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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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4 answers
398 views

Do meanings of statements exist?

It was suggested to me in another thread that materialism is self defeating. But when I looked at the reason for that statement I found confusion in the argument. (4) MATERIALISM [Definition] The ...
6 votes
8 answers
1k views

How is existence in presentism reconciled with relativity of simultaneity?

New 2024 Note - this is an old question from 2016 that I forgot about - for a new version with a possible solution take a look in Presentism in Light of Relativity — It's About Time I Asked This Here. ...
0 votes
3 answers
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Why is Sextus Empiricus not self-contradicting and where can I read about his works?

Firstly, Sextus states: "By way of preface let us say that on none of the matters to be discussed do we affirm that things certainly are just as we say they are: rather, we report descriptively ...
2 votes
4 answers
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What is the meaning of existence? [closed]

What is the meaning of the word 'exist'? Its etymology reveals it's derived from two Latin words: ex = from + ist = is Thus, its inventor intended it to mean from is. What did the inventor of the ...
5 votes
2 answers
92 views

Aquinas on the relation between essence, being, and existence

In Summa Contra Gentiles 2.9.4, Aquinas writes Just as active power is something acting, so is its essence something being [Sicut potentia activa est aliquid agens, ita essentia eius est aliquid ens]....
3 votes
0 answers
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Did Descartes declare the "Non Cogito" first, prior to "cogito ergo sum"

I took A-Level Philosophy, during which we studied Descartes "Meditations" at length. I remember our teacher explaining that, whilst "Cogito ergo sum" was the famous phrasing, ...
5 votes
4 answers
192 views

Certainty for the existence of tomorrow?

The title might not be the best but it was the best I could do. The question presses on the matter of continuity of time and the necessity of existence as a connected metaphysical phenomena. Just like ...
3 votes
4 answers
127 views

What are some logically equivalent formulations of “uniqueness”?

A monoid is a mathematical structure with an associative law of composition and an identity element. It can be proven that if an element of a monoid has an inverse, then the inverse is unique: Assume ...
0 votes
0 answers
40 views

Hugh MacColl and Meinong's position on existence

After researching the Russell and MacColl debate, at first I didn't know about MacColl, but I became very interested in him, so I continued to research him and eventually found out more about theory ...
2 votes
1 answer
106 views

What is the origin of the idea of `set of everything`?

Recently I have come to an idea. It is not hard to come to so it should have been talked about by others before. But after some digging in Wikiepedia it soon become out of my reach with zero ...
6 votes
2 answers
147 views

Does Kant implicitly commit the paralogism of pure reason when saying that to have a representation it is necessary to accom­pany it with 'I think'?

In Caygill's Kant Dictionary entry of 'I Think' there is this part: Kant further claims that 'I think' is the necessary vehicle/form/accom­paniment of experience: to have a representation it is ...
0 votes
1 answer
58 views

Does all the existence have a will to remain existing? [closed]

First of all: i am a layman. Body/bodies: Material Being/Has mass and volume And what i mean by the title: Everything that exists (that is composed by any chemical element) has the will/determination ...
2 votes
6 answers
331 views

Does the statement "only matter exists" denote a false proposition or a true proposition? [closed]

The proposition denoted by the English statement "only matter exists" has a truth value that's constant in time. I want to know if it's true. To answer the question, you need to know the ...
1 vote
4 answers
152 views

How many things is a blob? [closed]

Imagine you have two types of play-do. You mix them up till you can't tell the difference between them but you have a machine that can split them up. How many types of play-do do you have in your hand?...
2 votes
3 answers
107 views

Is there a difference between "there is" versus "there exists"?

I have heard the phrases "there is" and "there exists" used interchangeably, but I am now wondering, is there a difference between them, and if so, what is it? Also, have ...
2 votes
2 answers
377 views

Is a void where the laws of physics hold actually a void?

I don't have much background in Cosmology, but an argument I've heard is that the universe sprang into existence from the void via a quantum fluctuation. That is both spacetime & its matter/energy ...
2 votes
2 answers
115 views

How can something exist and then cease to exist?

