All Questions

71
votes
19answers
32k views

Could 'cogito ergo sum' possibly be false?

I've heard it postulated by some people that "we can't truly know anything". While that does seem to apply to the vast majority of things, I can't see how 'cogito ergo sum' can possibly be false. ...
183
votes
29answers
25k views

Was mathematics invented or discovered?

What would it mean to say that mathematics was invented and how would this be different from saying mathematics was discovered? Is this even a serious philosophical question or just a meaningless/...
54
votes
20answers
11k views

Is the “omniscient-omnipotent-omnipresent” definition of God consistent?

God is commonly defined as an omniscient (infinite knowledge), omnipotent (unlimited power), omnipresent (present everywhere) entity. Is there any logical inconsistency in this definition? I have ...
29
votes
16answers
26k views

What are some good introductions to philosophy?

I've been searching the questions posed here, and don't seem to find one that gives the answers I am looking for. I've proposed to start a list on meta but no one proposed anything, so I feel I must ...
33
votes
10answers
8k views

What is the difference between free-will and randomness and or non-determinism?

In relation to the question "What are the necessary conditions for an action to be regarded as a free choice?", it came up that one way to insure the possibility of free-will was to have more than one ...
52
votes
18answers
65k views

How will learning about philosophy impact real-life?

Examining the practical, impactful, real-life benefits of getting a degree in philosophy It is often asked, "What is the practical use of philosophy?" or "How will learning about philosophy impact ...
34
votes
13answers
4k views

What are the necessary conditions for an action to be regarded as a free choice?

A common philosophical question revolves around the existence of free will, but what I've found is that these debates seem to gloss over the concept of "free will" itself, either taking it as a given ...
19
votes
1answer
11k views

How can we reason about “if P then Q” or “P only if Q” statements in propositional logic?

When you have a propositional sentence of the form P ⊃ Q  — which we might read as "if P, then Q" — how can you tell when it is true, or false, based on the truth-values of P and ...
27
votes
9answers
174k views

What is the difference between Fact and Truth?

I'm curious about the difference between Fact and Truth. I was searching on the internet if I could find it. But still I'm confused about the exact meaning. I first read the forum discussion here Fact ...
61
votes
11answers
14k views

Can you prove anything in philosophy?

I don't understand philosophy very well, and so I am wondering whether you can "prove" anything in philosophy. It always seems you can go a layer down, and find another question, almost endlessly ...
33
votes
22answers
4k views

In what sense is atheism scientific?

I have been reading a bit of Dawkins and the like and they all seem to hold a very strong viewpoint on atheism and its associated ideology. I have not found a direct citation for this but he ...
22
votes
15answers
9k views

Are there any non-divine objective standards of good/evil?

This question is a step backwards because I've run into trouble with definitions on my original question: What would be the logical consequences of human will/nature being corrupt? Is there any way ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Is free will reconcilable with a purely physical world?

Many are of the opinion that there is no metaphysical world beyond the material that we can sense, and that everything is therefore governed by physical cause and effect (some believe that we cannot ...
14
votes
2answers
14k views

What fallacy dismisses problems by presenting “bigger” problems?

Wasn't really sure how to phrase this, but I'm thinking of an instance in which someone diminishes a problem by presenting one of larger scope - as a rather shoddy example, "x political problem in ...
11
votes
9answers
1k views

Is the theory of evolution a good basis for an argument against freewill?

In the theory of evolution, humans do not occupy any privileged status compared to other living beings, they are at one end of a continuous (although not necessarily monotone) spectrum of creatures. ...
40
votes
13answers
13k views

Does a negative claimant have a burden of proof?

I have often heard it said that the burden of proof is on the positive claimant but not on the one making a negative claim. A person claiming, "God exists" has a burden of proof but not a person ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

Is God either immoral or not omnipotent?

The usual (Christian) justification for suffering/evil in the world created by a benevolent God is freedom of the will. However, the more interesting question is not about the source of evil (which ...
15
votes
7answers
13k views

Is infinite regress of causation possible? Is infinite regress of causation necessary?

