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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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44 views

Comparisons between two notions of existence

I have the following, rather naive question: To what extent can the a priori existence of mathematical objects be reasonably compared with the seemingly a posteriori existence of objects established ...
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Are there Identity Conditions for Spinoza's modes?

A common interpretation of the relation of Substance to it's modes in Spinozas states that modes are properties of the Substance [1]. Let's assume this for now: Modes are properties of Substance. I ...
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Humean Supervenience and the Mosaic

I have read a lot of times the definition of Humean Supervenience and the usual quote by Lewis according to which Humean supervenience is “ It is the doctrine that all there is to the world is a vast ...
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How should nominalist deal with our ordinary sense of language using?

According to the entry "Metaphysics" writen by Inwagen,War and Peace is a universal,It appers in every printedmatters of War and Peace. So in nominalists' opinion it comes out that our talking of War ...
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Does the act-potency distinction lead to Meinong's jungle?

The Aristotelian-Thomistic distinction of act-potency is, among other things, supposed to solve Parmenides' paradoxes of change. Since change requires something non-existent popping into existence ex ...
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On Universals and Particulars

I was thinking about the ontological problem of Universals versus Particulars and there is one thing that I can't understand well about the concept of Universal. If I have a cat (let's call it Steve) ...
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1answer
110 views

Did Stephen Hawking think that logic is contingent on physics?

According to this book*: Extrasensory Perception: Support, Skepticism, and Science, it says that Stephen Hawking thought that logic was contingent on physics, i.e that logic depends on the physics of ...
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49 views

Does (and if so how) Quentin Meillassoux prove that everything is contingent?

When Quentin Meillassoux says that "contingency is a necessity", "contingency is absolute", etc. what is trying to imply is that everything is contingent. But (where) has he proven that? It is true ...
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104 views

Physical correlates of consciousness

The term neural correlates of consciousness is well established (~ 277,000 Google results, one Wikipedia article), but I'd like to ask for more general physical correlates of consciousness (~ 6,000 ...
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64 views

Is process philosophy at odds with orthodox Christian theology?

Process philosophy regards change, as opposed to stasis, as the basis of reality. Does this contradict orthodox Christian theology, such as Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and the various Protestant ...
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63 views

The non-spacetime existence of processes

I've been reading Process Philosophy and the Whiteheadian conception of processes describe them to be existing in "non-spacetime" dimensions. How can it be explicated in simpler terms? "Non-spacetime" ...
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What is different between causation and causality [closed]

What is different between causation and causality? And, if there is any difference, do most philosophers recognize it or is it just common among UCL or Cambridge scholars? Thank you for your answer ...
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Does everything that exist have an inside? [closed]

Cracks and holes have an inside, as do all objects. What about infinitely small things, these seem not to, but may exist. Likewise more general absences. Has anyone said that all things with a ...
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202 views

Where can I learn about identifying and defining objects?

I guess I am asking a vague question about blurred lines in philosophy/language/actions and where/who I can learn more about this from. here is the passage: "A step further, existentialism says ...
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In what way does the following solve the Substance/finite modes problem in Spinoza?

Critics of Spinoza's concept of the 'immanence' of substance maintain that if everything in the universe is a manifestation of 'deus/sive natura/ sive substantia' then Spinoza cannot account for the ...
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What is the argument posed by Katherine Hayles in “The Condition of Virtuality” as to the relation between matter and virtuality and why?

I am learning in class of the influence the new media have on old-aged dichotomies such as matter-mind, subject-object and their like. Our new-media teacher asked us to read the paper "The condition ...
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Has Alexandre Grothendieck ever expounded a particular stance on metaphysics or ontology?

It seems that in Recoltes et Semailles, he does go into quite a bit of philosophizing. the only thing of relevance I've found is that he notes how Riemann "in passing" said how he thought perhaps the "...
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what makes “historical explanation” differ from “initial condition-covering law explanation”?

Does anyone have an argument that can refute the following statement? In a deterministic world, historical explanation cannot be different from "initial condition - covering law explanation."
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If other versions of us existed in a multiverse, would we be morally responsible for the actions of these alternate versions of us? [closed]

Hypothetically, if we lived in a multiverse which contained an infinite number of identical versions of each of us containing our respective memories and experiences, with the exception of key ...
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Can every thought in the mind called a thing

This is a metaphysical (ontology) question. I'm looking for the appropriate ontological terminology, as 'thing' seems like it is ordinary language. I know that every entity in the physical world can ...
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286 views

Did God have a choice in creating our universe?

Einstein asked this question originally : What really interests me is whether God could have created the world any differently; in other words, whether the requirement of logical simplicity admits ...
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309 views

How did Buddhism philosophy influence on Hideki Yukawa's thought?

Since physicist Hideki Yukawa was somewhat influenced by Oriental and Buddhist philosophy, he had some ideas about the complementarity of opposite things. In fact, when Niels Bohr published his ...
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100 views

How does the philosophy of science explore original research formulation?

Although rarely admitted or communicated, in scientific research it's quite common to change the originally formulated question once insurmountable obstacles have made an answer difficult or ...
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What is the relationship between scientific explanation and interpretability?

