Questions tagged [existence]

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

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What compels the existence of "life" when it essentially boils down to a mere arrangement of atoms and particles? [closed]

There is no meaning to existence. It exists, and it disappears, everything in our perception will one day disappear, the world will end or the human race will end. The “You” means nothing to existence....
rajveer singh's user avatar
8 votes
9 answers
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What's the reason to live in this life?

I'm scared of life too much. What will happen after this life ends? Even in this life, what is happening? Are we just some animals who have higher consciousness and are interacting with each other? ...
Srijan's user avatar
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Is it true that no philosopher disagrees that everything exists?

I am baffled by what Quine claims here: A curious thing about the ontological problem is its simplicity. It can be put in three Anglo-Saxon monosyllables: 'What is there?' It can be answered, ...
Speakpigeon's user avatar
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What would it be like for a person with no senses and no motor functions at all since birth?

As a sort of thought experiment trying to go to the farthest lengths of knowing oneself from the distractions of this world, I wanted to know what it would be like for a person that was born with none ...
How why e's user avatar
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Unperceived Existence

My daughter is at university reading neuroscience. One of her modules this year is philosophy and she is struggling with this question. "Do we infer the unperceived existence of what we perceive ...
Owen Brookes's user avatar
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How does the claim that existence is not a predicate of objects interact with abstract objects?

It's occured to me that Kant's famous argument that "existence" is not a predicate whatsoever, which eventually became the prevailing position on the subject due to Frege and Russell, seems ...
Johnathan Green's user avatar
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10 answers
561 views

Does any philosophy define 'existence' such that unobservable things exist?

In Science and the Unobservable Nature (1937) it says An outstanding characteristic of modern physics is that only that which is observable is significant. ... the followers of Einstein maintained ...
Chris Degnen's user avatar
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If something is temporally and spatially vague, then can it be individuated by its absence?

1 If something is temporally and spatially vague, then can it become nothing? I am thinking that it cannot be entirely individuated from its absence while it exists, because e.g. the space where it ...
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Do arguments arising from probability convincingly argue a mass human extinction event in the near future? [closed]

One such argument is the Doomsday argument which is taken seriously by a number of academics. But more simply, if we look at the modern population trajectory, it's something of an exponential curve. ...
yters's user avatar
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Does something that exists hypothetically exist at all?

So, I was asking myself the question: if something will exist in the future, with almost absolute certainty, but has not come to existence yet, can one claim that it exists? And, can one claim that it ...
Reocedas's user avatar
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6 answers
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What's the least amount of things that can possibly exist?

Suppose there only ever existed one indecomposable, irreducible object. What could distinguish it from nothingness? From not existing, as there is nothing besides it that could deduce its information? ...
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Existence, Stating/Proving in Logic

Proving dogs exist If x barks then x is a dog: ∀x(Bx → Dx) t: Timmy (a dog) PROOF: ∀x(Bx → Dx) [Premise] Bt [Premise] Bt → Dt [1 UI] Dt [2, 3 MP] ∃x(Dx) [4 EG] QED Proving ghosts don't exist If the ...
Agent Smith's user avatar
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Does 'cogito ergo sum' actually establish the existence of an objective truth/reality?

Before I start describing my questions, I would like to draw some background on my understanding and knowledge of Descartes' ontological(metaphysical) views regarding the cogito and philosophy in ...
How why e's user avatar
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Is consciousness universal?

I have just read "Why" by Philip Goff. He proposes that matter consists of conscious entities. Physics based on mathematics tells us what matter does, not what it is. This has implications ...
Meanach's user avatar
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Why is Sextus Empiricus not self-contradicting and where can I read about his works?

Firstly, Sextus states: "By way of preface let us say that on none of the matters to be discussed do we affirm that things certainly are just as we say they are: rather, we report descriptively ...
Fraser Pye's user avatar
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3 answers
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If we keep asking "why" are we guaranteed to end up in one of the three states of the Münchhausen Trilemma?

