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Questions tagged [metaphysics]

Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the essence of things, of the fundamental nature of being and the world and the principles that organize the universe. Metaphysics is supposed to answer the question "What is the nature of reality?"

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Why does soul stay separate from the body?

In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates established that death is the separation of soul and body. But he did not give any clue for this separation. What are the factors that lead to this separation? Physical ...
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Does ontology study “being qua being”?

May I say that ontology studies "being qua being", while the sciences study "entity qua entity" ? I ask this because I don't understand how ontology could study the "entity qua entity", taking into ...
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Cyclical Argument in Plato's Phaedo

Can anybody tell me in simple words the major objections to the Cyclical Argument in Plato's Phaedo ?
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Does the adjective “physical” apply only to worlds that obey the laws of physics? [duplicate]

Note: My question assumes a conceptual distinction between minds and the external world, regardless of whether they're actually two different kinds of substances. There seems to be widespread ...
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Have I contradicted the “law” non-contradiction?

In the 2nd half of the 20th century the American mathematician Haskell Curry and logician William Alvin Howard discovered an analogy between logical proofs and working computer programs. This is known ...
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What would a hypothetical world of continuous matter look like? [closed]

Suppose, instead of molecules and atoms existing, there was only prime matter and types of prime matter. So there would be steel type of prime matter, flesh type of prime matter, etc.... How would ...
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Are there any strong arguments for ideas that cannot be defined by humans? [on hold]

I feel like there are no concepts we cannot define, theoretically at least. Is there any argument suggesting the exact opposite? How strong is that argument?
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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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Is there any philosophy that associates the absolute truth with monism?

I never know what people mean by absolute truth, it sounds like they're referring to a truth above all truths, but there are many truths. So I was wondering if there were a lot of philosophy that ...
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Examples for necessary existence and necessary properties according to current metaphysics?

According to the survey article by Inwagen and Sullivan on metaphysics one subject of contemporary metaphysics are questions on modality. The authors explain „necessity de re“ as the necessary ...
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How can we create problems out of nothing (our imagination)? [closed]

How can we create problems out of nothing (our imagination) ? Example 0: The absolute truth is that "I know that I don't know". True or false Example 1: A cat has 20 legs , after walking 10 km it ...
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How do I keep up with the latest in the cutting edge of philosophy? [duplicate]

I always viewed philosophy to be dead after the arrival of modern science. The last great philosopher in metaphysics was Kant, I believe the others who followed him were made irrelevant by the ...
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Is metaphysical necessity an unambiguous concept, and if so, how do we capture it?

In Nature of Necessity (1974), Plantinga writes: The distinction between necessary and contingent truth is as easy to recognize as it is difficult to explain to the sceptic's satisfaction. ...we ...
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How can we argue for the uniqueness of a God-like entity?

(I have in mind here, something similar to "uniqueness" proofs in math. I think if we want to name something, we should show both that it exists and is unique.) (By "divine attributes", I mean ...
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Frustration in studying philosophy

I have a question about why philosophers seem to disagree on virtually everything. I have been reading up on philosophy since I was 16 (now 19) with the goal of finding an end solution to the ...
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How is the nature of logical principles commonly defined in contemporary philosophy?

In contemporary philosophy, how exactly is the nature of logical principles defined? For example, the way I've commonly seen logical principles construed are as true propositions which described the ...
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Is it possible to a define human being without reference to metaphysical hypotheses?

Is it possible to define a human being without implying any sort of metaphysical hypothesis? It seems to me that every statement one can make to define a human being must necessarily imply some ...
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About the advantages of the propensity perspective on probability

I am wandering what are the advantages of the propensity perspective on probability. Why would it be better to explain probability in physics? Except for the fact that it solves various problems of ...
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Is anything real?

What if everything were fake? We are not real. We are all figments of the imagination of a single person's mind generating all the countless different minds with different worlds and different ...
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Why must the first mover be unmovable?

In the first way of Aquinas it is proved that there exists an unmoved mover (or unchanged changer or even better, actualizer which was not actualized). It is often claimed that God is pure act without ...
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Apart from nurture, nature and grace is there another ingredient from which humans are made?

Some think we are, say, 70% formed by nurture and 30% nature and since together these make 100% that together they represent the totality of that from which we are formed. Others might argue for ...
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Can time exist without change?

Imagine an event of one second in length, like two hands clapping. Suppose that another interval of time elapses between the clap, a period in which nothing happens in the whole universe (or in all ...
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1answer
145 views

What do theologians study about? [closed]

I have never seen a word which is as ill defined as the word "God". Consider a group of 10 people, if we ask them what do they mean by God.I am certain all of them will have different definitions. Yet ...
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Can potentiality be used to dispel Parmenides's monism?

Can we say that beings are different precisely because this being has this potencies and that being has that potencies? Is the (only) thing differentiating two different things their set of potencies? ...
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1answer
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What are the best arguments for the defense of the “principle of motion”?

How would someone (I would love to hear how Aquinas and/or Aristotle would) defend the principle of motion (that is, whatever is changed is changed by another or only actual being can actualize ...
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Does Reality change when theory change?

