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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Any evidence for the observer effect?

Is there any evidence for the observer effect, and could that be used to support some form of Idealism over a solely materialist view?
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Who is the analog of this character in Anathem?

Background: Some time ago, it was recommended that I read the book Anathem by Neal Stephenson. Since then I have read several others and reread this, my favorite by far. The central concepts of the ...
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Writing is never the same, yet we accept it as the same

Think about this: x When you Write it twice physically, 2x will for example, never look the same as 2x when you write it again. It will look similar, but NEVER the same. Yet we accept the same ...
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The never ending story [closed]

If something never arrives can that thing really get closer, or can we only say it fictionally does so? If I can never wake up from a dream, only dream that I do, then is the dream I am in in some ...
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When is a simulation real?

My question is what makes something a simulation? Or more specifically, does intent matter for calling something a simulation? Consider the following: Case #1:a well-known xkcd http://xkcd.com/505/ ...
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Does phenomenology determine ontology?

There were many historical instances where phenomena could be explained by seemingly incompatible theories, Copernican and Ptolemaic systems, corpuscular and wave theories of light, interpretations of ...
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Doesn't slavery still exist? [closed]

In history slavery did exist in physical form. In those days common men were forced to serve the higher class because of lack of knowledge, wisdom and education; and in return what they got was a ...
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Abstractionism about Possible Worlds and the Contingently Non-Concrete

Concretists about possible worlds say that possible worlds are concrete entities (usually some kind of mereological sum of concrete individuals). Abstractionists say that worlds are abstract things: ...
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Dialectic vs Logical positivism

Dialectic is opposite to Metaphysic. Also Logical positivism criticizes Metaphysic since in Logical positivism only statements verifiable either logically or empirically would be cognitively ...
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How is Saul Kripke said to have revive metaphysics again?

How is Saul Kripke said to have revive metaphysics in analytic philosophy tradition again?
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Existence vs tertium non datur

This is my first question here, sorry if it turns out to be a duplicate. Mathematical constructivism states that contradicting the non-existence of something won't imply its existence. Does it mean ...
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How have philosophers tried to argue for qualia?

What is the difference between the intuition that there is something it is like, qualitative experience, and faith in it? Is it possible to convince someone who doesn't believe there is something it ...
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Are there real paradoxes?

Paradoxes arise in mathematics; a famous one being Russells; usually its taken as a sign that the theoretical ediface needs to change. The difficult question is how; for example Russell developed his ...
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Can there be cause and effect without time?

Our usual understanding of cause and effect operates tensely; that is in time. But consider a basic statement in some generic computer language: if x then y Is this in time? Well an actually ...
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What if what is possible follows from logic alone

Suppose that every imaginative variation [I don't mean this in any technical sense] of what is physically possible is necessarily possible: because what I can imagine follows from logic alone. ...
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Property Possibilism on the Cheap?

Call Property Possibilism the following claim: It is possible that something exemplifies a property without existing. In other words, property possibilists hold that existence is not necessary for ...
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Is there a limit on the intelligence of created beings

I'm looking for arguments/theories regarding this question: How far can a created being advance intellectually relative to the creator/environment. Let me elaborate: suppose there are some very ...
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Why should I believe my own conclusions?

Consider the metaphysical question of whether God exists (just as an example). There are, and have been throughout history, billions of atheists, billions of Christians, and billions of people with ...
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Is our Philosophy, the Human Philosophy, the only possible Philosophy which can exist?

What I'm asking is if is there any possibility for a Non-human Philosophy, that is, a Philosophy founded on questions which we can't even conceive. Is possible a Philosophy of questions which only can ...
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Is human exceptionalism justifiable?

This is syntactically a little awkward, but my question is: Is there some objective sense in which the differences, taken in sum, between humans and other animals are greater than the differences ...
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regarding the authority of past philosophy writers [closed]

If some madman who hates philosophy found a way to destroy all works of philosophy where-ever they exist in print or electronically stored so the only 'rememberences' of such work are 'with' a few ...
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Can a non-falsifiable belief ever be justified (besides for tautologies)?

Probably thanks to Popper, a scientific theory would never be taken seriously if it wasn't as least in some way falsifiable. Without getting into the nitty-gritty of the many theories of ...
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The Queerness Argument

I am looking for the best way to counter the Argument from Queerness by Mackie. Does anyone have a "standard" way to counter Mackie's argument? Is there an example which
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A metaphysical study on property, context, advantage and role?

Well, I understand this study can be too much complicated for daily life matters. However, I think it's worthwhile for technical domain if the definition and relationship among the concepts property, ...
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What would be considered ethical behavior if decision making was devoid of emotional attachment?