Could you please explain your reasoning. I thought the whole point of this trilemma was that you can't know anything for certain, yet they propose with certainty that you end up in one of these states,...
Fraser Pye's user avatar
2 votes
7 answers
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Did Descartes make assumptions in his "I think therefore I exist"?

Didn't Descartes assume the act of doubting, before "proving" that "I think therefore I exist". Its possible to "feel uncertain about feeling uncertain" i.e. doubt the ...
Fraser Pye's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
89 views

Can the existence of space be in the absence of matter/energy and time? [closed]

This question has potentially a long answer or ironically a very short answer if the question is a load of nonsense, however, I'm going to ask it anyhow. I propose there are three fundamental ...
8Mad0Manc8's user avatar
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0 answers
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Can ontic vagueness not exist?

As far as I can tell, I am going to buy a book on ontic vagueness to work out what it is, but I'm fairly sure it occurs when a vague term refers to something that itself is indeterminate, which may be ...
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2 answers
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In analytic philosophy, what's the difference between something existing and being real?

In analytic philosophy, the dominant view has it that things are real iff they exist mind independently (i.e. they exist apart from our beliefs, concepts, cultural practices etc.). So there are two ...
Hal's user avatar
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How void and time originates matter?

- I'm a layman so i may seem confused and not even know what I’m talking about, but that’s why I’m here asking. Please explain this to me, it captivates me so much. If something exists it's affected ...
LAPOdes's user avatar
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What kinds of physical things exist mind independently?

Generally, it's said that a thing exists mind independently if it exists apart from our beliefs, concepts, cultural practices, etc. Do door knobs exist mind independently? They're collections of ...
Hal's user avatar
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What are the ontological implications of that “the universe is not locally real” in quantum mechanics?

Quantum mechanics is said to indicate that the universe is not “locally real”, because a particle is not in a defined state before measurement. But if a particle is not in a defined state, what is it ...
thinkingman's user avatar
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What is the origin of the idea of `set of everything`?

Recently I have come to an idea. It is not hard to come to so it should have been talked about by others before. But after some digging in Wikiepedia it soon become out of my reach with zero ...
jw_'s user avatar
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What is the lack of anything (including nothing)? [closed]

To clarify my question, I am not asking what is nothing, I am asking a more complex question, what is the lack of anything, which includes the absence of nothing (not anything), while assuming that ...
One Similarity Many Difference's user avatar
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Existence as a Predicate

In Predicate logic if I wanna say, Atoms exist, I don't/*can't (?) use Ex = x exists (make existence a predicate) and state Ea, where a = Atoms. The correct way to express Atoms exist is Ex(Ax), Ax = ...
Agent Smith's user avatar
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Question about Differences in Existential Quantification [closed]

Existent objects don't exist. There are no existent object. It seems 1 is inconsistent and 2 consistent. Both propositions seem to declare something exists, but is there a difference in these claims? ...
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2 answers
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Does position imply existence? [closed]

People in that room don't exist. Is it contradictory because "people in that room" mean the people exist? Does "in the room", "in the school", etc all imply the existence?...
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14 votes
7 answers
3k views

What does "everything" mean?

For starter, I'm not a student in philosophy, but mathematics. I only have a general knowledge in logic and set theory, all in the context of mathematics. My question comes from a doubt I got while ...
Alessandro Nanto's user avatar
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Could something prevent us from ever existing?

There are several ideas regarding the creation of our universe that suggest that our universe emerged from another one (eternal inflation suggesting our universe is the byproduct of an inflationary ...
polarsmh's user avatar
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5 answers
284 views

Circularity in definition of Real

I'm having a hard time understanding the adjective 'real'. In some sense, we get that x is real iff x is in reality. So to say that y is a real boy, is to say that y is a boy, and y is in the ...
Mani's user avatar
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Why do some philosphers including Russell paraphrase this sentence?

To say “Pegasus doesn’t exist” is to say “it is not the case that there is exactly one x which is a flying horse of Greek mythology”. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nonexistent-objects/ “Pegasus ...
user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
316 views

Does every nation on Earth have a right to exist or do only peaceful nations have a right to exist?

