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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Why isn't this an argument?

This argument was in Critical Thinking by Moore and Parker. I think God exists, because I was raised a Baptist. The book states that this wasn't an argument because it just stated a reason for why ...
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What is information?

I am fascinated with information theory, as put together by Claude Shannon in the 1940s. It is amazing to me that this concept arose from analysing letters in the alphabet and then was later ...
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Is it possible to understand an action and its consequences as the same thing? [closed]

I was wondering about the individuation of actions; in particular, it appears to me that we cannot distinguish an action from its consequences. (1) Peter pulls a trigger (2) Peter fires a gun (3) ...
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Stances on possible worlds

Modal realism is the belief that all possible worlds actually exist. Actualism is the belief that possible worlds don’t exist at all. What are some examples of modal-metaphysical views which try to ...
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Is identity a construct or something real?

If race is a social construct, then is identity also a construct? Is identity the concept of something being itself something that exist in the world or something abstract that doesn't exist in our ...
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Is there any counterexample to the law of identity from the real world or outside of the real world?

These are given not just as nice rules of thumb to follow or ways that one should think. Aristotle identified these as necessary conditions for thought. People sometimes try to produce counter ...
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When we have no information on what is true between X number of choices, how do we determine the most justified guess/choice to be?

When we have no information on what is true between X number of choices, how do we determine the most justified guess/choice to be? Let's say we have no information on which is true, and then also ...
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Is the statement “no form of human knowledge can justify metaphysical absolutes” self defeating?

A common objection to the statement "no form of human knowledge can justify metaphysical absolutes" is that the statement itself is a metaphysical claim. One response is that the statement ...
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Who can really work on interpreting quantum mechanics and the standard model of particle physics?

Starting from the answers to this question, even people not familiar with the interpretations of quantum mechanics can understand that physicists are not interested in substance metaphysics. This is ...
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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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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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Is there a better criteria for meaninglessness than what the positivists came up with?

I think the positivists came up with the idea that a statement is meaningless if it cannot be proven. But obviously this isn't true: there are a lot of scientific theories that cannot be proven yet, ...
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Is there any exception or rebuttal to the law of noncontradiction?

Is there any exception or rebuttal to the law of noncontradiction? Do we know for certain that this law is universally true, or are there some situations where the law simply doesn't apply or is false?...
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How does science treat supernatural claims?

The following claim X, Something had a round trip from the Earth to the Mars within 1 second might be treated by science as a supernatural claim because it violates the natural law (i.e. speed limit ...
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What is duality called when it refers to the separation between us and the external world?

Like many philosophical terms, dualism and duality are used differently by different people and in different circumstances. I am aware of Substance dualism (mind and body being separate things ...
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Which specific branch of philosophy defines the 'realness' of something?

One or two years ago I read an article about what was termed a newer branch of philosophy that examined not only what was real, but what took precedence in importance in certain areas depending on ...
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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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Are there criteria that allows you determine if something is out of the scope of ethics?

Are there criteria that all you determine if something is out of the scope of ethics? Some people said that it is immoral to believe in God, but how can you argue against that if you cannot determine ...
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Truthmaker Maximalism

What does it mean for a theory to have brute, unexplained necessary connections? Like for example, Truthmaker Maximalism is mentioned to have brute, unexplained necessary connections due to the way ...
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What are fundamental elements to existence aside time and space?

What are fundamental elements to existence aside time and space? Did philosopher identified elements that are necessary to existence or our existence like time and space? Is the third element matter? ...
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1answer
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Bostrom's probabilistic argument for simulation

I am reading Bostrom's famous paper "Are you living in a computer simulation?", but I can't understand his probabilistic reasoning. Why does he define the fraction of observers that live in ...
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Is logic “universe-dependent”?

Is logic "universe-dependent"? Does logic changes depending in the world we exist, or is logic universal for all existing beings regardless of where they exist, and how can we prove or ...
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1answer
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How is a mere substance different from an “individual substance”?

The Scholastic philosophers defined a person as "an individual substance of a rational nature" (e.g., Boethius, Aquinas). I understand how an individual could not be a substance (it would be ...
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Can i take computer as example for mind and body problem? Also conscious?

Software being mind, Hardware being body Finally software provides the conscious to the machine Is there any better way to explain 12 years old kid?
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How can we formally define the laws of a physical universe?

Have any philosophers come up with a workable formal, mathematical definition for what the laws of an arbitrary physical universe might be? Such a definition would need to allow specification of ...
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If something can’t come from nothing, then has an infinite period of time already passed?

Assuming that something really can’t come from nothing (I know it’s controversial but if it’s true)... Then at any given point in time (t), something exists and therefore something also existed at t-1....
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Can a logical statement be meaningless?

Can a logical statement be meaningless? If a statement is logical, then it can be proven mathematically, but if logical statements can be meaningless still doesn't that prove that mathematical proofs ...
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How do philosophers explain the change in one's ethical code when given a lot of power?

