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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117 views

What was Leibnitz's reasoning when he tried to prove machines cannot have consciousness using his "expansion" thought experiment?

I remember Leibnitz once particularly talked about this in one of his philosophy books (forget the book name, maybe Monadology). He said something like if consciousness can be made up of mechanical ...
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Is the concept of sigma algebra necessary to understand the epistemic and inter-observer boundaries of 'facts'?

The idea of fact is complex in its epistemic, metaphysical and linguistic connotations, but in the end it has compelling force, and the power to shock when the predicted practical effects are not ...
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Do realists and nominalists actually disagree about what really is, or do they just disagree about words?

So I am reading Loux's contemporary introduction to metaphysics, and he starts by giving two broad ideas about universals. Do realists and nominalists actually disagree about what really is? For ...
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Notion of space and time

In Critique of pure reason, Kant mentions the theory of space and time, which is a priori. It will be used in Heidegger's Being and Time. However, In his second meditation, it seems that Descartes ...
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What does Chesterton mean by "four letters beginning with a 'R'" in "The Revival of Philosophy – Why"?

In Chesterton's essay "The Revival of Philosophy – Why?", he wrote: [...] not merely by the sound of a syllable or the look of four letters beginning with a “R”. I wonder what these four ...
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How are space and time related?

We know from Einstein's special theory of relativity that space and time together form a spacetime continuum and are interdependent. They share a mathematical structure and any fundamental theory of ...
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Would Nietzsche approve of the concept of dictatorship?

My understanding of Nietzsche is still quite rudimentary but something I keep thinking about while reading his texts, is whether he would approve of the concept of dictatorships. N is fine with ...
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Is there a word for deeper, more abstract, layer of truth?

https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-bcc3f8c0684a7a470d2e69f89990b02a Is there a word for deeper, more abstract, layer of truth? In computer science, we have this term called abstraction layer that ...
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Why are substrates unable to have more than one dimension of character?

So I read through this section in Koon's Metaphysics Fundamentals and I didn't fully understand this section, in particular the bold parts of the text where I don't know why Koon's argues in the way ...
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What exactly is the problem of individuation and how does it apply to Classical Bundle Theory?

So I am reading this section on the problem of individuation from Koon's Metaphysics Fundamentals and I came across this text which confused me. Could someone help me understand this material? Here is ...
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Contributions of Descartes

What ideas did Descartes have about knowledge and reality that were so incongruent with the prevailing neo-Aristotelian paradigm of knowing the real essences of things through abstracting from sense ...
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Why is ancient Asian philosophy so implicit and allegorical compared to the ancient Greek philosophy which seems more explicit and abstract?

Why is ancient Asian philosophy so implicit and allegorical, compared to the ancient Greek philosophy, which seems more explicit and abstract? If I had to guess, I would say that it's due to language ...
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What is the Hochberg–Armstrong Objection to Extreme Resemblance Nominalism?

I am reading the following text which I don't understand. Could someone help me understand this material? It is chapter 4 of Koons' Metaphysics Fundamentals book. Here's the following text: "...
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Ruminations on the question 'Why there is something rather than nothing?' and the limits of explanation. May it be unanswerable?

I find myself incessantly returning to the brute mystery of existence, and find Leibniz’s pioneering answer to the fundamental question of metaphysics (as it is sometimes referred to) 'Why is there ...
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An argument that everything is possible

I have an argument that claims everything is possible. For, if something is impossible, it is not a thing at all. "Going faster than the speed of light" is merely a statement, not a thing at ...
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Metaphysical vs ontological necessity

There are many forms of consequence. It seems that there should be some method of distinguishing between them. Of primary concern to philosophers are two types of consequence: physical causality and ...
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Is it possible to refute metaphysical claims?

Is it possible to refute metaphysical claims? Seeing that a lot of claims made by Hegel and Heidegger who don't subscribe to the rules of analytical philosophy/logic were never refuted officially, I ...
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How does one distinguish fact and belief?

I have seen a similar question, but I am looking for the distinction between fact and belief, and not knowledge and belief. Also, I do not seek, necessarily, Plato's view. In order to distinguish fact ...
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What do you call the part of reality that's not material or physical? [closed]

What do you call the part of reality that's not material or physical? I want to avoid this discussion to be outside of "modern" or "contemporary" metaphysics, so no answer relating ...
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Is it possible to understand an action and its consequences as the same thing? [closed]

I was wondering about the individuation of actions; in particular, it appears to me that we cannot distinguish an action from its consequences. (1) Peter pulls a trigger (2) Peter fires a gun (3) ...
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179 views

Nothing vs something

Could it be that the famous question "why is there something instead of nothing" is misplaced? This question presupposes that nothingness is the opposite of something but, metaphysically ...
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Truthmaker Maximalism

What does it mean for a theory to have brute, unexplained necessary connections? Like for example, Truthmaker Maximalism is mentioned to have brute, unexplained necessary connections due to the way ...
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What is "lack" in Aristotle's "three starting-points" of form, lack and matter?

The following quote from Aristotle's Metaphysics is utterly baffling to me: The causes and starting-points of distinct things are distinct in a way, but in a way--if we are speaking universally and ...
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Did C.S Peirce ever express anything in the same vein to meaning holism?

