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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What happened to ( aristotelian) substantial forms in cartesian ontology? On which ground ( metaphysical or physical) are they rejected?

In aristotelian philosophy, there are no bare particulars ( contrary to what is the case in Plato, according to P.V. Spade) but internally structured ( substantial) particulars in which 2 "parts"/...
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Does the act-potency distinction lead to Meinong's jungle?

The Aristotelian-Thomistic distinction of act-potency is, among other things, supposed to solve Parmenides' paradoxes of change. Since change requires something non-existent popping into existence ex ...
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Why are there 8 Deductions, and not 6, in Plato's Parmenides?

In Plato's Parmenides, we have the 8 Deductions that go something like this (this applies, as best as I can see, to both the standard and non-standard models that the SEoP describes. All this is ...
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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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Attributes of God in Spinoza’s “Ethics”

In Spinoza’s Ethics, he remarks that God/Nature has infinitely many attributes. However, in the Ethics, he only identifies and discusses two of these attributes: thought and extension, which account ...
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39 views

To what extent is the notion of "common" of philosophical interest?

The 2021 theme for a french competitive philosophical exam is: "the common". I'm not sure the expression really makes sense in English. In French, it is the adjective "commun" ( ...
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182 views

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 the "Factive Turn" in epistemology?

In 1967 Richard Rorty edited/published what I consider to be one of the finest philosophical anthologies of the Twentieth Century. The Linguistic Turn: Essays in Philosophical Method, formally ...
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Has Alexandre Grothendieck ever expounded a particular stance on metaphysics or ontology?

It seems that in Recoltes et Semailles, he does go into quite a bit of philosophizing. the only thing of relevance I've found is that he notes how Riemann "in passing" said how he thought perhaps the "...
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247 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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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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185 views

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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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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Formal deduction of Whitehead's Philosophy of Organism

In Process and Reality Whitehead starts off the investigation by giving his categoreal scheme - different types of categories and their derivatives, as well as some axioms. If I understand correctly, ...
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58 views

How does Whitehead explain repeated attempts of remembrance/recollection?

In Process and Reality one of the main concepts Whitehead talks about is the symbolic reference. A derivative element of the connection between symbolic type and meaning type of species (in Whitehead'...
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Why are concepts without intuitions blind?

I think at this point I understand all the transcendental arguments of CPR except this one - and probably this could considerably change my understanding of Kant as a whole. Here is my confusion. ...
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639 views

What are some examples of things that are ontologically parasitic

To be ontologically parasitic, a thing must exist only in reference to another thing. For example, in the excellent video "How Many Holes Does a Human Have?", holes are identified as ontologically ...
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165 views

Weakness of Spinoza's ontological argument

The ontological arguments of God are many, the weaknesses they suffer can be found in this reference. My goal here is to focus on Spinoza’s ontological argument. Spinoza's argument is different from ...
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39 views

Perdurantism applied to non-physical objects

I have recently been reading up a lot on perdurantism aka four dimensionalism including papers by Rea, Sider, Bittner and Donnelly among others and I was interested in knowing whether there was any ...
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Is process philosophy at odds with orthodox Christian theology?

Process philosophy regards change, as opposed to stasis, as the basis of reality. Does this contradict orthodox Christian theology, such as Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and the various Protestant ...
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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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Has there been any positive influence in current philosophical thinking which comes from Hans Vaihinger's 'As If'' Philosophy?

Hans Vaihinger- Born: Sep 25, 1852 · Nehren, Germany Died: Dec 18, 1933 · Halle, Germany Written works: The Philosophy of 'As if' · Die Philosophie Des ALS OB: System Der Theoretischen, Praktischen ...
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Did Nietzsche “believe” in causality?

In Human, all too human, part 1, par. 107 (“non-responsibility and non-guilt”) Nietzsche clearly brings forth the Spinozian theory of the “innocence of becoming”. I am a bit confused by this claim. ...
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Looking for references regarding the history of metaphysics, and specially of ontology

Although many histories of ethics, of esthetics or of logic are available, it seems more difficult to find histories regarding other domains of philosophy. This is the case for epistemology and for ...
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Mathematical Universe

I have a beginner question on the type of claims this book or similar theories make. That book claims that universe is math structure. I just want to clarify if I correctly understood his goal: Does ...
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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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385 views

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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253 views

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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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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73 views

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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77 views

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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100 views

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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51 views

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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79 views

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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41 views

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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100 views

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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50 views

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'...
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60 views

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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284 views

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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157 views

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 body as in lump 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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150 views

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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Is Parmenides a Dualist?

It's commonly understood that Parmenides denied the reality of change. That the world we perceive is an illusion. But is Parmenides better understood as the SEP indicates: Both Plato and ...
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Difference between the correspondence and the picture theory of meaning/language

Was Wittgenstein's picture theory of meaning/language, as posited in the Tractatus, and which was closely aligned with his analytic realism/logical atomism, simply an elucidation and elaboration of ...
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Are patterns prior to causes? Which philosophers are hesitant to believe there really are causes?

Most people and most philosophers seem to strongly believe in causation. I would like understand what philosophers have to say about how to go from believing in just patterns to causes too. Are the ...