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?"

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What would be the difference between property and kind?

Philosopher E.J. Lowe states that There is a clear difference between saying something like ‘Rover is a dog’, in which we assign Rover, a particular animal, to a certain natural kind or species, ...
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Are questions about existence purely semantic?

I was inspired by this question, and in particular this section of user259242's answer: Type identity physicalism says mental states are identical with brain states. Eliminativism on the other ...
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How do you think for the object to 'conform to the constitution of our faculty of intuition'?

A novice, I do not feel prepared yet to, but shall in future, read Kant; please tell me if Kant's originals answer my question. Source: p 256, Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, ...
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What does Kant mean when distinguishing time and space from experiences?

A novice, I do not feel prepared yet to, but shall in future, read Kant; please tell me if Kant's originals answer my question. Source: p 255, Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, ...
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'space of which some 'if's are true' vs 'space of which other kinds of 'if's are true'

Source: Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn [p 249:]  But if, following Faraday, we resolve particles themselves into yet further powers, dispositions, ...
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What is the difference between Naturalism and Physicalism?

I am trying to figure the difference between Naturalism and Physicalism. As far as I could tell, they were the same thing, except that physicalism (physicalist vs dualist) was the term used when ...
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How does mind discovers its own existence?

By mind I mean the observer, the self, something that perceive. I hope that you understand because I can't find the right word. So, your mind can observe the external existence, and can observe its ...
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Has anyone ever argued that the laws of Nature and physics are necessary truths?

Looking at Putnam's twin earth thought experiment, his argument for semantic externalism is based on possibility of their being a twin earth, where everything is the same except for water being made ...
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104 views

Have philosophers attributed an intrinsic value to life?

I want to know if philosophers have attributed intrinsic value to being alive. What I mean by this is, does being alive, whether a bug or a human, or a plant itself have meaning just simply by ...
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Would a truly objective system of ethics amount to a form of dualism?

Per Hume's is-ought problem, most people consider ethical questions to be independent of empirical facts. The physicalist/materialist world-view is based on the idea that only thing that exists are ...
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681 views

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

This question became a symbol for the silly and pointless sophistry of medieval scholastics. But as modern scholarship has shown scholastics was not such a thoughtless desert as some of its ...
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Does causality always require an arrow of time?

For empirical facts, it seems obvious that causality requires a time flow for the concept to make sense: A causes B implies that A happened before B. Is it ever possible to have a causal ...
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What are some of the philosophical implications of supertasks? [closed]

In philosophy, a supertask is a countably infinite sequence of operations that occur sequentially within a finite interval of time. After watching the latest Vsauce episode I'm a bit confused: He ...
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How is non-reductive materialism different from dualism?

Non-reductive materialism (or materialism) is considered a from of monism, in the sense that ontologically everything is considered to be made of physical substances. It is non-reductive only in that ...
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One and many, particular and universal, individual and general… how do they relate?

In reading Koji Karatani's Transcritique, I found myself a bit confused by the distinctions and couplings he draws between these terms in relation to Hegel and Russell. It wasn't actually his approach ...
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Is it even possible to resolve the truth of different philosophic schools of thought? [duplicate]

A logical argument has propositions or axioms which are assumed to be true. It then has logical statements/manipulations which, if all valid, reach a logically valid conclusion. If the argument is ...
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69 views

Is materialism a self-refuting position?

I have been trying to poke whole in the following apparently naive argument against materialism/physicalism: The main justification for materialism is that a person doesn't believe in that which ...
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80 views

Where are all the Universes? [closed]

I only recently found an interest in the multiverse theory and I have a question I didn't find an answer to. If parellel worlds exist where are they? Are they all over lapping (for example earth has ...
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How to assess philosophically whether String Theory is Science or rather Metaphysics?

String theory substitutes basic particles with infinitesimal strings in order to reconcile the seemingly incompatible theories of gravity and of quantum world. But those new elements - the so called ...
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60 views

Can the principle of indiscernibility of identicals be restated as “I am what I think”? [closed]

I was reading Leibniz recently and had this epiphany, and thought why not see if any others out there might share a similar intuition. Concerning Leibniz's two principles of identity The ...
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65 views

How can one verify “something that is everything”?

For 'there is a thing that is everything', or 'everything that is something' (equivalent), how are we able to tell such a statement is true? Given such something, all that something would all be the ...
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111 views

What does Pirsig mean by “Quality”?

I just finished reading Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which I understand to be a popular-yet-important book for those looking to enter the realm of philosophical ...
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133 views

Why aren't conceivability based arguments refuted by the ideas of fantasy and sci-fi?

There are several arguments in metaphysics which are based on "conceivability": The ontological argument for God's existence. Hilary Putnam's Twin Earth argument for semantic externalism (the idea ...
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Is a “fair coin toss” a logical contradiction?

A previous question asked about the reality of the gambler's fallacy, in which logic appears to offend common sense. In light of the answers, I am now wondering about the other side of the coin, so to ...
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Physicalist platonism?

Two results of the PhilPapers Survey: Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism? Accept or lean toward: Platonism 366 / 931 (39.3%) Accept or lean toward: nominalism 351 / 931 (37.7%) ...
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Aren't universals self-contradictory? [closed]

In ordinary language we use properties, like blue, smooth, triangular, electrically charged, and so on, and it is the starting point to the problem of universals that we believe that the particular ...
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405 views

What is the distinction between mysticism and metaphysics?

