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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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How can being able to conceive of something “perfect” imply its existence?

In this question and reading about the ontological argument elsewhere I have discovered that there is (and has been) a lot of discussion about it, and that it was taken very seriously. Can someone ...
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How can we have a 'natural existence' for complex numbers? [closed]

For those who don't know what a complex number is, in simple terms, a complex number is the square root of a negative number! For example, the square root of -1 is called a complex number. Those ...
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Is it possible for something to have no cause?

Bertrand Rusell writes in his essay "Why I Am Not A Christian": There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; [...] Warren Rachelle, however, states in his ...
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Do Traditionalists still exist? [closed]

I was wondering if the philosophy of Traditionalism (a la Rene Guenon and followers) still had followers and thinkers writing? If so, who?
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Who were Borges's main philosophical influences?

Having read a bit of Borges's poetry, I know that Borges read and admired Spinoza. Having listened to his Harvard lectures about poetry, I know that he had sort of passing acquaintance with some ...
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What is a mathematical representation of the physical world?

Possible Duplicate: Was mathematics invented or discovered? To be more precise, does mathematics describe the physical world or does it describe a mental representation of the physical world? If ...
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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 are the philosophical implications of The Second Law of thermodynamics?

The Second Law of thermodynamics states that "The entropy of a closed system cannot decrease over time." What are the philosophical implications of this statement, especially wrt to theology and ...
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How to characterize Kant's usage of the term “noumena”?

Wikipedia gives an explanation of Kant's usage of the term noumena, part of which reads as follows: By Kant's account, when we employ a concept to describe or categorize noumena (the objects of ...
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Representation versus cartography in Deleuze and Guattari?

Can someone help me contextualize and concretize the theme of representation (what they sometimes call "tracing") versus cartography ("mapping," "diagramming," even "meta-modeling", etc.) in Deleuze ...
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What does Hegel mean by “Quality”?

In the Science of Logic, Hegel initially presents quality as existent determinateness. He further distinguishes two modes of determining quality in accordance with the moments of existence: ...
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If ontology is theory of existence, then what is theory of essence?

Some words in philosophy are usually represented as theory of x. For example, logic is the theory of reasoning, epistemology is the theory of knowledge, ontology is the theory of existence, etc. On ...
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Why is there something instead of nothing?

A simple but fundamental question. The "something" means the whole Universe (known and unknown), it could be represented as the reality version of the set of all sets, which is itself debated. It ...
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Observable and non-observable entities in explanation

So I've been reading through the Phaedo and have been thinking about Plato and have come up with a question, before I ask the question, I will give some background. Plato's theory of the forms (as I ...
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A metaphysical soul without an axiom for such?

Are there any schools of philosophy (or models therein) whose premises non-trivially imply the existence of a metaphysical soul? Or does the concept of a metaphysical soul only exist in practice ...
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Are there philosophers who examined the reasons for believing in the existence of other people?

While I am familiar with Descartes and the oft-quoted idea, I think therefore I am, I am not familiar with any philosophy that actively sought to rationalize that anybody else exists. Are there ...
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Why has the philosophy of Bishop Berkeley fallen out of favor in academic philosophy?

I studied George Berkeley as an undergraduate, and though I absolutely loved his work and his philosophy, many of my peers, and even some of my professors, found his philosophy wholly unappealing, ...
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What is the practical use of philosophy? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How is philosophy useful? Examining the practical, impactful, real-life benefits of getting a degree in philosophy What is the practical use of philosophy? How could ...
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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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Can something infinite be absolute? [closed]

Let's say we have an equation that has no end to its result. (Sorry I don't have an example to hand, and the value of Pi is still under question so I won't use that). Can this value be considered ...
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What is the name of the view that everything is composed of four elements?

What is the view that everything is ultimately composed of four fundamental elements called?
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How is subjective experience of color mapped to the visible spectrum?

Kevin Warwick had a sonar sense implanted and could sense whether an object was close or far. Evidence is accumulating that our brains can make sense of "foreign" information like sonar (consider the ...
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Is there any possible world in which 2+2=5?

Gödel's incompleteness theorems show that arithmetic is either inconsistent or incomplete, and that arithmetic cannot prove its own consistency. It is useful to believe that arithmetic is consistent, ...
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1answer
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Modern research on the subjectivity of sense-impressions, species, and Aristotelian conceptions of the world?

In my research on the Philosophy of Data, I've found some remarkable similarities between some peoples' conceptions of data and the Aristotelian idea of Species, the particles of experience/sense-...
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What are the most significant responses to Lewis' “On the Plurality of Worlds”?

What are the most significant responses to David Lewis' book On the Plurality of Worlds (1986)? In particular, are there any good critical readings of Lewis' views on modal realism?
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How does one know one is not dreaming?

How does one know one is not dreaming? How could one logically demonstrate to a skeptic that one is "really" there, awake and not just dreaming the entire situation/world around him? Specifically ...