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
96 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

regarding the authority of past philosophy writers [on hold]

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
62 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

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
1
vote
1answer
20 views

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, ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Free will and free choice

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, ...
33
votes
10answers
9k views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
82 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
104 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
79 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
132 views

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 ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
64 views

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" ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Types of predicate and existence

Is there a term for properties that cannot be predicated of existing things. Or one for properties that can?
3
votes
1answer
116 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
534 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
123 views

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 ...
1
vote
4answers
125 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
206 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
98 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
132 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
82 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. ...
0
votes
3answers
251 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
331 views

Can logic be without time?

I think logic is dependent on time. My reasoning is that all the base logic concepts are based on axioms that are observations in time (so basic that do not require proof). Which then leads to ...
3
votes
1answer
119 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

What is the relation between Descartes' “lumen naturale”, God and logic?

This is not a question about the cogito argument in the closer sense. I will try to isolate my questions from the other questions posted concerning Descartes. If I understood what I've read ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

Are there philosophical theories about quality, not in the sense of “attribute” or “property”, but in “being of high quality”?

I am aware of the meaning of quality as an attribute of something, e.g. an apple has the quality "color". Most questions here on the site seem to be about quality in this sense. But in everyday ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

Not Turing reducible = non-physical?

According to the following question, it is likely the physical universe can be simulated on a Turing machine. Is the universe isomorphic to a universal turing machine? If so, does this imply ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

What is *lost* and *gained* in repudiating the analytic/synthetic distinction?

Analytic sentences are characterized as sentences whose truth values derive from their meanings alone. The truth of synthetic sentences depend on both meaning and fact. In the early modern ...
4
votes
1answer
53 views

What are the rebuttals (if any) to Berkeley's dismissal of “primary qualities”?

I am rereading Berkeley's Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous and am curious about any subsequent works which actively rebut his dismissal of primary qualities. From the first dialogue: ...
4
votes
6answers
229 views

Why the human mind can say stories that never happened?

Why the human mind can say stories that never happened? are there a kind of hidden connection between many worlds interpretation?
4
votes
2answers
124 views

What do philosophers mean by 'conceivable'?

Philosophers, especially in analytic metaphysics, often talk about the conceivability of things. Here are some examples: I can conceive a perfect being, therefore, a perfect being is possible. ...
11
votes
1answer
125 views

Did Putnam prove Hume wrong about the impossiblity of grounds for ethical claims?

Hume's argument in A Treatise of Human Nature that we can't derive normative judgments from descriptive statements is well known. Recently one of my teachers said that Putnam proved Hume wrong by ...
4
votes
2answers
71 views

Main differences between conventional and relative simultaneity?

What are the main differences between relative and conventional simultaneity? Did Einstein conform to a relative simultaneity belief then use the clock sychronisation convention to explain ...
0
votes
2answers
98 views

Kant's idealist view of space vs. modern science

Kant holds idealist view on space. He thinks space is merely “forms of intuition,” that is, ways in which human order and arrange the things they perceive. They are not features of things in ...
3
votes
1answer
27 views

Whats the philosophical originary thought for the empirical category of the wave?

Atoms, as is well known, was originated by Democritus to fend of Parmenides challenge of an unchangeable, eternal one. The other large category of thought in modern physics is that of the wave. ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Are perfection, morality, sanity and beauty “absolute”? [closed]

Are perfection/morality/sanity/beauty.. absolute terms? Perfection. I am told its a self evident term and cannot be defined. Anyway I had a conversation with a person who tried to prove the existence ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Can Something Exist in Nothing (Outside the bounds of our Universe)?

I have always been intrigued by cosmology and the idea that there is a possibility that absolutely nothing exists beyond our universe. Now I know that there are many theories regarding the universe ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

A question about large cardinal axioms in set theory [closed]

In set theory, there are many kinds of large cardinal axioms. Their existence cannot be proved in Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory. But for many large cardinal properties, if we don't need them be ...
4
votes
3answers
99 views

What basic metaphysics should every philosophy student know?

Put another way, what background knowledge do you suggest that I brush up on to make me more sensitive to the lurking philosophical issues when I read philosophical texts and papers? Particularly ...
5
votes
6answers
241 views

Is “time” an abstract mental construct or is it something that exists independent of human consciousness?

I don't know if this makes sense, but I hope you can bear with me. When I consider my own existence with respect to time I can imagine three possibilities: (1) Time extends infinitely into the past. ...
0
votes
2answers
118 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 ...