All Questions

19
votes
6answers
728 views

Which signs indicate consciousness in other beings?

There are arguments confirming and denying that animals have consciousness. Some arguments say that not even all humans have consciousness, e.g. small babies. Which observable signs do exist that ...
23
votes
2answers
23k views

How does Nietzsche define and characterize “freedom” throughout his works?

My basic question concerns the meaning of freedom in Nietzsche's work. Nietzsche suggests that, in reality, a will can never be absolutely "free" or "unfree"—rather, any particular will is going ...
11
votes
2answers
245 views

How has neuroscience characterized classic Benthamite utilitiarian reasoning in situations like the trolley problem?

With regards to the famous trolley problem, I know that neuroscientists have largely found people believe it is morally wrong to flip the switch to kill one man in order to save five strangers. I ...
15
votes
9answers
397 views

Is 'equality' ultimately grounded in empirical observation?

Let's say I invent a concept X in my own imaginings. The only property it has is X-ness; it is defined as 'that which is represented by X'. I have just defined that to be the case. It seems to me, ...
46
votes
12answers
18k views

Does Pascal's Wager contain any logical flaws or fallacies?

Blaise Pascal's famous wager was that even if the existence of God cannot be determined through reason, a rational person should wager as though God exists, because living life accordingly has ...
61
votes
11answers
13k 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 ...
71
votes
19answers
31k 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. ...
-1
votes
1answer
3k views

A reference for understanding current trends in epistemology [closed]

I'm having trouble understanding all the various theories of epistemology and how they relate, and which are considered current. Is there a good resource or reference to understand the current state ...
14
votes
4answers
817 views

What are the most significant responses to Lewis' “On the Plurality of Worlds”?

What are the most significant responses to David Lewis' book On the Plurality of Worlds (1986)? In particular, are there any good critical readings of Lewis' views on modal realism?
14
votes
1answer
569 views

Does Alvin Plantinga's account of epistemic warrant require belief in God?

On Plantinga's account, true belief becomes knowledge under epistemic warrant; and epistemic warrant requires the 'proper functioning' of our cognitive faculties in the right kind of cognitive ...
22
votes
2answers
629 views

Why aren't pure apperception and empirical apperception structurally identical, even though they are functionally identical in Kant's Anthropology?

I can't be the only one who finds this strange. Section 7 of Anthropology from a Pragmatic Perspective, entitled "On Sensibility in contrast to understanding", reads as follows: In regard to the ...
7
votes
3answers
328 views

Moore, catch-me-if-you-can Hume, Cudworth : were there pre-enlightenment anticipations of the naturalistic fallacy?

The naturalistic fallacy was described and named by G.E. Moore at the beginning of the 20th century. But have there been pre-enlightenment philosophers who have treated the concept?
12
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the main points of criticism of the ancient Stoic school vis-a-vis the system of philosophy of the Epicureans?

What was the main criticism of the ancient Stoic school of philosophy with respect to the system of philosophy of the Epicureans?
7
votes
8answers
771 views

Which philosophy forces others to act altruistically?

I see and hear various media/articles and people's view which insist others to commit altruistic acts. Sometimes to the extent that it is no more persuasion but force. Why is that right or wrong and ...
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.
90
votes
24answers
27k 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 ...
19
votes
8answers
24k views

What is the difference between “necessary” and “sufficient”?

What is the logical difference between something being necessary in order for something else to be true; as opposed to something being sufficient to make something else true. i.e. Fuel is sufficient ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

What's the difference between Randian philosophy and Objectivism?

I recently encountered a debate about whether Objectivism was the same as the philosophies of Ayn Rand. Wikipedia tells me they're synonyms. Is there another definition of "objectivism"? Has ...
9
votes
5answers
221 views

If we value free agency, how can punishment - the state's deprivation of a person's free agency - be justified ?

Starting with the supposition that we want to allow humans free agency, insofar as it does not infringe upon the free agency of others, what punishments can a state impose that do not make it guilty ...
22
votes
7answers
2k views

Is atheism a requirement for a consistent existentialist philosophy?

Søren Kierkegaard is generally considered to be the "father of existentialism". This always bothered me, since to me Sartre and Camus are the defining figures of the movement, and it seems that there ...
6
votes
8answers
3k views

If you kill someone who is committing suicide, are you culpable for his death? [closed]

One of our definition questions particularly intrigued me. If a man were committing suicide by jumping off a building and you shot him on the way down, killing him, are you culpable for his death? ...
181
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/...
13
votes
2answers
345 views

What are the implications of ordinary language philosophy on the study of langauge?

I can't see how the etymology of a word has any significance other than an historical significance. So how can we characterize this connection between the original formation of a word and its current, ...
21
votes
10answers
572 views

Is the truth a privative?

A privative is the absence of something, and as such doesn't exist. So cold is a privative, as it is merely the absence of heat. This question is inspired by this answer about a single noun for an ...

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