Results for 'Why is there something rather than nothing?'

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  1. Why is There Something Rather than Nothing? The Substantivity of the Question for Quantifier Pluralists.Callie K. Phillips - 2021 - Erkenntnis 88 (2):551-566.
    Many have argued that the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” (henceforth: the Question) is defective in some way. While much of the literature on the Question rightly attends to questions about the nature and limits of explanation, little attention has been paid to how new work in metaontology might shed light on the matter. In this paper I discuss how best to understand the Question in light of the now common metaontological commitment to (...)
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  2. Why Is There Something, Rather Than Nothing?Sean M. Carroll - 2022 - In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics. London, UK: Routledge.
    It seems natural to ask why the universe exists at all. Modern physics suggests that the universe can exist all by itself as a self-contained system, without anything external to create or sustain it. But there might not be an absolute answer to why it exists. I argue that any attempt to account for the existence of something rather than nothing must ultimately bottom out in a set of brute facts; the universe simply is, without ultimate (...)
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  3. Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing? A Probabilistic Answer Examined.Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - 2018 - Philosophy 93 (4):505-521.
    Peter van Inwagen has given an answer to the question ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’. His answer is: Because there being nothing is as improbable as anything can be: it has probability 0. Here I shall examine his argument for this answer and I shall argue that it does not work because no good reasons have been given for two of the argument’s premises and that the conclusion of the argument does not constitute (...)
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  4. Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing? A Logical Investigation.Jan Heylen - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (3):531-559.
    From Leibniz to Krauss philosophers and scientists have raised the question as to why there is something rather than nothing. Why-questions request a type of explanation and this is often thought to include a deductive component. With classical logic in the background only trivial answers are forthcoming. With free logics in the background, be they of the negative, positive or neutral variety, only question-begging answers are to be expected. The same conclusion is reached for the modal (...)
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  5. Why is there something rather than nothing? / Por que há algo, e não nada?Rodrigo Cid - 2012 - Investigação Filosófica 3 (art 2):1-17.
    My aim here is to answer the question about why is there something rather than nothing by arguing for the existence of some necessary beings (that, as such, couldn’t not exist) – the space, the time, and the natural basic laws – and by showing that the existence of nothingness is logically impossible. I also try to account for the fact that contingent beings arise from necessary beings by distinguishing between necessary existence and necessary arising, as (...)
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  6. Hume and Edwards on 'Why is there Something Rather than Nothing?'.Michael B. Burke - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):355–362.
    Suppose that five minutes ago, to our astonishment, a healthy, full-grown duck suddenly popped into existence on the table in front of us. Suppose further that there was no first time at which the duck existed but rather a last time, T, at which it had yet to exist. Then for each time t at which the duck has existed, there is an explanation of why the duck existed at t: there was a time t’ earlier (...)
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  7. What Do We Mean When We Ask “Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?".Andrew Brenner - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1305-1322.
    Let’s call the sentence “why is there something rather than nothing?” the Question. There’s no consensus, of course, regarding which proposed answer to the Question, if any, is correct, but occasionally there’s also controversy regarding the meaning of the Question itself. In this paper I argue that such controversy persists because there just isn’t one unique interpretation of the Question. Rather, the puzzlement expressed by the sentence “why is there something (...)
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  8. Three Versions of the Question, “Why Is There Something Rather than Nothing?”.Chad Engelland - 2020 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 94:73-89.
    In dialogue with Stephen Hawking, Martin Heidegger, and Thomas Aquinas, I argue that there are three different and compatible ways to understand the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” (1) The scientific way asks about the origin of the cosmos. (2) The transcendental way asks about the origin of experience. (3) The metaphysical way asks about the origin of existence. The questions work independent of each other, so that answering one version of the (...)
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  9. Bion Theory: an answer to the question Why is there Something rather than Nothing?Brecht Debor - manuscript
    Why is there something rather than nothing? This paper explores one particular argument in favor of the answer that 'the existence of nothing' would amount to a logical contradiction. This argument consists of positing the existence of a novel entity, called a bion, of which all contingent things can be composed yet itself is non-contingent. First an overview of historical attempts to compile a systematic and exhaustive list of answers to the question is presented as context. (...)
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  10. Explaining Why There is Something Rather than Nothing.Andrew Brenner - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (4):1831-1847.
