Questions tagged [existence]

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

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What are the different forms of “why?” and why are they different?

It is so often asked: "Why?" But what does it mean? What do we expect from this question? A "because"? If the question is answered it seems to give people a kind of relief. Why do ...
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Enough for God's existence [closed]

Based on previous posts and responses: Post 1: Thus we are driven to see that the beings of our experience, the contingent beings, could not exist at all unless there is also a being which differs ...
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“Unicorns don’t exist” vs “unicorns aren't real”

What is the difference between “unicorns don’t exist” and “unicorns don't really exist”? Is this similar to how "it is true that there are unicorns" reduces to "there are unicorns"?...
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Is everything just coincidence?

The lyrics of a song by The Chameleons made me wonder: It's just coincidence Well you can talk that way But I have to say I don't believe in it After considering these lyrics, I have the ...
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How does Spinoza deduce substance must cause itself?

Prop. VII. Existence Belongs to the Nature of Substance Spinoza demonstrates this by arguing substance must be the cause of itself, i.e. existence must belong to the nature of substance (by def. 1). ...
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What are possible naturalistic explanations to the question of existence?

Non-philosopher here, though I enjoy reading about it. Without getting into complex deductive arguments, suppose I say the following: Define the entities of the material world however one likes (maybe ...
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Is reincarnation inevitable?

My reasoning: Suppose the universe is infinite in spacetime (both space and time have no bounds). In this spacetime, a cyclic appearance of particles occurs (cyclic big bangs). When I'm alive I ...
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37 views

On the purpose of human existence and unequal ability to understand complex things

I'm one of those people who think that the most important concern for us is to precisely understand the purpose of human existence ... I'm really surprised that our governments around the earth, even ...
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Must mathematical entities necessarily exist? [duplicate]

Are mathematical entities necessarily existing objects? That is to say, it is impossible for e.g. the real numbers not to exist. Have any philosophers talked about this topic?
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Is existence itself necessary?

I define ‘existence’ here as the totality of being, and I take it as obvious that existence is actual. In this context, ‘necessary’ will be defined as ‘must exist because it cannot fail to exist’. The ...
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Is there a view that only abstract objects exist, and being an abstract structure is enough for a world to be experienced by its observers?

I am looking for a view that would completely eliminate concrete objects by saying that being an abstract structure is enough for a world to be experienced by it's observers. If it is enough for a ...
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According to Aquinas, what is the relationship between the substantial form of a bodily being and its act of existing, ie. its esse?

Consider, for example, an existing bodily being. Because it is bodily, we know that it is composed of prime matter and substantial form. Also, because the bodily being is existing (not just made up in ...
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Is there anyway to prove things happen/exist if I'm not aware of them?

I don't even know how to properly ask this, but how can one prove things happen without them knowing? Things only exist for me when I'm aware of them, either by direct contact (I see it, I feel it etc....
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Heidegger's “Dasein” vs. Sartre's “Being for itself”

I must admit, I am relatively new to existentialist philosophy. But I couldn't help notice the similarities between Heidegger's "Dasein" and Satre's "Being-for-itself". I was ...
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3answers
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From what did we instantiated the concept of “Nothingness”

So as i understand according to Aristotle's theory of abstraction every abstract concept (i.e universal) is instantiated (or abstracted) from it particulars in the outside world if that so how can we ...
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Does my personal philosophy have a name?

I am not trained in philosophical thinking nor have I read philosophy except for the motto "I think therefore I am". My personal philosophy I know that something exists (by observation and ...
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Ruminations on the question 'Why there is something rather than nothing?' and the limits of explanation. May it be unanswerable?

I find myself incessantly returning to the brute mystery of existence, and find Leibniz’s pioneering answer to the fundamental question of metaphysics (as it is sometimes referred to) 'Why is there ...
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Are not all atheists' arguments against God pure evasions from the issue itself of God exists or not? [closed]

For example, let any readers here just ask an articulate atheist his argument that God does not exist, and you will notice that he is in his argument not really into arguing but into evading the issue ...
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Is there a difference between 'exists' and 'theoretically possible'?

For the purpose of this questions let's assume that the physics of our universe can be fully described by a complete non-contradictory theory (i.e. that theory of everything exists). Then our universe ...
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1answer
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Can we make statements for persons/objects that cease to exist?

I am asking this question because I thought what truth value would have a have a quantifier over a set that contains persons that are dead. For example suppose I state: "For every x that is ...
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A clarification of nonexistence

This is similar to a question I asked long ago, but there was a misinterpretation. People often say that, for instance, unicorns don't exist, but isn't it more correct to say that there are no ...
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4answers
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Does the existence of a thing necessarily imply its logical necessity?

In formal logic, does the existence of a thing necessarily imply its logical necessity, i.e., is it possible for something to exist without being logically necessary? Can a logically unnecessary thing ...
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What is a universe? (taboo the word “exist”)

It seems to me that "universe" and "exist" are defined cyclically. When not talking about many worlds or parallel universes, it's clear what it means to say whether or not a thing ...
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Is 'illusion' as viewed in indian philosophy founded on more fundamental concepts or experiences?

Concerning the concept of illusion of the world of common experience, as found in many systems of Indian philosophy, I am under the impression that it always comes as a "made-up" solution to ...
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How can I change Aquinas's Fifth Way to prove there is not one ultimate first designer?