I am trying to understand the relationship between Scientific Explanation and Intelligibility / Understanding. I believe the former is grounded in the Metaphysics of Causation while the latter is ...
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Did Duns Scotus believe that the material was extended?

Duns Scotus links “immaterial” with “not [spatially] extended” (reminding us of Descartes): (b) Another way in which this knowledge could be immaterial would be that it is not extended in any way. ...
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Solution to the Grandfather's paradox - Inverse reincarnation? [closed]

One of the premises of the grandfather paradox in time travel is that of inconsistency. I.e, going back in time to kill your grandfather or grandmother prevents your birth. The solution is simple, ...
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Are there any points of convergence between analytical and traditional concept based philosophy?

In many questions, answers and in comments, there appear to be differences in the type of answers and comments which fall into two roughly delineated trains of thought and exemplify the fault line ...
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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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Reference request on Idealist ontology

Apologies if this is original, it may or may not already exist (I've no idea), but it may also be a restatement of an ontology like Meinong's jungle. It contemplates a conception of concentric spheres ...
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4answers
74 views

What is duality called when it refers to the separation between us and the external world?

Like many philosophical terms, dualism and duality are used differently by different people and in different circumstances. I am aware of Substance dualism (mind and body being separate things ...
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The Structure of Metaphysical Theories [closed]

If I were to state that a metaphysical theory must take the form of a formal axiomatic system would anyone want to disagree? Has anyone argued otherwise? I haven't seen a counter-view, but then ...
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54 views

With or without opposition between A and B, how many ways are there for A not to be B?

I'm looking for references and "loci" regarding the concepts of opposition, distinction, diversity, and negation. I'm not certain if one must distinguish the case in which A and B stand for concepts ...
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Confusion about the nature, defininition, and subject of study of Epistemology, Gnosiology and Phillosophy of Science

I am confused with the terms and the branches of phillosophy. Here is an example where all 3 terms were used. I always though phillosophy of science and epistemology were the exact same thing while ...
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120 views

Epistemology and definition of Theory in Science

Which branch of philosophy is the authority and thus has the capacity to define what IS theory in science? I have linked to the definition of Theory by Simon Blackburn in Oxford Dictionary of ...
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79 views

How do different types of knowledge and memory relate?

At first glance it seems that "knowledge" has many more categories than "memory". However once one starts sorting, it quickly becomes apparent that certain kinds of memory will accommodate several ...
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128 views

Easy way to think about Parmenides' argument against change?

I've had the hardest time grasping the bite of Parmenides' argument against change. His argument is summarized in ch. 5 "Article One: Potency Really Distinct From Act" of Reality: A Synthesis of ...
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5answers
273 views

Has science ever disproved philosophical theories?

I am aware that science and philosophy, in their modern guise, are two separate beasts that never cross the same domains but sometimes it happens that philosophy influences science and that science ...
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98 views

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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3answers
226 views

Understanding Kant vs. Hume for a non-philosopher

I am trying to self-study a bit of philosophy. I am an applied mathematician by trade, and am therefore drawn to Kant's work on the limits of human knowledge, in particular his exchange with Hume. I ...
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If knowledge is structural, does “confirmation bias” follow as necessity?

That 'knowledge' is structural is fairly uncontroversial. Although there are certainly different types, I would like for sake of this question to characterize (what I see as) a generalization of the ...
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202 views

Is Mathematical Platonism a meaningful thing? [closed]

How can we be sure that asking If Mathematics is Platonic or If it is Our Own Construction is a meaningful thing to ask, and not just abuse of natural language? Can somebody provide a convincing ...
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Are ideas in the prolegomena meant to be the failure of understanding?

In the third section of the Prolegomena, Kant explains in section 40 (at least how I understand it) that ideas are merely the analogues categories of those concepts that cannot be experienced. As I ...
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Boltzmann brain - how are the laws of physics presented?

Does the Boltzmann brain scenario also assume that the laws of physics are presented consistently for each individual brain? In other words: 1) Why do we assume that the types of brains fluctuated ...
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170 views

Can knowledge exist without structure?

For reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/ https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-how/ https://plato.stanford.edu/...
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What is the difference between 'accidental' and 'contingent'?

What is different between 'accidental' and 'contingent'? I thought that accidental contains intentional notation while Contingent does not. But there could be an intentional action that turns out to ...
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4answers
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Is the concept of Aporia the same as the Zen concept of A Beginners Mind?

Is the concept of Aporia the same as the zen concept of A Beginners Mind, or related to it, or a completely different concept?
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What does Derek Parfit mean by “I ought to regard having a Replica as being about as good as ordinary survival”

Having trouble with this one. What does it mean and what might be some reasons leading to this conclusion. The relevant text is "What We Believe Ourselves To Be"
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What does Nietzsche refer to with the “backworldsmen”?

I'm a rookie to philosophical thinking but trying my best to understand the concepts. I'd be appreciated if you could enlighten me about this: In Chapter 3 of Thus Spake Zarathustra, he is addressing ...
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Which philosophers have argued well that existence is illusory?

After many years of contemplation I have a simple, logical proof that all physical phenomena are illusions. Assuming we can agree that things in the past no longer exhibit the properties associated ...
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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 ...