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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 do we answer questions based off philosophers from the past (i.e. Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, etc.)?

I've noticed on the Philosophy Exchange that all questions are answered with references to secure a more logical and strengthened argument (which is sensible), but why do we assume that these ...
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Was Jan Smuts the father of Holism?

With reference: Jan C. Smuts, Holism and Evolution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Smuts With what I've found so far it seems he has had an enormous impact on the world that we have, so: Is ...
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3answers
119 views

if only one thing exists, nothing exists?

If one thing does not differ from any other, it has no identity (it has no properties, features, limits...). If something has no identity, it's not a thing. So only one thing can't exist. i.e.: I ...
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178 views

Can we ask an infinite amount of questions or is there a limit to how many questions we can ask? [on hold]

I've been thinking about the nature of questions and answers to questions. Can I ask people opinions on whether they think it is possible to ask an infinite amount of questions or do we as human ...
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Is a physical state a token of 'the state is [psi>'?

Can I regard the physical state of a system to be a token of 'the state of the system is [psi>'?
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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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2answers
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Is there a rigorous definition of ‘everything’?

Is there a rigorous definition for this concept? ‘The collection of every individual thing’? If an ‘individual thing’ is something that is different from something else, ‘everything’ could be the ...
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4answers
103 views

Why do we think objects and beings are real? [closed]

How can we tell if we are real and not a simulation that we perceive to be real. Given we know not what the universe is except what we perceive it to be. What if galaxies are just but other ...
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2answers
66 views

Could life and the world really be an electronic game being played in “eternity”? [closed]

Could beings in a larger world than ours be interacting with our world and with us in a game, creative experiment, or some learning exercise. Say each being has injected a part of himself into the ...
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Can an eternalist think that pastness and futureness are properties?

I take an eternalist to be someone who believes there are no past/future things, it all exists "at once". I understand the position as it applies to concrete objects, but I am not so clear on what the ...
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24 views

Are there degrees of rationality/plausibility to assumptions?

There are many kinds of premises, in every possible field. I'll limit this question to metaphysics, although it can definitely be applied to each and every scientific/philosophical study. For example,...
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67 views

Is concept abstract or concrete noun

Concepts are mental and abstract objects or fundamental building blocks of thoughts. Abstract nouns are nouns that name abstract concepts, or concepts that cannot be experienced with the senses. In ...
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55 views

Dynamic concept of “truth”

I've recently read a book in which a certain sentence sparked a question in my mind: "the Platonic philosophy is a search for truth, the certain truth. Such truth... is necessarily static" (...
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Badiou’s categorization of spheres of Truths

I’ve been reading through much of Badiou’s work for about a year and just finished Being and Event; though there is something I still don’t quite understand. Badiou claims that the four spheres (of ...
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Is there a solution of this time-travel enigma? [closed]

Mary is a supporter of free will. Thanks to a time machine, she travels five minutes into the future and finds out that she will quietly drink a coffee. She goes back and decides not to drink it, to ...
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1answer
44 views

Buddhist canon database

Is there an online database that either contains the Buddhist canon in either English or Chinese? I've had a difficult time tracking down first hand sources other than the usual suspects (Heart ...
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3answers
168 views

Can randomness be random?

In mathematics, a true random number generator it's impossible, because any formula defines a process that, however complex, is not random. A random event must be unrelated to any cause or condition, ...
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59 views

In which context does “Idealism” mean “non-corporeal substance”?

"Idealism" is one of the most vague concepts I've faced in philosophy. According to Wikipedia: In philosophy, idealism is the group of metaphysical philosophies that assert that reality, or ...
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What is the Lange's viewpoint on laws of nature?

I am just wondering what is the Lange's philosophical perspective on laws of nature and what line of thought he follows in the contemporary debate.
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How to interpret an aside in Lewis' theory of universals

I'm wondering how to make sense of a logical formula that David Lewis lingers on, as an apparent crystallization of the difference between "properties" and "universals," in his paper "New Work on a ...
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1answer
113 views

Is this event undetermined?

You toss a coin in an ideal, perfectly isolated box. If nothing and no one will ever check what face it shows, is this event objectively undetermined? (My guess is yes – if the isolation is perfect ...
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4answers
166 views

If nothing happens, does time still pass?

This question may have been asked before; actually, it's definitely been asked before, since it's on the topic of whether time is real or a man-made construct, but I don't believe it has yet been ...
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1answer
57 views

Is this a limit of naive atomism? [closed]

If I define every thing as a whole made of its parts, these parts should be things as well – but made of what? If every part is composed by smaller ones, we fall in a regress that leads to ...
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Does the distinction between “necessary” and “contingent” apply to mass/energy as modeled by science? [closed]

From what I've read about physics, matter/energy can't be created or destroyed. This is assumed to be true throughout space and time whether time is finite or not. If the ultimate constituents of ...
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3answers
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Are There Alternatives to Determinism and Stochasticism?

From my physicist's point of view, there are basically two ways of seeing the world: The world can be fundamentally deterministic or fundamentally stochastic (see also indeterminism). I believe that ...
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1answer
98 views

Is there the creator overseeing us all. How does He do that? [closed]

Is there the creator overseeing us all. How does He do that? Is that possible due to His omnipresence and being independent of 3+1D (x, y, z, ct) limitations? My previous question and related to ...
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Do Alexius Meinong's impossible worlds describe all impossible worlds/things? [duplicate]

Does his impossible worlds category include (and can describe) literally all impossible things/worlds? Inconsistencies, paradoxes, impossible solutions to problems (and impossible problems); really ...
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128 views

If the universe doesn't exist, can mind still exist?