Let's imagine a system that sequentially goes through three configurations. At time t1 the system is in configuration A, at time t2 in configuration B, and at time t3 in configuration C. That is, ...
5 votes
6 answers
3k 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 ...
3 votes
4 answers
351 views

If something exists, does everything exist?

Has anyone argued this? I haven't formulated a coherent argument, so I'm just throwing this out there to see if anyone has thought about this already. Intuitively, I think it makes sense that ...
8 votes
7 answers
796 views

Unperceived Existence

My daughter is at university reading neuroscience. One of her modules this year is philosophy and she is struggling with this question. "Do we infer the unperceived existence of what we perceive ...
12 votes
16 answers
8k views

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 ...
5 votes
4 answers
881 views

Is it possible to show that something does not exist?

I am aware that I could show that something does not exist with the knowledge of an implication. If B is true if A exists, then A does not exist if B is false But if we have no implications, is it ...
30 votes
19 answers
9k views

Is Alzheimer’s disease evidence for the non-existence of the soul?

As Alzheimer's disease kills off neurons, a person's personality and cognitive abilities gradually fade away. Doesn't this suggest that the self or "soul" is simply an emergent property of ...
1 vote
2 answers
131 views

What do you think about all existence following the very same laws? [closed]

So, i was wondering: Planets, Stars, etc. Have a similar behavior to us, humans. I mean, they consume energy to stay "alive" and when this energy ends up they "die". And in the end ...
0 votes
1 answer
49 views

Does Kant's scheme for the analytic/synthetic distinction have room for a (degenerate?) further distinction, for "hyperanalytical" knowledge?

Kant can be easily misread (or: I myself easily misread him, for a long time) as claiming that no "existence claims" are analytically knowable. Technically, though, his system has it that (...
4 votes
0 answers
50 views

How much philosophy is about terminology and human conceptions?

I see a lot of sentences like "If a tree fell and nobody hears it did it really fall", or many questions related to infinity. But each of this questions can be true or false according to ...
3 votes
0 answers
27 views

Would presentism and vagueness of the present imply that every event has borderline existence?

Would presentism and the vagueness of the present imply that every event that occurs is in a borderline state of existence? Since vagueness is characterized as having borderline cases. I take ...
0 votes
4 answers
317 views

Is it possible to argue convincingly against suicide?

My question is more specifically about arguing convincingly against suicide from the perspective of some kind of universal inheritance. We find ourselves existing in the universe. If we accept the ...
6 votes
4 answers
1k views

Nothingness: What philosophical concept relates to how the empty set is a subset of every set?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: “Where do vanished objects go?" "Into nonbeing, which is to say, everything," replied Professor McGonagall. "Nicely phrased," replied ...
6 votes
5 answers
220 views

Is consciousness universal?

I have just read "Why" by Philip Goff. He proposes that matter consists of conscious entities. Physics based on mathematics tells us what matter does, not what it is. This has implications ...
15 votes
15 answers
2k views

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

Can a person know that something like "free will" must exist even though an exact definition in words, using language, cannot be provided, and in the absence of a complete theory that ...
4 votes
1 answer
297 views

According to Aquinas, what is the relationship between the substantial form of a bodily being and its act of existing, ie. its esse?

Consider, for example, an existing bodily being. Because it is bodily, we know that it is composed of prime matter and substantial form. Also, because the bodily being is existing (not just made up in ...
0 votes
1 answer
90 views

Can existence only be reasonably defined as a relation? [closed]

Here is an observation: Things that exist are verifiable, i.e., there is some external object, within its scope of accessibility, that can construct its information. By ‘construct its information’, I ...
2 votes
5 answers
200 views

Can anything happen at any time right now if there is infinite Possibilities in life?

If we live in a world with possibly infinite realities, and infinite space, doesn't that mean that there is an chance that anything could happen?
2 votes
1 answer
114 views

Is there a philosophical concept that describes the notion that all permutations of human experience must exist simultaneously?

