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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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Which philosophers have justified consciousnesses is a thing that can be measured? [on hold]

Which philosophers has justified consciousnesses is a thing that can be measured? Many philosophers have tried to describe the mind, but are there any specific scholars who describe justified methods ...
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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 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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Is it there any model of the universe or any (physical) cosmological theory or model completely compatible with trivialism? [duplicate]

Trivialism is a system that proposes that literally every proposition is true and false at the same time blatantly breaking the principle of no contradiction and triggering the principle of explosion (...
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How is the nature of logical principles commonly defined in contemporary philosophy?

In contemporary philosophy, how exactly is the nature of logical principles defined? For example, the way I've commonly seen logical principles construed are as true propositions which described the ...
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Do forces really exist?

In physics there are 4 fundamental forces the EM force, the weak and strong forces and gravity. Now gravity is already a bit declassified as a force by the curved spacetime theory of Einstein. But ...
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Which contemporary philosophers are idealists?

I mean idealism, in that all is mind, as opposed to physicalism. I imagine that they would be more in the continental tradition than the anglo-american analytic tradition.
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If it is all about time, why do we exist? [on hold]

If all events happen because of time, coming and going, what is the purpose in the occurrence of other events such as the evolution of life into a rational being?
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what does it mean to have philosophical study of something

Because we see there are many philosophical Study at present like philosophical study of education, philosophical study of Judgement etc. Therefore please explain me what does it mean to have ...
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Must the physical phenomenon of the universe be differentiable?

The use of Calculus for the analysis of real-world phenomenon depends entirely on our universe not only being continuous, but being differentiable. By "real-world phenomenon" I mean things like the ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
61 views

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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Looking for a piece regarding the relationship between subject and object (by Schopenhauer?)

I am desperately looking for a piece I've read years ago on the internet. It is written as a conversation (literally) between the subject and the object. The quintessence is that neither can exist ...
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Is this argument equivalent to the argument of prime mover of Aristotle?

For alternation in the status of A to be a cause of the alteration in the status of B, we naively demand that the former alteration exists before the later, and so the later [i.e.; the alteration in ...
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How does Schopenhauer maintain idealism without God?

In Berkeley's idealism God holds the world together, enabling us to avoid chaos and experience a shared, orderly reality. But Schopenhauer is an idealist and an atheist. How can we then explain the ...
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Is metaphysics completely subjective?

A little bit of background: As some of you may have noticed, my main interest in philosophy is of metaphysics. I've studied philosophy in a very postmodern environment; but contra to the people ...
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If we are all just condemned to death, then why should we still live?

This maybe just a question thought while drinking a coffee at a balcony. But it caught me defenseless. Just as how it caught those who committed suicide. With all our efforts to find meaning in life, ...
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Why are the laws of nature 'always and everywhere the same'?

Spinoza wrote in his Ethics that: the laws and rules of Nature…are always and everywhere the same This so as to deny a categorical difference between man and nature; Spinoza affirms that man is ...
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The real world is infinite! [closed]

The real world is the totality of all objects existing in it. i.e. every object that exists in the real world is a PART of the real world. An infinite is defined as having a part of it that doesn't ...
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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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What is the meaning of Spinoza's first three definitions?

I've just started reading Spinoza's Ethics and I'd like to have delucidations about his first three definitions. Definition one: By that which is self-caused, I mean that of which the essence ...
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What does Kierkegaard mean by 'spirit' in the following passage from “A Sickness unto Death”?

Soren Kierkegaard- "Sickness unto Death", (Princeton University Press 1983) 1848- From- Chapter 1- That 'despair' is the 'Sickness unto Death'- p 9 Man is a spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is ...
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Hegel and mathematicians

I'm new to the study of philosophy, feeling around slowly, finding my way. Am I misinterpreting, or did Hegel have contempt for mathematicians?
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Perpetual Division

I recall a story about a philosopher who proposed an idea that everything is essentially perpetually divisible. That is to say, you can divide a whole into two halves and for each half (regarded as ...
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Plato's Phaedo : Why does the soul stay separate from the body?

In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates established that death is the separation of soul and body. But he did not give any clue for this separation. What are the factors that lead to this separation? Physical ...
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Critique of Plato's theory of Forms [closed]

I'm new to philosophical studies, my background is in mathematics. I've just read some of Aristotle's Metaphysics today, and would like critique on a brief argument I wrote against Plato's Forms ...
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If idealism is correct, why (the idea of) a brain can change all the other ideas?