For a number of reasons — including perhaps a desire to feel that we have a complete understanding of where we came from, or at least an understanding which is completely sufficient for all of ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

What are the more complex/interesting examples of synthetic a priori statements?

The usual examples of synthetic a priori statements are – it seems at least since Kant: "Nothing can be simultaneously red and green all over" 7 + 5 = 12 (or any other basic arithmetic statements). ...
9
votes
2answers
579 views

Did Kant come to believe that we have access to things-in-themselves after all?

Kant's position on things-in-themselves is often described Socratically, of them we know only one thing, that they are. However, in an old but apparently still popular history of philosophy book I ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I check if two logical expressions are equivalent?

For example: Is (A ∨ B ∨ C) ∧ (D ∨ E ∨ F) the same as (A ∧ D) ∨ (A ∧ E) ∨ (A ∧ F) ∨ (B ∧ D) ∨ (B ∧ E) ∨ ( B ∧ F) ∨ (C ∧ D) ∨ (C &...
40
votes
16answers
10k views

How to get started with philosophy without getting overwhelmed quickly?

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find how to get started with philosophy but I can’t. It seems that getting started with computer programming is nothing in comparison - with computer programming it’...
50
votes
23answers
7k views

Why is there something instead of nothing?

A simple but fundamental question. The "something" means the whole Universe (known and unknown), it could be represented as the reality version of the set of all sets, which is itself debated. It ...
31
votes
8answers
33k views

What would Kant do when two categorical imperatives conflict? Could he ever justify lying?

Suppose a German SS officer knocked on my door, asking me whether I had any Jews. And suppose further that I had two Jews in a secret compartment in the attic that he'd never be able to find. ...
9
votes
2answers
660 views

What are the differences between philosophies presupposing one Logic versus many logics?

I was wondering in light of the historical developments of logic since ancient Greeks and well into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: What kind of a philosophy assumes only one Logic, and what ...
6
votes
12answers
13k views

Is it possible to know anything with certainty?

I have been thinking about objectivism vs relativism recently. It is easy to prove by contradiction that there exist objective truths. However, is it possible to know anything? If you assume a human ...
9
votes
6answers
950 views

Are philosophy and science mergeable today?

In the past, both Philosophy and Science were one. However, because of the vastness of Science, it was cut off. I am inclined to go along the same line of thinking, but, is there a way to merge both ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the logical form of the definition of validity?

My text book gives the definition of validity as "An argument is valid IFF if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true". Using a conditional elimination on the RHS of the IFF yields "An ...
27
votes
15answers
32k views

Is there anything that is totally random?

When I say totally random, I mean absolutely random, not pseudorandom. If I want to say "totally random" numbers such as 1,26,17,4,1 and 27, although I see them to be totally random, they aren't. ...
24
votes
7answers
1k views

What is Philosophy? [closed]

What is a comprehensive definition of Philosophy? Alternatively, is it impossible to define Philosophy? This is a pseudo-meta question, but it seems like it belongs here.
16
votes
5answers
3k views

How can one refute John Searle's “syntax is not semantics” argument against strong AI?

There are many refutations of John Searle's Chinese Room argument against Strong AI. But they seem to be addressing the structure of the thought experiment itself, as opposed to the underlying ...
12
votes
12answers
3k views

Can someone be an atheist and subscribe to substance dualism at the same time?

I consider myself to be firmly in the atheist camp. None of the arguments for the existence of a higher being or prime mover convince me, let alone attempts at proving the existence of the old God of ...
10
votes
2answers
626 views

Is Aristotle's resolution of Zeno's paradoxes vindicated by motion in the intuitionistic continuum?

In Physics VIII.8, Aristotle refers to his usual resolution of Zeno's paradox of motion: We should make the same response to anyone who uses Zeno's argument to ask whether it is always necessary to ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the problems with the argument for the mind-body dualism from immateriality of thoughts?

