Questions tagged [existence]

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

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Do whole numbers other than zero actually exist?

Think about counting up: you start from 0. There are many decimals in between 0 and 1, actually, an infinite amount of decimals are there. So in the same way that there is no last number there is no ...
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363 views

A Critcism of the Ontological Argument for God

Allow me to present the argument: (1) By definition God is that being which possesses every perfection. (2) Existence is a perfection. (3) Therefore, God exists. Whether you agree is not important,...
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Why do some philosophers argue that we do not know, a priori, that something thinks?

The Cartesian argument seems to explicate the fact that I necessarily know that something thinks, and that I necessarily know that something thinks even if I don't checking the world to verify whether ...
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What are the ways one can use to demonstrate that it's possible for something to exist?

Notice that I'm not talking here about the actual existence of something, but the possibility of existence. About such ways, I only know one that is argumentative (which is the kind I would like to ...
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According to Marx and the Material Theory of History, what is the definition of consciousness?

It's important to note that I'm not referring to class consciousness, or other types of political consciousness. I'm just wondering how he explains the ability of conscious beings to experience ...
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Would philosophy still exist if there was no life? [closed]

Would philosophy still exist without life? For example, for us humans, philosophy answers big questions and sort of governs society. But is philosophy something that would exist without life? On this ...
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512 views

What are the implications of eternal life

The premise What would be the consequences of transferring the consciousness of a middle-aged person to a mechanical object or device (such as a robot), as opposed to another biological body? ...
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332 views

Can our universe be a simulation without simulator?

I have a deviating understanding of the simulation hypothesis. If I look at our universe as simulation, then it seems to me irrelevant whether this simulation is actually executed or not. In my ...
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4answers
256 views

Is a pile of ants a, more or less, intelligent being?

Due to the definition of life an ant colony acts and reacts like a life form. There is even a "Ant colony optimization" Example Algorithm... Does this mean that the whole pile of ants, not its ...
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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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What is the theory that existence, life, and/or consciousness arise simply because all possibilities must be exhausted, and this is one of them?

I distinctly recall reading a Wikipedia page listing multiple theories on the origin of existence itself. One in particular, described in the title, was fascinating and came to mind recently, but I ...
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Are questions about existence purely semantic?

I was inspired by this question, and in particular this section of user259242's answer: Type identity physicalism says mental states are identical with brain states. Eliminativism on the other hand ...
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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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What if the Evil Genius in Descartes' “I think therefore I am” put into our minds the action of doubting?

I am briefly aware of Descartes' argument that even if an Evil Genius made us believe that the world is real the fact that we can doubt this shows that we are thinking and that through thought we can ...
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448 views

How can one say that only matter exists without presupposing the idea of existence/being?

I am having some troubles with the whole notion of materialism which states that only matter exists. Doesn't stating that something exists presuppose the idea of existence/being, and therefore that ...
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What reasoning (if any) do we use to prove we or the world exists?

p.s Are our observations of the world inductive, or is it just the conclusions that we draw from them which are inductive?
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Are we all living in a “Black Box” and may we ever be able to make the world to serve our purpose?

This world is a "Black Box" in essence. If we want to know how it works, we will be lost. We can only find our way if we strive how to use the world to serve our purpose. The very same notion is true ...
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Is the Simulation Argument compatible with the proposition that physical entities have finite information content?

I recently learned of the Simulation Argument, which attempts to show that one of three statements is very likely true, paraphrasing: Civilizations are unlikely to ever be able to simulate realities. ...
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What is it about the existence of some things that makes us right or wrong in describing their existence, while other things can change?

For example, if people used to believe the Earth was the center of the universe, and we discover it is not, we now say, "people used to falsely believe that the Earth was the center of the universe", ...
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Existential Import

How is it that universal propositions (from the Boolean standpoint) don't commit us to the existence of the subject term while particular propositions actually do? Also, why particularly take or focus ...
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Problem with defining existence and being conscious

First of all i know that there is no widely accepted definition of existence, the same with definition of being conscious. However i would like to know whether there are definitions which are not ...
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Existence: Pain and Pleasure [closed]

Sometimes, I swear, I think the only two things in all of existence which have any real meaning whatsoever are "pleasure" and "pain" ... What does it mean to exist, if that existence is mired in pain?...
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Do humans have the comprehension of an ant regarding certain things?

The leading theory behind the anomaly that is human intelligence is that humans had the greatest diversity in selective pressures over the course of our evolutionary history which allowed only the ...
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How do moral skeptics respond to the concept of permissible heinous acts

The Problem Let's say I am debating my friend Jake who believes that morality exists. But I am a hard determinist who believes that all actions are predetermined by some act or event beforehand. Jake ...
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Cogito ergo sum and its actual meaning [duplicate]

I think therefore i am is often accepted as true.But how do we know that the fact we are doubting something makes us real?we can be a stimulation or be dreaming.Why is the act of thinking given so ...
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2answers
118 views

Can the issue of “something from nothing” be resolved by analogy?