If ontological idealism is correct, a brain is an idea among the others. Then why if we modify (the idea of) a brain, the whole mental world changes accordingly? Why is there a mental representation (...
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Philosophies that suggest that thoughts have an existence beyond their physical realization

I'm a beginner at Philosophy, and I'm trying to categorize this metaphysical belief: "Thoughts are thought by humans, but continue to exist, interact with other ideas, and exert power in some sort ...
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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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3answers
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Is everything that exists an actual entity?

My professor asked us to think about this question as we go through the unit but I am not sure what the question means. I would greatly appreciate could help me understand the question or give me a ...
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1answer
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What exactly is the 'potential' that is actualized in Aristotelian metaphysics?

From my understanding, Aristotelian metaphysics uses the concepts of potentiality and actuality to explain change. Since being cannot come from non-being, when change occurs a potential is simply ...
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Why could Wittgenstein say that men had an idea for the law of least action?

Wittgenstein says in the Tractatus: 6.3211 Men had indeed an idea that there must be a 'law of least action', before they knew exactly how it ran. (Here, as always, what is certain a priori proves ...
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Does ontology study “being qua being”?

May I say that ontology studies "being qua being", while the sciences study "entity qua entity" ? I ask this because I don't understand how ontology could study the "entity qua entity", taking into ...
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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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Cyclical Argument in Plato's Phaedo

Can anybody tell me in simple words the major objections to the Cyclical Argument in Plato's Phaedo ?
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Have I contradicted the “law” non-contradiction?

In the 2nd half of the 20th century the American mathematician Haskell Curry and logician William Alvin Howard discovered an analogy between logical proofs and working computer programs. This is known ...
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Does the adjective “physical” apply only to worlds that obey the laws of physics? [duplicate]

Note: My question assumes a conceptual distinction between minds and the external world, regardless of whether they're actually two different kinds of substances. There seems to be widespread ...
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2answers
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What would a hypothetical world of continuous matter look like? [closed]

Suppose, instead of molecules and atoms existing, there was only prime matter and types of prime matter. So there would be steel type of prime matter, flesh type of prime matter, etc.... How would ...
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Are there any strong arguments for ideas that cannot be defined by humans? [closed]

I feel like there are no concepts we cannot define, theoretically at least. Is there any argument suggesting the exact opposite? How strong is that argument?
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4answers
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Would philosophy still exist if there was no life? [closed]

Would philosophy still exist without life? For example, for us humans, philosophy answers big questions and sort of governs society. But is philosophy something that would exist without life? On this ...
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Examples for necessary existence and necessary properties according to current metaphysics?

According to the survey article by Inwagen and Sullivan on metaphysics one subject of contemporary metaphysics are questions on modality. The authors explain „necessity de re“ as the necessary ...
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Is there any philosophy that associates the absolute truth with monism?

I never know what people mean by absolute truth, it sounds like they're referring to a truth above all truths, but there are many truths. So I was wondering if there were a lot of philosophy that ...
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How can we create problems out of nothing (our imagination)? [closed]

How can we create problems out of nothing (our imagination) ? Example 0: The absolute truth is that "I know that I don't know". True or false Example 1: A cat has 20 legs , after walking 10 km it ...
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How can we argue for the uniqueness of a God-like entity?

(I have in mind here, something similar to "uniqueness" proofs in math. I think if we want to name something, we should show both that it exists and is unique.) (By "divine attributes", I mean ...
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How do I keep up with the latest in the cutting edge of philosophy? [duplicate]

I always viewed philosophy to be dead after the arrival of modern science. The last great philosopher in metaphysics was Kant, I believe the others who followed him were made irrelevant by the ...
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Is metaphysical necessity an unambiguous concept, and if so, how do we capture it?

In Nature of Necessity (1974), Plantinga writes: The distinction between necessary and contingent truth is as easy to recognize as it is difficult to explain to the sceptic's satisfaction. ...we ...
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Frustration in studying philosophy

I have a question about why philosophers seem to disagree on virtually everything. I have been reading up on philosophy since I was 16 (now 19) with the goal of finding an end solution to the ...
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Why do the professional mathematicians believe blindly in so meaningless concepts as Infinity? [closed]

To refute such a concept as Infinity (or many infinities) in mathematics doesn't at all require all that big efforts mainly from its own definition in mathematics. To explain this very simple fiction ...
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Why are minds not considered part of the external environment?

I will try to be as specific as possible here: philosophers of mind often specify two levels of existence and/or explanation, the mental and the physical, even if they don't subscribe to dualism. ...
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What does Pirsig mean by “Quality”?

I just finished reading Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which I understand to be a popular-yet-important book for those looking to enter the realm of philosophical ...