Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Metaphysics Quickie


I know that this question, and the answer to it, can be found in various places around the Intertubes (and in older repositories like, you know, books). But I've heard it posed so many times, over so many decades, as if it was some kind of insoluble problem, that I'd like to post the answer here. That way I can just point people at the ol' blog instead of handling it again and again.

You've heard the question, too. Many times, no doubt. It's an old standard in adolescent bull sessions. Ooh ... deep. But it isn't deep at all. It's the simplest problem a budding philosopher could ever hope to have to solve:

Q: Can I even prove that I exist?

A: You just did.

Yep, it's just that simple.

If you didn't exist, there would be no you to ask the question, or to consider the possible answers to it. Duh.

Of course, the answer reveals little to the questioner above and beyond the fact of his or her own existence. The only property of that existence it exposes is "hey, not only do I exist, but whatever I am, I am something that can ask questions." But hey, it's a start.

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