How do philosophers explain the change in one's ethical code when given a lot of power? Some people can be very ethical people and be completely consistent in terms of ethics like say Chomsky, but ...
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According to Aquinas, what is the relationship between the substantial form of a bodily being and its act of existing, ie. its esse?

Consider, for example, an existing bodily being. Because it is bodily, we know that it is composed of prime matter and substantial form. Also, because the bodily being is existing (not just made up in ...
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What is the relationship between scientific explanation and interpretability?

I am trying to understand the relationship between Scientific Explanation and Intelligibility / Understanding. I believe the former is grounded in the Metaphysics of Causation while the latter is ...
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If something moves at an infinite speed how long does it take to traverse infinity?

If the answer is infinite time, then is there something greater than infinity such that something can traverse infinity in 0 seconds or less than 1 second?
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Does it hold that everything exists necessarily?

In Quantified modal logic, "constancy’s defenders can point to certain powerful arguments in its favor. Here’s a quick sketch of one such argument. First, the following seems to be a logical truth: ...
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Why is harmonic strength and richness in math (ie 2:1, 3:2, 4:3) not emphasized in the nature of the worlds design and evolution

Based on my understanding of music, math, physics, and even philosophy, I do not understand why the beauty of harmonic simplicity and strength between whole numbers is not discussed much at all when ...
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Have philosophers speculated on how chaotic forces meeting together can result in order?

Have philosophers speculated on how chaotic forces meeting together can result in order? This isn't something that can be proven scientifically, and seems to be in the realm of metaphysics. I am ...
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What is a universe? (taboo the word “exist”)

It seems to me that "universe" and "exist" are defined cyclically. When not talking about many worlds or parallel universes, it's clear what it means to say whether or not a thing ...
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Is everything that exists an actual entity?

My professor asked us to think about this question as we go through the unit but I am not sure what the question means. I would greatly appreciate if you could help me understand the question or give ...
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1answer
104 views

How is the most mainstream metaphysical view different from Kantian metaphysics?

How is the most mainstream metaphysical view different from Kantian metaphysics? Kantian metaphysics used to be the dominant metaphysics during Kant's time, but a lot happened in metaphysics, science ...
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Generating the simplest sort of Cosmological Argument

First, I am not a philosopher, but rather an applied mathematician. However, the Cosmological Argument has always intrigued me. At times I feel that all attempts are necessarily hopeless, at other ...
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What are the alleged reasons for emergence?

What are the alleged reasons for emergence? What explains emergence, what are the philosophical explanations for emergence? Does it indicate that there's gap in our knowledge, does it indicate that it'...
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What's the “opposite” of emergence?

What do you call the phenomena that occurs when smaller entities are observed to have properties the wider whole do not have, properties or behaviors which emerge only when only the constituents are ...
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Defending the Unpopular: Aesthetic Realism

Aesthetic realism is the belief that there are things that are objectively more beautiful than other things. This implies beauty is not subjective, and if one believes an actually beautiful thing is ...
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Is existence itself necessary?

I define ‘existence’ here as the totality of being, and I take it as obvious that existence is actual. In this context, ‘necessary’ will be defined as ‘must exist because it cannot fail to exist’. The ...
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Putnam and Skolem Paradox

Why, according to Putnam in "Models and Reality", is moderate realism more affected by the so-called Löwenheim-Skolem Paradox than extreme realism? I understand the gist of Putnam's grip ...
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Is there a view that only abstract objects exist, and being an abstract structure is enough for a world to be experienced by its observers?

I am looking for a view that would completely eliminate concrete objects by saying that being an abstract structure is enough for a world to be experienced by it's observers. If it is enough for a ...
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How is non-reductive materialism different from dualism?

Non-reductive materialism (or materialism) is considered a from of monism, in the sense that ontologically everything is considered to be made of physical substances. It is non-reductive only in that ...
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Is there a cogent argument against the principle of sufficient reason?

As far as I can see, there are no significant arguments against the principle that all events have a cause, which is to say the principle of sufficient reason. (It's important to note that the ...
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Does Kant justify intuitions existing without understanding?

Objects can indeed appear to us without necessarily having to be related to functions of the understanding. (A89/B122) Appearances can certainly be given in intuition without functions of the ...
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Is this a metaphysical belief, and if so what's it called?

Perceptual objects have no particular essence, except for having an indeterminate essence, so that some and only some properties can fulfil that role, and those properties are always general, ...
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How does biological evolution work in the block universe/b-theory of time?

The b-theory of time is often described as a film reel where the whole reel exists, but we can only view one frame at a time. The problem I have with this analogy is that it starts to feel too ...
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Can truths about the natural numbers vary across possible worlds?

The truths of logic are the same in all possible worlds. However, what about truths about natural numbers? Like, for instance, is there a world where there are only finitely many primes, or a world ...

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