Questions tagged [existence]

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

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181 views

Would matter without any living individual also exist?

Suppose that everything that is considered as living individual suddenly dies out. What would happen to matter if now there is nobody who can think about it?
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3answers
228 views

How does indefinability affect existence?

If something cannot be defined using outside references, does that mean that such a thing does not exist? For example, Totality (supposed to mean absolutely everything including this statement) ...
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5answers
365 views

Is there any reality or substance in matter and energy without God?

Substance {Gk. ουσια [ousia]; Lat. substantia} "What a thing is made of; hence, the underlying being that supports, exists independently of, and persists through time despite changes in, its ...
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2answers
292 views

What is value of a philosphical argument/theory when a conclusion can never be reached?

I have seen several questions and discussions recently on this forum concerning p-zombies, whether or not what we call consciousness is a tangible entity or merely an illusion or elaborate scheme ...
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2answers
219 views

Does nihilism deny that any objective value ever existed or just now?

I read that the viewpoint of nihilism denies the existence of objective values and meaning. But does it also say that the values never existed, never can or will exist or just that these values don't ...
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1answer
258 views

How to express Kant's notion of existence on first-order logic according to Ayer?

In Language, Truth, and Logic, Ayer writes: [As] Kant pointed out, existence is not an attribute. For, when we ascribe an attribute to a thing, we covertly assert that it exists. However, I can't ...
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4answers
1k views

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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3answers
20k views

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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1answer
189 views

Is gender a property of essence or existence?

In his address, the Holy Father said: According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. The use of the word "...
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1answer
560 views

A Don Quixote existential question [closed]

I guess everyone knows about Cervantes's character "Don Quixote" and the metaphor within it's lifestyle. Even though every single individual understands it differently, in my opinion Don Quixote is ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
814 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 ...
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1answer
247 views

What were Descartes's justifications for the human ability to doubt, and why did he think it was so important?

In his Meditations on First Philosophy, Rene Descartes resolved to systematically doubt that any of his beliefs were true. This was done in order to build a system of belief that would consist of only ...
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2answers
676 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 ...
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3answers
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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'...
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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 ...
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1answer
785 views

One sentence to describe everything [closed]

How would you put together a reasonably short sentence, in order to describe everything? By everything, I mean that the sentence would be broad enough to cover any possible subject by recursive ...
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1answer
387 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?
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4answers
1k views

Proving that man is not born with certain skills?

I was arguing with my father about the nature of the human mind. I believe that a man is not born with a predetermined skill, such as painter or composer, and that through hard work and dedication, a ...
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2answers
623 views

Does time exist? [closed]

When we try to define time, we define it based on an event which happens periodically. For example, in a clock,we say that the time elapsed is 1 minute if the second hand completes 1 revolution. Here ...
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5answers
868 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
349 views

What are the latest arguments for/against the existence of God? [closed]

What are the newest or latest arguments for or against the existence of God? What is the state of this debate? After proponents and critics have argued and responded to everything so far, what else ...
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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?
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3answers
8k views

Is illogical = not logical?

I think law of excluded middle makes sense to mean that a statement should be either logical or illogical but in this case I don't assume "not logical" = "illogical" since the author didn't say "...
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3answers
660 views

If ontology is theory of existence, then what is theory of essence?

Some words in philosophy are usually represented as theory of x. For example, logic is the theory of reasoning, epistemology is the theory of knowledge, ontology is the theory of existence, etc. On ...
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4answers
2k views

What is the difference between existing in the mind and non-physical existence?

How could one detect the subtle difference, if any, between imagining a being and using the imagination to interact with a non-physical being? To provide some context for this question, I will give a ...
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25answers
8k 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 ...
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4answers
896 views

Is it possible to determine an object's nonexistence? [closed]

The fish bowl argument is the observation that things are the way they are not due to some improbable (or otherwise) happenstance but rather because we are completely unfamiliar with the alternative. ...
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19answers
33k views

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. ...