Explore BrainMass

Nature of Being & Existence

Existence can be defined a number of ways, but can simply be said to be things that 'are'. Often is the case where existing things are also defined to have the property of persisting independently regardless of the observer. Although a seemingly simple concept, existence raises many important metaphysical questions. For example: “Is existence a property of objects?”, “What is the relation between existence and essence?”, “Can objects lack existence?”.

Whether or not existence is a property is one of the more important questions pertaining to existence, and a rather substantial group of philosophers reject that it is. These include: Hume, Kant, Russell, and Aristotle. The answer to this question becomes important for many other fields of thought such as arguments for and against the existence of God. For example, the ontological argument for the existence of God goes as follows: God is a being of the utmost perfection and goodness. Existence is a good-making quality; a being that exists is better than one that does not. Therefore God must exist.

Kant argues against such a claim for God's existence by relying on the idea that existence is not a property, but an essential part of a being that cannot be removed from it without destroying the being. Here we can see that the discussion of whether or not existence is a property is pivotal to the truth of the ontological argument for God. Russel, on the other hand, takes a different approach in asserting that existence is a property of concepts rather than individuals. In a sense then, existence is a “second-order” property. This is just one example of a question raised about the nature of being and existence, but the list for this metaphysical concept goes on.  

Categories within Nature of Being & Existence

Origin & Evolution

Postings: 23

This concerns the way in which existence began and how it has evolved into what it is. This subject is often linked to creationist theories.

Nature of the Universe

Postings: 6

This branch of philosophy is wide ranging and seeks to explore all that has to do with the cosmos and can include topics such as elements, mechanics, causes, chance, probability, matter, etc.


Do you believe that individual human beings survive their own deaths? Notice that your answer to this question needs to be consistent with your position on other aspects of human nature. Your account of the relationship between mind and body may significantly shape your conception of immortality. In addition, any afterlife worth

Scholastic Model and the Associationist Viewpoints of Reality

I am still a little confused on the scholastic model of reality as well as the associationist viewpoints of reality. Briefly, what is your viewpoint of this statement below and could you briefly explain or summarize this statement. Is there any truth to this statement? The scholastic model of reality proposes that sensor

Viewpoints of Reality

Please help with the following problem. 1) Compare and contrast the rationalist, empiricist, scholastic, and associationist viewpoints of reality. 2) Watch Breaking Through: Finding One's Own Reality. Breaking through: Finding one's own reality . Retrieved from (This video discusses the in

Discussion Question help...

This week, we are treated to readings involving late nineteenth and early twentieth century philosophy, specifically utilitarianism, pragmatism, and the glorious, terrifying whirling dervish that is Friedrich Nietzsche. Each marks a profoundly new approach to the world, and each recasts long-standing philosophical questions in a

Philosophy: Existence, Awareness and Being

* How do you know that you exist? * How do you know that there is an external world? (This question is NOT asking about "extra-terrestrial" worlds; rather, the world outside yourself is at stake). · Does every event have a cause? Explain. · What difference does it make if humans have free will?

Questions about language

How do you personally use language to create reality? There is an oft repeated adage, "When you learn another language, you gain another soul." What do you think this means?

Memories & Hyonosis

1. Do you agree that the past-life memories recalled under hypnosis are contextually guided fantasy enactments? Why or why not? 2. If not, do you have a better explanation?

Terri Schiavo & PVS

If Terri Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state, and if people in PVS have permanently lost the ability to think, was Terri Schiavo still a person? If Terri Schiavo was not a person, was removing the feeding tube an act of murder?

Self Identity

Comparing traditional, modern, and postmodern views in terms of self and identity and gaining value. Please cite appropriate sources and references. Thank You.

Worldviews - Reality and Metaphysics

What are the worldviews about God, the nature of ultimate reality, or metaphysics, epistemology, the study of or theory of knowledge, ethics, and of human being?

Philosophy - 'true self' verses the 'false self'

1. Both Western and Eastern traditions, in their mystical variants, talk about the 'true self' verses the 'false self', which might be described as the 'ego'--that conglomeration of sensations and associations about ourselves as a subject and the world as an object. Both encourage finding, as it were, the true self (getting past

Wondering whether the world and other persons exist.

Fundamentalists are notoriously difficult to have conversations with because they have a world view that allows them to dismiss inconvenient facts and arguments. There is, however, a way to debate fundamentalist positions that adroitly avoids this difficulty. The strategy, sometimes referred to as 'a transcendental route t

Approaches to the Problem of "Reality"

5. Metaphysics is generally understood as the area of philosophy that deals with the problem of the meaning and structure of reality or existence. Many views have been advanced by philosophers, including Aristotle's objective realism, Plato's dualism, Descartes' conviction that consciousness appears at first as the absolute real

Evaluation of Argument Against Parfits Reductionism

HI, below is an argument against Parfit's reductionsim theory. I am not sure if I covered it good enough. And if it is a good, valid rgument, what can I do to better this argument in light of objections to Parfits argument? Any additional information would be great help, and if there are any errors please let me know. Is there a