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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What should a person do?

Edit 1: As pointed out in the comments, the question implies the existence of a purpose and agency so I would like to re-phrase the question to match what I'm after: What should a person do? (What is ...
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An argument against Hume's idea of necessary connection

In section 7 of the Enquiry Hume talks about necessary connection being an ambiguous metaphysical concept since even though we see events happening one after another (ex. hitting a billiard ball ...
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Does time have a changing speed?

Based on my own personal experiences and responses from other people I have questioned time is more than numbers. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that it is a fact that pleasure speeds up ...
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Belief in everything [closed]

Can someone claim the following without resorting to a conundrum: "I believe in everything, also believe in not believing in any thing." Seems like believing in everything leads you into not ...
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Can the laws of physics rule out disembodied minds?

In this article, philosopher Evan Fales argues that the laws of physics establish that disembodied minds (such as an immaterial God, for example) could not influence the physical world. Is it true? (...
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Why does this explanation seem wrong?

I am thinking about the differences between explanation and argumentation, and i have come across this example which i just can't seem to understand. Conversation A (Request for explanation): Speaker:...
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Who are some key modern philosophers who have addressed the paradoxes of parts and wholes (mereology)?

I've read Graham Priest's book One (2014). Where he offers a what he calls "gluon" theory of parts and wholes. (These are metaphysical gluons which are not related to gluons from particle ...
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Universals, object-concept and sense

I am confused about "concept", "sense" and "properties" which may have some similarity but fundamentally are different. I explain my understanding as follows : Object-...
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How to correctly understand the positions of ontological nihilism?

Lately I have been investigating ontological nihilism. However, different sources give completely different definitions of this philosophical position, which I have divided into two main groups. The ...
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Modal logic for absoluteness

Modern modal logic has the modalities of necessity and possibility. However, both of these can be seen as relative to the set of possible worlds and the accessibility relation chosen for the semantics....
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Is the quality more fundamental than the quantity? [closed]

When we talk about quantitative and qualitative data, which kind is more fundamental? For example, when someone measures the volume of a given body, this results in a quantitative measure. However, ...
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What is the "metaphysical status" of vacuous truth?

Consider the set "of objects on the table" and suppose that the table is empty. Point of view 1: the elements of the set have the same properties the any other real objects on the table ...
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A new way to answer "Why is there something rather than nothing?"

So, this is not going to be an answer, but rather a viewpoint that demands heavy questions. For a second, forget about the question and come to dreaming. In a dream, through personal experiences, I ...
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What does Hume mean by metaphysics that fall under superstition?

Hey guys I'm reading Hume's 'An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding' and there's something I can't quite understand. Through sections I and II Hume talks about how he is trying to come up with the ...
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What is metaphysical contingency?

I have always thought is something is metaphysically contingent is simply means that something, a state of affairs, MAY be the case. Tomorrow I may stub my foot on a nail and feel pain. This ...
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Are there things that don't exist?

This question is tripping me up. My working definition of exists is "affecting something/someone" Consider the following frame of reference: My bedroom I now have two categories. Things that ...
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What is this 3rd viewpoint on Absolute and Relational Space known as?

So I've been obsessing about absolute and relative motion: What is the nature of motion in physical theories and theorizing, and is there any significance to the distinction between ‘absolute’ and ‘...
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Question on Spinoza’s idea of substance

Fundamental to Spinoza’s philosophy is the idea of substance as “that which is conceived through itself.” But it’s hard for me understand the content of this phrase. What does it mean, for something ...
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Does Kant implicitly commit the paralogism of pure reason when saying that to have a representation it is necessary to accom­pany it with 'I think'?

In Caygill's Kant Dictionary entry of 'I Think' there is this part: Kant further claims that 'I think' is the necessary vehicle/form/accom­paniment of experience: to have a representation it is ...
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Why does the universe need an origin?

Buddhism sees the universe as uncreated, eternal. Even if the big bang were true, it could just be part an endless cycle of expansion and contraction. I'm looking for an argument against the universe ...
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Necessary A Posteriori

Saul Kripke’s example is clear to me: I look at a star in the morning and call it(rigidly designate) Hesperus and I see a star in the evening and call it(rigidly designate) Phosphorus. If I go out and ...
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What's the justification for holding concrete more than abstractions?

What are the justications that make concrete more real or more important than abstractions like ideas and thoughts?
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The relationship between energy and information

I read that the Inuit consider the caribou and the wolf to be complimentary parts of an inclusive, larger entity. I am curious whether it is useful to view the relationship between energy and ...
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Russell v. Meinong

Was the crux/essence of Russell's quarrel with Meinong a matter of epistemology or ontology? As I recall, it had primarily to do with fictive objects/non-denoting expressions, and Russell's theory of ...
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Does the principle of explosion contain all analytic knowledge?

“From falsehood or contradiction anything follows”. Is this the “multiverse” or pluralism in which set theory, all logics, etc are a small portion? Every finite list of axioms and theorems would have ...
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Is "there are synthetic a priori truths" a synthetic a priori truth?

Disregarding any modern objections to the division of synthetic/analytic and a priori/a posteriori, how would one argue for or against this claim, using Kant's definitions and assumptions? Also, is ...
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What does Kant refer to when writing about "dreaming (träumenden) idealism" and "visionary (schwärmenden) idealism"?