    It is sometimes supposed that, in principle, we cannot offer an explanation for why there is something rather than nothing. I argue that this supposition is a mistake, and stems from a needlessly myopic conception of the form explanations can legitimately take. After making this more general point, I proceed to offer a speculative suggestion regarding one sort of explanation which can in principle serve as an answer to the question “why is there something (...)
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  11. Why is there Nothing Rather than Something An essay in the comparative metaphysic of non-being.Purushottama Bilimoria - 2012 - Sophia 51 (4):509-530.
    This essay in the comparative metaphysic of nothingness begins by pondering why Leibniz thought of the converse question as the preeminent one. In Eastern philosophical thought, like the numeral 'zero' (śūnya) that Indian mathematicians first discovered, nothingness as non-being looms large and serves as the first quiver on the imponderables they seem to have encountered (e.g., 'In the beginning was neither non-being nor being: what was there, bottomless deep?' RgVeda X.129). The concept of non-being and its permutations of nothing, (...)
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  12. Questioning the Question.Stephen Maitzen - 2013 - In Tyron Goldschmidt (ed.), The Puzzle of Existence: Why is There Something Rather than Nothing? Routledge. pp. 252-271.
    Why is there something rather than nothing? Apparently many people regard that question as a challenge to naturalism because they think it’s too fundamental or too sweeping for natural science to answer, even in principle. I argue, on the contrary, that the question has a simple and adequate naturalistic answer: ‘Because there are penguins.’ I then diagnose various confusions underlying the suspicion that the question can’t have such an answer and, more generally, that the question, (...)
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  13. Why Spinoza is Not an Eleatic Monist (Or Why Diversity Exists).Yitzhak Y. Melamed - 2011 - In Philip Goff (ed.), Spinoza on Monism. Palgrave.
    “Why did God create the World?” is one of the traditional questions of theology. In the twentieth century this question was rephrased in a secularized manner as “Why is there something rather than nothing?” While creation - at least in its traditional, temporal, sense - has little place in Spinoza’s system, a variant of the same questions puts Spinoza’s system under significant pressure. According to Spinoza, God, or the substance, has infinitely many modes. This infinity of (...)
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  14. Do Qualia exist Necessarily?Paul Merriam - manuscript
    Why is there something rather than nothing? I don't know. But I give an argument that qualia exist *necessarily*. The *possibility* of the existence of red qualia requires actual red qualia to specify what the possibility is a possibility *of*.
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  15. I Exist.Cosmin Visan - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research 6 (3):185-193.
    Why is there something rather than nothing? This is probably the most profound question that can be asked. In this paper, a rather unexpected simple solution is provided. The solution comes from analysing the truth value of the proposition “I exist.” It will be shown that this proposition is always true, so our existence is a logical necessity. Speculations about the implications over the universe as a whole are then provided.
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  16. Do Qualia Exist Necessarily? v. 2.0.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    Why is there something rather than nothing? I don’t know. But ‘nothing’ may not be the correct default state. It may be that the existence of possibilities requires fewer (weaker) assumptions. In this case, arguably, we should start with the existence of possibilities and not ‘nothing’. In this case, there exists the possibility of (for example) red qualia. But the possible existence of a red quale does not delineate what it is the possibility of if (...)
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  17. On the Alleged Insignificance of the Primordial Existential Question.Roberto Fumagalli - 2012 - Studia Leibnitiana 44 (2):212-228.
    Leibniz’s question “why is there something rather than nothing?”, also known as the Primordial Existential Question, has often been the focus of intense philosophical controversy. While some authors take it to pose a profound metaphysical puzzle, others denounce the alleged lack of meaning or the inconceivability of the idea of nothingness. In a series of articles, Adolf Grünbaum develops an empirically informed critique with the aim to demonstrate that the Primordial Existential Question poses a “non-issue” which (...)
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  18. 26 More Observations.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    Observations on why is there something rather than nothing, fine tuning, beauty, time, intelligent design, qualia, Zen, Bach, Jesus, poetry, consciousness.
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  19. The Facticity of Time: Conceiving Schelling’s Idealism of Ages.G. Anthony Bruno - 2020 - In Schelling’s Philosophy: Freedom, Nature, and Systematicity. Oxford University Press.
