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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How can Hegel call philosophy a science?

At the tail end of Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason Gardner discusses Kant's influence on his successors. He claims---and I'm paraphrasing here---Hegel wanted his metaphysics to be scientific, i.e....
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Is there a philosophical conception of not necessarily biological life?

Biologists usually think of life in terms of the ability of a system to harness energy from the environment to grow and to reproduce. However in Stanislav Lem's book 'Solaris' there is a vivid ...
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What is the distinction between mysticism and metaphysics?

Mysticism and Metaphysics seem to share immediate similarity: both amount to sort of speculations pertaining to capture universal truth that cannot be confirmed nor refuted by the senses. What is the ...
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Modal Logic: a question concerning accessibility

I’m reading a lot about modal logic lately, right now Lewis “On the Plurality of Worlds” and Priests “Introduction to Non-classical Logics”. It is postulated that the different worlds have nothing to ...
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Is there any evidence that any philosophers in Antiquity viewed space itself as a something?

In Lucretious poem De Natura, he has They [atoms] move through the void In contemporary usage a vacuum is the the removal of all matter from space, it stems from Latin adjective vacuus for empty ...
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Universals vs. Facts

I simply do not understand the problem of universals, i.e. I don't understand how it is even a problem. The IEP writes: We can approach the question about the existence of universals from a ...
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Did Aristotle know about non-empirical science?

In Aristotles' Metaphysics the following can be read: Met. I 981a: […] αποβαίνει δ` ἐπιστήμη καὶ τέχνη διὰ τῆς ἐμπειρίας τοῖς ἀνθρώποις. […] but really science and art come to men through ...
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Can possible-but-non-actual objects have accidental properties?

The modal logic I am considering is the "Simplest Quantified Modal Logic" which combines first-order predicate logic with identity, with S5 in the most straightforward way, described here and slightly ...
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What is the difference between everyday realism and metaphysical realism?

At an everyday level, we seem to subscribe to a from of strong realism which doesn't leave any room for skepticism. We are certain that individuals who hear voices in their heads or who have ...
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Does infinity exist in the real world,other than just in mathmatics?

My question is: Does infinity, i.e. infinite numbers,like omega,aleph-null,exists in the real world or just exist in the mathematical theory? For example,if time has no start point,is there a world ...
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What does Plato mean by 'opposite' in Phaedo?

In Phaedo, Plato (and this dialogue certainly seems to be platonic and not socratic) argues for the transmigration of the soul, in part with a cyclical argument: Let us consider the question ...
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What kind of philosophical questions are transcendental philosophical questions?

There are a lot of different philosophical questions and I'm interested in knowing what kind of questions are asked in or what kind of questions does transcendental philosophy try to answer. I've ...
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Is there an accepted term for the idea that: “an idea's validity is increased with age”

Is there a field or term which can be used to describe conjecture on the notion that: The validity of an idea is related to the length of time it has been debated. Such a field would concern (or, ...
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Prop IX of spinoza's ethics

This is the english translation I am reading from for Spinoza's Ethics Geometrically. In proposition IX of this work, spinoza states: PROP. IX. The more reality or being a thing has, the greater ...
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Reductionism and Parmenides

Though I thought about it multiple times, I never understood Parmenides' argument for the impossibility of change. Now studying Aristotle's Physics, it popped up again and I still have the same ...
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Is there an idea of non-spatial reality in philosophy?

Our world is spatial. In particular there are 3 dimensions and we can measure lengths of objects in either of them. However, when thinking about metaphysics I came to the conclusion that there might ...
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Is Time just an idea?

All the things we perceive undergo changes as time goes by. Even if we didn't do anything, Time does 'its work'. For communication we use this word as an idea. If 'Time' were an idea it couldn't ...
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Question about absoluteness

If you say: "Nothing is absolute, everything is relative". Then you make an absolute statement. How can this be?
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Problems with backward time travel

In the beginning of this SEP article is the discussion of contradictions a backward time travel may bring (e.g. the classical grandfather paradox) and possible ways to "eliminate" them. My question is:...
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What exactly is the CTMU?

http://www.ctmu.org/ So recently I read about this guy with a really high IQ, Chris Langan, who crafted an ultimate theory of reality - CTMU, Cognitive-Theoretical Model of the Universe - which he ...
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Why do we tend towards discretizing things around and within us?

Why do we tend towards discretizing things around and within us? Do our senses (for space and time) fool us into this notion all the way into the need for discretizing abstractions themselves, e.g. An ...
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Philosophy - Does Einstein's Block Universe theory prove Nietzsche's Eternal Return theory is true?

If the Past, Present, and Future all exist in exactly the same way, then every single moment would be a ‘Now’ moment for me. it would also mean that me being dead in the future is equally real in the ...
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Do Most Philosophers Ignore the Rules of Dialectical Logic?

In metaphysics it is well known that all selective conclusions about the world as a whole are undecidable. Most philosophers infer from this that metaphysics is incomprehensible. I believe this is a ...
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What is res in res cogitans or res extensa?

