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?"

114 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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94 views

Hume on infinity

I know Hume argued against dividing finite space into infinitely many regions, but I can't seem to find anything regarding his thoughts on infinity itself. From his Enquiry you sort of get that he ...
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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

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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78 views

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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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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90 views

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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2answers
141 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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53 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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1answer
134 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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64 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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108 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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77 views

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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30 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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148 views

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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65 views

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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78 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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42 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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64 views

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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74 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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2answers
154 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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149 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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163 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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244 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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112 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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56 views

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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64 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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67 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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87 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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68 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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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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90 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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424 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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268 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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149 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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67 views

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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340 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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132 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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816 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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29 views

Harm Principle and the eventual harm of creating needs

A necessity or a need is a necessary condition for something else. A need in Economics and particularly a consumer need is something needed to be consumed, a necessary condition for achieving higher ...
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262 views

Mathematical models of dynamic algorithmic processes

This question primarily concerns dynamical or time-dependent phenomena in philosophy and to what extent such heuristic discourse features in more precise mathematical settings. In order to model ...
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189 views

Comparisons between two notions of existence

I have the following, rather naive question: To what extent can the a priori existence of mathematical objects be reasonably compared with the seemingly a posteriori existence of objects established ...
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Are there Identity Conditions for Spinoza's modes?

A common interpretation of the relation of Substance to it's modes in Spinozas states that modes are properties of the Substance [1]. Let's assume this for now: Modes are properties of Substance. I ...
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Does (and if so how) Quentin Meillassoux prove that everything is contingent?

When Quentin Meillassoux says that "contingency is a necessity", "contingency is absolute", etc. what is trying to imply is that everything is contingent. But (where) has he proven that? It is true ...