C.S Peirce's philosophy is considered a predecessor to the logical positivism. In some respects Peirce is also thought as having prefigured several major philosophical ideas that came after logical ...
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How much of C.S Peirce's categories is new to him?

One of the very early papers of Peirce deal with his categories. How much of his categories are original to him? I am particularly interested in the "firstness" which he characterizes as the ...
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Is this a metaphysical belief, and if so what's it called?

Perceptual objects have no particular essence, except for having an indeterminate essence, so that some and only some properties can fulfil that role, and those properties are always general, ...
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True Thinkables - with regards to the Identity Theory of Truth

What exactly is a 'true thinkable'? According to John McDowell, 'true thinkables' are identical with facts(1996:27-8,179-80). This seems, if i may, a bit truistic and am left with no concrete ...
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Consciousness and atomic arrangement of body

Q1. If John disappears instantaneously at time t1 and is reconstructed at time t2 with exactly the same atomic arrangement, is John's consciousness in that new body? Q2. If the answer to Q1 is yes, ...
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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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Is there any exception to the rule of non-contradiction?

Is there any exception to the rule of non-contradiction? In physics, mathematics or philosophy? Is there any system where the law of non-contradiction doesn't apply for a good reason? I can't think of ...
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Aristotle on the uselessness of metaphysics

I'm sure I read once that Aristotle comments that the 'first philosophy' - what later became called metaphysics - has no practical use, that it's something that is studied for the sake of ...
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Bewitched by sortal v natural kind [anti] Essentialism

In Essential vs. Accidental Properties (SEP) https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/essential-accidental/index.html, in the context of natural kinds essentialism, one finds: Notice that one may hold ...
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Are philosophers just like poets when thinking about consciousness?

I bumped upon a book on metametaphysics and I feel like reading about consciousness and philosophy of the mind from a contemporary perspective, but right from the start, in the face of an alarming net ...
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Is an "observer" always implied in scientific statements?

I'm not sure what it's called, but Russell famously resolved problematic statements like "The present King of France is bald," simply by saying that it contains a hidden assumption of ...
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Should we define truth (given it exists)?

Should we, human-beings, try to define truth (given truth exists in reality)? Personally, I don't think we should reduce truth to symbols and syllables because I think it will take us into weird ...
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The Philosophy of Mutual Dreaming in the New SpongeBob Movie: Ontological as well as Metaphysical?

So, in the movie SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run, Patrick states that: "Two people cannot have the same dream, let alone be in that same dream at the same time. This is philosophically untenable.&...
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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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Do philosophers think physical laws are logical statements?

I had some questions like: Do philosophers think that the rules of the universe are always logical or can they be somehow divorced from logic? The rules of physics seem to follow the laws of logic, so ...
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Is the Problem of Universals still a prominent topic of debate?

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy includes an entry for the Medieval version of the debate of universals, but not for anything contemporary. There's an entry on universals in the Internet ...
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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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What is known of Anaximander's reasoning behind his belief that the Earth floated?

Anaximander was the first philosopher (at least that I know of) to argue that the Earth floated in space without support and without being enveloped by the cosmic ocean. I have heard his reasoning for ...
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Did Charlies Peirce write this sentence or something closely related in meaning?

I saw the following phrase recently and I was surprised that it was ascribed to Peire: "We do not really think, we are barely conscious, until something goes wrong" Did Charlies Peirce write ...
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How do philosophers answer a question like 'How do you know something exists?'

I recently watched a video from Rationality Rules titled "The Argument from Personal Experience - Debunked (Why Personal Experiences are NOT Proof)". As the title reveals, the video's goal ...
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What did William James mean by metaphysics being "an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly"?

In the Principles of Psychology, Volume 1 William James said the following: “Metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly. The fundamental conceptions of psychology are ...
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What are David Lewis' perfectly natural properties?

I have read a few things on David Lewis either his papers and SEP entry etc. unfortunately I still struggle to understand lots of concepts from this philosopher. First, what are the perfectly natural ...
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Which discipline of philosophy is most interested and relevant to studying the nature of change?

Often as a beginner, I wonder: who studies this idea? Is there a body of literature on 'change', and if so, which discipline of philosophy is most interested in the nature of 'change' and truths ...
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According to the major theories of concepts, where do meanings come from?

In all our intellectual pursuits, we use concepts like "atoms" for a structure or "ingredients" for a recipe. We all have to use them. For example, consider the concepts 'existence'...
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Kant excerpt from CPR

In the Critique of Pure Reason, under "System of the Principles of the Pure Understanding, Section II Of the Highest Principle of all Synthetical Judgments" Kant writes, 2nd last paragraph: &...
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Why does the flow of life constantly put us in unsolvable situations?

Between the devil and the deep blue sea It is an idiom meaning a dilemma. If you are between a rock and a hard place, you are in a difficult situation where you have to choose between two equally ...
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Kant's 'presumption'

Since I do not have the German translation of Kant's "Prolegomena ...", I'm putting the question here. I'd like to know the German word used by Kant for 'presumption' as used in the ...

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