I was going to include a caveat to prove a premise: to show that truth has become more subjective and then proceeding from older to newer theories of truth, I would cite a survey showing how ...
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Could reality be a projection of another reality?

I'm new to metaphysics. So, I apologize if this is an established question. I've been asking the question, could reality be a projection of another reality? In geometry, you can project a three ...
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Book on Meinong's theory of objects

Could anyone please recommend a book to begin to learn about Meinong's theory of objects and "Meinong's Jungle". I thought a good one might be "Meinong's Theory of Objects and Values" by Findlay (1963)...
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Grounding without fundamental relations

Philosophers from Leibniz to John Heil have proposed the reduction/elimination of relations to non-relational features of their relata; essentially, they seek to formulate an ontology which does not ...
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What is the minimum statement of faith?

Taking 'faith' to mean: an effective trust or acceptance of the veracity of certain statements of fact, or the truth of existential claims. I.e. the kind of faith/beliefs that are cardinal to the ...
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1answer
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What does Aquinas mean when he refers to things being “identical numerically” or “specifically identical” with things?

In his discussion on the simplicity of God in Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas considers the question of "whether God enters into the composition of other things": Objection 1: It seems that God ...
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Does Langan think syntax is meaning free isomorphic structures?

Refer: Christopher Langan, "An Introduction to Mathematical Metaphysics", Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, vol. 13, no. 2, 2017 Accepting syntax is that part or ...
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Is Benatar's “asymmetry of pleasure and pain” wrong?

I’ve some doubts regarding the epistyle of David Benatar's thought, the “asymmetry of pleasure and pain”. In Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence he writes that: Both good ...
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Has any philosopher claimed that reality is a simulation, and the evil genius wants us to stay alive, in order to explain what seems like a miracle? [closed]

Has any philosopher claimed that reality is a simulation, and the evil genius wants us to stay alive, in order for that philosopher to explain what seems like a miracle? Would anyone ever admit to ...
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1answer
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Can inanimate things behave?

If one hits a stone with a hammer it might split, or move a little, or just make a noise but either way it would be reacting to its environment on the basis of what it was. I guess we do not tend to ...
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What is actual is a metaphysical necessity?

You look out of the window and it's raining. You grab a bottle and pour some water into a glass. You probably don't consider these events as necessary: it could have been a sunny day and you were free ...
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Collingwood, existence of God and its relation to natural science

I am reading Collingwood's essay in metaphysics and I have hard time in understanding his argument to the conclusion that Catholic Faith consists in (part) of absolute presuppositions of Greek thought ...
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1answer
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Aristotle: “No way composite” and “Independent”

I'm writing an essay but using a translation of Aristotle's Categories as a reference. At 1b.25-27, he writes: "Expressions which are in no way composite signify substance, quantity ..." If they are ...
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1answer
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John Earman and Time Travel

Time travel and grandfather paradox: Earman suggests in his 1995 paper that physical possibility should be considered similarly with the laws of nature (i.e. logical possibility). Does this mean that ...
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Time Travel arguments against David Lewis

To resolve the grandfather paradox, Lewis suggests that there is a semantic Can vs Cannot distinction between what a human can physically do (kill the grandfather) and logically cannot do (cannot kill ...
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5answers
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If time is discrete, does moving means teleporting?

Please follow this thought experiment: 1) A ball moves one centimeter in one unit of time. 2) A ball disappears. Then, after a unit of time, it reappears one centimeter far away. By now we don't ...
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Grandfather Paradox and Can vs Cannot

Varanas and Vihvelin provide responses to David Lewis' 'Can vs Cannot' discussion. Have there been any appropriate counterresponses to these?
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Time travel and changing the past

Many philosophers argue that time travel is possible without causally affecting the past? Is it even possible to time travel without causally affecting the past. The grandfather paradox is an ...
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1answer
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Grandfather Paradox and Causal Loop

How does the grandfather paradox cause a causal loop (and therefore a bootstrap paradox)? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandfather_paradox
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Does it make sense to say that consciousness does not exist or there is no such thing?

Does it make sense to say that consciousness does not exist or there is no such thing? I've not taken any classes in reductionism, but it seems reductionst. How would philosophy of mind and ...
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Does a level I multiverse implicate a very long life? [closed]

Let's suppose that there are infinite level 1 universes, agreeing with physicist like Max Tegmark and even before them with philosophers like Giordano Bruno. Now, please follow this thought ...
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Indirect Realism – what are the main objections?

In dialog with others about philosophy, I have generally assumed that the basis of epistemology is a settled question – I. E. that the Locke/Russel/Popper approach, that our worldview is a hypothetico-...
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Theories to suggest that there exists only one version of history

How do we know that the past is fixed and that there only exists one version of history? Are there any interesting arguments surrounding this?
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Explaining the Termination Risk of Simulation Technologies

There is a recent article in Erkenntnis that discusses termination risks related to the simulation hypothesis [1]. That is, if we are living in a computer simulation, are there risks that might ...
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Is not-being or is ist not? [closed]

We may differentiate the state of being or existence and that of not-being, where the last point is the opposite of the first point, so this last term means to be not existent. Now I try to figure out ...