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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Is there an equivalent reading to Russel's 'The Problems of Philosophy' but for metaphysics?

I'm looking for an overview of the field of metaphysics accessible to laymen. If there is anything that leans in any way towards the social sciences, I would be particularly interested in it.
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Why do all equalities require two different things?

All equalities by definition require two different things. In 1+1=2, we presume that 1=1. However, although the two different 1's in 1=1 can either refer to a single object or two objects which we ...
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Is everything either alive or dead?

Can all things be classified as "alive" or "not alive?" For example, a cup is not alive, and a person can be alive, but a corpse is not alive. Is the status of life (or otherwise) ...
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Does the first Godel's incompleteness theorem forbids the existence of a Theory of Everything?

There is some position that the first Godel's incompleteness theorem does refute the possibility of finding a Theory of Everything. But the first Godel's incompleteness theorem stands: In every formal ...
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Are patterns prior to causes? Which philosophers are hesitant to believe there really are causes?

Most people and most philosophers seem to strongly believe in causation. I would like understand what philosophers have to say about how to go from believing in just patterns to causes too. Are the ...
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what is Russell's Neutral Monism and how does it differ from Spinoza's Substance Monism?

I have studied Spinoza, so you don't need to explain that part. For some reason, explanations of Russell on the internet don't get into my head, that's why I've come here.
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The vagueness of everything around us

I would always wonder if the world (in general the physical form of universe) around us a myth and the only truth that exists is the absolute me. The ideas comes to me, the thoughts comes to me. For ...
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What is a euclidean triangle in Plato's Phaedo? What is the different between it and real triangle?

Which of the following are features of a true Euclidean triangle that exemplify its status as a Platonic Form? Is it can be known only by the intellect? Is it objective? Is it invisible? Is it ...
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Scientism, Positivism Instumentalism

Positivists have been criticised for their scientism when in fact it seems that antipositivists are the ones that support scientism. Positivist try to exclude things from the label science, knowledge ...
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54 views

Does panpsychism state that the mind exists in a different dimension?

Does panpsychism state that the mind exists in a different dimension? They seem to allude to the existence of a soul, and that the mind is a part of the fabric of reality, but are they saying that the ...
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Is there a term for properties that an entity has at a particular time, but which depend on the properties it has at other times?

Is there a term for properties that an entity has at a particular time, but which depend on the properties it has at other times? For example, when he was a child, Lebron James had the property of ...
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Is it possible for us to definitively determine the correct metaphysics?

This question came up for me when I began considering metaphysical realism and metaphysical idealism. Realists claim that there exists an objective world independent of consciousness, though we only ...
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162 views

Has Spinoza been disproved by modern physics?

As I understood it Spinoza claims everything has Extension, it occupies space. But in physics there are things called point particles which are zero dimensional, they don't occupy space. So for ...
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Could the earth simply blink out of existence from no cause? [closed]

On https://www.livescience.com/17875-destroy-earth-doomsday.html, under total existential failure, it says that the earth could just wink out of existence. Assuming everything has an infinitesimal ...
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Is Bohm's Implicate and Explicate order similar to Schopenhauer's Will and Representation?

Bohm considered Implicate order to be fundamental and holistic, while Explicate order was only derivative. Similarly to Schopenhauer who had his principium individuationis, and considered ...
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Examples of physicists who are platonists?

Max Tegmark is perhaps the best example, with his idea which basically proposes that every mathematically possible universe exists. Are there any other examples of physicists with a similar line of ...
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116 views

Proof of choice?

It is a theorem that adopting choice only retracts our universe. But it is intuitively obvious that choice only expands our universe. We are forced to conclude it does neither, and choice is in fact ...
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Does real number exist in the physical world?

There are no ZFC or arithmetic axioms, for example second-order arithmetic, in the physical world. Why can I solve differential equations in the electricity subject? We may also assume the world has ...
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Is imagination a sufficient condition for something to exist?

We can imagine a chair and build it, We can imagine the Starship Enterprise And given the neccessary technological knowledge build it. We can imagine a living flying elephant and it seems given the ...
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1answer
75 views

Leibniz's monads and Mandelbrot's fractals

Leibniz's monadology is often viewed as too counterintuitive a metaphysical theory and disenchants many. Could we draw a philosophically significant analogy between Leibniz's monads and Mandelbrot's ...
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What is the role of mental images in the perception of absence?

In the book “Metaphysics, a very short introduction” by Stephen Mumford, near the end of Chapter 9 titled “Is nothing something?”, I read the following puzzling lines: “Jean-Paul Sartre discussed the ...
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Is the idea that "Everything is energy" even coherent?

There are many New Age websites claiming Everything is energy. Does this even make sense in philosophy of physics and metaphysics? How can something be "made out of energy"? As far as I ...
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Does Shape Dynamics use Space relationalism?

(Already posted this on Physics Stack Exchange, hope it's okay) On Wikipedia it says Shape dynamics is an implementation of Space relationalism however I don't see how this can be true. In general ...
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What is the difference between the “thing in itself” and noumena?

“Things in themselves” and noumena are similar in Kantian metaphysics (Critique of Pure Reason, mostly) and interchangeable much of the time. The phenomena/noumena divide is integral to Kantian ...
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Are there any non-logical properties that apply to everything?

Presumably, everything exists and is equal to itself. For purposes of this question, I call existence and equality-to-self logical properties, but this is intended as terminology not metaphysics. In ...
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Does the sum of all being exist itself?