    Scholars agree that Schelling’s critique of Hegel consists in charging reason with an inability to account for its own possibility. This is not an attack on reason’s project of constructing a logical system, but rather on the pretense of doing so with complete justification and so without presuppositions, as if it were obvious why there is a logical system or why there is anything meaningful at all. Scholars accordingly cite the question ‘why is there something (...)
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  20. Can Non-Causal Explanations Answer the Leibniz Question?Jens Lemanski - 2022 - Metaphysica 23 (2):427-443.
    Leibniz is often cited as an authority when it comes to the formulation and answer strategy of the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Yet much current research assumes that Leibniz advocates an unambiguous question and strategy for the answer. In this respect, one repeatedly finds the argument in the literature that alternative explanatory approaches to this question violate Leibniz’s intention, since he derives the question from the principle of sufficient reason and also demands (...)
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  21. Das normative "ist".Rafael Ferber - 1988 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 42 (3):371 - 396.
    Despite the fact that Aristotle and Frege/Russell differ in how to understand the ambiguity in the meaning of the word “is”, their theories share a common feature: “is” does not have a normative meaning. This paper, however, (I) shows (a) that there is a normative meaning of “is” (and correspondingly a constative meaning of the word “ought”) and (b) that the ambiguity of “is” is itself ambiguous. Furthermore, it proposes (c) a performative criterion for making a distinction between constative (...)
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  22. Why anything rather than nothing? The answer of quantum mechanics.Vasil Penchev - 2019 - In Aleksandar Feodorov & Ivan Mladenov (eds.), Non/Cognate Approaches: Relation & Representation. "Парадигма". pp. 151-172.
    Many researchers determine the question “Why anything rather than nothing?” as the most ancient and fundamental philosophical problem. Furthermore, it is very close to the idea of Creation shared by religion, science, and philosophy, e.g. as the “Big Bang”, the doctrine of “first cause” or “causa sui”, the Creation in six days in the Bible, etc. Thus, the solution of quantum mechanics, being scientific in fact, can be interpreted also philosophically, and even religiously. However, only the philosophical interpretation (...)
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  23. ›Cur potius aliquid quam nihil‹ von der Frühgeschichte bis zur Hochscholastik.Jens Lemanski - 2013 - In Daniel Schubbe, Jens Lemanski & Rico Hauswald (eds.), Warum ist überhaupt etwas und nicht nichts? Wandel und Variationen einer Frage. Hamburg: Meiner. pp. 23–65.
    Inspired by various research results on the history of philosophy that have not yet been compiled, the paper pursues the thesis that the question "Why is there something rather than nothing" was formulated long before Leibniz. In reviewing this thesis, the 'fundamental question' is differentiated into two individual questions: "Why is there something at all" and 'Why isn't rather nothing?". On the basis of this systematic distinction, the paper examines the history of philosophy (...)
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  24. Environmental Cosmology.Kenneth D. McRitchie - 2004 - Toronto: Cognizance Books.
    In answer to the question "why is there something rather than nothing?" this book is not like the cosmological theory you learned in school. It is not that there was a big bang in the beginning that resulted in every property from nothing. Rather, the question is examined as experience and phenomena. The "something" means the properties of the things and places that come to our conscious awareness of what it is like for (...)
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  25. Mathematical Platonism and the Nature of Infinity.Gilbert B. Côté - 2013 - Open Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):372-375.
    An analysis of the counter-intuitive properties of infinity as understood differently in mathematics, classical physics and quantum physics allows the consideration of various paradoxes under a new light (e.g. Zeno’s dichotomy, Torricelli’s trumpet, and the weirdness of quantum physics). It provides strong support for the reality of abstractness and mathematical Platonism, and a plausible reason why there is something rather than nothing in the concrete universe. The conclusions are far reaching for science and philosophy.
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  26. The Role of Philosophy in a Naturalized World.Jan Faye - 2012 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 8 (1):60-76.
    This paper discusses the late Michael Dummett’s characterization of the estrangement between physics and philosophy. It argues against those physicists who hold that modern physics, rather than philosophy, can answer traditional metaphysical questions such as why there is something rather than nothing. The claim is that physics cannot solve metaphysical problems since metaphysical issues are in principle empirically underdetermined. The paper closes with a critical discussion of the assumption of some cosmologists that the Universe (...)
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  27. I Own therefore I Am. The Ontology of Property.Marina Christodoulou - 2021 - In Mariano L. Bianca & Paolo Piccari (eds.), Why Does What Exists Exist? Some Hypotheses on the Ultimate “Why” Question. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 169-182.
