Questions tagged [existence]

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

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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 ...
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Is gravity a natural manifestation of universal egoism? [closed]

What bothers me is the possibility that egoism could be an intrinsic trait of existence in general. So we have gravity whereby masses pull each other towards themselves. An objection could be that ...
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Comparing one modal interchange with another

In the normal systems of modal logic, you can have either of the following: Possibly X is defined as not necessarily not X Necessarily X is defined as not possibly not X I know this is not the same ...
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What are the arguments for and against metaphysical solipsism?

As far as I understand, from the position of metaphysical solipsism, everything that exists is only one single mind, and everything else is its hallucinations. And the only argument "for" ...
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5 answers
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If everything ends one day why don't we end it today?

Is there any doctrine which gives reason why to wait till end of the world? I'm 18 and not depressed. I am not asking the purpose of life. I'm asking why should we fulfil the purpose if the result or ...
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Is faith just a consolation for the common folk?

In reading Dostoevsky, I stumbled upon the perplexing question of faith being a mere consolation. And in spite of considering myself a believer, I still agree to this statement to a certain extent. ...
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Is there a difference between "Nothing exists in the universe" and "Nothing exists, not even the universe"?

Is there a difference between claiming "Nothing exists in the universe" and claiming "Nothing exists, not even the universe"? It seems to me that the former implies the universe, ...
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Can you disprove Last Thursdayism for the time since you were born?

Let's take this week for example. I know that I exist now on Monday, and that this coming Thursday won't begin all existence. Therefore Last Thursdayism for the future is disproved. This means that ...
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Something vs Nothing. Reality of 0?

Is nothing really nothing or is it something? Like is 0 something or nothing? And if nothing is something then would it be right to say that if nothing existed, something existed. And something must ...
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Simultaneity of Astronauts

Let us image a spacecraft in fast orbit. Since it took off its clock has lost several minutes relative to Earth time. From the ground we can speak to the astronauts, although there is 1 second radio ...
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How can anything, such as a gender or sex, be said to exist?

It’s very common to hear people nowadays say that there are two related aspects of humans with regards to perhaps something we could call “dimorphism” or typology associated with form and reproductive ...
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Is Husserl's transcendental ego God?

We will eventually come up against something that cannot be varied without destroying that object as an instance of its kind. The implicit claim here is that if it is inconceivable that an object of ...
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Do individual obligations cease to exist when discharged?

While I was thinking about a (hopefully possible!) system of deontic logic with a prospective and retrospective OB operator respectively(!), I was fairly uncertain, maybe even confused, about how I ...
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Are idealists committed to claiming that every idea contains its inversion?

Are idealists - does anyone claim - about some domain - committed to believing that every idea contains its inversion? So that, e.g. when an effect depends on its cause, the cause also depends on its ...
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Existence being analytic of God vs. God being analytic of existence

Elsewhere, in light of the idea that understanding is not a species of knowledge but an epistemic genus parallel to knowledge, and then in terms of an understanding logic, I asked whether knowledge of ...
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A proposal for the meaning of life [closed]

I propose that the meaning of something is "all of the information related to it", and thus that the meaning of life is "all of the information related to life" - all of the causes ...
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The shape and extension of the fundamental particles

You could say that particles are just 0-dimensional points. But point particles are just an idealization. If particles are taken to exist physically, and anything which has physical existence has ...
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Can truth exist even though nothing happens?

There’s magnet. If the magnet didn’t attract the other magnet and then disappeared, in this case can “the magnet attracts the other magnet” never be true?
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Is there a philosophical framework within which the question of existence does not arise?

Is there a philosophical framework within which the question of existence in general, and of matter in particular, does not arise? Being aware of the seemingly hopeless nature of the subject, I'm ...
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How did the existence-essence distinction help Aquinas explain finite being?

In a tortuously compressed passage, Frederick Copleston writes [Aquinas] adopted the (originally) Platonic notion of participation, [but] he did not employ it in a manner which would conflict with ...
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What sort of thought is nihilism?

The basic question for nihilism (as I understand) is "Why do I exist?" As they try to deny it. I was wondering that this is not a well defined concept. The argument is as follows, I exist ...
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If love could be measured as a physical energy, would it be philosophically / scientifically important? [closed]

Surely, philosophically, this scientific breakthrough is important: Whilst watching one of world-renowned polymath Gregg Braden's many presentations online, he introduced the principle that the 'love ...
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What does this quote by Albert Camus mean?

"...we fall into the ridiculous contradiction of a mind that asserts total unity and proves by its very assertion its own difference and the diversity it claimed to resolve." As written in ...
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Is al-Farabi right that predicates must add information and existence is not a predicate?

Al-Farabi claimed that existence is not a predicate, because "exists" as in "Apple is red and exists." doesn't bring any new information, but does a predicate have to bring in a ...
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What are the different forms of "why?" and why are they different?

