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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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A priori and a posteriori within an axiomatic framework?

I am not a philosopher, so please excuse my limited understanding of these basic philosophy concepts. I am having some difficulty understanding what truly constitutes an a priori statement/truth (I'm ...
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Is Idealism incoherent as incapable of explaining activities without entities

Late YouTube philosopher Knownnomore had a 3-part video series explicating his arguments against Metaphysical Idealism. One argument he had was this: that Idealism is incoherent because the notion ...
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Imagine that you look at yourself as a cat, what do you think of your own behavior?

I recently thought very much about the life of mammals who live in our cities, such as cats, and dogs. To see if I will find a philosophy in this, because, as we know, the Nature Is Our Best Teacher!....
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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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131 views

why did Kant say the only truly “good” thing in this world “without exception” is a “good will”?

why did Kant say the only truly “good” thing in this world “without exception”? if I understand him correctly, which I very well may not, I believe he states that good will is the only truly good ...
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289 views

Is the Universe real or complex? [closed]

A.R. Estakhr says that in the real world nothing can move faster than the speed of light. Well, he is not alone in this regard, and Einstein had similar views. But he goes on to say, "If something ...
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How do we know that a photon has some physical form before we observe it?

In physics, the observer effect is the fact that simply observing a situation or phenomenon necessarily changes that phenomenon. This is often the result of instruments that, by necessity, alter the ...
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246 views

What are numbers?what are they, really — [closed]

We use numbers every day, but taking a step back, what are they, really — and why do they do such a damn good job of helping us explain the universe (such as Newtonian laws)? Mathematical structures ...
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183 views

Questions on non-ontology

Ontology is one of the best known and most important branches of metaphysics - the study of "things", of "beings", or of "what there is" (in oppose to what "there isn't"). I have a few questions ...
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Is change the only thing constant?

Time changes, people change, circumstances change, things change. Is it a philosophical truth that everything changes?
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204 views

Should viable philosophical theories not always be consistent with science?

One of the phenomena of modern philosophy which has troubled me, particularly in the discussion of analytical metaphysics, is its almost complete disregard for established science. It's as if ...
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139 views

Question about absoluteness

If you say: "Nothing is absolute, everything is relative". Then you make an absolute statement. How can this be?
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Does the “God of gaps” argument works in metaphysics too?

The widely used (especially by laymen atheists in theology debates) term of "God of gaps" (the idea that theists explain unexplained scientific phenomenons by invoking God as the reason, filling that ...
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Kripke's conception of rigidity criticism

I am looking for recent criticisms of Kripke's conception of rigidity (i.e. rigid designators). Thanks!
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114 views

Does current metaphysics answer Jacobi's critique of foundationalism?

F. H. Jacobi (Wikipedia) argued in the late 18th century against Kant that any foundation of knowledge will inevitably lead to an infinite regression of justifications (thus any foundation of ...
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Should (/does) metaphysics care about physics?

A. I have met the criticism that metaphysical theories doesn't/shouldn't care about (natural) science (=physics mostly, if not only), as in it doesn't really have a direct relation to it (such ...
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Kant and the Categorical Imperatives

Did Immanuel Kant intend for the Categorical Imperatives to be used together, or separately, when trying to determine an actions ethicality or morality If you answer yes, individually, then how does ...
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What do philosophers make of intractable metaphysical controversies?

In philosophy metaphysical debates are quite popular - all the "-ism"s are fighting one another. And many give good insights for every side of every debate. This seems like it can't be stopped, ever, ...
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701 views

Why were Kant's categories used in the mathematical category theory?

I am curious exactly how mathematical categories were inspired by Kant's categories. The SEP article on category theory says: In order to give a general definition of the [natural transformation], ...
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Contemporary philosophy of nature?

In the history of philosophy it's a well-known fact that philosophy of nature has separated from philosophy and moved to science as "natural science" in the late 19th century. My question is, are ...
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Can we doubt the existence of our thoughts and feelings? How?

I'm reading Russell's "The problems of philosophy" and he says that the only thing we can be certain about is the existence of our "Sense-data" which are mainly our thoughts and emotions. I wonder if ...
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how a definition for an object is arrived

is our definitions of words based in properties ? for example we have a banana.We define banana from its image? but if this true if we find something that looks like banana but smells like hot dog ...
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338 views

Do we consider theoretical physics as metaphysical theories?

Theoretical physics theories such as General/Special Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Big Bang, String Theory (just stating the modern, popular ones) seems to stay in the "science" department, but ...
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84 views

In a Many Worlds scenario, where everything is possible, what is the point of choice?

If the Many Worlds theory (an infinite number of alternate realities where any and all possibilities are realized) is real, and we were able to travel to alternate realities where we could see how ...
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Extra sensory perception vs Artificial Intelligence [closed]

Will human extra sensory perception be ever replaced by artificial intelligence?
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How do we establish whether something is possible/impossible

I have come across the idea of possible worlds in high school and my first year of undergrad studies. Assuming that the concept of possible worlds or possibility is useful for philosophical analysis, ...
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801 views

What is the difference between idealism and materialism?

