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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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2answers
320 views

Is it possible that quantum physics will never be understood with science? [on hold]

Concerning phenomena such as quantum superposition and quantum eraser experiments, these seem contradictory and form paradoxes if we are using our usual logical laws or our lowest level of logical ...
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124 views

To what kind of philosophy belongs the statement that you can't be a physical body because it is a projection of the mind?

I think it is a kind of idealism like that of Berkeley. But can this statement also belong to phenomenology of Husserl or of the philosophy of Kant or is there perhaps a better philosopher for this?
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196 views

Ontological Foundations of Epistemology

A review of the SEP article of epistemology indicates that there are 5 sources of knowledge: perception, memory, introspection, reason, and testimony. Robert Audi in his Epistemology: A Contemporary ...
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54 views

Confusion about the nature, defininition, and subject of study of Epistemology, Gnosiology and Phillosophy of Science

I am confused with the terms and the branches of phillosophy. Here is an example where all 3 terms were used. I always though phillosophy of science and epistemology were the exact same thing while ...
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6answers
291 views

Time travel and changing the past

Many philosophers argue that time travel is possible without causally affecting the past? Is it even possible to time travel without causally affecting the past. The grandfather paradox is an ...
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15answers
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Why does the universe obey scientific laws?

As far as anyone is aware, the universe consistently acts according to predictable laws (and scientific inquiry exists to determine those laws). Is there any metaphysical reason for this? Is such a ...
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9answers
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Why am I this particular human being?

Some philosophers dismiss this as a question about a tautology: when Alice asks "Why am I Alice?", this is equivalent to her asking "Why is Alice Alice?", which is not an interesting question. But ...
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136 views

Is it possible to enumerate metaphysical hypotheses?

Recently, I had an argument with someone who stated that the chance of experiencing nothing after death is extremely low. Their reasoning was that one can think of many more metaphysical realities in ...
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112 views

Epistemology and definition of Theory in Science

Which branch of philosophy is the authority and thus has the capacity to define what IS theory in science? I have linked to the definition of Theory by Simon Blackburn in Oxford Dictionary of ...
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8answers
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Is a “fair coin toss” a logical contradiction?

A previous question asked about the reality of the gambler's fallacy, in which logic appears to offend common sense. In light of the answers, I am now wondering about the other side of the coin, so to ...
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3answers
170 views

Understanding Kant vs. Hume for a non-philosopher

I am trying to self-study a bit of philosophy. I am an applied mathematician by trade, and am therefore drawn to Kant's work on the limits of human knowledge, in particular his exchange with Hume. I ...
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72 views

How do different types of knowledge and memory relate?

At first glance it seems that "knowledge" has many more categories than "memory". However once one starts sorting, it quickly becomes apparent that certain kinds of memory will accommodate several ...
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123 views

Does a rock experience its existence?

By experience, I do not imply a subjective experience like that of an animal (with memory, decision making etc). Could a rock, for instance, have individuated experience of its existence like a ...
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1answer
63 views

Easy way to think about Parmenides argument against change?

I've had the hardest time grasping the bite of Parmenides argument against change. His argument is summarized in ch. 5 "Article One: Potency Really Distinct From Act" of Reality: A Synthesis of ...
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5answers
247 views

Has science ever disproved philosophical theories?

I am aware that science and philosophy, in their modern guise, are two separate beasts that never cross the same domains but sometimes it happens that philosophy influences science and that science ...
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2answers
148 views

Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe

Max Tegmark believes the universe to be a mathematical structure, and he further claims any mathematical structure with self-aware substructure will perceive itself in a physical world. What exactly ...
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1answer
51 views

If knowledge is structural, does “confirmation bias” follow as necessity?

That 'knowledge' is structural is fairly uncontroversial. Although there are certainly different types, I would like for sake of this question to characterize (what I see as) a generalization of the ...
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65 views

Explaining the existence of the cosmos

The following is a reference request, not an invitation for argument. However, I do welcome argument if that's what you feel like doing. By the "cosmos" I mean all that exists---not just physical ...
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Is Mathematical Platonism a meaningful thing? [closed]

How can we be sure that asking If Mathematics is Platonic or If it is Our Own Construction is a meaningful thing to ask, and not just abuse of natural language? Can somebody provide a convincing ...
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45 views

For Kant, is there a distinction between the laws from judgments of experience and those of the a priori principles of possible experience?

In reading "How is Pure Science of Nature Possible?," I am having a difficulty in trying to pinpoint if there is, or is not a distinction between the necessary, universally valid laws of judgments of ...
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587 views

What is the difference between 'accidental' and 'contingent'?

What is different between 'accidental' and 'contingent'? I thought that accidental contains intentional notation while Contingent does not. But there could be an intentional action that turns out to ...
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1answer
56 views

How influential was “galvanism” on philosophy, and was it rightfully so?

I'm currently reading F. W. Schelling's "First Outline of a System of the Philosophy of Nature". Schelling, a late 18th-early 19th century philosopher, was very well-informed about contemporary ...
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0answers
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Are ideas in the prolegomena meant to be the failure of understanding?

In the third section of the Prolegomena, Kant explains in section 40 (at least how I understand it) that ideas are merely the analogues categories of those concepts that cannot be experienced. As I ...
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164 views

Can knowledge exist without structure?

For reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/ https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-how/ https://plato.stanford.edu/...
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Boltzmann brain - how are the laws of physics presented?

Does the Boltzmann brain scenario also assume that the laws of physics are presented consistently for each individual brain? In other words: 1) Why do we assume that the types of brains fluctuated ...
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2answers
132 views

Where can I study this in more detail?