    Citation: Marina Christodoulou, “I Own therefore I Am. The Ontology of Property”, In Why Does What Exists Exist? Some Hypotheses on the Ultimate “Why” Question, edited by Mariano L. Bianca,Paolo Piccari. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2021, pp. 169-182. Contributors: Mariano L. Bianca, Konstantinos Boultzis, Marina Christodoulou, Maurizio Ferraris, Marco G. Giammarchi, Enrico Guglielminetti, Roberta Lanfredini, Fabio Minazzi, Crister Nyberg, Paolo Piccari, Paolo Rossi. ISBN (10): 1-5275-6294-8; ISBN (13): 978-1-5275-6294-3 -/- -------------- -/- The concept of Property is what attaches us to Existence, (...)
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  28. Visual imagery and the limits of comprehension.Marc Krellenstein - 1994 - Dissertation, New School for Social Research
    I examined the proposition that there are psychological limits on what scientific problems can be solved, and that these limits may be based on a failure to be able to produce imagable, observation-based models for any possible solution, a position suggested by philosopher Colin McGinn in an argument attempting to prove that the mind-body problem is unsolvable. I examined another likely candidate for an unsolvable problem -- the ultimate origin of the universe (i.e., what might have preceded the Big (...)
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  29. Observations.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    Observations on qualia, death, free will, why there is something rather than nothing, and the Star Trek vs. the Star Wars debate.
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  30. Existence and the Big Bang 8 21 2021.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    We start by asking the question of ‘why there is something rather than nothing’ and change this to the question of ‘what are the weakest assumptions for existence’ Eagle [1]. Then we give a kind of Fragmental Perspectivalism. Within this Fragmentalist interpretation of quantum mechanics (each quantum mechanical system forms a fragment) Merriam [2], it turns out McTaggart’s [3] A-series of time (the A-series is future to the present to the past) has a kind of perspectivalism. (...)
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  31. Is Science Neurotic?Nicholas Maxwell - 2004 - London: World Scientific.
    In this book I show that science suffers from a damaging but rarely noticed methodological disease, which I call rationalistic neurosis. It is not just the natural sciences which suffer from this condition. The contagion has spread to the social sciences, to philosophy, to the humanities more generally, and to education. The whole academic enterprise, indeed, suffers from versions of the disease. It has extraordinarily damaging long-term consequences. For it has the effect of preventing us from developing traditions and institutions (...)
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  32. Why there are still no people.Jim Stone - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (1):174-192.
    This paper will argue that there are no people. Let me summarize the argument. In part II of what follows, I argue that if identity isn't what matters in survival, psychological connectedness isn't what matters either. Psychological connectedness, according to Derek Parfit, is the 'holding of particular direct psychological connections,' for example, when a belief, a desire, or some other psychological feature continues to be had ; psychological connectedness consists in two other relations—resemblance plus a cause that produces it. (...)
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  33. Representations of imaginary, nonexistent, or nonfigurative objects.Winfried Nöth - 2006 - Cognitio 7 (2):277-291.
    According to the logical positivists, signs (words and pictures) of imaginary beings have no referent (Goodman). The semiotic theory behind this assumption is dualistic and Cartesian: signs vs. nonsigns as well as the mental vs. the material world are in fundamental opposition. Peirce’s semiotics is based on the premise of the sign as a mediator between such opposites: signs do not refer to referents, they represent objects to a mind, but the object of a sign can be existent or nonexistent, (...)
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  34. Gaps: When Not Even Nothing Is There.Charles Blattberg - 2021 - Comparative Philosophy 12 (1):31-55.
    A paradox, it is claimed, is a radical form of contradiction, one that produces gaps in meaning. In order to approach this idea, two senses of “separation” are distinguished: separation by something and separation by nothing. The latter does not refer to nothing in an ordinary sense, however, since in that sense what’s intended is actually less than nothing. Numerous ordinary nothings in philosophy as well as in other fields are surveyed so as to clarify the contrast. Then (...)
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  35. Is There a True Metaphysics of Material Objects?Alan Sidelle - 2002 - Noûs 36 (s1):118-145.