My philosophy textbook was asking to make a reconstruction of his argument to avoid his logical error where he basically says that there is 1 being that makes sure that natural things do their ...
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Is “thoughts exist” a synthetic a priori statement?

I'm working off of Kant's conception of analytic/synthetic and a prior/a posteriori judgements. The definition of "thoughts" does not subsume their existence. That is, it is logically ...
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How can someone infer something does not exist?

First, I came across the Penrose triangle and then a variety of impossible objects. I understand that an object might not exist in a specific domain. For example, Penrose triangle does not exist in 3 ...
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Is it possible philosophically that the entire cosmic void with one or more universe/s inside it will stop exist eternally?

As a conscious agent who suddenly appeared in this cosmic void as a child to my parents and got a consistent memory since about the age of 3; With time I have learned of the question "why is there ...
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What are some examples of things that are ontologically parasitic

To be ontologically parasitic, a thing must exist only in reference to another thing. For example, in the excellent video "How Many Holes Does a Human Have?", holes are identified as ontologically ...
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49 views

What is the most internally-consistent theory of forms?

I'm trying to construct a fictional reality out of the Socratic-era (ideally) theories of Forms, but every philosopher's attempt seems to have at least one fatal flaw (and most of them several big ...
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108 views

How would Leibniz respond to this objection to his argument for God's existence?

Leibniz argues for the existence of a necessary being using the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR). Any contingent fact about the world must have an explanation. (Principle of sufficient reason) ...
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What is it about the existence of some things that makes us right or wrong in describing their existence, while other things can change?

For example, if people used to believe the Earth was the center of the universe, and we discover it is not, we now say, "people used to falsely believe that the Earth was the center of the universe", ...
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I could prove: Solipsism is wrong. Is my argument acceptable?

Solipsism is the idea that one cannot be sure of anyone's existence but only themself. I think that one can assume this idea to be right and then prove that this is wrong. This self-inconsistency ...
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Do things exist just because they exist OR they are given that existence?

We know that some phenomena do not exist, like Greek gods, but some exist, like an apple on a desk. I doubt anyone could have proposed an answer to it, but I wonder if there is something which lets ...
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If I think life has meaning, then does that mean life is not meaningless? [closed]

I see some people say that life/existence is meaningless. However, I assign existence with meaning, therefore it's NOT meaningless. Yes?
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Are the questions “Do I exist” and “Why do I exist” related to metaphysics, epistemology or another branch of philosophy?

Does the universe (or anything) exist? I assume that question would fall under metaphysics. But could it also touch on epistemology (e.g. how we define "universe" or "exist")? Do I exist? To me, ...
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Existential Import

How is it that universal propositions (from the Boolean standpoint) don't commit us to the existence of the subject term while particular propositions actually do? Also, why particularly take or focus ...
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Why was Descartes' Demon “Evil”?

Why did Descartes called his thought experiment "evil demon"? What if we lived in a simulation that turned out to be more pleasant than reality itself (eg. The matrix series) and it would be better ...
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Explaining the existence of the cosmos

The following is a reference request, not an invitation for argument. However, I do welcome argument if that's what you feel like doing. By the "cosmos" I mean all that exists---not just physical ...
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Does a rock experience its existence?

By experience, I do not imply a subjective experience like that of an animal (with memory, decision making etc). Could a rock, for instance, have individuated experience of its existence like a ...
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Wanted references to the Phillip K Dick Total Recall (1990) paradox

The movie Total Recall 1990 was inspired by the book "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" written by Philip K. Dick whose leading role was played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The storyline is about a ...
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How to denote the idea of nothingness in formal terms?

I was thinking about the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" , and have read about some theories that existence is the case because non-existence is logically impossible So, I ...
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5answers
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Problem with defining existence and being conscious

First of all i know that there is no widely accepted definition of existence, the same with definition of being conscious. However i would like to know whether there are definitions which are not ...
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Does the existential quantifier express existence?

Does the existential quantifier express existence? The existential quantifier is a symbol of symbolic logic which expresses that the statements within its scope are true for at least one ...
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How to make sense of minds of others? [closed]

I've asked a question about the criteria for existence, but here I want to focus on a particular aspect. What does it mean If I say: Bob has a mind - Bob's mind exists - Bob is not a philosophical ...
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Philosophic current in this excerpt of Ask the dust

I read Ask the dust by John Fante. The following is an excerpt from the book. It is right after Arturo went to Vera Rivken's place and feels guilty for having slept with her. My question is: what is ...
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why “I think therefore I am” not “I think therefore I am thinking”? [duplicate]

why "thinking" jumped into the conclusion of "existence" as things can exist without thinking too. and what are all the other method except this that could prove our existence?
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Does the real line mean that the start and end points of any line must exist?

In mathematics, a real number is a value of a continuous quantity that can represent a distance along a line https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_number We consider the set of real numbers, ...
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Does the Universe make sense? [closed]

When faced with a paradox, we say: well this can't be because it doesn't make sense. p = "x doesn't make sense" q = "x doesn't exist" The contrapositive preserves validity: p implies q (not q) ...
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Self contradictory things that can't really exist: can they be fully conceived of?

It seems like we can conceive of self contradictory things that can exist. e.g. the proposition expressed by "this sentence is false" is self contradictory but I don't seem to have any trouble ...

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