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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 the first mover must be unmovable?

In the first way of Aquinas it is proved that there exists 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 the blink of an eye. Suppose that another second elapses between the closing and reopening of your eyes, a second in which nothing happens in the whole ...
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What do theologians study about?

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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How to express that something that exists is possibly necessary in Modal Alethic Logic?

Suppose that A is True (like 1+1=2) , then how to formulate this proposition in Modal Alethic Logic? If A is the case, then it is possible that A is necessarily the case. For example : If I am ...
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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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Where does free will come from? [closed]

Assuming a free-willist perspective, Where does free will come from? Some possibilities(in the form of questions) and my opinions on them: is it intrinsic to any conceivable idea, only physical ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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1answer
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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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1answer
59 views

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 ...
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Examples of entropy [closed]

Whenever I read about entropy in the context of philosophy, I see examples such as "the smoke doesn't go back into the cigarette" and "the toothpaste doesn't go back into the tube." This makes me ...
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Why do we need any foundations at all?

Philosophy is metaphysics. If we don't understand metaphysics then we don't understand philosophy. If we don't have the foundation in place we can only build sand-castles. I feel you are ...
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What does it mean for things in the universe to no longer be totally ordered?

There is a general belief that the universe is totally ordered. What does it mean for things in the universe to no longer be totally ordered?
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English translation of Descartes's Notae in Programma Quoddam?

The SEP entry on Descartes (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descartes-works/) mentions his work "Notae in Programma Quoddam." It is referred to as "Notes on a Program-also referred to as Comments ...
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If our world is mathematical، Does not this increase the probability of being complex as well?

Tegmark's mathematical universe hypothesis, posits that reality is a mathematical structure. This mathematical nature of the universe, Tegmark argues, has important consequences for the way ...
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Random Emergence

In De Caelo 300b, Aristotle introduces the idea of the random emergence of the natural: "it is possible that with this disorderly motion some of the elements might have unified in those combinations ...
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Imaginary part of the world behind the event horizon [closed]

Outside the event horizon of a black hole, quantum field theory and General Relativity are completely sufficient for understanding the physics of what occurs; that is what Hawking radiation is. But ...
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Does Tegmark's Mathematical Universe hypothesis allow existence of alternative mathematics?

Tegmark's mathematical multiverse hypothesis assumes that all mathematical structures exist as universes But do you know whether his hypothesis also allows/accept universes described by other types ...
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How are the assumptions underlying logic chosen?

Logic works based on certain assumptions about its rules. How are these axiomatic assumptions selected in the first place, given that a system of logic does not exist prior to the point of selection? ...
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Is complete isolation possible?

Imagine an ideal box, whose contents are perfectly isolated. Whatever is inside it, it has not, has had or will have any relations with the rest of the universe. We could say that its content does not ...
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Is everything in the universe made of 0s and 1s? [closed]

Qubits are the quantum counterpart of the bits used in traditional computing. While traditional bits represent data as 0s or 1s, qubits are distinguished by what's known as superposition, or the ...
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1answer
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Can possible-but-non-actual objects have accidental properties?

The modal logic I am considering is the "Simplest Quantified Modal Logic" which combines first-order predicate logic with identity, with S5 in the most straightforward way, described here and slightly ...
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Why does Parmenides impose a limit on his Being?

Parmenides mentions twice in the poem what-is has limit in the part where he talks that what-is is “like the bulk of ball” (B8: lines 42, 49, pages 60, 61). 42: But since the limit is ultimate, ...
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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
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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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Can we ask an infinite amount of questions or is there a limit to how many questions we can ask? [closed]

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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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 ...