    I argue that metaphysical views of material objects should be understood as 'packages', rather than individual claims, where the other parts of the package include how the theory addresses 'recalcitant data', and that when the packages meet certain general desiderata - which all of the currently competing views *can* meet - there is nothing in the world that could make one of the theories true as opposed to any of the others.
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  36. The Concept of Mystery: A Philosophical Investigation.Michael James Liccione - 1988 - Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
    The philosophical interest of mystery is that something may well fall under a distinctive ontological concept of mystery. Such a thing would be explicable with reference to intention, but not uniquely determined by its explicans. This is the "properly mysterious," which is essentially mysterious in virtue of what it is, not just of our epistemic limitations. The richer uses of 'mystery', and defects in recent literature, suggest this line of inquiry. ;Part I rebuts the main arguments against the possibility (...)
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  37. Why Is a Valid Inference a Good Inference?Sinan Dogramaci - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (1):61-96.
    True beliefs and truth-preserving inferences are, in some sense, good beliefs and good inferences. When an inference is valid though, it is not merely truth-preserving, but truth-preserving in all cases. This motivates my question: I consider a Modus Ponens inference, and I ask what its validity in particular contributes to the explanation of why the inference is, in any sense, a good inference. I consider the question under three different definitions of ‘case’, and hence of ‘validity’: the orthodox definition given (...)
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  38. Why is there female under-representation among philosophy majors? Evidence of a pre-university effect.Tom Doherty, Samuel Baron & Kristie Miller - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2.
    Why does female under- representation emerge during undergraduate education? At the University of Sydney, we surveyed students before and after their first philosophy course. We failed to find any evidence that this course disproportionately discouraged female students from continuing in philosophy relative to male students. Instead, we found evidence of an interaction effect between gender and existing attitudes about philosophy coming into tertiary education that appears at least partially responsible for this poor retention. At the first lecture, disproportionately few female (...)
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  39. Something from Nothing: Why Some Negative Existentials are Fundamental.Fatema Amijee - 2021 - In Sara Bernstein & Tyron Goldschmidt (eds.), Non-being: New Essays on the Metaphysics of Nonexistence. Oxford University Press. pp. 50-68.
    It strikes many as obvious that negative facts—such as that Justin Trudeau is not the prime minister of Australia—are not fundamental: negative facts must ultimately be explained in terms of positive facts (for instance, that Justin Trudeau is the prime minister of Canada). I focus on a particular class of negative facts: contingent negative existentials (such as that there are no 10ft tall humans). If contingent negative existentials are not fundamental, then they must be explained. But the claim that (...)
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  40. Why Is There Female Under-Representation among Philosophy Majors?Sam Baron, Tom Dougherty & Kristie Miller - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2.
    The anglophone philosophy profession has a well-known problem with gender equity. A sig-nificant aspect of the problem is the fact that there are simply so many more male philoso-phers than female philosophers among students and faculty alike. The problem is at its stark-est at the faculty level, where only 22% - 24% of philosophers are female in the United States (Van Camp 2014), the United Kingdom (Beebee & Saul 2011) and Australia (Goddard 2008).<1> While this is a result (...)
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  41. Evidence and simplicity: why we should reject homeopathy.Scott Sehon & Donald Stanley - 2010 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 16 (2):276-281.
    Homeopathic medications are used by millions, and hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on these remedies in the USA alone. In the UK, the NHS covers homeopathic treatments. Nonetheless, homeopathy is held in considerable disrepute by much of the medical and scientific community.Many proponents of homeopathy are well aware of these criticisms but remain unimpressed. The differences of opinion run deep, and the debate seems deadlocked. We aim to shed some light on this situation. We briefly recap some of (...)
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  42. W poszukiwaniu ontologicznych podstaw prawa. Arthura Kaufmanna teoria sprawiedliwości [In Search for Ontological Foundations of Law: Arthur Kaufmann’s Theory of Justice].Marek Piechowiak - 1992 - Instytut Nauk Prawnych PAN.
    Arthur Kaufmann is one of the most prominent figures among the contemporary philosophers of law in German speaking countries. For many years he was a director of the Institute of Philosophy of Law and Computer Sciences for Law at the University in Munich. Presently, he is a retired professor of this university. Rare in the contemporary legal thought, Arthur Kaufmann's philosophy of law is one with the highest ambitions — it aspires to pinpoint the ultimate foundations of law by explicitly (...)
