Questions tagged [existence]

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

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45 views

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 the existence of all natural numbers equivalent to the existence of everything?

Imagine a static world, having no law of nature, hence no space and time and containing every natural number. So whatever model/concept of reality an existing being will ever create, it will be ...
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Who called death “the preoccupation of the wise”

Who called death "the preoccupation of the wise". It's something I read but can't find again. The idea was, I thought, that (the nature of) death was the unsolvable problem and the subject ...
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176 views

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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Existence in logic [closed]

It seems so easy: Define a universe U := {x | "x" <=> x & we can't infer a contradiction from it}, then the existential quantifier is the existential predicate "there is/exists". Exist-x ...
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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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39 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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90 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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Existence as a Predicate [duplicate]

Can I just create a predicate "Existence" defined as: E = {x|x was, is or will be}? I don't feel it would lead to anything weird, using logic. Take for example Sokrates: This guy existed, so he's ...
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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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166 views

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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601 views

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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189 views

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
222 views

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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2answers
180 views

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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127 views

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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113 views

Could an almighty Creator make something that existed for its own sake?

If someone sees their existence as an end in itself, yet also admits that they did not create themselves, then are they not saying that whatever created them had done so for their [the created thing's]...
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What is the purpose of the existence of the universe? [closed]

Why did the universe come into existence? Going through the timeline of the universe (Big Bang, separation of forces, symmetry breaking, particle formation...), everything that happened lead ...
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Is existence essential to God?

Thomas Aquinas said that God was absolute perfect, God being pure actuality and had no potentiality. If there was a time where there wasn't an existence, then God would have a potentiality and not ...
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299 views

Are there philosophers who argue for a close connection between consciousness and existence?

(I'm not entirely satisfied with this question because I can't quite express it clearly, but a personal experience has moved me to ask it. I know it may be too vague or general.) The consciousness my ...
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120 views

How is 'existence' defined? [closed]

How would you define 'existence'? Is it a requisite for an entity to be able to interact with other entities to be considered as 'existent'? What if there are real objects in the universe which ...
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Existence: Pain and Pleasure [closed]

Sometimes, I swear, I think the only two things in all of existence which have any real meaning whatsoever are "pleasure" and "pain" ... What does it mean to exist, if that existence is mired in pain?...
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Do Heidegger and some of his readers know why there is something rather than nothing?

Do Heidegger and some of his readers know why there is something rather than nothing? There seems to the suggestion in the SEP that he may explain why, but it's unclear in what way the argument can be ...
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Understanding 'existence' and 'being' in debates about ordinary objects

Quine has brought forward his definition of existence: 'To be is to be the value of a bound variable.' But has also taught us that the sciences ultimately determine what actually exists contrary to ...
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4answers
208 views

Is there another state besides existence and nonexistence?

Today I told someone who said that there is no objective truth the next thing: "For example, we, as humans, cannot know if God exists or he does not but we can know for sure that one of these two ...
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210 views

Is everything that exists an actual entity?

My professor asked us to think about this question as we go through the unit but I am not sure what the question means. I would greatly appreciate could help me understand the question or give me a ...
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104 views

What are some differences between Avicenna and Descartes in regards to being unable to doubt one's own existence

Given Descartes' Cogito and Avicenna's Floating Man arguments, what are some differences between them? It appears to me that they are both arriving to the same conclusion but the process by which they ...
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5answers
783 views

How can we be certain that we cannot be certain?

I read a lot about people saying that it is impossible to be certain about anything with 100% certainty, but that means that this rule in and of itself must be true 100%. I mean the rule that "we ...
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If turtles see everything, and nothing seen can see, does it follow that non-turtles exist?

Consider the following argument: Turtles see everything. Seeing is asymmetric (for the sake of argument). Therefore, something is not a turtle. I have problems symbolizing these statements. My ...
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4answers
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Would philosophy still exist if there was no life? [closed]

Would philosophy still exist without life? For example, for us humans, philosophy answers big questions and sort of governs society. But is philosophy something that would exist without life? On this ...
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If you place a pencil in an opaque box and close the box, does the pencil exist? [closed]

I’m trying to explain to my friends about things existing. I gave them this question: if you place a pencil in an opaque box and close the box, does the pencil exist? They say yes and I ask how do ...
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What if the Evil Genius in Descartes' “I think therefore I am” put into our minds the action of doubting?

I am briefly aware of Descartes' argument that even if an Evil Genius made us believe that the world is real the fact that we can doubt this shows that we are thinking and that through thought we can ...
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555 views

Has the instinct of survival a philosophical equivalent?

Descartes' fundamental truth (cogito, ergo sum) would help me accept without any doubt that I do exist. So, I accept that I do exist without any doubt. But there's another truth that --for me-- seem ...
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153 views

Can the existence of something be proven by logic alone [duplicate]

I want to know if proving the existence of something by using only logic is possible.
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What does Descartes mean by thinking?

He says, that he cannot think that he is thinking while actually not thinking. So, the fact that he thinks that he is thinking already guarantees that he thinks. But what kind of thinking is it? Does ...
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Do humans have the comprehension of an ant regarding certain things?

The leading theory behind the anomaly that is human intelligence is that humans had the greatest diversity in selective pressures over the course of our evolutionary history which allowed only the ...
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143 views

Lack of meaning in life [closed]

Most of people probably associate depression only with sadness, but it is a big mistake, because often there is huge drowsiness, apathy, indifference, constant physical fatigue, derealization, ...
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111 views

Is there a philosophy of what we can't know?

Is there a philosophy of what we can't know? I'd guess that some things we can't know may exist, and have properties. But is that the same as things that we can't know exist?

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