Mysticism and Metaphysics seem to share immediate similarity: both amount to sort of speculations pertaining to capture universal truth that cannot be confirmed nor refuted by the senses. What is the ...
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How does Kant's transcendental argument show that the basis for Skepticism is unintelligible?

I understand Kant's categories, however I don't understand their value in arguing against skepticism.
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193 views

Does McTaggert say “the past that exists now won't always be the past”?

Does McTaggert or anyone say this about the A series? Would it be nonsense to do so? The past exists now [because now is the end of the past] but no time always exists now: so the past that exists ...
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350 views

In Aristotelian metaphysics, what are the constraints on what a thing can potentially be?

Aristotle distinguishes between actuality and potentiality. If we take a bronze statue (the example at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's Article on Aristotle and Causality), what is this ...
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340 views

Do Aristotle's four causes just work in “middle world”?

One should assume that with his four causes Aristotle wants to give us some very general starting points for an investigation of reality. Yet, at first sight his four causes (maybe except the ...
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127 views

How is a person able to think?

People are basically just collections of a lot of atoms, so how is someone able to think? Thinking is how we understand things, but I don't understand how thought is even possible? Is thinking the ...
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How do defenders of libertarian freewill define the boundaries of what is constrained by the laws of physics and what isn't?

Libertarian freewill is the position that we have some measure of metaphysical freewill. Per this position, a free agent at a given point in time is able to freely select a course of action among ...
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Does Parmenides not face self-contradiction in his views on inquiry?

Parmenides holds that the purpose of inquiry is either to determine the existence of something (so as to say that whatever is, is indeed the case) or the nonexistence of something (so as to say that ...
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What does Poincaré mean by intuition of pure number?

To what does Poincaré refer in his article Intuition and Logic in Mathematics when he speaks about the intuition of pure number? My answer is that he may refer to a sort of intuition related to the ...
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Can someone give me a natural deduction proof for this argument?

I am defending the usefulness of modern logic to a class and I came across this modalized version of a Thomistic argument (https://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Reli/ReliMayd.htm). However, although I have ...
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Recommended discussions of light and “the speed of light” in modern philosophy?

The concept of "light" described by modern physics seems, to me at least, an incomprehensible bundle of properties: a "universal constant," the "maximum speed," a "wave-particle" phenomenon, the ...
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Are there modern Leibnizians?

While I will go ahead and post this, I see there is a near duplicate. I know that bits and pieces of Leibniz, such as relativized space, are picked up by today's philosophers, but I am especially ...
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How have philosophers from Descartes to Kant understood the soul?

Modern philosophy, beginning with Descartes, raises issues of mind-body dualism, rationalism and empiricism, idealism and materialism. Yet most modern philosophers at least through Kant continued to ...
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136 views

What is the point of reductio ad absurdum in metaphysics?

Philosophers often use reductio ad absurdum in metaphysics and philosophy of mind to make a point, to justify their position, or a thought experiment, or to reject a position or theory they do not ...
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508 views

What is the difference between identity and equivalence?

While the problems of identity seem to have more heft in philosophy, I am actually more interested in the meaning of "equivalence" as symbolized in the (=) sign and, in guilt by association,with ...
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132 views

Are the past, present and future real aspects of reality?

Is there no more to time and space than the temporal and spatial relations which hold between events and objects? Or should they rather be taken as sort of containers in which things exist and events ...
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What sets apart humans from other animals? [duplicate]

What sets apart humans from other animals? Is it rationality? Or morality? If humans are inherently rational animals then why are they so often irrational in judgments and decisions? And if humans are ...
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What does “the fact that P causes Q” mean?

I'm reading the paper "A Causal theory of knowing" written by Goldman. In the paper, he present the following as conditions of knowledge(S knows P): 1) it is the case that P 2) S believes that P ...
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Are physical measurements constructs?

This question was provoked by my knowledge of the kochen specker theorem, which if I am correct is a theory that states measurements sometimes, within a system, do not exist until it is consciously ...
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119 views

Why do rational beings care about the dead?

Anthropologists tell us that home sapiens are concerned about "others," even after they die. In settled (as opposed to nomadic) societies this concern seems to catalyze beliefs, rituals, and ...
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Can a purely biological account of man show a superiority over other animals?

Can a purely biological account of man show a superiority over other animals other than that of belonging to a later stage of evolution or of greater possibilities of action, a superiority “in his ...
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81 views

How does Schrödinger's principle of objectivisation work?

I am currently reading Schröddinger's essay: Mind and Matter. But I am stuck on chapter 3. After reading it over and over I still can't understand his principle of objectivisation. Has anyone ...
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Does the idea of experimental mathematics entail Platonism?

One form of Platonism entails the actual existence of mathematical objects. Godel and others were known to feel intuitively that they were working with and actually perceiving entities different from, ...
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What is the purpose of meaning?

My question is actually this: What does the question: "what is the purpose of meaning" mean? Questions that may arise in answering this question may include: What kinds of things can have purpose? ...