It's the idea that, basically, if we each have our own paths to walk, so to speak, and if they are all unique to each individual person, then that must mean every possible permutation of a "life&...
3 votes
3 answers
134 views

Life: Pessimism vs optimism

I was reflecting a bit on the history of philosophy and religion and how they view human life. My question is the following: Why does it seem ( at least from my readings and knowledge, I might have ...
4 votes
1 answer
148 views

Did Peirce hold that, when stripped to its absolute core, Descartes’ cogito could be summarized as: ‘There is an Idea’?

In ‘The Simplest Mathematics’ (C.P. 4.71, 1893), C.S. Peirce elaborated: It is a fundamental mistake to suppose that an idea which stands isolated can be otherwise than perfectly blind. He professes ...
3 votes
2 answers
113 views

Do we live forever (in our own specific universes)?

*I would like to preface this by saying I am not philosopher and have not studied any philosophy. This is just something I have been curious about for a long time and finally decided to ask. I am ...
6 votes
4 answers
167 views

If we keep asking "why" are we guaranteed to end up in one of the three states of the Münchhausen Trilemma?

Could you please explain your reasoning. I thought the whole point of this trilemma was that you can't know anything for certain, yet they propose with certainty that you end up in one of these states,...
3 votes
3 answers
83 views

Implicit assumptions of the statement "If I've come to exist once, I will come to exist again" and if it could be disproved

"If I've come to exist once, I will come to exist again". It could be thought of as of an alternative to "reincarnation" but in a much more general sense, abstracted from any ...
8 votes
10 answers
4k views

What's the reason to live in this life?

I'm scared of life too much. What will happen after this life ends? Even in this life, what is happening? Are we just some animals who have higher consciousness and are interacting with each other? ...
2 votes
6 answers
1k views

Is it true that no philosopher disagrees that everything exists?

I am baffled by what Quine claims here: A curious thing about the ontological problem is its simplicity. It can be put in three Anglo-Saxon monosyllables: 'What is there?' It can be answered, ...
2 votes
4 answers
267 views

Proving God and believing only provable things

This question has two, related, parts. Part 1. I recently have been on some discussions regarding proving God exists and proving that Jesus is really the son of God; intertwined with that, there was a ...
2 votes
3 answers
315 views

Is "thoughts exist" a synthetic a priori statement?

I'm working off of Kant's conception of analytic/synthetic and a prior/a posteriori judgements. The definition of "thoughts" does not subsume their existence. That is, it is logically ...
1 vote
1 answer
137 views

What would it be like for a person with no senses and no motor functions at all since birth?

As a sort of thought experiment trying to go to the farthest lengths of knowing oneself from the distractions of this world, I wanted to know what it would be like for a person that was born with none ...
2 votes
10 answers
617 views

Does any philosophy define 'existence' such that unobservable things exist?

In Science and the Unobservable Nature (1937) it says An outstanding characteristic of modern physics is that only that which is observable is significant. ... the followers of Einstein maintained ...
5 votes
1 answer
166 views

How does the claim that existence is not a predicate of objects interact with abstract objects?

It's occured to me that Kant's famous argument that "existence" is not a predicate whatsoever, which eventually became the prevailing position on the subject due to Frege and Russell, seems ...
1 vote
2 answers
90 views

If something is temporally and spatially vague, then can it be individuated by its absence?

1 If something is temporally and spatially vague, then can it become nothing? I am thinking that it cannot be entirely individuated from its absence while it exists, because e.g. the space where it ...
3 votes
3 answers
153 views

Do arguments arising from probability convincingly argue a mass human extinction event in the near future? [closed]

One such argument is the Doomsday argument which is taken seriously by a number of academics. But more simply, if we look at the modern population trajectory, it's something of an exponential curve. ...
4 votes
7 answers
1k views

Does something that exists hypothetically exist at all?

So, I was asking myself the question: if something will exist in the future, with almost absolute certainty, but has not come to existence yet, can one claim that it exists? And, can one claim that it ...

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