Nowadays so many cosmologists predict the death of the universe. If someday the universe dies, totally goes into nothingness, will the mind still exist? If mind is some kind of substance, but not ...
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36 views

How are realist and idealist different?What does one think of the other?

Which one is better? And who are you, an idealist or realist? Is it helping you, if yes how? If no, why? I think that an idealist has some ideal figure of himself which he tries to always meet his ...
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33 views

Improving the Knowledge Faculty

I once read this and wondered whether or not the idea of the knowledge faculty being improved was actually possible. One of the propositions is that it is only possible to know what is perceived by ...
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4answers
145 views

Is it possible to know the truth value of a statement without knowing any information about that statement?

Is it possible to know the truth value of a statement without knowing any information about that statement? If no, then to me that would imply that truth values are not absolute and depend on how we ...
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1answer
113 views

What's the meaning of the meaning of life? [closed]

Let's say that the meaning of life is X (avoiding evil, fulfilling our desires, obeying God, fleeing the pain of the fear of the death, collecting turtles – anything). What is the meaning of X? Even ...
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0answers
26 views

Does the concept of Axis Mundi imply the idea of a symmetric universe?

In the mythologies of many cultures the universe is thought to have a center ( i do not mean the geographical concretisations which are obviously not accurate, i mean the philosophical conception ) ...
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Is “all truth is relative” an absolute truth?

All truths are relative, and this is the only absolute principle. wrote August Comte. Anyway a radical relativism poses a serious problem: if every truth is always relative, is the latter an ...
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547 views

Is being something and not any other thing a necessary and sufficient condition of existence?

Is being something and not any other thing a necessary and (the only) sufficient condition of existence? I'm working on something close to the idea of Apoha, but in an ontological sense. I suppose ...
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4answers
107 views

Understanding the simulation argument

I came across Nick Bostrom's paper called Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?. The paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: The human species is likely to go extinct ...
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1answer
58 views

For a clairvoyant able to perceive time as we perceive space, is the future determined?

We can think about a future event as unknown or not yet existing, but once it has happened, it can be only as it is. If I am in an instant of time t1 and in a subsequent instant t2 an event x occurs, ...
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Forms vs. universals for Aristotle

Aristotle associates the form of the human body with the soul and often De Anima iii 5 is interpreted so that Aristotle believed the human soul to be a subsistent form, which means the soul can exist ...
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118 views

Once it happened, an event was necessary?

What would happen to an event in the past, if time itself ceases to exist? Without time, has what existed (such as the writing of this sentence) never happened? A total disappearance of space-time ...
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4answers
140 views

Has the universe no identity?

1) A thing has an identity if there's something else delimiting and defining it. 2) The universe (intended as the totality of things) has necessarily no identity, because being the totality of things,...
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9answers
557 views

Why am I this particular human being?

Some philosophers dismiss this as a question about a tautology: when Alice asks "Why am I Alice?", this is equivalent to her asking "Why is Alice Alice?", which is not an interesting question. But ...
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Is there a limit beyond which mathematics, if used correctly, cannot be applied to reality?

And if so, why, and which? Take this case: If I've two apples and I believe that with two more I'll have four apples, then I implicitly believe that summation applies to reality. Yet there are ...
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Does it matter possessing knowledge about the Universe if it is going to end?

To be specific, I'm referring to physical reality. Moreover, this question might seem awkward at first glimpse. Well, it does not appear that there are any meaningful relations between the end of the ...
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4answers
140 views

If the Universe(s) didn't exist, Would all maths still exist?

Many scientists say that maths transcends creation, the future, it exists for all time. For example the Mandelbrot is just an equation that can still exist when the universe goes cold. Because I don'...
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2answers
98 views

Is perception of time completely subjective?

I know that if you are into an interesting activity time seems to pass very quickly, whereas the opposite happens when you're bored, but that's not what I'm asking. Imagine conducting an experiment ...
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1answer
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“Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics” - any future metaphysics except Kant's?

The title to one of Kant's most famous books is "Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics That Will Be Able to Present Itself as a Science", where he presents the outlines of his metaphysical theory ...
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1answer
277 views

Good resources for philosophers to learn more about quantum mechanics?

It is easy to find high-level descriptions of the implications of quantum mechanics, but they always seem a bit handwavy to me, or at least it is hard to know whether those interpretations are really ...
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5answers
2k views

If we imagine a world that functions without causality, how absurd could it be?

If we assume that there's a universe that is devoid of causality, and if we assume that it isn't eternally static, would that mean that everything can happen because there are no reasons inhibiting ...
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3answers
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Can the principle of sufficient reason be applied to the whole of existence?

Many philosophers (Leibniz and Heidegger, to name but two) consider "Why is there something rather than nothing" the most difficult and important question. Given that "nothing" is a possibility among ...
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Is there an idea of non-spatial reality in philosophy?

Our world is spatial. In particular there are 3 dimensions and we can measure lengths of objects in either of them. However, when thinking about metaphysics I came to the conclusion that there might ...