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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53 views

What do you call the idea that each universes have wholly different natural laws?

What do you call the idea that each universes have wholly different natural laws? Instead of, let's say, all universes sharing some common laws, I am talking about the idea that all universes have ...
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How does biological evolution work in the block universe/b-theory of time?

The b-theory of time is often described as a film reel where the whole reel exists, but we can only view one frame at a time. The problem I have with this analogy is that it starts to feel too ...
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Reductionism about universals

David Armstrong's theory of universals is sparse: it's "mass", "electric charge", etc. that are true universals, not e.g. "redness". In pre-modern times this might be vaguely comparable to the ...
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Is Metaphysics intended as a creative starting point?

Is Metaphysics intended as a starting point for ideas or perhaps a sort of hypothetical brainstorming scratchpad, with the intention that you must find a way to test any idea before it is regarded as ...
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What are the criteria that makes metaphysics metaphysics? [duplicate]

What are the criteria that makes metaphysics metaphysics? In my understanding, metaphysics literally means beyond philosophy, but what are the criteria that makes something be metaphysical? Is the ...
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“Dinosaurs did exist once”. Is it knowledge or is it only justified belief?

On Wikipedia, knowledge is defined as justified true belief: The concept of justified true belief states that in order to know that a given proposition is true, one must not only believe the ...
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Weakness of Spinoza's ontological argument

The ontological arguments of God are many, the weaknesses they suffer can be found in this reference. My goal here is to focus on Spinoza’s ontological argument. Spinoza's argument is different from ...
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200 views

Relationism, Substantivalism, and Simultaneity?

I've been breaking my head open lately over special relativity and its conception of spacetime's dynamical as well as kinematical features. One thing that has stuck in my head is that of whether the ...
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542 views

Metaphysicist or Metaphysician?

As a physicist who takes an interest in metaphysics, I was shocked to learn that practitioners of metaphysics call themselves metaphysicians. Why not metaphysicists? My first thought was that unlike ...
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What is a both sufficient and necessary condition for not treating people merely as a means? [closed]

What is a both sufficient and necessary condition for not treating people merely as a means? To me the meaning of a concept is equivalent to a sufficient and necessary condition with which to ...
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What does St.Thomas Aquinas teach about state of the univerese after renewal in Summa Theologica?

In Summa Theologica suppl.q.91, St.Thomas teaches clearly about the state of the world after its renewal. In article 5 of the same question I said above, he says plants and animals will not remain in ...
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Do philosophers think beliefs are bearers of truth-value?

In the literature about what sorts of things have a truth-value, the idea that acts of belief bear truth-value seems present, yet uncommon. On the other hand, objects of belief like propositions or ...
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Can humans reject God?

If someone said to Moses, "Would you like to ride in my Rolls-Royce"? And if Moses replied, "No". Moses might not be rejecting going in a "Rolls-Royce" but rejecting something he did not understand. ...
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In What Sense is Substance Epistemically Prior?

In Metaphysics Z (1028a32), Aristotle outlines different senses in which a substance can be considered to be "first": there are several senses in which a thing is said to be first; yet substance is ...
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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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The Meaning of 'Undecidable' in Metaphysics

It is often said that metaphysical questions are undecidable but not so often explained what this word means in a metaphysical context. I'm wondering whether a mathematician would class metaphysical ...
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Universal Analytic Framework [closed]

I've been working on a philosophical framework called Universal Analytic Framework. This is actually a personal philosophical project. I am in the process of designing a framework that has fluidity, ...
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Why is it not necessary to to tell what force is?

In his book, "Science and Hypothesis" on page no. 98, Henri Poincaré write on subject of defining force: [.....When we say force is the cause of motion, we are talking metaphysics; and this ...
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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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Does Existence Belong to the Nature of Substance?

In Proposition 7, Part I of the Ethics Spinoza claims: Existence belongs to the nature of substance. This means that substance exists necessarily or, to put it even simpler, that each substance ...
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Prop. 2, Part I of Spinozas “Ethics”

Spinoza's proof for Proposition 2 of part I of the Ethics, "Two substances whose attributes are different have nothing in common", is confusing. This is the proof: 1, prop 2, demo - Also evident ...
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Heaviness in eternal recurence

In The Unbearable Lightness of Being, it is said that: In the world of eternal return the weight of unbearable responsibility lies heavy on every move we make. That is why Nietzsche called the idea ...
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What is it about the existence of some things that makes us right or wrong in describing their existence, while other things can change?