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  43. Plato’s Metaphysical Development before Middle Period Dialogues.Mohammad Bagher Ghomi - manuscript
    Regarding the relation of Plato’s early and middle period dialogues, scholars have been divided to two opposing groups: unitarists and developmentalists. While developmentalists try to prove that there are some noticeable and even fundamental differences between Plato’s early and middle period dialogues, the unitarists assert that there is no essential difference in there. The main goal of this article is to suggest that some of Plato’s ontological as well as epistemological principles change, both radically and fundamentally, between (...)
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  44. Aristotle's Theory of Predication.Mohammad Ghomi - manuscript
    Predication is a lingual relation. We have this relation when a term is said (λέγεται) of another term. This simple definition, however, is not Aristotle’s own definition. In fact, he does not define predication but attaches his almost in a new field used word κατηγορεῖσθαι to λέγεται. In a predication, something is said of another thing, or, more simply, we have ‘something of something’ (ἓν καθ᾿ ἑνὸς). (PsA. , A, 22, 83b17-18) Therefore, a relation in which two (...)
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  45. Why Ectogestation is Unlikely to Transform the Abortion Debate: A discussion of 'Ectogestation and the Problem of Abortion'.Daniel Rodger - 2020 - Philosophy and Technology (4):1-7.
    In this commentary, I will consider the implications of the argument made by Christopher Stratman (2020) in ‘Ectogestation and the Problem of Abortion’. Clearly, the possibility of ectogestation will have some effect on the ethical debate on abortion. However, I have become increasingly sceptical that the possibility of ectogestation will transform the problem of abortion. Here, I outline some of my reasons to justify this scepticism. First, that virtually everything we already know about unintended pregnancies, abortion and adoption does not (...)
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  46. A Note on Cogito.Les Jones - manuscript
    Abstract A Note to Cogito Les Jones Blackburn College Previous submissions include -Intention, interpretation and literary theory, a first lookWittgenstein and St Augustine A DiscussionAreas of Interest – History of Western Philosophy, Miscellaneous Philosophy, European A Note on Cogito Descartes' brilliance in driving out doubt, and proving the existence of himself as a thinking entity, is well documented. Sartre's critique (or maybe extension) is both apposite and grounded and takes these enquiries on to another level. Let's take a look. 'I (...)
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  47. Why there is no obligation to love God.William Bell & Graham Renz - 2024 - Religious Studies 60 (1):77-88.
    The first and greatest commandment according to Jesus, and so the one most central to Christian practice, is the command to love God. We argue that this commandment is best interpreted in aretaic rather than deontic terms. In brief, we argue that there is no obligation to love God. While bad, failure to seek and enjoy a union of love with God is not in violation of any general moral requirement. The core argument is straightforward: relations of (...)
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  48. Where Did Mill Go Wrong? Why the Capital-Managed Rather than the Labor-Managed Enterprise is the Predominant.Schwartz Justin - 2012 - Ohio State Law Journal 73:220-85.
    In this Article, I propose a novel law and economics explanation of a deeply puzzling aspect of business organization in market economies. Why are virtually all firms organized as capital-managed and -owned (capitalist) enterprises rather than as labor-managed and -owned cooperatives? Over 150 years ago, J.S. Mill predicted that efficiency and other advantages would eventually make worker cooperatives predominant over capitalist firms. Mill was right about the advantages but wrong about the results. The standard explanation is that capitalist (...)
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  49. What Makes Something Surprising?Dan Baras & Oded Na’Aman - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (1):195-215.
    Surprises are important in our everyday lives as well as in our scientific and philosophical theorizing—in psychology, information theory, cognitive-neuroscience, philosophy of science, and confirmation theory. Nevertheless, there is no satisfactory theory of what makes something surprising. It has long been acknowledged that not everything unexpected is surprising. The reader had no reason to expect that there will be exactly 190 words in this abstract and yet there is nothing surprising about this fact. We offer a (...)
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  50. Existence and the big bang.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    We give an apparently new possible explanation for why there might be something rather than nothing—the weakest assumptions coupled with a kind of perspectivalism. Within a Fragmentalist interpretation of quantum mechanics (each quantum mechanics system forms a fragment), McTaggart’s A-series of time has this kind of perspectivalism. We then use the A-series and the B-series to differentiate between how far in the past the big bang was vs. how much earlier than now the big bang (...)
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