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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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What are the logical fallacies of this argument?

SCIENTIFIC FACT: Nothing in the universe, ceases to exist, it just appears in some other form. LOGICAL FACT: We can be absolutely sure that what we experience right now, exists. Let's mark ...
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Did Tesla hold an absolute idealist philosophy?

I recently found a rather interesting paper (letter?) from Nikola Tesla called "Man's Greatest Achievement", in which appears the following paragraph: Long ago he recognized that all perceptible ...
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Does Kant consider extendedness metaphysically (analytic) a priori?

In Kant's famous division between a priori vs a postriori, and synthetic vs analytic, Kant's example for a priori analytic proposition is: All bodies are extended. Without immediately delving ...
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Metaphysical substrate and the Judeo-Christian legacy

Is the idea of a metaphysical substrate, of stories, meaningful? I have been listening to some talks by Jordan Peterson, and it seems he posits this idea of a metaphysical substrate as counterpoint to ...
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Can a physicalist be also realist about mathematical objects?

Is it possible to believe that mathematical objects enjoy some kind of mind-independent existence while holding physicalism? And if they are mind-dependent, should one embrace constructivism ...
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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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Does Plato’s theory of forms entail a kind of essentialism? Discuss [closed]

One of the questions asked in a paper I gave on philosophy, although I understand a bit of essentialism(based on what i read after facing the question in exam). I'd like to know the view of people who ...
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How did Aristotle arrive at the definition of substance/ousia?

In Aristotle's terminology, ousia, or substance, is that which is the subject of predication, but never itself predicated of anything. This is a highly technical definition; I don't expect it reflects ...
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Why is ousia translated as substance? Should it be?

From Aristotle's Metaphysics, translation Reeve 2016, Z1: What is being?---is just the question, What is substance? This statement is a lot more obvious in Greek: Ousia is a noun formed from ...
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What created the universe?

If nothing can come from nothing and the universe, and therefore all matter and energy, cannot be eternal according to the second law of thermodynamics, does this necessitate the existence of a non ...
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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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Bruno Latour on the globe

How do you understand what Bruno Latour means when he says, "The globe is not actually something which has any existence." at 46:59 https://t.co/CVgYmUHxsi and, "the destruction of the image of the ...
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Is nothing an entity?

An entity cannot not be and the definition of nothing is not being. Can we include "nothing" among the abstract entities or should we differentiate nuances of nothing, eg. the mathematical nothing, ...
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Was Descartes the first one to approach metaphysics epistemologically?

In his method Descartes approaches the questions of the first philosophy, i.e. metaphysics, via the method of doubt. One could say that he has an epistemological approach, by first asking what he can ...
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How can inanimate matter provide subjective experiences

We know that a long time ago life emerged from a bunch of amino acids. When I look at the world around me, I notice that it is made up mostly of inanimate matter. Yet this same inanimate matter must ...
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A clarification related to Saul Kripke's argument for posteriori necessity

Main argument for a posteriori necessity uses these premises: (P1) 'Hesperus' is a proper name that refers to the evening star. 'Phosphorus' is also a proper name and it refers to the morning star. ...
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Is Kant's postulate of the existence of God a metaethical assumption?

Also, I would like to get some bibliographical reference about Kantian metaethics.
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PSR and intelligibility

"Everything is intelligible" Jacques Maritain From a thomistic point of view and given the doctrine of transcendentals, it seems that everything is intelligible (PSR formulation). But from the fact ...
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How to understand the identity of matter in Aristotelianism?

I am currently reading "Real Essentialism" written by David Oderberg. He discusses the issue of substance individuation. The principle of individuation is matter. Now if we have Plato and Socrates, ...
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Is the “Both View” of Neutral Monism a form of Metaphysical Realism?

It seems quite clear to me that the "neither view", wherin a neutral entity is one that is neither mental or physical, is a form of metaphysical realism. But it gets confusing, and perhaps downright ...
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Is there a term for the philosophical view that claims nothing exists independently of interaction?

My view is following: Nothing exists on its own, existence is the property of interaction. But since every interaction is different, I conclude that existence itself is subjective. But then, what ...
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Does idealism allow other minds?

Wikipedia: Idealism is the group of metaphysical philosophies that asserts that reality, or reality as humans can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. ...
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Ontological status of Axiom of Choice

Mathematical facts are necessary truths, either in a Platonic sense or by way of axioms. In the latter sense I mean that the Peano Axioms prove that 2+3=5, for example. In other words, "PA ⊨ 2+3=5"...
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Do unverifiable statements provide any knowledge?

I believe the following three examples are equally self-contradictory: A: Nothingness is blue B: Objects don't exist when we are not looking at them C: There exists a parallel universe that never ...
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What is bundle theory's response to the too-many-thinkers problem?

