Questions tagged [existence]

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

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615 views

Does the Christian concept of eternal God and souls violate the Buddhist concept of Annica and Anatta?

Annica (impermanence) says that all conditioned beings are in a constant state of flux. Anatta (not-self) says that all beings (both conditioned and unconditioned) have no essence. It seems that the ...
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What does Sartre mean with that existence precedes essence and how is it related to the earlier existential philosophers' thoughts?

What does Sartre mean with that existence precedes essence and how is it related to the earlier existential philosophers' thoughts? Existential philosophers like Kirkegaard, Heideggers and Friedrich ...
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A joke on existentialism [duplicate]

First can somebody explain me the meaning of "Existentialism" in a layman's term. I looked up Wikipedia and some other sites but I am not getting the definition. In an episode of 'Criminal Minds', a ...
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Could it be possible that the universe doesn't exist?

Could it be possible that the universe doesn't exist? That nothing exists, not even you or me? And by not existing, I mean totally not existing, as in not even existing as a computer simulation, or a ...
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What are the ways one can use to demonstrate that it's possible for something to exist?

Notice that I'm not talking here about the actual existence of something, but the possibility of existence. About such ways, I only know one that is argumentative (which is the kind I would like to ...
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What's the difference between being in a simultion vs base reality

Having articles like Bostrom's "Simulation argument" gives us the probability that we are almost certainly living inside a simulation. Putting aside the emotional, intuitive discomfort about it, what ...
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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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Are the laws of order and chaos in our universe unequal? How did that ratio come to be set? Can we scientifically measure that ratio/constant?

A few friends and I sat watching trash TV under the influence last night, and we inevitably started chatting to avoid the white noise facing us. Somehow this chat sparked off a chain of thoughts in me ...
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4answers
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Can we distinguish physical from informational existence?

Physical existence would be everything that exists in the physical world such as the stone in my garden while the informational existence would be the consciousness and qualia (I don't really know how ...
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Is being logical for our Universe, is the only possible option?

There is a lot of questions around such as why mathematics/scientific laws rules the universe (or as an alternative view, they are just our tool to quantify it, and universe exist as exists), but my ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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In regards to Rene Descartes meditations, if there existed an all powerful evil demon, why couldn't it trick you into believing you exist

If it is all powerful, why can't it trick you into thinking you exist and have thoughts? If the cogito is unbreakable, then how could the demon be all powerful if it is bounded by laws it cannot ...
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Philosophically, what are ways in which one can define “intelligence” in general?

I've always been wondering, what with I.Q. tests and all, how one can better sense intelligence. Not intelligence as in how much we are measured to know, but how much of what we know is actually known ...
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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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Do some things not exist? [closed]

Quod sic: The Statue of Zeus no longer exists (it was destroyed by fire in the 5th century A.D.) Therefore, there is something (the Statue of Zeus) that does not exist. Contra: How can there be ...
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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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Why does human race has to survive and continue to exist? [closed]

For some questions in philosophy and ethics, the ultimate answer is the welfare and continuation of the human race. Nations are spending millions of dollars on space programs in case of a global ...
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Why do we have a problem about understanding the concept of the “empty set”?

   The title seems quite bit more generalized, but I'm saying about the philosophers and mathematicians in the past who discussed about the concept of nothing, or the empty set. I'm ...
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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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Can I have thoughts about fictional characters?

For: I can be thinking about Frodo. I can think, e.g. that Frodo was the character introduced in the second chapter of LOTR, or that Smeagol was the hobbit who fell to his doom at the end of the book. ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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Are there any other things like 'Cogito ergo sum' that we can be certain of?

Are there any other things we can be certain of? Are there any 'hooks' that can be hooked into 'I think therefore I am', that one could be 100% certain are truthful as 'I think therefore I am' itself?
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What does it mean for an object to exist?

In many cases, we ask questions if something already exists! Many times, I ask myself, What does the term even mean? What does it mean to exist? What are common answers to this question and where ...
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The inability to imagine general nonexistence [duplicate]

After reading the question regarding "Why is there something instead of nothing?" I stumbled over the first part of "Sauls" answer: Before anything else one should be aware of the instrument used ...
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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 ...
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Considering the universe has a limited timespan, how would god fit into this? [closed]

Let's consider the universe to have an existence that is temporally limited (i.e., it will eventually implodes on itself or falls apart). Now, let's consider that there is a god in that universe. ...
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If the universe came from “nothing”, why is it assumed that there is no life after death?

I've been thinking today about the Big Bang theory and how I've heard people claim that before the big band there was "nothing". And that when we die, there is nothing. No more life, etc. But is that ...
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Illogical part of universe

This question is based on many assumptions: That since universe could not appear out of itself and could not be created by someone there has to be a other part of 'universe' (I am not sure if ...
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What is the analytic-synthetic dilemma concerning existence?

Reading a paper on Descartes I found the following summary of criticism: Stuart Hampshire, on the one hand, emphasizing the indubitability required of the principle by Descartes, concludes that ...
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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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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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Existence of abstract objects for a physicalist

Let's say I'm a physicalist. Usually then, I will think of abstract objects as mental constructs, which are dictated by mental states, which, as a physicalist will say, are manifestations of physical ...
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What does Spivak mean exactly in her paper “can the subaltern speak”?

What does G. Spivak mean by epistemic violence in her essay "Can the subaltern speak"? What I understand by her paper is that intellectuals in Europe and western countries control the kind of ...
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5answers
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Where do things come from? [closed]

Nothing is...not for long anyway.Everything is in a state of flux and this implies that every object has a story behind it.However,the possible options for stories of origin are not satisfactory: 1.We ...
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Could our universe simply be abstract mathematical existence?

Say we imagined a mathematical model so detailed that it completely describes a universe like our own. Now if we simulated such a universe on a futuristic supercomputer then obviously the beings ...
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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?
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What theory suggests that the world is an illusion?

I recently had a conversation wih a man who thought that nothing actually exists. He believed that we are only imagining everything and thus are the product of some kind of illusion. Could you ...
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“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 ...
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Is Suicide Courageous or Cowardliness? [closed]

Another good question which the movie Cloud Atlas presents by a gay love story, which ends tragically. Robert Frobisher commits the deed, sadly, but in his very last letter he wrote: My dearest ...
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How can we represent 'nothing' or 'nothingness' in predicate logic?

The question says it all. I'm at lost for how to do this edit: what had motivated this was Heidegger's "What is Metaphysics." This was my first stab at philosophy of a continental persuasion and ...
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Theseus Ship and Aristotle's cause

I'm referring to this page as a primary source of information. I don't get what Artistotle wants to show here. Or I didn't get the main idea he wanted to express. Let's take another example from ...
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What step in this argument is the least valid?

I know this is not a totally formal argument, and it is not mine, I just tried to distill it as much as I could to find where the weakest point is. Please help me if you want. It goes like this: H (...
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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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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 ...
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Is it necessary/possible to prove that facts exist?

I am having a debate with someone on the internets. He claims that there are no such things as facts absent interpretation. For example, if I see a ball dropping, it's not a fact that a ball is ...
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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 ...
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Eastern philosophy for a Western audience

I have been listening to and reading a lot of Alan Watts material on Eastern philosophy which I find to be greatly edifying literature. I am having difficulty finding information on who is currently ...
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A discussion of consciousness and existence

Consider the following three scenarios: 1) Two clones with the same memories, feelings, etc. are in a room. Clone A is killed by Clone B. Clone B immediately loses all memories of Clone A and the ...
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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, ...