I'm wondering if the question Why is there something rather than nothing? is like the question Why is there up rather than down? In the latter, I think it becomes clear that the implicit ...
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Can we distinguish physical from informational existence?

Physical existence would be everything that exists in the physical world such as the stone in my garden while the informational existence would be the consciousness and qualia (I don't really know how ...
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Are the questions “Do I exist” and “Why do I exist” related to metaphysics, epistemology or another branch of philosophy?

Does the universe (or anything) exist? I assume that question would fall under metaphysics. But could it also touch on epistemology (e.g. how we define "universe" or "exist")? Do I exist? To me, ...
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Philosophic current in this excerpt of Ask the dust

I read Ask the dust by John Fante. The following is an excerpt from the book. It is right after Arturo went to Vera Rivken's place and feels guilty for having slept with her. My question is: what is ...
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why “I think therefore I am” not “I think therefore I am thinking”? [duplicate]

why "thinking" jumped into the conclusion of "existence" as things can exist without thinking too. and what are all the other method except this that could prove our existence?
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What are some differences between Avicenna and Descartes in regards to being unable to doubt one's own existence

Given Descartes' Cogito and Avicenna's Floating Man arguments, what are some differences between them? It appears to me that they are both arriving to the same conclusion but the process by which they ...
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2answers
141 views

Lack of meaning in life [closed]

Most of people probably associate depression only with sadness, but it is a big mistake, because often there is huge drowsiness, apathy, indifference, constant physical fatigue, derealization, ...
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Are there any arguments for why something past-eternal must necessarily be future-eternal as well?

If we assume that something has always existed in the past, what reason is there to assume that it won't perish in the future? I pondered on it and I wondered whether the following argument works: ...
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Is Kant's postulate of the existence of God a metaethical assumption?

Also, I would like to get some bibliographical reference about Kantian metaethics.
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Is existence restricted by rendering?

Is existence restricted by the rendering of the being? For example, as I am rendered as a physical being in the form of my body, is the plane of my existence limited to the physical world? I would ...
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421 views

Techniques of overcoming ennui (boredom)

Did any philosophers discuss overcoming ennui/boredom? I read this question and its answer, but I am less interested in a definition of boredom and more interested in direct approaches or theories ...
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246 views

Does string theory raise new philosophical questions about existence of physical objects?

If you look at the configuration space of a robot arm, it is a manifold. Does this manifold exist in the same sense as strings in string theory? Or do the strings in string theory exist in another ...
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Do (any) philosophers worry if there can be a priori truths about a changing world?

Do (any) philosophers question how there can be a priori truths about a changing world -- has anyone worried whether this is possible, or if those different modes, of timeless truth and contingent ...
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Is it possible to think of something that doesn't contain anything exists? [duplicate]

Is it possible to think of something that does not contain anything that already exists? If not, why? Examples. Flying alligators are animals. Flying straws are straws. Is it possible for our ...
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Hypothetically observable

Question: When is it appropriate to assign the property "hypothetically observable" to a thing? The set up is that someone is discussing an object that they claim has some sort of existence. Maybe ...
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239 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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3k views

What's the difference between being in a simultion vs base reality

Having articles like Bostrom's "Simulation argument" gives us the probability that we are almost certainly living inside a simulation. Putting aside the emotional, intuitive discomfort about it, what ...
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what lies beyond absurdity?

What should I read to break out of the endless loop that brings me back to the absurdity of (my?) perceived reality? (I'm not talking on a human scale but on an endless time scale) If the question has ...
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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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Why would a person want to die?

I've got a friend. He's well-placed in life: not poor, not ill, has family, certainly not an idiot, but quite clever. He's probably lonely, since I am the only close friend. So no relationships, just ...
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Can I have thoughts about fictional characters?

For: I can be thinking about Frodo. I can think, e.g. that Frodo was the character introduced in the second chapter of LOTR, or that Smeagol was the hobbit who fell to his doom at the end of the book. ...
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Could an almighty Creator make something that existed for its own sake?

If someone sees their existence as an end in itself, yet also admits that they did not create themselves, then are they not saying that whatever created them had done so for their [the created thing's]...
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663 views

Is it possible to know anything?

I am very sure this apple in front of me exists. I could be hallucinating however, so lets say: I am 98% certain the apple exists. I am confident that (1) is a fair assessment, but I can't really be ...
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Are the laws of order and chaos in our universe unequal? How did that ratio come to be set? Can we scientifically measure that ratio/constant?

A few friends and I sat watching trash TV under the influence last night, and we inevitably started chatting to avoid the white noise facing us. Somehow this chat sparked off a chain of thoughts in me ...
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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 ...