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Questions tagged [existence]

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

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Could 'cogito ergo sum' possibly be false?

I've heard it postulated by some people that "we can't truly know anything". While that does seem to apply to the vast majority of things, I can't see how 'cogito ergo sum' can possibly be false. ...
53
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25answers
7k views

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 ...
3
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2answers
571 views

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 ...
6
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6answers
4k views

Does anything you can think of exist?

Descartes famously says "I think therefore I am." Does it follow that anything I can think of exists?
8
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6answers
624 views

How is existence in presentism reconciled with relativity of simultaneity?

There is a famous question by Einstein which was reported by his biographer, the physicist Abraham Pais, and which expresses his concern with quantum physics: We often discussed his notions on ...
7
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4answers
753 views

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 characteristics of that object , ...
7
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2answers
219 views

What is and how far extends existence?

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 ...
5
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3answers
283 views

If there is life, then there is more complex life as well?

Researchers in Switzerland have developed an Altruism algorithm that shows how altruism in a swarm of entities can, over time, evolve and result in more effective swarm behaviour. For an ant colony, ...
13
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11answers
28k views

Can something come out of nothing or not? Why?

In our current state of affairs it is safe and reasonable to assume something exists - be it a universe, pure conciousness, illusion or other designations. If some readers nevertheless claim something ...
11
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4answers
6k views

What is the meaning of “meaning of life” and why do people seek it?

One of the oldest questions is "What is the meaning of life?". But what does the concept of "meaning of life" actually mean? What does it mean for something to be the "meaning of life"? And why is it ...
6
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5answers
2k views

What does it mean for something to exist?

When we say something exists, what do we mean by X? Specifically, my question is about whether there's something more primitive than saying something exists. In mathematics, existence is asserted by ...
8
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11answers
1k views

Proof Universe Came From Nothing?

Consider the following proof: (1) Let the Universe be defined as the set of all things. (2) It is impossible for a thing to come from itself. (You can't be your own parent) (3) 2 implies a set of ...
11
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6answers
3k views

Can one prove a negative existential claim?

A major concern in epistemology is just what we can know about existential claims, that is, claims about the existence (or lack of) something. Suppose for example that I assert the following: The ...
11
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3answers
5k views

How should we understand the teletransportation thought experiment?

Please read the short story here:Beam me up First, I'd like to to know whether there is anything inherently inconsistent about this teletransportation idea? Is there fundamental reasons which say it'...
3
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5answers
2k views

Nothingness cannot be. Does that imply something must be?

Nothingness doesn't be, that's the definition of nothingness (at least in this question) that what is not, does not exist. If there was no Universe, if there was nothing, nothingness would be, that ...
9
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8answers
2k views

In what sense if any could something without mass or energy exist?

I have long been interested in physics as (working toward) a description of absolute truth and, as a consequence, have had a number of discussions with people with religious and metaphysical beliefs ...
9
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3answers
1k views

Defenses of Descartes's rationality in regards to “cogito” fallacy?

What philosophers and in what writings, if any, have attempted to explain or defend Descartes's rationalism in respect to the "cogito ergo sum" fallacy pointed out by philosophers like Russell, and ...
0
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5answers
370 views

General question about our universe, mathematics and physics: Why is 1+1=2?

Although everyone is surely wondering about this question, I am asking it here though: Why is 1+1=2? Why is our universe build up like in that way, that such a formula is always working? (I know the ...
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12answers
1k views

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?
10
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2answers
7k views

How well did Aristotle feel his belief in the eternity of the universe was established?

In the Middle Ages, Aristotle's belief that the world was eternal posed a major theological challenge for the many people who held a religious belief in Creation. Moses Maimonides, in his Guide for ...
4
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4answers
302 views

Is existence a feature of life? Can a stone exist without life to recognize it?

First of all I would like to make clear I am not an expert in philosophy. With the question "Is existence a feature of life?" I mean the following: Could something exist without the presence of an ...
10
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4answers
1k views

How do the meanings of *to exist*, *to be*, and *real* differ?

What definition of to exist, of to be, and of real preponderates contemporary philosophy? How do the terms differ from one another?
7
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4answers
884 views

Descartes' Demon

This week I've been given to study from my highschool teacher Descartes' Demon argument but I have several doubts I fully understand it ,but let me put this in clear order : 1) I understand that ...
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3answers
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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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4answers
403 views

Could a philosophical zombie conclude “cogito ergo sum”?

Could a philosophical zombie conclude "cogito ergo sum"? Assume a philosophical zombie which is a hypothetical being that is indistinguishable from a normal human being except in that it lacks ...
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15answers
727 views

Why do things have a front and a back?