I have started studying philosophy of mind and I am currently reading an introduction to the field. The first topic that is presented in the book is dualism of the Cartesian brand, and the case for it ...
3
votes
3answers
264 views

Have the exact sciences tried to obtain their legitimacy from “outside” the human being?

I'm not really specialized in the history of science. But it seems for me that as the time passed, the exact sciences tried to do that. For example: The second is measured in relation to the spinning ...
9
votes
1answer
406 views

Does Quine's dissolution of the Analytic/Synthetic distinction challenge mathematical realism?

I was surprised to learn that Quine is a mathematical realist (See this interview for example). I always assumed that his "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" and specifically his dissolution of the Analytic/...
11
votes
8answers
858 views

Is the simulation of emotional states equivalent to actually experiencing emotions?

According to the 'Mario Lives!' video, researchers have been able to develop an AI unit that is able to experience emotional states, such as greed, hunger, and curiosity. If the AI is currently ...
91
votes
24answers
28k views

How does one know one is not dreaming?

How does one know one is not dreaming? How could one logically demonstrate to a skeptic that one is "really" there, awake and not just dreaming the entire situation/world around him? Specifically ...
22
votes
14answers
14k views

Are we living in a simulation? The evidence

I am not questioning whether the simulation topic is outside science. I am asking what evidence there is or could be to resolve whether we are or not. Living in a simulation has been a topic for ...
16
votes
11answers
5k views

Is everything just an opinion?

I read some people don't believe in truth but do believe there is always a chance that x. I have a question about such thought. I recently heard an anecdote that says nobody can ever prove I ate ...
15
votes
11answers
1k views

If everything is theory laden, how can one argue against climate change deniers?

Per Quine's results from "Two Dogmas of Empiricism", the Duhem-Quine thesis, and later results such as those of Kuhn and Feyerabend, all empirical observations are theory laden. Even widely accepted ...
17
votes
3answers
896 views

How do defenders of libertarian freewill reconcile it with constraints imposed by the laws of physics?

Libertarian freewill is the position that we have some measure of metaphysical freewill. Per this position, a free agent at a given point in time is able to freely select a course of action among ...
14
votes
7answers
21k views

What are examples of analytic a posteriori knowledge?

There is the analytic/synthetic distinction and the a priori/a posteriori distinction. These two distinctions form four types of knowledge: analytic a priori synthetic a priori analytic a posteriori ...
12
votes
5answers
577 views

How far can/should one press philosophical doubt?

Should we keep on questioning until nothing is left to question or is there a point on which we need to stand (which we often tend to do)? Descartes used 'I think' as this fixed point where the ...
14
votes
8answers
5k views

Is everyone considered a “philosopher”?

Is every person who has ever questioned what they did or what they are going to do a philosopher? Does this idea fall under philosophy in any way, or is it merely a semantic debate?
22
votes
6answers
2k views

Does anyone assert the real existence of p-zombies?

Philosophical zombies are usually presented as, let say, "conceivable" and then this assertion is used to infer dualism. Have any philosophers taken the position that p-zombies are in fact real, and, ...
13
votes
3answers
385 views

Do all epistemologies suffer from the “regress of justifications” problem?

Aristotle describes the regress problem in his logical work Posterior Analytics I.2: b5. Some hold that, owing to the necessity of knowing the primary premisses, there is no scientific knowledge. ...
4
votes
6answers
496 views

Is the use of inconsistent definitions a logical fallacy?

I am not asking for a defense of or pro/con of the existence of an omnipotent (or multiple omni-x) being, or for the existence of square-circles or any other similar thing. These arguments are well ...
6
votes
2answers
508 views

Is there modal logic without possible worlds?

Would it be desirable to carry out a deflationary research programme in modal logic? In other words, would it be desirable to re-think modal logic without the possible worlds semantics? The original ...
4
votes
4answers
6k views

What differentiates the scientific method from other methods

From the controversy in this question, I would like to know what differentiates "the scientific method" from other method. I'm asking for differentiation, rather than a definition, because ...

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