Existence

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In common usage, existence is the world we are aware of through our senses, and that persists independently without them. In academic philosophy the word has a more specialized meaning, being contrasted with essence, which specifies different forms of existence as well as different identity conditions for objects and properties. Philosophers investigate questions such as "What exists?" "How do we know?" "To what extent are the senses a reliable guide to existence?" "What is the meaning, if any, of assertions of the existence of categories, ideas, and abstractions?"

Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality in general, as well as of the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences.

Epistemology studies criteria of truth, defining "primary truths" inherently accepted in the investigation of knowledge. The first is existence. It is inherent in every analysis. Its self-evident, a priori nature cannot be consistently doubted, since a person objecting to existence according to some standard of proof must implicitly accept the standard's existence as a premise.[1]

Materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter, that all things are composed of material, and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance. Supernaturalism, on the other hand, holds that other things exist (or may exist) in addition.

Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have self-sustaining biological processes that exist from those that do not[2][3] —either because such functions have ceased (death), or else because they lack such functions and are classified as "inanimate".[4]

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