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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Bewitched by sortal v natural kind [anti] Essentialism

In Essential vs. Accidental Properties (SEP) https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/essential-accidental/index.html, in the context of natural kinds essentialism, one finds: Notice that one may hold ...
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Are philosophers just like poets when thinking about consciousness?

I bumped upon a book on metametaphysics and I feel like reading about consciousness and philosophy of the mind from a contemporary perspective, but right from the start, in the face of an alarming net ...
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What do we mean by perfection? And what are qualities of a perfect man? [closed]

Perfection and grand design: Flawless, doubtless and contained in itself, if thy have these, I hereby, by my logic, shall mark thy Perfection. The words try to summarize the infinite qualities of ...
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Is an “observer” always implied in scientific statements?

I'm not sure what it's called, but Russell famously resolved problematic statements like "The present King of France is bald," simply by saying that it contains a hidden assumption of ...
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Should we define truth (given it exists)?

Should we, human-beings, try to define truth (given truth exists in reality)? Personally, I don't think we should reduce truth to symbols and syllables because I think it will take us into weird ...
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The Philosophy of Mutual Dreaming in the New SpongeBob Movie: Ontological as well as Metaphysical?

So, in the movie SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run, Patrick states that: "Two people cannot have the same dream, let alone be in that same dream at the same time. This is philosophically untenable.&...
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Attributes of God in Spinoza’s “Ethics”

In Spinoza’s Ethics, he remarks that God/Nature has infinitely many attributes. However, in the Ethics, he only identifies and discusses two of these attributes: thought and extension, which account ...
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Do philosophers think physical laws are logical statements?

I had some questions like: Do philosophers think that the rules of the universe are always logical or can they be somehow divorced from logic? The rules of physics seem to follow the laws of logic, so ...
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Is the Problem of Universals still a prominent topic of debate?

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy includes an entry for the Medieval version of the debate of universals, but not for anything contemporary. There's an entry on universals in the Internet ...
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To what extent is the notion of “common” of philosophical interest?

The 2021 theme for a french competitive philosophical exam is: "the common". I'm not sure the expression really makes sense in English. In French, it is the adjective "commun" ( ...
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What is known of Anaximander's reasoning behind his belief that the Earth floated?

Anaximander was the first philosopher (at least that I know of) to argue that the Earth floated in space without support and without being enveloped by the cosmic ocean. I have heard his reasoning for ...
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Did Charlies Peirce write this sentence or something closely related in meaning?

I saw the following phrase recently and I was surprised that it was ascribed to Peire: "We do not really think, we are barely conscious, until something goes wrong" Did Charlies Peirce write ...
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How do philosophers answer a question like 'How do you know something exists?'

I recently watched a video from Rationality Rules titled "The Argument from Personal Experience - Debunked (Why Personal Experiences are NOT Proof)". As the title reveals, the video's goal ...
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What did William James mean by metaphysics being “an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly”?

In the Principles of Psychology, Volume 1 William James said the following: “Metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly. The fundamental conceptions of psychology are ...
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What are David Lewis' perfectly natural properties?

I have read a few things on David Lewis either his papers and SEP entry etc. unfortunately I still struggle to understand lots of concepts from this philosopher. First, what are the perfectly natural ...
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Which discipline of philosophy is most interested and relevant to studying the nature of change?

Often as a beginner, I wonder: who studies this idea? Is there a body of literature on 'change', and if so, which discipline of philosophy is most interested in the nature of 'change' and truths ...
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According to the major theories of concepts, where do meanings come from?

In all our intellectual pursuits, we use concepts like "atoms" for a structure or "ingredients" for a recipe. We all have to use them. For example, consider the concepts 'existence'...
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Kant excerpt from CPR

In the Critique of Pure Reason, under "System of the Principles of the Pure Understanding, Section II Of the Highest Principle of all Synthetical Judgments" Kant writes, 2nd last paragraph: &...
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Why does the flow of life constantly put us in unsolvable situations?

Between the devil and the deep blue sea It is an idiom meaning a dilemma. If you are between a rock and a hard place, you are in a difficult situation where you have to choose between two equally ...
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Kant's 'presumption'

Since I do not have the German translation of Kant's "Prolegomena ...", I'm putting the question here. I'd like to know the German word used by Kant for 'presumption' as used in the ...
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Have philosophers speculated on how chaotic forces meeting together can result in order?

Have philosophers speculated on how chaotic forces meeting together can result in order? This isn't something that can be proven scientifically, and seems to be in the realm of metaphysics. I am ...
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On the Difference between Non-Difference and Dialetheism

Regarding insightful feedback to my answer to Can a category of non-difference exist in Western logic? and in conjunction with alternative responses, I am asking if the following formulation is a ...
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Philosophy of information question on the nature of computation

What is the most general definition of computation, and how does it differ from the more common definitions of it? What is the most general definition of computation and how does it differ from the ...
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What documented justification is there for using physics to describe the nature of reality?

One of the earmarks of empirical/materialistic research and documentation is its insistence on rejecting and dismissing any subject matter that it deems irrelevant. This has always appeared to me just ...
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Was the notion of mind-body dualism invented, or at least popularized, by Rene Descartes?

This dualism seems so compelling (from a layman’s perspective) that it seems difficult to imagine that Descartes invented or even popularized it. For instance, people kept using words like “soul” to ...
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Is it necessary for something to be observed for it to exist?