This question was asked by my three year old niece and I couldn't think of a good answer.
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2answers
155 views

Does fictional discourse pose special difficulties for logic?

Natural language is context-dependent, like the statement “My uncle is a plumber”, which is true or false depending on who asserts it. There has been lots of discussion about fictional entities and ...
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4answers
382 views

Is there a philosophical principle stating that everything that can be imagined can possibly / must necessarily exist?

Is there a philosophical notion that stipulates or proposes one of the following statements? Everything that can be imagined could also possibly exist. Everything that can be imagined must necessarily ...
7
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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 ...
5
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3answers
781 views

“I think, therefore I am” - How does “I” establish “I” before “I” can “think”?

The famous Cogito ergo sum opens with "I" can think, therefore "I" am. How does "I" establish "I" before "I" can "think"? in other words how did "I" establish "I" before it could think in the first ...
4
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2answers
672 views

Is Descarte putting the cart before the horse when he says 'cogito ergo sum'?

Famously Descartes said 'Cogito ergo sum'. I'm a bit puzzled by this. I do not need to think in order to assert/understand/intuit that I exist: when I wake up in the morning I immediately intuit that ...
2
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6answers
4k views

Do thoughts exist? How about ideas?

Do thoughts exist? (Yes, I know it depends what I mean by 'existence' but I want that to be included in any answer; another way to phrase my question would be, can you define 'existence' with a ...
2
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1answer
681 views

“cogito ergo sum” and then…?

After his ever so famous "cogito ergo sum", Rene Descartes' second (deep?) thought was something like "God exists" (according to my literature). I think he brought this up mainly due to historical ...
0
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3answers
2k views

Are numbers really infinite? [closed]

Things that we don't know exist but they exist, could we say that they exist? We can't think of a big big number, but probably that big big number exists, in the way of atoms that form a giant planet ...
6
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2answers
291 views

Existence vs tertium non datur

This is my first question here, sorry if it turns out to be a duplicate. Mathematical constructivism states that contradicting the non-existence of something won't imply its existence. Does it mean ...
5
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5answers
850 views

Does the concept of existence entail the concept of death?

Does the concept of existence entail the concept of death? I am asking this because many philosophers have tried to prove the existence of god (Descartes through the Meditations) by saying that he ...
5
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1answer
107 views

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 ...
4
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3answers
314 views

Does the concept of infinity mean we have already 'been'?

A memory that frequently inhabits my consciousness is that of a lesson taught by my religious education teacher in senior school. He likened the conditions and occurrences that resulted in the ...
3
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1answer
180 views

What is the difference between ∃ (existence) and A (actuality)?

The existential quantification can, it seems, be used with modal logic. Now excuse my naivety, but: if so, what is the difference between being actual and existential quantification? I'm just asking ...
3
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3answers
384 views

What is existence for existentialists?

As my current work leaded me to analyse existence from the systemic point of view, I've decided it's time to read Sartre and about existentialism, which I've long time postponed. So I've started with ...
3
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8answers
2k views

Why do humans think that something starts with nothing?

I always had a problem with how anything came into being. What I mean is that how come anything exists. Creationists try to solve it by God making stuff, but then where did God come from? Another God ...
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3answers
149 views

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
143 views

Why do some philosophers argue that we do not know, a priori, that something thinks?

The Cartesian argument seems to explicate the fact that I necessarily know that something thinks, and that I necessarily know that something thinks even if I don't checking the world to verify whether ...
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2answers
824 views

what lies beyond absurdity?

What should I read to break out of the endless loop that brings me back to the absurdity of (my?) perceived reality? (I'm not talking on a human scale but on an endless time scale) If the question has ...
1
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4answers
248 views

Is a pile of ants a, more or less, intelligent being?

Due to the definition of life an ant colony acts and reacts like a life form. There is even a "Ant colony optimization" Example Algorithm... Does this mean that the whole pile of ants, not its ...
0
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4answers
826 views

If all of us gonna die one day why should we care?

We are taught cum preached to care for other's feelings and emotions. We must exercise certain deeds hailed in holy texts. Why such things matters when we all will die one day?
0
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3answers
311 views

A Critcism of the Ontological Argument for God

Allow me to present the argument: (1) By definition God is that being which possesses every perfection. (2) Existence is a perfection. (3) Therefore, God exists. Whether you agree is not important,...
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1answer
349 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
384 views

The meaning of life [closed]

What's the purpose of our existence? :) Religions say that without the made-up gods humans have no purpose to live. Is meeting your maker the ultimate reason to live?