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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146 views

Did God have a choice in creating our universe?

Einstein asked this question originally : What really interests me is whether God could have created the world any differently; in other words, whether the requirement of logical simplicity admits ...
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How did Buddhism philosophy influence on Hideki Yukawa's thought?

Since physicist Hideki Yukawa was somewhat influenced by Oriental and Buddhist philosophy, he had some ideas about the complementarity of opposite things. In fact, when Niels Bohr published his ...
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Specifically a philosophy question [closed]

What are the points of you or me? I don't want an answer. Banish me.
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How does the philosophy of science explore original research formulation?

Although rarely admitted or communicated, in scientific research it's quite common to change the originally formulated question once insurmountable obstacles have made an answer difficult or ...
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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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Did Duns Scotus believe that the material was extended?

Duns Scotus links “immaterial” with “not [spatially] extended” (reminding us of Descartes): (b) Another way in which this knowledge could be immaterial would be that it is not extended in any way. ...
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Solution to the Grandfather's paradox - Inverse reincarnation? [closed]

One of the premises of the grandfather paradox in time travel is that of inconsistency. I.e, going back in time to kill your grandfather or grandmother prevents your birth. The solution is simple, ...
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Are there any points of convergence between analytical and traditional concept based philosophy?

In many questions, answers and in comments, there appear to be differences in the type of answers and comments which fall into two roughly delineated trains of thought and exemplify the fault line ...
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Are the questions “Do I exist” and “Why do I exist” related to metaphysics, epistemology or another branch of philosophy?

Does the universe (or anything) exist? I assume that question would fall under metaphysics. But could it also touch on epistemology (e.g. how we define "universe" or "exist")? Do I exist? To me, ...
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Reference request on Idealist ontology

Apologies if this is original, it may or may not already exist (I've no idea), but it may also be a restatement of an ontology like Meinong's jungle. It contemplates a conception of concentric spheres ...
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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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The Structure of Metaphysical Theories [closed]

If I were to state that a metaphysical theory must take the form of a formal axiomatic system would anyone want to disagree? Has anyone argued otherwise? I haven't seen a counter-view, but then ...
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With or without opposition between A and B, how many ways are there for A not to be B?

I'm looking for references and "loci" regarding the concepts of opposition, distinction, diversity, and negation. I'm not certain if one must distinguish the case in which A and B stand for concepts ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Bythos and Sophia, Yuanshi Tianzun and Lingbao Tianzun

The Gnostic Bythos is that of a Monad, though I know it does not have benevolent connotations. Disregarding any sense of goodness/morality/仁, in what ways is it not synonymous with that of the ...
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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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What paradoxes arise from quantifying over EVERYTHING?

This question is in context of the umbrella view of objects, that there exists a general category that everything falls under. Here are the quote and link that peaked my curiosity. Finally, note ...
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Is there a generally agreed upon solution to Bradley's Infinite Regress without appeal to Paraconsistent Logic?

I'm interested in Priest's solution using paraconsistent logic, but before I embark on that, I wanted to know if there was a generally agreed upon solution in more "classical" schools of thought. ...
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Are accurate statements about fictional entities false?

"Homer Simpson is Marge Simpson's husband." Is this a true statement since it accurately describes the fictional character, Homer Simpson, or is it false since there is no Homer Simpson in reality to ...
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How to denote the idea of nothingness in formal terms?

I was thinking about the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" , and have read about some theories that existence is the case because non-existence is logically impossible So, I ...
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Is it possible for a person with unlimited intelligence and no sensory experience to understand any concept like humans do?

Is it possible for a person with unlimited intelligence and no sensory experience to understand any concept like humans do? I am wondering if abstract information, information that has no reference ...
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Are there any non-scientific non-religious cosmology theories proposed in recent times?

Are there any non-scientific non-religious cosmological theories proposed in recent times? I looked at various cosmological theories proposed and I only see scientific ones (ex: Machian universe), and ...
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Have philosophers explored the ineffable, and what in our language makes it impossible to describe something beyond our realm of existence?

Have philosophers explored the ineffable, and what in our language makes it impossible to describe something beyond our realm of existence? There might be things outside of the universe we can't ...