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2 votes

What do we mean by 'obligation'?

Well, in fact all these things are a matter of consensus, of power to apply and of personal ethics. Your logic is generally correct, but here are some exceptions : In 1 : if I leave the country ...
Ioannis Paizis's user avatar
1 vote

What are the main terms and their (relatively) proper definitions that a beginner in metaphysics/philosophy should know of?

As I understand, you ask about the basic vocabulary in philosophy. IMO some of the most important terms are the following: Ontological, epistemic, a priori, analytic, transcendent, infinite, referent ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
  • 31.5k
2 votes

What does the term "mathematical logic" mean?

Mathematical Logic and Computation, Jeremy Avigad(2022): In the phrase mathematical logic, the word “mathematical” is ambiguous. It can be taken to specify the methods used, so that the phrase refers ...
Poscat's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

I can see various reasons for that. There are a lot of people, esp. (neuro)scientists who believe that we are determined by our genes, or instincts, etc. There are other people who believe that ...
Apostolos's user avatar
  • 185
2 votes

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

Well, first, you are correct, the definition of free will is a big part of the discussion. For instance, compatibilists tend to define it differently, which is why they are compatibilists. If the book ...
user73418's user avatar
1 vote

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

For a real-world example, consider the duck-billed platypus which just happened to exist, though most 'experts' said that because they could not explain or define it, it must be a fake. Suppose either ...
Robbie Goodwin's user avatar
0 votes

Is it possible to define "the supernatural"?

The supernatural is the ontological domain where all entities from fantasy are at home.
Jo Wehler's user avatar
  • 31.5k
2 votes
Accepted

What is the definition of supernatural?

What is the definition of supernatural? The prefix "super" is defined as above and beyond. Above and beyond the natural is phenomena that isn't natural. "Natural" obeys the laws ...
Idiosyncratic Soul's user avatar
-1 votes

What is the definition of supernatural?

According to computer science, the answer will be straightforward. All the variables that originate in our runtime environment (they don't exist outside of it) - would be natural. All the global or ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
5 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

Perhaps this is a frame challenge, but I think the real question posed by the question you link to: "Why is it "is there free will?" and not "what is free will?" isn't so ...
JimmyJames's user avatar
5 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

If we can discuss something, and the participants in the discussion have similar understandings of that thing, then it clearly exists in some ontological sense. We don't have to be able to explain it ...
Barmar's user avatar
  • 1,710
2 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

These are all very complicated question that have no clear answer. The concept of Existence is difficult. There are different streams of philosophers - some allow concepts to exist, some do not. Some ...
AnoE's user avatar
  • 2,714
3 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

No, but... Your first problem here is that several of your examples are not an object that exists. They're processes, not objects. Your second problem is that you're grouping things together which do ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 2,174
3 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

First you need to do away with natural language: forget the words "free will", and ask whether the concept "" exists, and you should see that the definition of a concept and the ...
user369070's user avatar
11 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

You need at least some definition, but it doesn't have to be exact or detailed. You can't tell me whether "adfgiuadhfg" exists, because you don't know a definition of that word. A child can ...
HolyBlackCat's user avatar
3 votes

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

This might be a bit apologetic to philosophers, but answering "is there freewill" can be more useful than "what is freewill" in the style of rhetoric that philosophers use. ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 17.8k
8 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

For something to exist, it needs to be observable, either directly or indirectly. Physical objects and phenomena can be observed directly and measured. Abstract ideas can be observed indirectly by ...
Pertti Ruismäki's user avatar
3 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

Here is footage from the 1950s experiments with LSD. The lady ends with If you cant see it I cant tell you about it... I feel sorry for you. Its your choice and call ultimately, which view you give ...
Rushi's user avatar
  • 2,703
3 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

Many things exists, and we can't explain or know how it works. Like computers, many don't know how they are programed, how this website is programed, but we still accept that it exist. It may be a ...
Lukius's user avatar
  • 169
3 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

As a thought experiment, consider the case of an average laborer from ancient Egypt who gets transported through time to the present. He suddenly finds himself in a control room watching the SpaceX ...
bta's user avatar
  • 199
0 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

Free will: It is not controversial that we humans feel free in most situations. We have the impression to be free, not only in our doing, but also in our volition, and most of all in our decisions. On ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
  • 31.5k
1 vote

How does "if p, then q" compare to "p only if q"?

