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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 is the origin of the symbols for the four elements used in alchemy?

Alchemy uses the following symbols for the four elements that appear in a number of classical cosmologies, namely fire, earth, air and water (I have added letters to show which is which): The symbols ...
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Goodman's projectible predicates in the new riddle of induction

Is "is a trouser" a projectible predicate?
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Shouldn't Last Thurdayism be able to be proved wrong by Physics?

From what I understand, Last Thursdayism is the belief that the universe was created last thursday. Supposing Last Thursdayism is true, if you consider going at a really fast speed when Thursday ...
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Was Aristotle the earliest Founder of Deism?

Deism, is a metaphysical philosophy which originated around the 1600's. Its earliest Founders included, the Philosophers John Locke and Baruch Spinoza. For the past 4 centuries Deism has helped to ...
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What are the different types of uniformities in subjects?

Some I can think of: - Uniformity of law (uniformities that are found in nature) Uniformities in interpretation (uniformity in how we 'interpret' mathematical findings or works of art) Uniformity of ...
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“Without the assumption of the existence of uniformities there can be no knowledge.”

So I am to discuss the question with reference to two areas of knowledge. I chose to talk about mathematics and the arts (including literature, visual arts, music, etc.). I put a lot of thought into ...
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How does an object exist fundamentally?

Let's consider a chair in a room. We make it separate from the whole room because it has different properties. But at a fundamental level, there are only atoms which make up the air, chair, walls of ...
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How can one use a phenomenon in science to calculate anything? [closed]

When doing science in any field the goal is to obtain knowledge. How can one be justified in using ideas that are classified as a phenomenon? Yet be considered the mainstream? Example. Scientists ...
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Do entire civilizations always end in destruction?

It appears that man has a what is referred to as a war gene. Its a self-destruct mechanism built in that assures we will never survive past a certain point of evolution. This being so, do you think ...
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Aristotle's Metaphysics: Difference between defining “man” as a word and as a thing said

I am working from: [1043b] ..it is the form-actuality to which the what-it-was-to-be-that-thing attaches. So soul and what-it-was-to-be-a-soul are the same thing, whereas man and what-it-was-to-be-...
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How Relativistic is Social Constructivism?

Social Constructivism is a theory that cuts across a number of social science and humanities disciplines. Its fundamental claim is that certain aspects of social reality are not mind-independent. In ...
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Motivations for Mathematical Platonism

From what I gather, for realists who are especially fond of a good old-fashioned Mathematical Platonism incorporated in their ontology, there seem to be two ways of getting at it. The first seems to ...
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Per speculative realism, how are memes like other objects?

On another question answering website, a question was posted that I am urgently seeking the answer to which received no answer. As the title to this post implies, I am interested in how memes are ...
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What is the meaning of an explanation

I am a software engineer and recently got involved in a community project that aims to teach underprivileged kids. This got me thinking about the term 'explanation'. What I want to ask is- what in ...
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Luck of certainty

Title may be bit confusing but let me explain. Our existence depends on very small possibilities as a person and as humanity. There are billions of planets without any living thing but there is life ...
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What would happen to the soul as the form of the body under massive changes to the body?

Aristotle (and later the Scholastics) considered the soul to be the form of the body. But back then, though many changes of the living body could obviously be observed (considered to be “accidental ...
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Are most philosophers atheists, monotheists, polytheists or what?

Has anybody made such analysis? It would be interesting to know the position of the majority of philosophers regarding metaphysics/mythology/religion, maybe by region and/or period.
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Why are we so concerned with the source of creation? [closed]

Background story: A friend and I came to the conclusion that if "nothing is impossible," then everything/something is possible and thus everything comes from something. This led us to question why ...
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Is there a connection between Heidegger's “anxiety” and Horkheimer's “subjective reason”?

After reading "What is Metaphysics?" by Heidegger and "Eclipse of Reason" by Horkheimer, I'm left wondering if there is any apparent connection between how Heidegger described anxiety and Horkheimer's ...
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Is metaphysics dead after the emergence of modern science?

so I am currently doing a course on the history and philosophy of science, and we are learning about logical positivism/empiricism and the Vienna circle. It is to my understanding that the Vienna ...
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Quine on Necessity

Lately, I have been reading some of Quine's works on modality. I can't help but feel that many of his pronouncements on modality are wrong/misguided, although pinpointing exactly where is goes wrong ...
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Methods for testing the posibility of some action? [closed]

Suppose a thing T needs to do an action (or change in the environment) A. Then A must be able to be composed of some posible actions A_1, A_2, ..., A_N. But I am using the definition of posible ...
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What is the difference between science and mathematics?

After investigating dimensionless physical constants, I've been receiving lots of criticism from scientists, specifically physicists, that mathematics is not science. Is there a clear distinction ...
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Is the fine-structure constant a physical number? [closed]

What distinguishes physical constants from mathematical ones, and can we assume both types of constants are numbers (hopefully yes)? A physical number is a number that is empirical.
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How does Karl Jaspers's term 'metaphysical guilt' relate to 'metaphysics'?