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-personal/#TooManThiPro This page suggests that the only way to solve this problem would be to say that were are "organisms". What is bundle theory of the ...
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How consistent is Christian theology compared to Islamic and Buddhist theologies?

I'm not an expert on theology but I've heard that Christianity is filled with inconsistencies and incongruencies. My question, if this is the case, is whether this is normal for the major theologies ...
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Contact and Separation

If we say for argument that two objects are in contact withstanding physical properties of atoms that prohibit actual contact at that level of observation. From classical observation of the world if ...
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What should be first according to Aristotle: the nature of being or the nature of explanation?

I see that in his Metaphysics he starts speaking of the nature of explanation as if he thinks, I think, that it is key to be understood before moving to the investigation about being. But then, in his ...
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How does being come into being? How does existence come into existence?

So, the universe was created by the big bang. And the big bang was created by some stringy things, or branes or whatever. But what created those strings? And what created the thing that created them? ...
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physical approach to freewill

Here is what I think: Every action that takes place in this universe (Including me, writing this) is a consequence of motion and interaction of particles and energy transformation. All our thoughts ...
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Fundamental idea on proving God's existence with science

I think that proving God's existence or any deity from any culture with the rigors of science is fundamentally absurd. The popular arguments usually involve space-time and the big bang theory. (I ...
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Is reality mechanistic or organic? [closed]

Is reality a random series of actions, one dependent and activated by the previous (like a chain reaction)? Or, is reality organic, each element coming into being independently (like flowers in a ...
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Is anything truly continuous?

The idea that there is some space between any two spaces is somewhat related to continuity, but the mathematical term for this is "dense". The rationals are dense, as there is some rational between ...
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What is an interaction?

I am currently researching about process metaphysics where the world around us is understood as a population of processes: every existent as a process and as part of larger process(es). Have referred ...
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Dawkins' gene-centered view on personal identity

Looking at the following quote by Richard Dawkins: We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential ...
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Does ought imply can?

It's been a common staple of philosophy that this holds. Thus, on determinism, is moral ought even possible? Assuming determinism is true, does saying "You should do X" make sense? For if things are ...
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Is determinism compatible with reason?

Assuming determinism, is truth-aiming reasoning possible? If our actions and beliefs have prior causes in every case, then a sound argument for a position will not persuade just because it is right. A ...
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What are the best arguments against the existence of change?

I know that essential to Aristotle's existence of matter and form is the existence of change and that the best contender for his view was Parmenides. But I wonder which are some other arguments ...
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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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Does God need to create mathematics?

If someone knows the detail of everything and has endless life, did s/he need to create mathematics to describe the world?
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Why does Thomas Aquinas say that “in every composite there must be potentiality and actuality”?

In the chapter in Summa Theologica on the simplicity of God, Aquinas says the following in arguing that God is not composite: ... in every composite there must be potentiality and actuality; but ...
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How can our actions be regarded as free if they are causally determined?

After all, soft determinists are determinists, so they believe that our actions are causally determined. How can our actions be regarded as free if they are causally determined?
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What are four ways in which Kant 's categories are different from Aristotle's?

What are the differences between Kant's Categories and Aristotle's?
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What school of thought believes that gods do exist, but they are perfect and do not care about humans?

I vaguely remember from high school a school of thought that relied on the assumption that gods exist, but they are perfect and therefore they do not care about humans. They are remote and perfect and ...
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A Metaphysical Question: A Real or Nonexistent Line? [closed]

Who, among the many philosophers, might be regarded as notable believers in what might be called a unitary point of view regarding our universe (e.g. no existing line of division between the material ...
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Did “Ostrich Nominalism” occur late in history?

In his paper “On What There Is” W.V.O. Quine mounted a unique argument against realism of universals: One may admit that there are red houses, roses, and sunsets, but deny, except as a popular and ...
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Relation between essentialism and realism

One definition of “essentialism” would be that it is a kind of realism of universals with the additional claim that every particular p instantiates a certain universal E which determines its existence....
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When does metaphysics stop being speculation?

Metaphysics is one of the broadest branches in philosophy, with questions about the nature of the world, with sub-branches within it such as ontology, epistemology and more. I'd like to ask a ...
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What is the definition of physical? Is that definition clear enough to make the a distinction between physical and non-physical?

Awkwardly synthesizing jobermark's old question Is there a boundary on 'physical'? with my (badly put) question Can physics talk about non-physical entities/concepts, and if not which academic ...
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What philosophical books criticizing secular morality are available?

I'm interested in a reading list of critics of secular morality. What authors and books are there on the subject? Can be a criticism of consequentialism, hedonism, utilitarianism, or simply a general ...