How does "if p, then q" compare to "p only if q"? The difference is the order of evaluation and assignment of the variables p and q. If P then Q: Evaluate P then assign Q P only ...
Idiosyncratic Soul's user avatar
3 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

The question has about as many answers as there are philosophers. What exists (ontology) and how we know that (epistemology) make up the bulk of metaphysics. Hobbes had a good materialist definition ...
Nelson Alexander's user avatar
1 vote

How does "if p, then q" compare to "p only if q"?

"P only if Q" seems to me to say "P happens, only if Q happens first." If that's the case, then "P only if Q" would be translated to "if Q then P" which is ...
theboombody's user avatar
1 vote

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

Tossing out a random veiwpoint: the two questions are actually the same not because of marketing, but because the perception of free will is related to consciousness and our perception of time Think ...
Tim Fulmer's user avatar
2 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

We "know" something is out there when we have models (based on mathematics) for it and these models not only explain how this phenomenon works but we can also predict its future state. Since ...
Artem S. Tashkinov's user avatar
12 votes

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

Gravity is a great example to illustrate that yes, we can be certain a thing exists without having the ability to adequately explain or define it. As with the case of gravity, we can observe it and ...
mkinson's user avatar
  • 495
1 vote

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

On your question: my guess would be that "what is free will" depends so much on "is there a 'me' inside a human" that it is just getting too complicated - the book would be about ...
AnoE's user avatar
  • 2,714
1 vote

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

Good question. I come from the perspective of the Vedic paradigm, so will present that here in a nutshell. It behooves us to answer more questions. What is free? Who is making the will? The Vedas ...
Hrishi Shinde's user avatar
0 votes

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

Why is it "is there free will?" and not "what is free will?" Really it is both and the two are less similar questions than they might appear. One does not suffice to supplant or ...
Cvartuim's user avatar
0 votes

Term for a Question based an a Fundamental Misunderstanding

When a characteristic which can only be applied to elements of a particular set (or category) is attributed to an element not in that set, that attribution is a category error. The question itself is ...
g s's user avatar
  • 5,845
20 votes
Accepted

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

I agree with you and the others that it's all a matter of definition. It seems possible here the most trivial reason may be the correct one: marketing. “Does free will exist?” sounds like a weighty ...
adam.baker's user avatar
2 votes

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

Free will is the ability to choose your own actions as opposed to them being determined by cosmic/ biological / cultural forces which is called determinism. Free will and determinism is simply put the ...
Vlad's user avatar
  • 53
-2 votes

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

"what is free will" - Specific interpretations can differ, but in general, we need to accept or deny a binary choice: Does our personal life acquire help, guidance, specific purpose, ...
TheMatrix Equation-balance's user avatar
4 votes

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

All the debate concerning free will is about the definition. What is the thing we want to call free will? Some define free will as something real. Some define free will as something imaginary. But no ...
Pertti Ruismäki's user avatar
10 votes

Why is the question "Is there free will?", and not, “What is free will?"

The concept of free will started on the subjective level: Most time, all of us feel to be humans with free will. Pressed to give a definition of free will most persons would say: I am sure that I made ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
  • 31.5k
0 votes

How should the footnote to BXVIII & BXIX in Kant's first Critique be understood? Does it even make sense?

In this passage Kant says that the distinction between things-in-themselves and phenomena has to posited as a result of the Transcendental Dialectic. The experiment discussed here is the attempt of ...
abracadabra's user avatar

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