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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Is physicalism a current scientific consensus?

I was reading Wikipedia through materialism and physicalism article and was unable to find, whether modern scientists largely subscribe to physicalism in natural sciences. What is the scientific ...
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293 views

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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9answers
4k views

Is color actually intrinsic to the object?

I've always been of the view that color is essentially a human representation. That is, the production of the sensation of color is done in the brain and the particular wavelengths of light have ...
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2answers
680 views

Is materialism a self-refuting position?

I have been trying to poke a hole in the following apparently naive argument against materialism/physicalism: The main justification for materialism is that a person doesn't believe in that which ...
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One and many, particular and universal, individual and general… how do they relate?

In reading Koji Karatani's Transcritique, I found myself a bit confused by the distinctions and couplings he draws between these terms in relation to Hegel and Russell. It wasn't actually his approach ...
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4answers
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What is the physical world if everything is perception?

This is ultimately the question that raises for me when I think about the 'nature of consciousness' and neurosciences. I don't think there's a point in denying science. Perception comes from the ...
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2answers
427 views

Have David Wolpert's findings really “slammed the door” on scientific determinism?

I recently read an article describing how mathematician/physicist David Wolpert's research closed the door on scientific determinism. I have huge doubts about the implied conclusion, considering the ...
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3answers
2k views

Why must objects be moved by other objects in Aquinas' First Way argument for God?

In his famous Summa Theologica, the Scholastic theologian Thomas Aquinas presents Five Ways to demonstrate the existence of God. Here is Aquinas' First Way, the argument from motion: The first and ...
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2answers
162 views

Why are we so concerned with the source of creation? [closed]

Background story: A friend and I came to the conclusion that if "nothing is impossible," then everything/something is possible and thus everything comes from something. This led us to question why ...
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Has modern physics undermined Berkeley's idealism?

To make a long story short, Bishop Berkeley argued that the idea of matter existing independently of perception was incoherent, since the properties of matter are (or were in Berkeley's time) defined ...
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5answers
291 views

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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788 views

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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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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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 or ...
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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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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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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 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 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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7answers
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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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2answers
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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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1answer
190 views

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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1answer
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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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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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How does Kant justify the introduction of the noumenon?

Kant introduces the notion of the noumenon in his critical philosophy; he also later demonstrates in his system that solipsism isn't possible. Is the introduction of the noumenon essential to this ...
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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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1answer
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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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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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5answers
569 views

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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4answers
180 views

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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816 views

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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3answers
187 views

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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5answers
989 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
673 views

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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2answers
184 views

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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3answers
252 views

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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4answers
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How is Last Thursdayism explained from a physics perspective?

Last Thursdayism is the idea that the universe was created last Thursday. This would imply that the laws of physics were created last Thursday too. Doesn't that mean anything could have happened ...
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4answers
367 views

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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1answer
473 views

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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2answers
140 views

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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8answers
950 views

Is There a Paradox of Self-Observation?

Many philosophies and religions teach self-observation. For instance... The Oracle at Delphi told Socrates to "Know Thyself". Yoga teaches people to discover their true selves. On the surface, self-...
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1answer
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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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4answers
457 views

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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4answers
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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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2answers
535 views

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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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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3answers
258 views

How is the nature of logical principles commonly defined in contemporary philosophy?

In contemporary philosophy, how exactly is the nature of logical principles defined? For example, the way I've commonly seen logical principles construed are as true propositions which described the ...
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246 views

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 ...