The mind – body problem is a philosophical problem concerning the relationship between the human mind and body, although it can also concern animal minds, if any, and animal bodies. It is distinct from the question of how mind and body can causally interact, since that question presupposes an interactionist account of mind-body relations. This question arises when mind and body are considered as distinct, based on the premise that the mind and the body are fundamentally different in nature.
The material conditional (also known as material implication, material consequence, or simply implication, implies, or conditional) is a logical connective (or a binary operator) that is often symbolized by a forward arrow “→”. The material conditional is used to form statements of the form p → q (termed a conditional statement) which is read as “if p then q”. Unlike the English construction “if… then…”, the material conditional statement p → q does not specify a causal relationship between p and q.
Essentialism is the view that every entity has a set of attributes that are necessary to its identity and function. In early Western thought Plato’s idealism held that all things have such an “essence,” an “Idea” or “Form”. Likewise, in Categories Aristotle proposed that all objects have a substance that, as George Lakoff put it “… make the thing what it is, and without which it would be not that kind of thing”. The contrary view, non-essentialism, denies the need to posit such an “essence’ ”.
Moral luck describes circumstances whereby a moral agent is assigned moral blame or praise for an action or its consequences even if it is clear that said agent did not have full control over either the action or its consequences. This term, introduced by Bernard Williams, has been developed, along with its significance to a coherent moral theory, by Williams and Thomas Nagel in their respective essays on the subject.
Realism (in philosophy) about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone’s conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.
Realism can be applied to many philosophically interesting objects and phenomena: other minds, the past or the future, universals, mathematical entities (such as natural numbers), moral categories, the physical world, and thought.
In epistemology, the Münchhausen trilemma is a thought experiment used to demonstrate the impossibility of proving any truth, even in the fields of logic and mathematics. If it is asked how any knowledge is known to be true, proof may be provided. Yet that same question can be asked of the proof, and any subsequent proof.
The demarcation problem in the philosophy of science is about how to distinguish between science and non-science, including between science, pseudoscience, and other products of human activity, like art and literature, and beliefs. The debate continues after over two millennia of dialogue among philosophers of science and scientists in various fields, and despite broad agreement on the basics of scientific method.
A counterfactual conditional (abbreviated CF), is a conditional containing an if-clause which is contrary to fact. The term “counterfactual conditional” was coined by Nelson Goodman in 1947, extending Roderick Chisholm’s (1946) notion of a “contrary-to-fact conditional”. The study of counterfactual speculation has increasingly engaged the interest of scholars in a wide range of domains such as philosophy, human geography, psychology, cognitive psychology, history, political science, economics, social psychology, law, organizational theory, marketing, and epidemiology.
The question “Why is there anything at all?”, or, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” has been raised or commented on by philosophers including Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Martin Heidegger − who called it the fundamental question of metaphysics − and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The question is general, rather than concerning the existence of anything specific such as the universe/s, the Big Bang, mathematical laws, physical laws, time, consciousness or God. It can be seen as an open metaphysical question.
The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining how and why we have qualia or phenomenal experiences—how sensations acquire characteristics, such as colors and tastes. The philosopher David Chalmers, who introduced the term “hard problem” of consciousness, contrasts this with the “easy problems” of explaining the ability to discriminate, integrate information, report mental states, focus attention, etc.
The sorites paradox (/soʊˈraɪtiːz/; sometimes known as the paradox of the heap) is a paradox that arises from vague predicates. A typical formulation involves a heap of sand, from which grains are individually removed. Under the assumption that removing a single grain does not turn a heap into a non-heap, the paradox is to consider what happens when the process is repeated enough times: is a single remaining grain still a heap? If not, when did it change from a heap to a non-heap?