Say something was to happen in the universe, so minuscule that no one notices it, and it has no effect on history whatsoever. Is it correct to say that it never happened, because when we say something ...
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What are the strong arguments against the reassembly of the Ship of Theseus?

I've been thinking a lot about the Ship of Theseus puzzle, and I find the most convincing solution to be that the ship that comes from the reassembly of the original parts is in fact numerically ...
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Understanding the Four Causes of Aristotle

I'd like to better understand some concepts from Aristotle's Metaphysics. I'd like to know what does he mean by a "substance" (Ousia), does he just mean anything that exists? Can any ...
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What is the “Factive Turn” in epistemology?

In 1967 Richard Rorty edited/published what I consider to be one of the finest philosophical anthologies of the Twentieth Century. The Linguistic Turn: Essays in Philosophical Method, formally ...
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What are the characteristics of an event according to Whitehead?

Throughout Concept of Nature Whitehead adds different types of characteristics to his most basic concept - events. For example, he talks of objects, the situation of the event in space and time, its ...
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Does Whitehead's physics include atoms?

I know that one of the major points of Whitehead is to criticize the atomistic theory of nature and replace it with events. But can an atom exist as part of an event? What role does electron, protons, ...
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Identity of concepts' intentional content

I have recently read some articles about (lexical) concepts. Philosophers tend to think that, in order for two speakers to be able to communicate successfully, they must associate the exact same ...
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What motivated Whitehead to choose “Cogredience”?

I'm not a native english speaker, so I was not familiar with the term "cogredience" when I first saw it in Concept of Nature. frankly, it seems like its a word Whitehead used in a different ...
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For Whitehead, is an event theoretical or ontological?

I'm getting to Whitehead in my reading list, and have started with "Concept of Nature". Have not finished it yet, but something disturbs me throughout the book (aside from his god-awful ...
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What is a universe? (taboo the word “exist”)

It seems to me that "universe" and "exist" are defined cyclically. When not talking about many worlds or parallel universes, it's clear what it means to say whether or not a thing ...
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A concept which “shows” why are we limited by speed of light?

These are my thoughts about the above: So, lets say at a given time t, I am in a room, and it has a state, which describes all the info about that state. Assume for simplicity that the room and its ...
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Could something which is, and is uncreated, ever become created? [closed]

If sin [disobeying God's law] is created and God is uncreated and God creates sin, then the sin He creates can never become part of Himself because He Himself is uncreated. [ It's a bit like a cook ...
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Is there anything a supernatural entity (e.g. God) could do to irrefutably prove its existence to humans? [closed]

I just posted a question in which I ask if spontaneously regrowing amputated limbs would constitute a proof of the supernatural, and several of the answers have presented interesting objections. This ...
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Is watching an amputated limb regrow proof of the supernatural?

A typical challenge skeptics present when confronted with claims of alleged miracles is "why won't God Heal amputees?". But, would that do the job? Consider the following thought experiment: ...
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Can the statement, “Suicide is Murder” be written as S = M? If so, could it then also be written as “Murder is Suicide” or M = S? Are either logical?

Webster defines murder as the "killing of another person" and suicide as the "killing of oneself." It seems, therefore, that these are mutually exclusive ideas. They simply are not ...
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Are there set-theoretical problems with modal metaphysics?

I'm trying to learn about modal logic and the metaphysics of modality, and there's something that has been bugging me about what I've read so far: are there set-theoretical issues with supposing we ...
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Are there philosophical problems for which there's only a trivial solution?

I can't really think of a philosophical example, but in mathematics, it would be something like 'find the x where f(x) = 0 given that f(x) = x', and the solution would be 'x = 0', which is trivial. Is ...
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Is there a philosophical agreement that the universe is deterministic?

Is there a philosophical agreement that the universe is deterministic? If the universe is not deterministic, then how come every law in the universe seems to be deterministic? What are the possible ...
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What motivation does an omnipotent god have to do anything? [closed]

For example, every human action is motivated by happiness. So what reason does god have, to do or create things? happiness can't be the only reason, because he can make himself infinitely happy ...
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A material-constitution model of truth

On one end, let there be the correspondence model of truth, that S is true if and only if S corresponds to the appropriate fact. On the other, let there be the identity model, that S is true if it IS ...
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What is the axiological basis of the preference of truth to falsity?

Axiologically speaking, why is truth the preferred logical value by humans? In general, why do we prefer true statements to false ones? What about the value of true makes a statement "right,"...
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Mathematical universe hypothesis: Why shouldn't all imaginable universes exist?

In his paper on mathematical universe hypothesis, Max Tegmark only responses with a single paragraph to this assumption: The MUH and the Level IV multiverse idea does certainly not imply that all ...
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What is a “local” metaphysics and how does it differ from conventional metaphysics?

A chapter is devoted to each of the eight major philosophers and movements in the Western canonical tradition: the pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Leibniz, empiricism, Kant, and Hegel. The ...
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Does science require the exclusion of the “infinite”?

And if so, are there any interesting implications? According to the storyline, Galileo launched modern science by declaring the necessity of rendering physical events countable. What is countable must ...
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Are figures of speech true and false?

I'm thinking about Gilbert Ryle, who I believe analyses category mistakes as figures of speech. An example like the teeth of crows are pearly white seems neither true nor false. But what about this ...

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