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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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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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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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Are all pancomputationalist models for the universe compatible with informational realism?

Pancomputationalist theories are a group of physical theories that try to describe the universe itself as a computer or an informational (processing) structure. Informational (structural) realism is ...
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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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46 views

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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97 views

Time Travel arguments against David Lewis

To resolve the grandfather paradox, Lewis suggests that there is a semantic Can vs Cannot distinction between what a human can physically do (kill the grandfather) and logically cannot do (cannot kill ...
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58 views

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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107 views

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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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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69 views

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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40 views

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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72 views

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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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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109 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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154 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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200 views

Does ontology study “being qua being”?

May I say that ontology studies "being qua being", while the sciences study "entity qua entity" ? I ask this because I don't understand how ontology could study the "entity qua entity", taking into ...
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88 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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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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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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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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83 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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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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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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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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85 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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398 views

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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54 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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263 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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144 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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227 views

If metaphysical grounding of beliefs is not necessary what is to logically compel one to believe anything?

'Grounding' is the notion that 'because of X, Y', X being the reason one can accept Y beyond pragmatic considerations. In this way, X and Y are analogous to cause and effect respectively. If it is ...
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329 views

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 ...
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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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129 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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46 views

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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790 views

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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51 views

Is this an argument about the world or about human cognition?

This is a question about a thesis I have encountered regarding the relation of abstract mathematics ( Category Theory in particular ) with reality and the nature of human cognition. The argument goes ...
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127 views

Things can exist even if it is impossible to provide concrete examples of it?

In mathematics, there are many things that can be rigorously proven to exist, but at the same time rigorously proven that no concrete examples of it can be given. This is a crazy idea for non-...
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Are decidability problems an example of strong emergence?

According to David Chalmers, speaking on Strong Emergence: We can say that a high-level phenomenon is strongly emergent with respect to a low-level domain when the high-level phenomenon arises ...
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David Lewis and probability

I have read a general overview on David Lewis in order to have an idea of his philosophical perspective and in particular about humean supervenience. I am wondering how Lewis considers probability in ...
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163 views

Are Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe Hypothesis and Seth Lloyd's Cosmological Model compatible?

I have been interested in Seth Lloyd's cosmological model (which proposes that the universe is a some kind of quantum computer or at least similar to it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...