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 there knowledge in metaphysics that are more justified according to epistemologists?

Are there knowledge in metaphysics that are more justified according to epistemologists? How do we rank and assess the level of justification in a justified metaphysical knowledge? Are some beliefs or ...
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Is it possible for an infinitely nested simulation to exist?

Is it possible for an infinitely nested simulation to exist? Such a scenario is impossible to imagine explicitly, and the scenario itself may seem like it is logically incoherent, but I am unable to ...
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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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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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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 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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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 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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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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Can the Universe make sense at all?

Considering that nearly everything that exists cannot be even imagined by humans (or would it be reasonable to assume the contrary?), what is the chance of finding a scientifically coherent ...
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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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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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What is a quantum particle like before it is measured?

I have been trying to ask about this over on the Physics Stack Exchange, but they aren't really interested in questions that are this speculative. Does anyone here have any ideas about what quantum ...
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Can the Dirac belt trick (among others!) prove that mathematics is real?

First, I link the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vfh21o-JW9Q It demonstrates the 'Dirac belt trick', which was created by (I believe, Dirac) to demonstrate the calculus of spinors. ...
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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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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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Is it the case that negation has an ontological counterpart?

Facts refer to real objects. They are true because there are something of which such sentences are true of, following Aristotle. What would be the reference of a fact of the form "not P"? Or ...
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Why isn't Kant's critique of metaphysics directed to himself?

I really like Kant, but I'm having a hard time understanding his Critique of Metaphysics. Kant takes as illegitimate the transcendental use of the concepts of pure understanding. This seems to be the ...
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Where does Aquinas get his “logical-metaphysical presuppositions”?

In the Summa, Aquinas frequently invokes (for lack of a better term) certain "logical-metaphysical presuppositions." Here are two examples drawn from I-II, qq. 90-91: "that which is ...
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What is the nature of the mental images that are perceived by patients who suffer from Charles Bonnet Syndrome?

I am not sure if this question should be asked in the Philosophy or Neuroscience forum as both domains are relevant to this inquiry. Will have a go anyway. One of the defining characteristics of CBS ...
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Why would laws of nature not be reducible to physics alone?

Is there any reason why special sciences like chemistry , biology , neuroscience and psychology would need their own immutable laws that aren't reflective of physical laws ?
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Is it possible that the laws of nature don't exist?

Since scientific laws are approximations or observed regularities and generalisations(or an attempt at finding the actual laws of nature) rather than the actual laws of nature -- does such a ...
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Is it true that if you deconstruct Hegel's and Heidegger's metaphysical claims into atoms, you end up with absurd statements? [closed]

Is it true that if you deconstruct Hegel's and Heidegger's metaphysical claims into units, they end up becoming absurd statements that don't hold any semblance of truth? I never could finish any of ...
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What's the logical basis for Dunne suggesting that there need to be several dimensions of time in order to measure the speed of one's progress?

As a solution to the problem of the subjective passage of time, J. W. Dunne proposed an infinite hierarchy of time dimensions, inhabited by a similar hierarchy of levels of consciousness. Dunne ...
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What are other elements other than time and space that are said to have dimensions?

What are other elements other than time and space that are said to have dimensions? Most laypeople would say that only space can have dimensions since when we say 3d we immediately think of space, but ...
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What's the purpose of a second dimension when we say that time is two-dimensional? [closed]

What's the purpose of a second dimension when we say that time is two-dimensional? The first dimension refers to the passage of time along the x axis (past and future), but I am wondering what the y ...
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What do you call something that is not a substance in philosophy?

Is the mind a substance in dual aspect monism? In philosophy, "substance" is like "atom", which is the ultimate independent real existence not depending on other entities, is the ...

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