Questions tagged [existence]

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

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Can we create the Matrix?

Can we fully simulate the reality for a Brain in the Vat (BIV)? For example i clone myself and connect the clone's brain to a very sophisticated computer, which simulates a part of the universe (for ...
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12answers
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Can we logically prove that anything exists?

Suppose I want to prove that negative numbers exist. Well, I could easily do that using a mathematical proof. However, all I would be doing is adding another logical object to a list of known logical ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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2answers
248 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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1answer
82 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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4answers
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What are the counterexamples to Kant's argument that existence is not a predicate?

Kant argued that considering existence as a predicate is wrong. A predicate is a feature or characteristic of an object. But logically, existence adds nothing to the characteristics of that object, ...
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6answers
937 views

Why isn't existence a predicate?

According to SEP There are two sets of reasons for denying that existence is a property of individuals. The first is Hume and Kant's puzzlement over what existence would add to an object. What is ...
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1answer
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Axioms of change and time?

Listening to the audio version of objectivism by L. Pekoff for the second time, and I am so distracted by one thought I am finding it impossible to proceed. Existence, consciousness and identity, ...
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3answers
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How do moral skeptics respond to the concept of permissible heinous acts

The Problem Let's say I am debating my friend Jake who believes that morality exists. But I am a hard determinist who believes that all actions are predetermined by some act or event beforehand. Jake ...
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Some examples of philosophies that consider nonexistence the same as existence?

Can you give me some examples of philosophies that consider nonexistence the same as existence? I thought that maybe some paraconsistent systems (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraconsistent_logic) ...
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1answer
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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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Does the whole universe end when an individual dies? [closed]

Is it valid to think that from a "perspective" of a dead individue,universe has come to an end? I based this argument on my premise that from the start of the universe (~14 billion years ago) until ...
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What is the meaning of “predicate” in this definition?

I have trouble understanding the article on existence in this Philosophy dictionary. Instantiation in reality, or actual being. Kant pointed out that existence is not a predicate. What is the ...
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2answers
250 views

What is existence and how far does it extend?

Existence, for instance of a human being, need not be restricted to the material body. Also the influence exerted on the environment can be considered a part of their existence. A discussion with ...
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3answers
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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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4answers
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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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Why is there something instead of nothing?

A simple but fundamental question. The "something" means the whole Universe (known and unknown), it could be represented as the reality version of the set of all sets, which is itself debated. It ...
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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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12answers
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How can one differentiate nonexistent entities?

How is it possible for things that do not exist to not be the same? How can one differentiate nonexistent entities? How can I know the difference between ghosts and werewolves if neither exist?
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Death: A finite ending?

From the viewpoint of an atheist, when you die, you cease to exist. Your brain has grown old, and can no longer sustain the trillions of electrical signals that constituted who you once were. ...
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1answer
112 views

Philosophies that suggest that thoughts have an existence beyond their physical realization

I'm a beginner at Philosophy, and I'm trying to categorize this metaphysical belief: "Thoughts are thought by humans, but continue to exist, interact with other ideas, and exert power in some sort ...
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2answers
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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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0answers
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Was Heidegger in some way influenced by Kierkegaard?

There are seemingly common ideas in the philosophy of kierkegaard and hiedegger on the self. I thought came into my mind, was Hiedegger in some way influenced by kierkegaard's self-actualization as ...
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We do everything for pleasure

I have been in debate for a while now with me friend. I come here looking for feedback and possible outlooks to related sources. The question we posed a long time ago is interesting one: why do we ...
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0answers
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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
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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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1answer
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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
670 views

Is the universe just a mathematical construct?

Consider some continuous mathematical function. You can define it as a set of initial conditions and a set of rules to extend it to the rest of its domain. For instance, for a linear function, y = mx +...
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4answers
133 views

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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6answers
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Is it possible that I'm “God” or a special being/deity?

I know the first thing you may be thinking upon reading this, but there's more to this than you may have assumed. This is not one of those crazy questions where ego-driven maniacs simply call ...
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17answers
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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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1answer
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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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14answers
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Is willful ignorance about one's own mortality escapism?

I don't mean if someone is dying of cancer and they refuse treatment or something -- I'm saying if a healthy person who is unhappy obsessing over his own inevitable death one day chooses to ignore ...
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8answers
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Consciousness without thoughts or feelings?

I have noticed that I can sit in a room around people and be consciously aware ... but have no thoughts at all. People often say that your "mind is always thinking", but I can literally stare at a ...
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1answer
85 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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5answers
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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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12answers
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What arguments would support a secular pro-life position?

I've been thinking about the pro-life position (by "pro-life" I mean the position that abortion should be illegal. I.e. on par with murder) for awhile, and it is normally presented as a religious ...
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4answers
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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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2answers
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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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1answer
350 views

If there is anything that could behave like a god, is it then a real god? [closed]

Let's assume that the our universe's physics allows time travel. This is my main assumption! Let's further assume that there is an quite intelligent, invulnerable being, that found a way to achieve ...
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1answer
116 views

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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2answers
131 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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3answers
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Arguments/premises to disprove God's omniscience

I was thinking about validity of God's omniscience and stumbled upon three statements, which can be summarized as - To be omniscient, a being would require to capture and store all the data in the ...
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2answers
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How to disprove “I'm entitled to my opinion”

Background There is an article in The Conversation that attempts to disprove the notion that people are "entitled to their opinions." That is, people have a right to believe whatever they wish. I ...
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1answer
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How does this anthropic principle argument from Schopenhauer make any sense?

According to a blog post This is what another universe looks like, "in Arthur Schopenhauer's 1844 work "Von der Nichtigkeit und dem Leiden des Lebens", he argues that our world must be the worst of ...
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2answers
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Does a behavior/ideology need to be before it can be moral? [closed]

It seems that there are some characteristics that are dependent on other characteristics. For example: for a machine to be productive, it must first be functioning, so it must first be turned on, so ...
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2answers
156 views

Books/resources on non-existence

I believe that after we die there is nothing. The same that was before being born. So while I won’t care about not existing when it happens, the thought of it does bother me now, as I like being and ...
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2answers
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Does existence precede quiddity? [closed]

Is there an undisputed argument for the existence of God as, for instance, Avicenna's and Mulla Sadra's metaphysical argument, which state that "existence is ontologically prior to essence"? Some of ...
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1answer
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Does Valberg's “personal horizon” entail life after death?

The personal horizon is, Valberg contends, the subject matter whose center each of us occupies, and which for each of us ceases with death. This ceasing to be presents itself solipsistically not ...