The following interpretations of 'metaphysical guilt', don't explain how 'metaphysical' in 'metaphysical guilt' connects with the meaning of 'metaphysics' as the fundamental nature of reality. Source:...
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How does one distingusih Consiouness form its so-called objects

How is consciousness distinguished from things? If one, f.i., sees a watch on a wrist of a sumptuous arm, gleaming in the recesses of a dark restaurant, what is not supposed to be included in the "...
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The clay theory of the universe

The Aristotelian notion of hylomorphism involves the form/matter duality where the matter in question is not the atomist conception we learn in physics, but a kind of primordial clay that all forms ...
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Sartre and metaphysical necessity

In “Nausea” (“La Nausée”), a novel in the form of a fictional diary, Sartre makes the main character, the diarist, Roquentin, realize how baseless our assumptions about what is possible, what can ...
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How do mathematical objects fit into Plato's theory of Ideas?

Say if I describe a triangle ABC, with all sides equal - and I describe another triangle EDF with all sides unequal. These triangles I have just described do not exist in the visible world, but in ...
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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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Implication of Rorty's concession to Ramberg that true statements “get things right”?

Richard Rorty (1932-2008) was the paradigmatic deflationist re the concept “truth.” He was an epistemic naturalist and historicist, an instrumental pragmatist, anti-realist/essentialist, and ...
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What can be bigger than Absolute Everything or it is the biggest concept?

What can be bigger than Absolute Everything or it is the biggest concept, the one-above-all concept, which encompasses all things without exception (tangible, untangible, things that we can imagine ...
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Zeno's “Stadium” with the same metaphysical assumptions as his other paradoxes

“The Stadium” paradox is described by Aristotle as follows: The fourth argument is that concerning the two rows of bodies, each row being composed of an equal number of bodies of equal size, ...
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Is Satisfaction Absolute?

I'm viewing this from a nihilistic standpoint, as in nothing in life has any inherent value, there is no meaning in life, and furthermore there's no reason to have one. So following this line of "...
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How can Hegel call philosophy a science?

At the tail end of Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason Gardner discusses Kant's influence on his successors. He claims---and I'm paraphrasing here---Hegel wanted his metaphysics to be scientific, i.e....
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Is there a fact of the matter? , a case [of the matter]?

Wittgenstein once said [and may have later recanted] that the world is everything that is the case, the totality of facts not of things, and that that world is determined by those facts, and they're ...
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Any philosopher considers theology as another mythology? [closed]

Polytheisms are usually considered mythology (e.g. Greek mythology, Amerindian mythologies), while monotheisms are usually considered religion, or even "truth", and studied by theology alone. To me, ...
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What is the role of the a priori nature of time in intuitionism?

According to Brouwer, intuitionists abandoned Kant's apriority of space but adhered to the idea that time was a priori. This Intuitionism considers the "falling apart of moments of life into two ...
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Is Platonism required to accept transfinite set theory? [closed]

Cantor devised set theory for application to reality but started from the divine wisdom of the hierarchy of infinities. My question is: What of Cantor's claims has become reality? What are practical ...
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Does anything exist outside present experience?

Is there any identifiable attribute to truth other than EXPERIENCE of it appearing to be true ? Is there any more ' truth ' to it ? Things we've believed to be true for millennia have been provided ...
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Can you list other Collingwood's Absolute Presuppositions?

Robin G. Collingwood's posited the existence of absolute presuppositions (AS). As a reminder, presuppositions are for Collingwood assumptions and guiding precepts that are closed to further analysis ...
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What is the theory that existence, life, and/or consciousness arise simply because all possibilities must be exhausted, and this is one of them?

I distinctly recall reading a Wikipedia page listing multiple theories on the origin of existence itself. One in particular, described in the title, was fascinating and came to mind recently, but I ...
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Do we all exist in some sort of superposition? [closed]

In Shrodinger's cat, it seems our ignorance of the cat's state of existence places the cat in superposition of being in both states simultaneously. But since all of us exist in a state of not knowing ...
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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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Do we continue to live because “I can always die, but not always live”

In response to "Why do we continue living?" I've come across the idea that we hold nothingness to be uneventful, how we believe it to be consistent, to be "nothing" at all instances of time, or thus ...
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What is the consensus on metaphysical innocence of social construction (2N2C)?

What is the consensus about 2N2C? Is there any broad consensus on its truth, or utility? That's the fun abbreviated title of Boyd's No Non Causal Contribution (double N, double C) thesis, see ...
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On the distinction between “objecthood” and “knowability” in Kantian philosophy

What pre-Copernican philosophy treats as two distinct matters-objecthood and knowability-are thus [in Kant's CPR] treated as one. [...] In pre-Copernican philosophy, there is a clear ...
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About Socrates' notion of “good”

In Aristotelian terms, is the "good" of Socrates a secondary substance (a universal) or, in Parmenides's terms, is it a being? Which definition (interpretation) of the Socratic "good" describes it ...
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how do you prove the existence super natural [duplicate]

How can you prove the existence of super-natural being ?
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Duns Scotus' criticism of Aristotle's Modal Argument against self change

Peter King cites Duns Scotus' presentation of the Modal Argument against self change (additions by him): [The Modal Argument] is taken from Phys . 3.2 [202 a 10–13], where Aristotle says “the mover ...