Can we conceptually build the (mereological) “sum” of “all being” / “everything that exists” without running into problems or paradoxes? Can we think of the resulting concept (sometimes called “Being”,...
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What is the philosophical term for when a property is emergent from an underlying structure?

There is a term that refers to this, which I can't find anywhere, but I remember it from studies of consciousness and the brain. For example, "consciousness is ____ on the physical brain". ...
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Are there any book recommendation for identity, especially personal identity or metaphysics?

I have studied philosophy on my own for a long time and gained overall impression on the history of philosophy. And I am interested in self-consciousness,particular in personal identity. Recently I ...
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220 views

Does a decrease in entropy require intent?

Physics tells us that universally entropy is always increasing. However, it is possible for entropy to decrease locally at the expense of a bigger increase elsewhere. Can this happen spontaneously or ...
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90 views

Can something come from non existence without a cause? [duplicate]

Absolute non-existence has nothing in it that can be changed or cause the change. So how can something (universe) just appear.
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Why are there 8 Deductions, and not 6, in Plato's Parmenides?

In Plato's Parmenides, we have the 8 Deductions that go something like this (this applies, as best as I can see, to both the standard and non-standard models that the SEoP describes. All this is ...
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Are Thomas Breuer's subjective decoherence and Scott Aaronson's freebits with Knightian freedom the same things in essence?

In his remarkable works (1,2 and their later development 3) Thomas Breuer proves by diagonalization the phenomenon that the observer cannot distinguish all phase space states of a system where he is ...
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Formal deduction of Whitehead's Philosophy of Organism

In Process and Reality Whitehead starts off the investigation by giving his categoreal scheme - different types of categories and their derivatives, as well as some axioms. If I understand correctly, ...
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Spinoza’s argument for substance monism

Substance monism is a very significant part of Spinoza’s philosophy. But after reading the first part of his Ethics, an understanding of his arguments for it eludes me. Specifically, I have trouble ...
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An argument in favor of the existence of God [closed]

Something whose existence is impossible cannot be conceived in the mind. Let's make an assumption that there is no God. Since it will be eternal by definition, it did not exist in the past or in the ...
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Metaphysics of statistical tests and the principles of identity of indiscernibles

I am an imaging facility manager working with high throughput microscopy; we expect to compare different populations based on different statistical tests. May I ask you for help to suggest how it is ...
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4answers
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Did anyone argue that mathematical concepts and principles are neither true or false?

Did anyone argue that mathematical concepts and principles are neither true or false? I am not sure if I am crazy, but I feel like they are neither true or false just like a word is not true or false. ...
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277 views

How do multiple time dimensions appear to allow the breaking or re-ordering of cause-and-efect in the flow of any one dimension of time?

Multiple time dimensions appear to allow the breaking or re-ordering of cause-and-effect in the flow of any one dimension of time. This and conceptual difficulties with multiple physical time ...
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Is there a philosophical word for any imaginable or conceivable world?

Is there a philosophical word for any imaginable or conceivable world? People use words like simulations to express ideas similar to this, but there doesn't seem to be a specific word for this. Do you ...
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What branch of philosophy studies possibilities in cosmology?

What branch of philosophy studies possibilities in cosmology? To be more precise, various possible worlds and universes and what they could look like? Is it an area of metaphysics, and also is there a ...
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What does Spinoza mean by Acquiescentia in se ipso?

In Part V of Spinoza’s Ethics the pinnacle of human freedom and understanding is discussed as the viewpoint from eternal blessedness. How are we to characterize or interpret this doctrine of ...
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176 views

Nature of mathematics within philosophy

Short version: Considering that science is inevitably dependent on mathematics and metaphysics (Kant tried to raise metaphysics to the status of a science, which I find mandatory to improve the ...
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Was the idea of different physical realms advanced by other philosophers?

Platonists think there's a realm where concept exist, but that realm isn't physical. I am wondering if the possibility of various other physical realms existing was ever proposed and if it was ...
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How does Whitehead explain repeated attempts of remembrance/recollection?

In Process and Reality one of the main concepts Whitehead talks about is the symbolic reference. A derivative element of the connection between symbolic type and meaning type of species (in Whitehead'...
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What are some strong arguments for logical holism?

What are some strong arguments for logical holism? The idea that the world operates in such a way that no part can be known without the whole being known first seems extremely foreign to me. This is ...
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What does the term "critical realism" mean in 2021

I cannot help but notice the increasing tendency of late to ambiguate the term “critical,” ostensibly in the service of rhetorical ends. My concern here is with the sense of that term in the concept ...
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In what realm do mathematics objects exist according to Platonists?

"Intuitionists" believe that mathematics is just a creation of the human mind. In that sense you can argue that mathematics is invented by humans. Any mathematical object exists only in our ...
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I read lots of introduction books about philosophy, now I want to learn more. Reccomend some books thar are not too basic or too advanced

What should I read? Should I read the books philosophers themselves wrote or the ones that is written by someone else??? I don't want books that only give introduction. I read lots of easy ...
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Will we ever be able to find the universal cause?

The universe can be thought of as a (curved) spacetime with matter and energy inside it and with an internal energy. The last is not matter based and represents dark energy which can be seen as a ...
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What are the potentiality and actuality in metaphysics?

From Wikipedia: Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that examines the fundamental nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and ...

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