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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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Are all pancomputationalist models for the universe compatible with informational realism?

Pancomputationalist theories are a group of physical theories that try to describe the universe itself as a computer or an informational (processing) structure. Informational (structural) realism is ...
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Understanding 'existence' and 'being' in debates about ordinary objects

Quine has brought forward his definition of existence: 'To be is to be the value of a bound variable.' But has also taught us that the sciences ultimately determine what actually exists contrary to ...
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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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Are there degrees of rationality/plausibility to assumptions?

There are many kinds of premises, in every possible field. I'll limit this question to metaphysics, although it can definitely be applied to each and every scientific/philosophical study. For example,...
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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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Is there an Abstract/Concrete Gray Area?

In natural language and daily life, it has become prevalent there is a class of entities which do not follow the abstract concrete distinction. Many people refer to abstractions that exist in time. (...
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What does Kierkegaard mean by 'spirit' in the following passage from “A Sickness unto Death”?

Soren Kierkegaard- "Sickness unto Death", (Princeton University Press 1983) 1848- From- Chapter 1- That 'despair' is the 'Sickness unto Death'- p 9 Man is a spirit. But what is spirit? Spirit is ...
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Plato's Phaedo : Why does the soul stay separate from the body?

In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates established that death is the separation of soul and body. But he did not give any clue for this separation. What are the factors that lead to this separation? Physical ...
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Does ontology study “being qua being”?

May I say that ontology studies "being qua being", while the sciences study "entity qua entity" ? I ask this because I don't understand how ontology could study the "entity qua entity", taking into ...
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Examples for necessary existence and necessary properties according to current metaphysics?

According to the survey article by Inwagen and Sullivan on metaphysics one subject of contemporary metaphysics are questions on modality. The authors explain „necessity de re“ as the necessary ...
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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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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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Can an eternalist think that pastness and futureness are properties?

I take an eternalist to be someone who believes there are no past/future things, it all exists "at once". I understand the position as it applies to concrete objects, but I am not so clear on what the ...
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In which context does “Idealism” mean “non-corporeal substance”?

"Idealism" is one of the most vague concepts I've faced in philosophy. According to Wikipedia: In philosophy, idealism is the group of metaphysical philosophies that assert that reality, or ...
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Does the concept of Axis Mundi imply the idea of a symmetric universe?

In the mythologies of many cultures the universe is thought to have a center ( i do not mean the geographical concretisations which are obviously not accurate, i mean the philosophical conception ) ...
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Forms vs. universals for Aristotle

Aristotle associates the form of the human body with the soul and often De Anima iii 5 is interpreted so that Aristotle believed the human soul to be a subsistent form, which means the soul can exist ...
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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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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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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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Is Plato's theory of a supposed ideal world simply just an acknowledgement of the nature of the human mind?

I have a suspicion that Plato took his idea of the "perfect world" a little bit too far. He said that the material world is something that we experience with our senses, but is also an imperfect ...
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What is Malebranche's explanation for the source of human error?

An omnibenevolent God would not deceive us or cause us to be in error, thus the gifts from cannot be the source of error. Rather sin confuses our faculties and prevents us from using them as they ...
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How would Nietzsche argue against classical theism?

Completely out of curiosity, how would someone like Nietzsche, let's use him as an example, argue against Aquinas's metaphysical argument for classical theism. I can't seem to find any references in ...
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Unity of Apperception vs. Self Consciousness in Critique of Pure Reason

What is the difference between Unity of Apperception and Self- consciousness? From what I gather so far, Unity of Apperception is a particular part of Self-Consciousness in that UoA brings to ...
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Is there a loophole in Kitcher's argument for the inadequacy of the law of association?

In Kant's Transcendental Psychology (hereafter, KTP), Patricia Kitcher gives an insightful argument for the inadequacy of the law of association, which she asserts was Hume's primary explanation for ...
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What's the relationship between good will and duty?

I'm writing an essay about the relationship between good will and duty, using an excerpt from Immanuel Kant's "Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals". I find the subject very interesting, but I'm ...
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Mass and Density in De Rerum Natura

Lucretious poem, De Rerum Natura has the following: Again, why see we among objects some Of heavier weight, but of no bulkier size? Indeed, if in a ball of wool there be As much of ...
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field concept - historical and contemporay perspectives?

Can someone give me some reference (or insight) on the development of the field concept in physics. In particularly, the period between 17th century Newton/Leibniz notion of force/action-at-distance ...
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Thorough analysis of Kant's “conditions of possibility”

Is anyone aware of a thorough (mathematical) treatment/analysis of the concept of Kant's "Bedingungen der Möglichkeit" of something (conditions of possibility)? I thought about it in the following ...
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At exactly what point do Farabi and Avicenna differ on the theory of emanation?

I have been trying to find an answer to this question but I haven't able to locate anything. Please see if you can respond.
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Does Heidegger (or Blanchot?) reflect on the form of the question itself?

I have this notion that Heidegger is the first person to think about the framing of the question as a mode of inquiry. That is, to approach something as a question is to be already decided that a ...
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Is there such a thing as meta-metaphysics?

I started wondering about this while taking an undergraduate course in philosophy of language (studying Frege, Davidson, Kripke, and Kit Fine). This field, in my understanding, aims to describe the ...
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Is it wrong to think that some continental philosophers make statements about the truth on an arbitrary basis?

The first thing I noticed when reading continental philosophers is that they make statements about the truth without any empirical or logical basis such that the statements were made on a completely ...
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Principle of proportionate causality - what are virtual and eminent causes?

I'm reading Edward Feser's book Five Proofs of the Existence of God. On pages 32-33 he introduces the principle of proportionate causality (PPC). I'm having trouble understanding what precisely ...
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what does it mean to have philosophical study of something

Because we see there are many philosophical Study at present like philosophical study of education, philosophical study of Judgement etc. Therefore please explain me what does it mean to have ...
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About the advantages of the propensity perspective on probability

I am wandering what are the advantages of the propensity perspective on probability. Why would it be better to explain probability in physics? Except for the fact that it solves various problems of ...
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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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What is the Lange's viewpoint on laws of nature?

I am just wondering what is the Lange's philosophical perspective on laws of nature and what line of thought he follows in the contemporary debate.
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Does it matter possessing knowledge about the Universe if it is going to end?

To be specific, I'm referring to physical reality. Moreover, this question might seem awkward at first glimpse. Well, it does not appear that there are any meaningful relations between the end of the ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Does the Private Language Argument (PLA) succeed in showing that some form of public extra mental world exists?

Quoted from http://www.iep.utm.edu/solipsis/: One might even say, solipsism is necessarily foundationless, for to make an appeal to logical rules or empirical evidence the solipsist would ...
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Does string theory raise new philosophical questions about existence of physical objects?

If you look at the configuration space of a robot arm, it is a manifold. Does this manifold exist in the same sense as strings in string theory? Or do the strings in string theory exist in another ...
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Can there be a clear notion of action that isn't embedded in ontologically static referents?

The common sense understanding of action is causal, i.e. action is some change between being in condition A to being in condition B. The two static conditions of being allow people to differentiate ...
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Reason for a reason

Ever since our childhood, we have been intuited to believe in an ever existing reason for everything that occurs around us. Every event that occurs has to have another event as its predicament, as it'...