In Note III to §13 of the Prolegomena, Kant seems to be answering some critics that have compared his transcendental idealism to the philosophies of Descartes (at least the skeptical part of it) and ...
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In Kant, what would happen if singular objects that we perceive in space didn't necessarily have the spatial properties that we perceive them to have?

In Paul Guyer's Kant, section "Space and Time: the pure forms of sensible intuition", Guyer argues that "Kant’s argument for transcendental idealism is incomplete." For that, he ...
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Are mathematical objects a type according to type-theory?

I've been thinking about mathematical objects as a metaphysical trope, and the idea of them existing as a type has a few issues for me. Mainly the response to this question is similar to what I've ...
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How do we answer the question of "what is it"?

What is an electron? How do we answer such questions? If we try to explain it in more fundamental terms, we have to ask what is that and keeps going. So, my question is should we take things like ...
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Kant's Prolegomena Note I - Geometry being an objective representation of nature

I'm trying to understand this part of Kant's Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, Note I to "How is pure mathematics possible?": It would be completely different if the senses had to ...
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Understanding the nature of units of measurement

In the world we deal with concrete 'unit' quantities, the 'units' are very concrete, ten pencils, for example we can tell the difference between one pencil and another and we can also trace and ...
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Kant's Prolegomena §13 - triangle example argument

In Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, Kant argues that space (and time) are not qualities of objects, but a priori intuitions that allow the concepts of objects in our minds. To argue in favor of ...
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Why is the argument from synthetic a priori cognition to the subjectivity of what is cognized independent of the "appearance" premise?

In Paul Guyer's Kant, section "A Life in Work", the author claims this: this argument from synthetic a priori cognition to the subjectivity of what is cognized is independent of the general ...
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What is a "Sache" in Kant's metaphysics?

In Prolegomena §9: Freilich ist es auch alsdenn unbegreiflich, wie die Anschauung einer gegenwärtigen Sache mir diese sollte zu erkennen geben, wie sie an sich ist Translated to: Of course, even ...
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Can metaphysics ever find real truth?

I'm aware, on a conceptual level, of what metaphysics is, but have no actual knowledge of the subject. Despite that, I've recently been better acquainted with the study, and it seems like something I ...
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In Kant, are "pure intuition" and "intuition a priori" synonyms?

I'm reading the prolegomena, and in §7, Kant presents both "pure intuition" (reine Anschauung), mentioned many times, and "intuition a priori" (Anschauung a priori), mentioned ...
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Are there any internally consistent variants of Feng Shui?

There's a videogame that includes Feng Shui as a game mechanic. I'm trying to create a mod that improves that aspect using computational fluid dynamics. The programming side of this should be simple, ...
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What are the arguments for and against metaphysical solipsism?

As far as I understand, from the position of metaphysical solipsism, everything that exists is only one single mind, and everything else is its hallucinations. And the only argument "for" ...
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Is there a notion analogous to “the inductive conception of set” in modal logic?

In many introductory treatments of modal logic, one defines a Kripke model with respect to some domain D. In variable domain semantics, each world in the Kripke model is assigned a different subset of ...
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If I pushed a rod that would be so long it connected Earth to Mars and I would be strong enough to push Mars, what would happen? [closed]

Imagine I am here on Earth, I have a rod that connects me to Mars: I now push the rod, how long will it take before Mars is pushed by the rod? When we do this here on Earth with sticks pushing stones ...
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Existence of Time in void

In perfect void can we define time? Does time make any sense in absence of events? Is time related to event? For instance we use Cesium atom's frequencies as measure for one second but if there is ...
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Kant's Prolegomena §6 text interpretation "might reveal itself through these its effects"

I'm having a hard time trying to interpret this part of the text: Does not this capacity, since it is not, and cannot be, based on experience, presuppose some a priori basis for cognition, which lies ...
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References on Metaphysical Dependence on Set Theory

I'm new here. I was having a hard time reading and comprehending John Wigglesworth's thesis Metaphysical Dependence and Set Theory. I was hoping if there is anything out there talking about the matter;...
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Is there any review books for beginners in philosophy?

I would like to gain some knowledge of the most famous philosophers' ideas. I have only read Plato's dialogues and have some general idea of Western philosophical tradition thanks to youtube lectures ...
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Could everything exist? What would this even mean?

I saw something that said the reason the universe exists is that everything exists, in an infinite multiverse. This then answers why the laws of physics of our universe are the way they are, which is ...
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A quantum mechanical response to van Inwagen's rejection of the PSR

Peter van Inwagen famously rejected the PSR due to his argument that it implied necessitarianism: Take the conjunct C of all contingent facts. Being contingent itself, the PSR demands an explanation F....
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How to define "physical substance"?

Physicalism is a form of ontological monism - claim that there is only one substance, and this substance is physical. What is meant here by physical substance? It could mean that only quantities ...
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Are there contemporary analytic defenders of the view that pattern/meaning is metaphysically fundamental and directly knowable?

Background: Much of philosophy since Kant has taken for granted that our basic experience of reality is structured by our cognitive apparatus, including notably our background conceptual frameworks. ...
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Cardinality of the logical space according to David Lewis

I just read an extract of David Lewis's Counterfactuals and he claims there in a footnote on page 90 that there are at least beth_2 possible worlds. He also claims in the very same footnote that "...
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