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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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Has any philosopher ever argued succesfully that anything at all does not exist?

Is it possible to prove that something does not exist? I'm asking because I find it very difficult to think of any such idea.
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360 views

For Husserl, how can we know things in themselves?

I don't quite understand the nature of "going back to things themselves". How does Husserl break away from Kant?
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159 views

Is it, a priori, more likely that an unknown object does not exist than that it does?

For me, intuitively the answer seems to be yes. But I don't know how this could be justified a priori. The hypothesis "x does not exist" seems not to be simpler than the hypothesis "x exists". By the ...
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Cogito ergo sum and its actual meaning [duplicate]

I think therefore i am is often accepted as true.But how do we know that the fact we are doubting something makes us real?we can be a stimulation or be dreaming.Why is the act of thinking given so ...
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2answers
341 views

What are the implications of eternal life

The premise What would be the consequences of transferring the consciousness of a middle-aged person to a mechanical object or device (such as a robot), as opposed to another biological body? ...
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Why do we even exist? [duplicate]

Looking through the Astronomy.SE I stumbled across the question Why do we even exist?: It came to my mind one day that why does this universe even exist and why do we even exist and like we are ...
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7answers
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Does the whole universe end when an individual dies?

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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2answers
162 views

Does anything exist outside present experience?

Is there any identifiable attribute to truth other than EXPERIENCE of it appearing to be true ? Is there any more ' truth ' to it ? Things we've believed to be true for millennia have been provided ...
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What's the argument behind 'Humanity will end when we find something we cannot classify'?

Some time ago a friend told me that was the most mind-blowing statements he has ever heard. However, he was not capable to tell me why the sentence could be true; what were the reasons to support that ...
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What is the theory that existence, life, and/or consciousness arise simply because all possibilities must be exhausted, and this is one of them?

I distinctly recall reading a Wikipedia page listing multiple theories on the origin of existence itself. One in particular, described in the title, was fascinating and came to mind recently, but I ...
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2answers
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Descartes's cogito falls short [duplicate]

I just started learning philosophy at school, so please forgive me if what I say sounds naive or has been disproved by philosophers. Basically, the teacher said that Descartes said "I think therefore ...
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2answers
196 views

Do we continue to live because “I can always die, but not always live”

In response to "Why do we continue living?" I've come across the idea that we hold nothingness to be uneventful, how we believe it to be consistent, to be "nothing" at all instances of time, or thus ...
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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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5answers
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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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8answers
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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
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Do material things like trees, birds exist if we are not there to percieve them?

I have not been reading philosophy seriously for very long but I have come across George Berkeley, who said that material things are simply ideas in our minds. Therefore if we are not there to ...
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3answers
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How can one say that only matter exists without presupposing the idea of existence/being?

I am having some troubles with the whole notion of materialism which states that only matter exists. Doesn't stating that something exists presuppose the idea of existence/being, and therefore that ...
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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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Does string theory raise new philosophical questions about existence of physical objects?

If you look at the configuration space of a robot arm, it is a manifold. Does this manifold exist in the same sense as strings in string theory? Or do the strings in string theory exist in another ...
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What reasoning (if any) do we use to prove we or the world exists?

p.s Are our observations of the world inductive, or is it just the conclusions that we draw from them which are inductive?
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Can the issue of “something from nothing” be resolved by analogy?

I'm wondering if the question Why is there something rather than nothing? is like the question Why is there up rather than down? In the latter, I think it becomes clear that the implicit ...
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0answers
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Do (any) philosophers worry if there can be a priori truths about a changing world?

Do (any) philosophers question how there can be a priori truths about a changing world -- has anyone worried whether this is possible, or if those different modes, of timeless truth and contingent ...
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424 views

What is the meaning in our existence? [closed]

So I dont know why but I am starting to get these questions in mind..let's see..where to start.. So at first I think it started from me thinking about life and death...you get born into this world, ...
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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 characteristics of that object , ...
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Would Quine say that Pegasus is not a winged horse? [duplicate]

Would Quine say that Pegasus is not a winged horse? This sounds absurd, unless he means in reality, independent of our stories about Pegasus. It seems that Quine says everything that has being exists....
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Are “to exist” and “to have being” the same?