I am finding al-Farabi's Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle on pages 13-17, paragraphs 1-9, (pages 11-13 in the pdf file linked below), very interesting: http://traditionalhikma.com/wp-content/uploads/...
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Poincare says we are born geometric or arithmetic thinkers. Which was Grothendieck and why?

Poincare proclaims that the mathematical continuum originates from the sensible intuition and that intuition by pure number or logic alone could not have given us this notion. Source for the claim: ...
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Is the concept of Aporia the same as the Zen concept of A Beginners Mind?

Is the concept of Aporia the same as the zen concept of A Beginners Mind, or related to it, or a completely different concept?
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What exactly is the CTMU?

http://www.ctmu.org/ So recently I read about this guy with a really high IQ, Chris Langan, who crafted an ultimate theory of reality - CTMU, Cognitive-Theoretical Model of the Universe - which he ...
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1answer
106 views

What does Nietzsche refer to with the “backworldsmen”?

I'm a rookie to philosophical thinking but trying my best to understand the concepts. I'd be appreciated if you could enlighten me about this: In Chapter 3 of Thus Spake Zarathustra, he is addressing ...
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159 views

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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41 views

What does Derek Parfit mean by “I ought to regard having a Replica as being about as good as ordinary survival”

Having trouble with this one. What does it mean and what might be some reasons leading to this conclusion. The relevant text is "What We Believe Ourselves To Be"
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2answers
138 views

Which philosophers have argued well that existence is illusory?

After many years of contemplation I have a simple, logical proof that all physical phenomena are illusions. Assuming we can agree that things in the past no longer exhibit the properties associated ...
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172 views

Difference between objective and absolute idealism

While reading western philosophy, I found these three words. Subjective idealism of Berkeley, Absolute idealism and objective idealism of Hegel. So confusion arises between last two objective and ...
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4answers
164 views

Can an idea be a being?

According to a friend, anything that exists is a being. A rock, a rainbow, a dream, an idea. I am ready to buy into the first three, but the last is difficult for me. Is he correct?
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73 views

Objective idealism and realism can be similar?

So, Hegel's objective idealism believes in manifestations of reason which is nothing but ideas. And which exists in this world is nothing but the ideas, everything is idea and idea is everything. ...
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1answer
79 views

What are some critiques of Spinoza that are generally regarded as holding weight?

I'm nearing the end of my reading Spinoza's ethics, and the philosophy that he lays out seems perfectly consistent and logical. What are some critiques of Spinoza that are regarded as potentially ...
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1answer
73 views

What is the definition of 'object' in philosophy?

I have two examples in my mind that I'm unsure if they can be considered Objects: The second usage of things, as in, each thing has usually a defined usage, but sometimes people use things in a ...
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5answers
214 views

Does the existence of an infinite multi-verse constitute “grounding of scientific law”?

I'm taking a modern philosophy class and my teacher has talked about the a lot about the grounding of scientific law as well as whether it is necessary or contingent. For example, Descartes used his "...
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2answers
79 views

Can analogues of moral non-naturalism make some metaphysical hypotheses more defensible?

One common position in meta-ethics is that facts about morality exist, but are not natural properties of the universe but rather are something else. I can't measure the wrongness of slavery the same ...
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4answers
190 views

Is metaphysics justified in its conclusions?

I'm curious of the modern meta-philosophical viewpoints on metaphysical knowledge. That is, is it possible for arm-chair theorizing or rational pure thought alone to gain true knowledge about any ...
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5answers
191 views

Did a single question in ontology find an answer?

Wikipedia lists some basic issues of ontology, which are roughly the same question: "What can be said to exist?" "What is a thing?" "Into what categories, if any, can we sort existing things?" ...
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1answer
72 views

What's the difference between a second-order relation and a relation between objects?

I was reading an article in philosophy and found this: Some philosophers have denied that there is such a relation as identity. Thus Ludwig Wittgenstein writes (Tractatus 5.5301): "That ...
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3answers
172 views

Can Zenos paradox of motion be applied to a flashing blue light?

Zenos paradoxes of motion generally refer to actual motion through space; however for Aristotle this is motion in only one sense; an other sense could be alteration, for example change in shape and so ...
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1answer
140 views

Is this logical? Topic on death being a black box

People say death is a black box, that you can know nothing about it, but is the following logical? If you believe real time travel is possible maybe in the future and someone eventually may be able ...
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1answer
161 views

Did physicist Eugene Wigner think that every mathematical structure existed as an isolated universe?

I have read that Eugene Paul Wigner thought that all mathematical structures had physical existence. Does that mean that he believed in a multiverse containing all mathematical structures as separate ...
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2answers
171 views

Do Most Philosophers Ignore the Rules of Dialectical Logic?

In metaphysics it is well known that all selective conclusions about the world as a whole are undecidable. Most philosophers infer from this that metaphysics is incomprehensible. I believe this is a ...
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57 views

Semantics of Properties - Are categories of extensions members or subsets?

For example: "Cars have wheels." If we take "have wheels" as a property of a set A, would cars as a category be an element of set A, or only a subset of A?
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Is philosophy a science and can it prove facts like science?

I would like to know whether philosophy can be treated as science since both science and philosophy search for truth, but philosophical theories, I think, are not provable. So my question is: ...
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5k views

What is the difference between “discordia concors” (harmonious discord) and “concordia discors” (discordant harmony)?

I am reading some literature on Shakespeare, and the critic has referred to marriage as a concordia discors, "a discordant harmony". In a footnote, she states: I use "concordia discors" throughout ...