Would human behavior be more or less ethical if decision making was devoid of emotional attachment? There are many different philosophical systems that argue either for or against emotional ...
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Why are Free Will discussions always framed as a question of “free will” rather than “free choice” (of action)?

In debates or discussion regarding the question of whether or not human beings (or any other being) has the ability to decide for themselves what to do, the term invariably used is free will. However, ...
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Why does the universe obey scientific laws?

As far as anyone is aware, the universe consistently acts according to predictable laws (and scientific inquiry exists to determine those laws). Is there any metaphysical reason for this? Is such a ...
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Could a scientific unification theory and scientific method itself be misleading?

I aspire to one day be a scientist (specifically an astrophysicist) and I have been reading up on many novels (like those of Asimov) which look into the development of humanity. I know that our ...
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Abstract versus Concrete

Who drew the line between abstract/concrete and general/specific in the philosophy of language? Are there any comprehensive resources on the early history of their development specifically with ...
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thing and its properties

Aristotle says there are things and two types of properties that thing can have,one accidental property other essential property. my question is if we remove all accidental and essential properties ...
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What is it that transforms mathematical equations into physical reality? [closed]

It's clear that mathematics is the language of physics . Mathematics is a tool for constructing many many different realities . Imagine that god decided to create the universe . He used mathematics to ...
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Actual infinite vs. Potential infinite [closed]

I'm looking for bibliography about the problem of Actual infinite vs. Potential infinite. I would appreciate information about papers or books treating this problem deeply, philosophical and ...
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Possible worlds and the worlds of Quantum Mechanics

I am not really familiar with the metaphysics of the "worlds" from the Many Worlds Interpretation of QM. How do these worlds relate to possible worlds in the Lewisian sense? Lewis wrote a short piece ...
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Why does Carnap say 'Caesar is a prime number' is meaningless?

I don't get it. Assuming there exists an individual Caesar, we can look at the set of prime numbers and not-(prime numbers), and Caesar will be in one of them. I just don't see, even though it may be ...
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What do we mean by the symbolic representation of nothing?

The word 'nothing' symbolically represents nothing-in-itself. But how can we refer to something that by definition is not there? To make this clearer: the word 'horse' refers to an actual living ...
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Are fundamental entities equivalent to fundamental forces and time + other dimensions?

If fundamental entities are most basic components that other things are composed of? Then fundamental forces and time + other dimensions should be a complete list of fundamental entities? Or ...
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Is composition more than the composite parts

Sorry for the somewhat dumb question! Please do see if you can make sense of the latter, and put it in formal or whatever terms. If a chariot is equal to its parts then the chariot is not its "being" ...
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Types of predicate and existence

Is there a term for properties that cannot be predicated of existing things. Or one for properties that can?
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Understanding philosophy from a mathematicians perspective

(I'm new, so please downvote, re-tag, flag, close or delete the question as appropriate. I'd appreciate a comment about why it was done.) I was reading this, and came across the paragraph Working ...
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Opposite Universe

Let us assume we live in a shared Universe which can be fully described mathematically, and that all mathematical variables have an opposite. 2 is opposite to -2, and true is opposite to false. When I ...
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Kant & Intentionality

Kant is famous for subordinating reality in one aspect (the phenomenal) to consciousness via his Copernican Revolution of subordinating objects to the ground of intuition. Husserl, in his theory of ...
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Is a filled hole still a hole?

The question is in the title: can we say that a filled hole is still a hole? For example, can we consider that a hole dug in dirt and filled with sand is still a hole? My opinion on this is that if ...
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Can empty universe have any significance?

Let's consider a universe such that: The laws of physics do not allow life or any other consciousness to be formed within it. There's no outside observer of that universe (e.g. God or an ...
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Thorough analysis of Kant's “conditions of possibility”

Is anyone aware of a thorough (mathematical) treatment/analysis of the concept of Kant's "Bedingungen der Möglichkeit" of something (conditions of possibility)? I thought about it in the following ...
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What exactly is metaphysical possibility?

In the literature about the epistemology of modality I stumbled upon various types of possibilities, e.g. epistemic possibility, metaphysical possibility. I have a rough unterstanding of these, but ...
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Which was the first philosopher to think of ET?

Looking at the sky, we seen the moon, stars, sun and planets. Their motion have been plotted since Early Babylonia, and gods and godesses have been associated with them. When, so we are told, men ...
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Does the existence of colors give evidence against materialism?

It seems to me the only thing about colors that can be understood rationally is that they are distinct. We interact with other people who for the most part label my red as their red, my green as their ...
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Could a finite time universe exist “eternally”?

In a world of one spatial dimension and one time dimension, we can, as physicists working on relativity do, consider world lines in space-time. That is, consider the xt-plane with t as the horizontal ...
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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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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 ...