I have been wondering lately as to what it is that gives every nation on Earth the right to exist. Throughout human history, at any point in time, the Earth has been a mixed bag of nations that were ...
user57467's user avatar
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3 answers
149 views

Is the universe necessary?

The Contingency Argument of Leibniz states that if the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God. This introduces metaphysics. But could the fundamental fabric of spacetime ...
Meanach's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
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Does knowledge of the scientific context aid consideration of philosophical questions?

Some fundamental philosophical questions are posed in the context of quantum physics. Does knowledge of the science aid consideration of these questions? Should the scientific background be explained ...
Meanach's user avatar
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1 vote
5 answers
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Does the law of large numbers explain why quantum mechanics leads to statistical regularities?

When the question of why chancy effects in quantum mechanics lead to statistical regularities is proposed, it is often answered using the law of large numbers. When you have particles that can be ...
thinkingman's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
175 views

Why does something exist, and not nothing? [closed]

I have a seemingly easy looking question, but I couldn't unfortunately find an answer to it, or rather a definitive one, that leaves no doubts. The question is, If there is a thing, what does it mean? ...
Kamran Noor's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
114 views

Can only one object exist?

Suppose so, then: What exactly can distinguish it from not existing, if the object itself is all there is? Any object trivially maps to itself via identity, so in order to deviate from the trivial ...
Myers Hertz's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
100 views

Does the universe have an ultimate purpose? [closed]

Objective purpose is an alternative? Universal, fundamental purpose?
Meanach's user avatar
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9 votes
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Does Dissociative ego disorder challenge Descartes‘ „cogito-argument“?

In the 17th century Descartes set out for a new start in philosophy. Applying the method of systematic doubt he searched for a philosophical statement whose truth stands firm and cannot be questioned ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Is the hard problem of consciousness really a problem? [closed]

If consciousness is essential to the universe then there is no problem. Integrated information theory posits that consciousness and its causal properties are identical. Leibniz's principle of ...
Meanach's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
113 views

Why does the universe exist? [duplicate]

The universe appears to have appeared from nothing. Why does something exist, and not nothing? This is about why, not how.
Meanach's user avatar
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1 answer
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Cogito Ergo Sum in Predicate Logic

Descartes' famously declared "cogito ergo sum (I think, thus I exist). How do you translate this into predicate logic? If T = I think and E = I exist, propositional logic has no problems (vide ...
Agent Smith's user avatar
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Does self transparency mean that human like existence, and nothing else, can be intrinsically valuable?

Does self transparency mean that human like existence, and nothing else, can be intrinsically valuable? I was thinking maybe it is, becasue humans are capable of positing themselves as valuable, while ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
304 views

Is there a law stating impermanence of machines?

All livings beings take birth, age, and die. This is well understood as a Truth in philosophy through inductive argumentation. That begs a follow up question: is there any formulation of a Law based ...
Dheeraj Verma's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
768 views

Question Regarding Holes

What even are holes? Are they something or nothing? Do they even exist? Sure, you might think me saying that holes do not exist is idiotic but think about it. The existence of holes doesn't make sense ...
Kamran Noor's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
97 views

Something and Nothing [closed]

What is something and what is nothing. They both need each other to exist. Why is there something but not nothing?
Kamran Noor's user avatar
3 votes
9 answers
2k views

Is the concept of (Total) Nothingness self-refuting?

I've been reading the SEP about Nothingness and it gives a good summary of the philosophy around "Why is there something rather than nothing?". One of the confusions it notes is that "...
Annika's user avatar
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Fixed/critical points of a nonexistence quantifier/function

Let j(∃0) = 1, and j(∃1) = 1, for a justification function j on ∃-sentences. So far, 0 is the initial critical point of the composite quantifier-function, and 1 is the initial fixed point. So let ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
92 views

Can any given hypothetical being suffer from not coming into existence, if we consider that there is an infinite variation of them?

The question sounds like a direct contradiction on its own, since a being that does not exist does not have the capacity to suffer. However, most cultures have evolved, for obvious reasons, towards ...
Qwokker's user avatar
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