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 is the distinction between mysticism and metaphysics?

Mysticism and Metaphysics seem to share immediate similarity: both amount to sort of speculations pertaining to capture universal truth that cannot be confirmed nor refuted by the senses. What is the ...
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Magical explanations in science? [on hold]

Why can scientists use a magical explanation such as "we do not know what's the origin of the first energy particle that existed in the universe, so we assume it was always there" with total impunity ...
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Is Hegel's Logic an Ontology?

Stephen Houlgate, in his book The Beginning of Hegel's Logic, puts forward the argument that Hegel's Logic is to be seen as an ontology. But is this view convincing? I'll try my best to reconstruct ...
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Is it possible to enumerate metaphysical hypotheses?

Recently, I had an argument with someone who stated that the chance of experiencing nothing after death is extremely low. Their reasoning was that one can think of many more metaphysical realities in ...
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Is the simulation hypothesis outside of science?

On the question of the simulation hypothesis (i.e. that reality is a simulation), a friend of mine once remarked he didn't accept it on the grounds of Ockham's razor. To me (with my admittedly ...
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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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David Lewis and probability

I have read a general overview on David Lewis in order to have an idea of his philosophical perspective and in particular about humean supervenience. I am wondering how Lewis considers probability in ...
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Did Nietzsche “believe” in causality?

In Human, all too human, part 1, par. 107 (“non-responsibility and non-guilt”) Nietzsche clearly brings forth the Spinozian theory of the “innocence of becoming”. I am a bit confused by this claim. ...
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Can there be cause and effect without time?

Our usual understanding of cause and effect operates tensely; that is in time. But consider a basic statement in some generic computer language: if x then y Is this in time? Well an actually ...
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Are Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe Hypothesis and Seth Lloyd's Cosmological Model compatible?

I have been interested in Seth Lloyd's cosmological model (which proposes that the universe is a some kind of quantum computer or at least similar to it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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Is the existential “why” a question for philosophy or is it left to theology?

Please pardon me if this question does not make sense. My training is in history not philosophy - although philosophy has always been a passing interest. Are there philosophies/philosophers that/who ...
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What was Cantor's philosophical reason for accepting the infinite but rejecting the infinitesimal?

I have begun inquiring recently into mathematical aspects of Georg Cantor's theory of transfinite numbers and sets, which he developed between the years of 1874 and 1897. Throughout his theory, Cantor ...
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Is the beginning of Hegel's philosophy an example of foundationalism?

one preliminary remark: this post could be of interest to anyone engaging with the thought of Hegel (especially his theoretical philosophy) or who is interested in fundamental metaphysical problems. ...
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If metaphysical grounding of beliefs is not necessary what is to logically compel one to believe anything?

'Grounding' is the notion that 'because of X, Y', X being the reason one can accept Y beyond pragmatic considerations. In this way, X and Y are analogous to cause and effect respectively. If it is ...
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Who can I read that talks about this?

I’d like to know if there has been anyone that has taken my point of view on this so I can read him. Some kind of relativism based on the belief that everything follows the physical laws of the ...
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Looking for references regarding the history of metaphysics, and specially of ontology

Although many histories of ethics, of esthetics or of logic are available, it seems more difficult to find histories regarding other domains of philosophy. This is the case for epistemology and for ...
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What does « answering a question » mean? [migrated]

Since StackExchange is about asking and answering questions, I came up with this problem : what is the criterion of a valid answer ? I suppose it is a matter of the type of question you are asking, i....
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How could Occam's razor possibly be used metaphysically?

Occam's razor, or the law of parsimony, states that the simplest explanation for any given data is most likely the correct one. Some have attempted to use Occam's razor in a metaphysical sense, to ...
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Where can I study this in more detail?

I am finding al-Farabi's Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle on pages 13-17, paragraphs 1-9, (pages 11-13 in the pdf file linked below), very interesting: http://traditionalhikma.com/wp-content/uploads/...
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Popper on metaphisics [closed]

It'a actually a simple question, not articulated at all. What's the role of metaphisic for Popper? I know that for him philosophy is not just non-sense nore simply a "lenguage clarificator", but apart ...
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1answer
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Inconsistency in Tegmark's Mathematical Universe Hypothesis?

Physicist Max Tegmark is widely known for proposing that there is a multiverse where mathematical structures would exist as real and actual universes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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Pythagorean metaphysics

I have developed an interest in studying Pythagoras, mainly his idea of Number as the Arche. It seems that neither him nor his school left any writings, and what survives of it comes through Aristotle'...
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Is Poppers criticism of Kant valid?

Hume applying rationality to causality showed that it could not exist - the question is then how does it exist. Kants reply was to place it in the mind. Popper discusses this in his *Conjectures & ...
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Principle of proportionate causality - what are virtual and eminent causes?

I'm reading Edward Feser's book Five Proofs of the Existence of God. On pages 32-33 he introduces the principle of proportionate causality (PPC). I'm having trouble understanding what precisely ...
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Is Deductive Reasoning Alien to the Material World?

