Questions tagged [existence]

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

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22 votes
16 answers

Can something come out of nothing or not? Why?

In our current state of affairs it is safe and reasonable to assume something exists - be it a universe, pure conciousness, illusion or other designations. If some readers nevertheless claim something ...
Saul's user avatar
  • 438
2 votes
2 answers

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 ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers

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?
sitems's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
3 answers

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) ...
slashmais's user avatar
  • 421
2 votes
5 answers

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 ...
AleTheologian's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers

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 ...
Vector's user avatar
  • 461
0 votes
2 answers

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 ...
Niklas Rosencrantz's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer

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 ...
Alexei Averchenko's user avatar
-1 votes
4 answers

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 ...
Mirzhan Irkegulov's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers

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 ...
saber tabatabaee yazdi's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

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 "...
Wok's user avatar
  • 121
-1 votes
1 answer

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 ...
khael's user avatar
  • 117
14 votes
8 answers

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 ...
commando's user avatar
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11 votes
14 answers

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 ...
Andrew Tomazos's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers

"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 ...
user1983's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer

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 ...
E1Suave's user avatar
  • 293
5 votes
2 answers

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 ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers

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'...
Eric's user avatar
  • 323
10 votes
2 answers

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 ...
Yirmeyahu's user avatar
  • 313
-3 votes
1 answer

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 ...
Magnus Wolffelt's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer

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?
Alex's user avatar
  • 105
14 votes
4 answers

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 ...
bitmoe's user avatar
  • 241
0 votes
2 answers

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 ...
Green Noob's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers

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 ...
Elizabeth's user avatar
  • 143
9 votes
8 answers

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 ...
AdamRedwine's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers

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 ...
user16659's user avatar
  • 223
34 votes
12 answers

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?
Niklas Rosencrantz's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers

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 "...
Niklas Rosencrantz's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers

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 ...
Saeed Neamati's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers

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 ...
Erin K Carmody's user avatar
68 votes
29 answers

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 ...
Geoffroy CALA's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers

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. ...
Neil's user avatar
  • 250
89 votes
22 answers

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. ...
Jez's user avatar
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