I recently read an introduction about ontology. A section was about the debate whether to exist and to have being is the same. One position says (attributed to Meinong), that some things exist and ...
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1answer
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Are we all living in a “Black Box” and may we ever be able to make the world to serve our purpose?

This world is a "Black Box" in essence. If we want to know how it works, we will be lost. We can only find our way if we strive how to use the world to serve our purpose. The very same notion is true ...
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What does 'hermeneutic analysis' mean for non-literary material?

I am reading Exploring Robotic Minds by Prof. Jun Tani in which he describes Heidegger as having performed a hermeneutic analysis of the problem of the subjective vs the objective. Heidegger just ...
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4answers
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Descartes and existence

What does it mean to exist for Descartes? Of course I know about cogito ergo sum, but is that all there is to it? Is the only criterion to exist to be able to think? Or is there more to it? And if it ...
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What does it mean to know that I have always met the same duckling all todays and tomorrows? [closed]

My pet duckling plays alone in the veranda, eats there and stays there; I do not put it in a cage. Every morning I go visit it, and at my sight I sense it feels a rush of emotion and promptly starts ...
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Isn't biocentrism just a simple deduction from subjectivism?

I havent actually read his book, but as he's described it, I thought that he was just sharing his view on subjectivism. Biocentrism, as Robert Lanza says, is: ..."the view that life creates ...
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Is there a difference between things that can't be interacted with and things that don't exist?

Suppose there is a magical kingdom that is hidden somewhere over the rainbow and can never be reached by anything, most people would say that such a place might as well not exist. However, the same ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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Where does Plato state the principle of plenitude?

I am wondering if anyone could share a passage from Plato in which he addresses the plenitude of the Forms. I have come across the following statement multiple times but am unable to find a citation. ...
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Does the simulation hypothesis confuse discovering with inventing?

The simulation hypothesis seems to stipulate that the actual simulation is what makes the inhabitants of the simulated universe to come alive, to exist. This is what I am questioning. If I create a ...
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Does the fact that economists cannot fully explain where money for macroeconomic profits and interest comes from support a belief in anti-realism? [closed]

Given that a basic question about money flow in such an important science as economics is unsettled to this day, can basic questions about objective reality be resolved in economics (or any subject)? ...
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1answer
105 views

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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Is it possible to know anything?

I am very sure this apple in front of me exists. I could be hallucinating however, so lets say: I am 98% certain the apple exists. I am confident that (1) is a fair assessment, but I can't really be ...
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What is the logical structure of this argument by a Hindu philosopher about causation?

The Khandana Khanda Khadya is a work by the 12th century Hindu philosopher Sri Harsha which in some sense sets out to disprove epistemology - it seeks to show that all putative means of knowledge, ...
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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 ...
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218 views

Ontological status of variables

Background This question has its origin in this post. More specifically, in giving answers to the following questions, In what way does the collection of all sets consist of sets? What are ...
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597 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 ...
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668 views

Because nothing exists, nothing also does not exist

Because nothing exists, nothing also does not exist. If you look at nothing as the opposite of something. The existence of one requires the existence of the other. But since one explicitly says it ...
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Hypothetically observable

Question: When is it appropriate to assign the property "hypothetically observable" to a thing? The set up is that someone is discussing an object that they claim has some sort of existence. Maybe ...
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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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Movies on philosophy similar to “Waking Life”? [closed]

The movie "Waking Life" is a philosophical masterpiece: a quasi non-narrative psychedelic dreamscape exploring the very nature of both existence and non-existence in unpredecented depth. In a ...
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Is it possible to think of something that doesn't contain anything exists? [duplicate]

Is it possible to think of something that does not contain anything that already exists? If not, why? Examples. Flying alligators are animals. Flying straws are straws. Is it possible for our ...
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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 ...