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July 30, 2015 / compassioninpolitics

Questions from Epistemology

1. What is real: Is there a god? Is morality an actual thing, or only a trick of our genes or culture? Similarly, is there such a thing as “love” or only hormones and conditioning? Similar questions are asked about consciousness and beauty, among others.

2. Universals questions: do properties exist? And do they exist independent of things that hold them, or only in instantiations of things? Does a red ball possess “redness”, or is it just an example of a particular ball that happens to be red?

3. Identity questions: When I say “Look at that beautiful tree!” and you respond “what is a tree?”, I will say, “you know, that thing with leaves and a trunk!” Then you respond “what’s a trunk?” and I say, “the long, straight piece of wood that holds up the tree.” Then you say, “what is a “piece of wood?” and on it goes. Is there such a thing as a “tree” or are we just running in circles with word games? This is obviously related to #1.

4. Modality questions: does anything exist necessarily, or is everything dependent on something else for existence? Is it really logical to say “some things are impossible?” or is it more accurate to say, “nothing is impossible if you postulate sufficient preconditions?”

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