, metaphysics seems to deal with questions that cannot be verified empirically, which are thus beyond the understanding of science. Because of this I'm wondering whether the answers ...
6
votes
4answers
218 views

“→” is the symbol for material implication. Is there such a thing as “immaterial implication”?

Why do we qualify "implication" with "material"? This seems to imply that there are other kinds of implication.
-1
votes
1answer
46 views

What exactly is a bare particular

I have been thinking about this, and wondered if: The being X of X is a bare particular. Is it? And can bare particulars (like, I am suggesting, the being X of X) ever change?
4
votes
3answers
108 views

Formal Modal Logic and Metaphysics

I have been reading some introductory metaphysics (Van Inwagen's book of the same name) and I encounter arguments using modal logic. I am unsure how to interpret these - the arguments (chapter 6 and ...
0
votes
2answers
111 views

Is Platonism a “religion”?

Having some general knowledge of Platon, and his ideas about the world of Ideas, could we consider his world of Ideas a divine world? Isn't that the same as the world of God? What makes religion ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Quote about sacred and profane thoughts

What is the name of the philosopher who said something about our thoughts roaming over things sacred and profane without a care for the morality of said thought? Any context would be appreciated.
2
votes
2answers
185 views

A Kantian view on modern physics

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica article on Immanuel Kant, in the section discussing the Critique of pure reason: In the Transcendental Analytic, the most crucial as well as the most ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

If “God didn't play dice”, would that imply superdeterminism?

Einstein had this famous "God doesn't play dice" because he don't like the inherent randomness appearing in quantum-mechanics. If Einstein was right and nothing happens randomly, would that mean that ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

Can the Void have Being?

On the face of it no; and affirmed by Parmenides as that what is not, is not. However, consider a particle in spacetime with no forces acting on it: thus it moves in a straight line (geodesic) when ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

Is the idea of a multiverse considered metaphysics? [duplicate]

I know that metaphysics has to do with the fundamental nature of reality. I am just not sure if a multiverse is considered fundamental
12
votes
1answer
122 views

Is transubstantiation faithfully Aristotelian?

Transubstantiation is a concept that Roman Catholic scholastics, most notably Thomas Aquinas, developed for the doctrine of Communion. Catholics state that when a priest blesses the elements of bread ...