Substance is that which has no dependent relation on any other; and unlike an atom, is infinitely differentiable - it has parts; and those parts thus distinguished have relations amongst themselves; ...
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Is it possible to prove the invalidity of logic without using logic?

Is it possible to validly invalidate logic without using logic? Mere assertion gives rise to the question, "How do you know?". At that point, you end up having to use logic to justify the thesis ...
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What is nothing

How can nothing be real? The basic concept of nothing is the lack of something, so in that statement alone it makes it something. The bible says that in the beginning there was a void and nothing ...
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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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What is subject in the world as will and representation?

Book 1 section 2 of The World As Will And Representation begins with the words: That which knows all things and is known by none is the subject. It is accordingly the supporter of the world, the ...
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Relationship between Western thoughts and “Eastern thoughts”

I sometimes feel an agony between these two, when especially considering the so-called philosophy developed in terms of modern terminology in Western countries. I am now particularly referring here. ...
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Hylomophism as the foundation of matter, how true can this be. explain [closed]

What is hylomophism and how can it be related with matter and form, being and existence
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Are all concepts polar ?

Do all concepts operate in pairs such that in order to define one member of the pair we need to specify its opposite ? For instance, we cannot define 'nothing' without understanding - being able to ...
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What is the agent intellect according to Avicenna and Aquinas?

Avicenna and Thomas Aquinas seem to generally interpret Aristotle in different ways, and I am trying to understand the differences. Specifically, what are the differences between Avicenna's view and ...
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Are there mathematical properties a mathematical object might have only contingently?

It is generally assumed that mathematics is necessary, such that any mathematical theorem is necessarily true. This can be read as a de dicto necessity such that for any mathematical proposition p, []...
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Is human exceptionalism justifiable?

This is syntactically a little awkward, but my question is: Is there some objective sense in which the differences, taken in sum, between humans and other animals are greater than the differences ...
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A metaphysical soul without an axiom for such?

Are there any schools of philosophy (or models therein) whose premises non-trivially imply the existence of a metaphysical soul? Or does the concept of a metaphysical soul only exist in practice ...
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thing and its properties [closed]

Aristotle says there are things and two types of properties that thing can have,one accidental property other essential property. my question is if we remove all accidental and essential properties ...
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Existence vs tertium non datur

This is my first question here, sorry if it turns out to be a duplicate. Mathematical constructivism states that contradicting the non-existence of something won't imply its existence. Does it mean ...
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How have philosophers tried to argue for qualia?

What is the difference between the intuition that there is something it is like, qualitative experience, and faith in it? Is it possible to convince someone who doesn't believe there is something it ...
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How can the soul be a form in Aristotle's metaphysics but continue to exist after the body's destruction?

Many authors, especially in introductory books, seem to characterize Aristotle's forms as some kind of structure or organizational feature of matter, which seems to be compatible with a reductionist ...
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Does the existence of colors give evidence against materialism?

It seems to me the only thing about colors that can be understood rationally is that they are distinct. We interact with other people who for the most part label my red as their red, my green as their ...
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In Aristotelian metaphysics, what are the constraints on what a thing can potentially be?

Aristotle distinguishes between actuality and potentiality. If we take a bronze statue (the example at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's Article on Aristotle and Causality), what is this ...
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What is the status of the statement: “I am here now”?

The statement "I am here now" seems to have many peculiar properties that I am not sure how to express. It appears analytically and equally true for any speaker anywhere at anytime. Yet its truth is ...
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Is a theory of physics possible with no constants?

The Standard Model of Physics has a number of constants. Obviously the fewer the better - simply in terms of there being less fundamentally inexplicable constants to explain. It seems to me, in as ...
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What is the consensus on metaphysical innocence of social construction (2N2C)?

What is the consensus about 2N2C? Is there any broad consensus on its truth, or utility? That's the fun abbreviated title of Boyd's No Non Causal Contribution (double N, double C) thesis, see ...
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What historical or doctrinal problems provoked Descartes' “Cogito”?

Descartes' Meditations and Discourse apply a radical scepticism towards knowledge in order to finally refute it, founding certainty on the immediacy of self-knowledge, usually considered the great ...
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Does Valberg's “personal horizon” entail life after death?

The personal horizon is, Valberg contends, the subject matter whose center each of us occupies, and which for each of us ceases with death. This ceasing to be presents itself solipsistically not ...
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Might The Observer Effect be a result of simplification in a computer-simulated universe?

For the past few years, I've contemplated the idea of the Universe being a computer simulation. This unsolved quantum physics phenomenon where objects act differently when observed is what sparked ...
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How have philosophers from Descartes to Kant understood the soul?

Modern philosophy, beginning with Descartes, raises issues of mind-body dualism, rationalism and empiricism, idealism and materialism. Yet most modern philosophers at least through Kant continued to ...
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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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What should be first according to Aristotle: the nature of being or the nature of explanation?

I see that in his Metaphysics he starts speaking of the nature of explanation as if he thinks, I think, that it is key to be understood before moving to the investigation about being. But then, in his ...