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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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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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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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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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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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Does infinity exist in the real world,other than just in mathmatics?

My question is: Does infinity, i.e. infinite numbers,like omega,aleph-null,exists in the real world or just exist in the mathematical theory? For example,if time has no start point,is there a world ...
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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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240 views

If the universe doesn't exist, can mind still exist?

Nowadays so many cosmologists predict the death of the universe. If someday the universe dies, totally goes into nothingness, will the mind still exist? If mind is some kind of substance, but not ...
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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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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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233 views

How have philosophers tried to argue for qualia?

What is the difference between the intuition that there is something it is like, qualitative experience, and faith in it? Is it possible to convince someone who doesn't believe there is something it ...
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1answer
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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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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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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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1answer
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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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337 views

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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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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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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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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2answers
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How is 'metaphysics' 'theories of the connections between what we see and what we can't see' and connected with 'ladder rungs'?

Source: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism (2013 1 ed). p. (between 21 and 90, but I can't remember). One of the most significant influences in this regard was the third- ...
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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 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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Are all concepts polar ?

Do all concepts operate in pairs such that in order to define one member of the pair we need to specify its opposite ? For instance, we cannot define 'nothing' without understanding - being able to ...
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2answers
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eternal matter- does this syllogism prove it?

Does this syllogism prove that matter is eternal. If NO, then where does it fall short? regards P1: Something cannot come from nothing. P2: Our universe exists, and is made up something. P3: This ...
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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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Philosophy - Does Einstein's Block Universe theory prove Nietzsche's Eternal Return theory is true?

If the Past, Present, and Future all exist in exactly the same way, then every single moment would be a ‘Now’ moment for me. it would also mean that me being dead in the future is equally real in the ...
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How can souls and angels be pure forms if only matter undergoes change?

In Thomas Aquinas' philosophy, angels are conceived as pure forms without any matter, like God, but contrary to God they still possess potentiality. Although there is no composition of matter and ...
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1answer
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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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9answers
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Why am I this particular human being?

Some philosophers dismiss this as a question about a tautology: when Alice asks "Why am I Alice?", this is equivalent to her asking "Why is Alice Alice?", which is not an interesting question. But ...
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1answer
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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 the difference between Naturalism and Physicalism?

I am trying to figure the difference between Naturalism and Physicalism. As far as I could tell, they were the same thing, except that physicalism (physicalist vs dualist) was the term used when ...
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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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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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1answer
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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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348 views

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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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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How many equivalence classes does the accessiblity relation have in S5?

I'm a math student taking philosophy classes. So I have some math background but am absolutely unfamiliar with metaphysics&c. Recently I've come around the "Nothing Is Impossible" paper as a part ...
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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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177 views

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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3answers
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Once it happened, an event was necessary?

What would happen to an event in the past, if time itself ceases to exist? Without time, has what existed (such as the writing of this sentence) never happened? A total disappearance of space-time ...
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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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Is there a limit beyond which mathematics, if used correctly, cannot be applied to reality?

And if so, why, and which? Take this case: If I've two apples and I believe that with two more I'll have four apples, then I implicitly believe that summation applies to reality. Yet there are ...
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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 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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1answer
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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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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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Should multiverse theories be rebranded as meta physics?

I answered a question here with a quote with the following quote from Cosmologist George Ellis. “Similar claims [about a multiverse] have been made since antiquity by many cultures. What is new is ...