A quick survey of literature: Goel V. Anatomy of deductive reasoning. Trends Cogn Sci. 2007 Oct https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2685028/ García-Madruga JA, Gutiérrez F, ...
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What is the meaning of using a mathematical structure to describe physics?

I'm trying to understand the meaning of using a mathematical structure in order to do physics, what does this really mean? My idea is that first we performs experiments on a physical system in order ...
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Is existence essential to God?

Thomas Aquinas said that God was absolute perfect, God being pure actuality and had no potentiality. If there was a time where there wasn't an existence, then God would have a potentiality and not ...
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Was there a potentiality for God to create a perfect being? [closed]

I have read some people argue that if there was a God that created, his creation was imperfect because we have a potentiality and thus making him act in an imperfect way, and not being pure actuality. ...
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What is the purpose of the existence of the universe? [closed]

Why did the universe come into existence? Going through the timeline of the universe (Big Bang, separation of forces, symmetry breaking, particle formation...), everything that happened lead ...
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Are there philosophers who argue for a close connection between consciousness and existence?

(I'm not entirely satisfied with this question because I can't quite express it clearly, but a personal experience has moved me to ask it. I know it may be too vague or general.) The consciousness my ...
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Do the dimensions have an infinite number of combinations of the appearance? [closed]

Can a piece of paper in our universe have more depth. something that we can't see. something that's more material. something that's more material. something that's more material. something that's more ...
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1answer
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The essence of real Europeans [closed]

I'm a European living in America. A fellow countryman is trying to coerce me into doing something for him. He claims that if I was a "True European", I would do what he wants. I've not done a lot of ...
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How is 'existence' defined? [closed]

How would you define 'existence'? Is it a requisite for an entity to be able to interact with other entities to be considered as 'existent'? What if there are real objects in the universe which ...
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Is there a reason to know? [closed]

I am going to talk about the necessity of the reason to know by talking about the nature of spacetime, and therefore, of our nature. I'm not sure whether this is specific enough for StackExchange, but ...
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Is God a solipsist?

If you accept God: omnipotent, omniscient, eternally omnipresent. Solipsist: Nothing outside the mind should be believed to exist. If one's own mind is the sum total of existence, then all perceived ...
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Mathematical Universe

I have a beginner question on the type of claims this book or similar theories make. That book claims that universe is math structure. I just want to clarify if I correctly understood his goal: Does ...
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Why does Carnap say 'Caesar is a prime number' is meaningless?

I don't get it. Assuming there exists an individual Caesar, we can look at the set of prime numbers and not-(prime numbers), and Caesar will be in one of them. I just don't see, even though it may be ...
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Ontology in the Nietzschean framework

Would you say that Nietzsche held any regard to the ontological question in his work? I know more or less his account on metaphysics, he seem to push the question aside as he considers it does not fit ...
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Are the fundamental laws of logic always true in every field known to man?

the three fundamental laws of logic: (1) the law of contradiction, (2) the law of excluded middle (or third), and (3) the principle of identity. These are the three fundamental laws of logic and while ...
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What are the identity conditions for “ a truth” [closed]

Here I'm not talking about "truth" in general ( as when one says " truth is correspondence between thought and reality") but about truth considered as a particular truth, as when one says " this ...
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Can the Universe Be Infinite?

Some think that the universe is infinite. To convince one in the creditability of the idea they point mainly at our inability to conceive of its spatial limits. Hence, here, I use 'infinity' (of the ...
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Does Heidegger (or Blanchot?) reflect on the form of the question itself?

I have this notion that Heidegger is the first person to think about the framing of the question as a mode of inquiry. That is, to approach something as a question is to be already decided that a ...
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What is Kant's Proof for the Existence of the Noumenal World?

I have yet to read any convincing evidence that we should accept Kant’s assertion that a world outside our senses exists. I think Occam’s Razor tells us it is simpler to assume there is just one ...
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What’s the difference between rhizome and monad?

Those two concepts seems quite close but I’m not able to find much resource on their distinctions.
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What justified consciousness is an experience and not an thing? [closed]

No philosophers has justified that consciousnesses can be measured. Many philosophers have tried to describe the mind, but are there any specific scholars who describe justified methods to describe ...
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Which philosophers has proven existing is being part of the change in time?

Does anyone know any philosopher(s)/mathematician(s) who has proven that existing is being part of change in time or a journal article from a credential academician/scholar who conclude this with ...
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A problem with Modal Logic (necessary truths)

I have this problem with Modal Logic that I am not sure I see which propositions in this logic are necessary besides tautological propositions. I mean metaphysically, something is necessary if it's ...
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Is there such a thing as meta-metaphysics?

I started wondering about this while taking an undergraduate course in philosophy of language (studying Frege, Davidson, Kripke, and Kit Fine). This field, in my understanding, aims to describe the ...
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Is the simulation argument an act of faith?

I have serious doubts about the reliability of the thesis raised by the philosopher Nick Bostrom in his paper Are you Living in a Computer Simulation? Even in its weakest version, where two or more ...
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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?