For example, if people used to believe the Earth was the center of the universe, and we discover it is not, we now say, "people used to falsely believe that the Earth was the center of the universe", ...
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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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Does omnipotence entail omniscience?

Twice this week, in academic works, I came across the "idea" that omnipotence implies omniscience. I don't remember the first place I encountered it (I'm trying to remember, and if I do I'll add it to ...
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Is usability a defining characteristic of knowledge?

A recent argument with my friend over "Presentation vs Substance" was about whether the presentation of a subject (e.g. in a talk) is more important than the actual content which is being delivered. ...
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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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Informal fallacies and their fallacious nature

What imparts to informal fallacies their fallacious nature? I have been reading Wikipedia because of the ease of access, as well as some references listed there, like https://www.humanities.mcmaster....
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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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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 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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On Universals and Particulars

I was thinking about the ontological problem of Universals versus Particulars and there is one thing that I can't understand well about the concept of Universal. If I have a cat (let's call it Steve) ...
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Did Stephen Hawking think that logic is contingent on physics?

According to this book*: Extrasensory Perception: Support, Skepticism, and Science, it says that Stephen Hawking thought that logic was contingent on physics, i.e that logic depends on the physics of ...
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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 ...
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Physical correlates of consciousness

The term neural correlates of consciousness is well established (~ 277,000 Google results, one Wikipedia article), but I'd like to ask for more general physical correlates of consciousness (~ 6,000 ...
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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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The non-spacetime existence of processes

I've been reading Process Philosophy and the Whiteheadian conception of processes describe them to be existing in "non-spacetime" dimensions. How can it be explicated in simpler terms? "Non-spacetime" ...
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What is different between causation and causality [closed]

What is different between causation and causality? And, if there is any difference, do most philosophers recognize it or is it just common among UCL or Cambridge scholars? Thank you for your answer ...
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Where can I learn about identifying and defining objects?

I guess I am asking a vague question about blurred lines in philosophy/language/actions and where/who I can learn more about this from. here is the passage: "A step further, existentialism says ...
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In what way does the following solve the Substance/finite modes problem in Spinoza?

Critics of Spinoza's concept of the 'immanence' of substance maintain that if everything in the universe is a manifestation of 'deus/sive natura/ sive substantia' then Spinoza cannot account for the ...
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What is the argument posed by Katherine Hayles in “The Condition of Virtuality” as to the relation between matter and virtuality and why?

I am learning in class of the influence new media have on old-aged dichotomies such as matter-mind, subject-object and their like. Our new-media teacher asked us to read the paper "The condition ...
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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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what makes “historical explanation” differ from “initial condition-covering law explanation”?

Does anyone have an argument that can refute the following statement? In a deterministic world, historical explanation cannot be different from "initial condition - covering law explanation."
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If other versions of us existed on alternate worlds, would we be morally responsible for the actions of these alternate versions of us? [closed]

Hypothetically, if the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics were correct, meaning an infinite number of alternate versions of each of us, containing our respective memories and experiences, ...
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Can every thought in the mind called a thing

This is a metaphysical (ontology) question. I'm looking for the appropriate ontological terminology, as 'thing' seems like it is ordinary language. I know that every entity in the physical world can ...
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Did God have a choice in creating our universe?

Einstein asked this question originally : What really interests me is whether God could have created the world any differently; in other words, whether the requirement of logical simplicity admits ...
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How does the philosophy of science explore original research formulation?

Although rarely admitted or communicated, in scientific research it's quite common to change the originally formulated question once insurmountable obstacles have made an answer difficult or ...
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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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Did Duns Scotus believe that the material was extended?

Duns Scotus links “immaterial” with “not [spatially] extended” (reminding us of Descartes): (b) Another way in which this knowledge could be immaterial would be that it is not extended in any way. ...

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