I understand what materialism is, but idealism - not so much. I know however they are opposing views, and would like to know what are the differences. Analogies would be greatly appreciated.
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Explanatory power, ideological parsimony, and ontological parsimony.. differences?

My prof has been talking about the theoretical virtues of arguments. Explanatory power is one, whereby an argument invokes the least amount of brute truths as possible. Ideological parsimony is ...
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Could someone help me out with Quine's theory of ontological commitment?

I'm kind of struggling with this. My prof gave an example of the problem of whether or not holes exist. In the case of a colander, a realist about holes could say that a colander is metal that has ...
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The Origin of Thought

What is the most fundamental form of thought? In Tibetan Buddhism, there is the concept of the Three Vajras, or The Three Doors, which are body, speech, and mind. The human mind can be said to think ...
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Absolute Truth in Mathematics

Often in philosophical discussions, the concept of absolute truth will be proposed in a metaphysical manner that supposes supreme authority and the absence of exceptions to rules regardless of context....
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What is the universal constant? Does one exist? [closed]

Well, I can't believe nobody did anything with what I gave you. You make me sad. So I take answer away. you should have tried the solution to the universe was right there in front of your eyes. But it ...
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160 views

By its definition, is it possible the thing-in-itself is also a phenomenon?

The transcendental philosophy seperate famously seperate between the thing-as-itself and the phenomenon the derives from it, by vague comparison, similar to Plato's ideas. My question is, is it ...
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122 views

Paradox for permanent bodies?

For many objects we have the (wrong) intuition, based on our experience, that they are "eternal". As an example, for our purposes, Planets, maybe monuments, ... looks like ever lasting bodies. ...
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What works have been done of applying theories about philosophy of mind to other branches of philosophy?

On several occasions I have heard that Philosophy of Mind is "the first philosophy" of our time. But if this is true, I think thoeries about Philosophy of Mind should be able to be applied to other ...
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How do “I” know that “I” think?

"Cogito, ergo sum", "I think, therefore I am", said Descartes but how does one know that one thinks? Could "my" thoughts not be part of an illusion of someone/something else? Can "I" actually know ...
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What is the name of the position that is skeptical about the existence of categories created by the mind?

Is there a name for skepticism about the existence of categories (or properties) and objects that the mind may create to classify the "real world"? In other words thoughts, concepts, and so forth may ...
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169 views

What branch of metaphysics studies things like “Nowhere”, “Limbo”, “Non-being”, “Neither dead nor alive”, “neither present nor absent”?

Recently, when thinking about metaphysics and in particular the notion of abstract concepts, while also reading various settings of movies, games and books, I noticed that usually, entities that are ...
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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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What does 'personal' mean?

I'm struggling with the meaning of 'personal' when one refers to man being personal. I've heard that 'personal' refers to those aspects that distinguish man from non-man, but I find that answer ...
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6answers
136 views

What changes if any would mean that I would cease to be me?

If I lost an arm, I would still be me. If I adopted a religion or changed it, I would still be me. If I had gender reassignment surgery, I would still be me. Is there any change, short of dying, that ...
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234 views

Does the Axiom of Choice violate the law of excluded middle?

Both the affirmation of the AC and its denial are consistent in set theory, but is there in any way that one can say it must be the case that one of them is actually true? I understand what it means ...
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Effect without cause

How to explain the existence of an effect without a cause? For example, if we track back the creation of the Big Bang, and the creation of the creation of the Big Bang, we reach a point where an ...
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4answers
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What would it mean to “solve” metaphysics? [closed]

What would it mean to solve metaphysics and what might a solution look like? How could the contention that there is a solution be defended? What would be the implications for society if it were ...
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There is consistency among whole indian philosophical schools?

i try to prove this by Buddha's &sankara's concept of Consciousness".bcoz both are represent two different tradition (Samanic & Vedic). 2. Both stressed the impermanence of worldly life. 3. ...
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161 views

What is less than a bit? [closed]

I mean a bit of information (data). Some say (do not know exactly who) everything on its smallest level consists of information. What does the information consist of?
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263 views

What is the difference between “singular vs individual” and “universal vs general”?

I'm trying to understand the distinct difference between these terms, they seem very similar but there is a different pattern behind them. Could you tell me with example how do you differentiate ...
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105 views

Can a complete opposite even exist?

I have been struggling with a question for a while now and I mean to ask if a complete opposite can even exist. This arrived to me thinking that since one thing exists and can be conceived then a ...
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587 views

Is uniformity in knowledge a phenomenon or a concept?

According to my understanding of what a phenomenon and concept are, I believe that uniformity is both, a phenomenon and a concept, it is a phenomenon since it is evident in nature (numerological ...
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Why can one not have a “fully temporally determinate universe” at the very beginning of the universe

Freya Mathews lists four metaphysical anomalies in Panpsychism as Paradigm http://www.freyamathews.net/downloads/PanpsychismParadigm.pdf. The fourth is the temporal origin of the universe. On pages ...