It is so often asked: "Why?" But what does it mean? What do we expect from this question? A "because"? If the question is answered it seems to give people a kind of relief. Why do ...
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"Unicorns don’t exist" vs "unicorns aren't real"

What is the difference between “unicorns don’t exist” and “unicorns don't really exist”? Is this similar to how "it is true that there are unicorns" reduces to "there are unicorns"?...
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Is everything just coincidence?

The lyrics of a song by The Chameleons made me wonder: It's just coincidence Well you can talk that way But I have to say I don't believe in it After considering these lyrics, I have the ...
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How does Spinoza deduce substance must cause itself?

Prop. VII. Existence Belongs to the Nature of Substance Spinoza demonstrates this by arguing substance must be the cause of itself, i.e. existence must belong to the nature of substance (by def. 1). ...
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What are possible naturalistic explanations to the question of existence?

Non-philosopher here, though I enjoy reading about it. Without getting into complex deductive arguments, suppose I say the following: Define the entities of the material world however one likes (maybe ...
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Is reincarnation inevitable?

My reasoning: Suppose the universe is infinite in spacetime (both space and time have no bounds). In this spacetime, a cyclic appearance of particles occurs (cyclic big bangs). When I'm alive I ...
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On the purpose of human existence and unequal ability to understand complex things

I'm one of those people who think that the most important concern for us is to precisely understand the purpose of human existence ... I'm really surprised that our governments around the earth, even ...
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3 answers
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Must mathematical entities necessarily exist? [duplicate]

Are mathematical entities necessarily existing objects? That is to say, it is impossible for e.g. the real numbers not to exist. Have any philosophers talked about this topic?
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Is existence itself necessary?

I define ‘existence’ here as the totality of being, and I take it as obvious that existence is actual. In this context, ‘necessary’ will be defined as ‘must exist because it cannot fail to exist’. The ...
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3 votes
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Is there a view that only abstract objects exist, and being an abstract structure is enough for a world to be experienced by its observers?

I am looking for a view that would completely eliminate concrete objects by saying that being an abstract structure is enough for a world to be experienced by it's observers. If it is enough for a ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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Is there anyway to prove things happen/exist if I'm not aware of them?

I don't even know how to properly ask this, but how can one prove things happen without them knowing? Things only exist for me when I'm aware of them, either by direct contact (I see it, I feel it etc....
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4 votes
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Heidegger's "Dasein" vs. Sartre's "Being for itself"

I must admit, I am relatively new to existentialist philosophy. But I couldn't help notice the similarities between Heidegger's "Dasein" and Satre's "Being-for-itself". I was ...
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3 answers
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From what did we instantiated the concept of "Nothingness"

So as i understand according to Aristotle's theory of abstraction every abstract concept (i.e universal) is instantiated (or abstracted) from it particulars in the outside world if that so how can we ...
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2 answers
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Does my personal philosophy have a name?

I am not trained in philosophical thinking nor have I read philosophy except for the motto "I think therefore I am". My personal philosophy I know that something exists (by observation and ...
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4 answers
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Ruminations on the question 'Why there is something rather than nothing?' and the limits of explanation. May it be unanswerable?

I find myself incessantly returning to the brute mystery of existence, and find Leibniz’s pioneering answer to the fundamental question of metaphysics (as it is sometimes referred to) 'Why is there ...
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Are not all atheists' arguments against God pure evasions from the issue itself of God exists or not? [closed]

For example, let any readers here just ask an articulate atheist his argument that God does not exist, and you will notice that he is in his argument not really into arguing but into evading the issue ...
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Is there a difference between 'exists' and 'theoretically possible'?

For the purpose of this questions let's assume that the physics of our universe can be fully described by a complete non-contradictory theory (i.e. that theory of everything exists). Then our universe ...
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Can we make statements for persons/objects that cease to exist?

I am asking this question because I thought what truth value would have a have a quantifier over a set that contains persons that are dead. For example suppose I state: "For every x that is ...
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A clarification of nonexistence

This is similar to a question I asked long ago, but there was a misinterpretation. People often say that, for instance, unicorns don't exist, but isn't it more correct to say that there are no ...
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Does the existence of a thing necessarily imply its logical necessity?

In formal logic, does the existence of a thing necessarily imply its logical necessity, i.e., is it possible for something to exist without being logically necessary? Can a logically unnecessary thing ...
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What is a universe? (taboo the word "exist")

It seems to me that "universe" and "exist" are defined cyclically. When not talking about many worlds or parallel universes, it's clear what it means to say whether or not a thing ...
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Is 'illusion' as viewed in indian philosophy founded on more fundamental concepts or experiences?

Concerning the concept of illusion of the world of common experience, as found in many systems of Indian philosophy, I am under the impression that it always comes as a "made-up" solution to ...
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How can I change Aquinas's Fifth Way to prove there is not one ultimate first designer?

My philosophy textbook was asking to make a reconstruction of his argument to avoid his logical error where he basically says that there is 1 being that makes sure that natural things do their ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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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 ...
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How can someone infer something does not exist?

First, I came across the Penrose triangle and then a variety of impossible objects. I understand that an object might not exist in a specific domain. For example, Penrose triangle does not exist in 3 ...
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