Questions tagged [existence]

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

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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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Descartes vs Buddha - Was Descartes wrong?

Descartes imagined an Evil Demon to suggest that the external world could be a complete illusion. This Evil Demon would have the power to trick all your senses. This idea is similar to the Buddhist ...
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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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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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Is there a philosophical principle stating that everything that can be imagined can possibly / must necessarily exist?

Is there a philosophical notion that stipulates or proposes one of the following statements? Everything that can be imagined could also possibly exist. Everything that can be imagined must necessarily ...
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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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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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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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How can we prove something exists?

As someone who likes a lengthy argument with many different points put across and many points shot down in the process, I was posed with this question which has made me struggle so far. My friend said ...
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What is the purpose of a high in terms of it being created or intended by a creator

I Believe God is real, if believing God is real and that he created the universe and everything it it, what is the purpose of a high? (produced by weed or any other drug) Why would God create a high? ...
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How to denote the idea of nothingness in formal terms?

I was thinking about the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" , and have read about some theories that existence is the case because non-existence is logically impossible So, I ...
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Movies on philosophy similar to “Waking Life”? [closed]

The movie "Waking Life" is a philosophical masterpiece: a quasi non-narrative psychedelic dreamscape exploring the very nature of both existence and non-existence in unpredecented depth. In a ...
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Nothingness cannot be. Does that imply something must be?

Nothingness doesn't be, that's the definition of nothingness (at least in this question) that what is not, does not exist. If there was no Universe, if there was nothing, nothingness would be, that ...
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What is existence and how far does it extend?

Existence, for instance of a human being, need not be restricted to the material body. Also the influence exerted on the environment can be considered a part of their existence. A discussion with ...
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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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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 ...
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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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Is existence essential to God?

Thomas Aquinas said that God was absolute perfect, God being pure actuality and had no potentiality. If there was a time where there wasn't an existence, then God would have a potentiality and not ...
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Is it possible to be 100% certain of the existence of reality?

I don't really understand why some philosophers claim that it's impossible to be absolutely certain of anything except my own consciousness. Isn't that absurd? Personally I believe that this kind of ...
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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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Explaining the existence of the cosmos

The following is a reference request, not an invitation for argument. However, I do welcome argument if that's what you feel like doing. By the "cosmos" I mean all that exists---not just physical ...
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Does Valberg's “personal horizon” entail life after death?

The personal horizon is, Valberg contends, the subject matter whose center each of us occupies, and which for each of us ceases with death. This ceasing to be presents itself solipsistically not ...
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Isn't biocentrism just a simple deduction from subjectivism?

I havent actually read his book, but as he's described it, I thought that he was just sharing his view on subjectivism. Biocentrism, as Robert Lanza says, is: ..."the view that life creates ...
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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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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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Books/resources on non-existence

I believe that after we die there is nothing. The same that was before being born. So while I won’t care about not existing when it happens, the thought of it does bother me now, as I like being and ...
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Ontological status of variables

Background This question has its origin in this post. More specifically, in giving answers to the following questions, In what way does the collection of all sets consist of sets? What are ...
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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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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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What is the philosophical significance of the First Law of Thermodynamics?

The Law states that “no energy can be destroyed or created, for it is constant; it can only be transformed from one form to another”. Do you think this alignes with many of the teachings of Buddhism, ...
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In regard 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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Are there philosophers who argue for a close connection between consciousness and existence?

(I'm not entirely satisfied with this question because I can't quite express it clearly, but a personal experience has moved me to ask it. I know it may be too vague or general.) The consciousness my ...
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Quine's “to be is to be the value of a bound variable”

Quine's definition "to be is to be the value of a bound variable" seems uncontroversial and in fact quite natural as it's compatible with modern approaches to the semantics of natural language. My ...
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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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Does a rock experience its existence?

By experience, I do not imply a subjective experience like that of an animal (with memory, decision making etc). Could a rock, for instance, have individuated experience of its existence like a ...
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Is existence a feature of life? Can a stone exist without life to recognize it?

First of all I would like to make clear I am not an expert in philosophy. With the question "Is existence a feature of life?" I mean the following: Could something exist without the presence of an ...
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What is the difference between ∃ (existence) and A (actuality)?

The existential quantification can, it seems, be used with modal logic. Now excuse my naivety, but: if so, what is the difference between being actual and existential quantification? I'm just asking ...
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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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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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Why was Descartes' Demon “Evil”?

Why did Descartes called his thought experiment "evil demon"? What if we lived in a simulation that turned out to be more pleasant than reality itself (eg. The matrix series) and it would be better ...
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'Thanks, but no thanks' - God and my existence

Problem: God (in an Abrahamic religion) created me without asking me if I would want this life. Now I don't want this life. If I commit suicide, I will burn in hell for eternity. I just want to cease ...
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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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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 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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How is 'existence' defined? [closed]

How would you define 'existence'? Is it a requisite for an entity to be able to interact with other entities to be considered as 'existent'? What if there are real objects in the universe which ...
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Does the simulation hypothesis confuse discovering with inventing?

The simulation hypothesis seems to stipulate that the actual simulation is what makes the inhabitants of the simulated universe to come alive, to exist. This is what I am questioning. If I create a ...
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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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How does this anthropic principle argument from Schopenhauer make any sense?

According to a blog post This is what another universe looks like, "in Arthur Schopenhauer's 1844 work "Von der Nichtigkeit und dem Leiden des Lebens", he argues that our world must be the worst of ...
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What does the term “ego” really mean?

According to different sources and authors, ego is referred to as one's self-perception by one's self concept. It is sometimes considered as selfishism. But what can a person do that will not refer to ...
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What is existence for existentialists?

As my current work leaded me to analyse existence from the systemic point of view, I've decided it's time to read Sartre and about existentialism, which I've long time postponed. So I've started with ...