ANSWERS: 89
  • Sure! If I made a pen with no ink, it's still a pen. Right?
  • I believe it is, we are what we were created for. Same as if the world ends and you are the last man on earth. Are you still a man even though there are no women? Both may cease to be able to fulfill their purpose, but they are in essence still what they were created for IMO :-)
  • Yes because it still is who it is and can feel its purpose. Its like a relationship that is put on hold because of life circumstances. The feelings it brings and the wants are still there, although there not a reality. An w/ the key, the key still has its purpose to unlock something, even though it can't. It is still real, and its presence can be like a reminder that in a relationship that had to end or go on break right now, that you can still feel the way you feel w/ the person in a sense, even if there not there. -the key keeps the essence of what it means to open something alive -it reminds you that your feelings are ok and real..and it can even give hope to the future. -and the key is a resemblance of something beautiful, it reminds you that your not supposed to forget about the experience you feel when you open something and feel alive, or when you open your heart to someone and feel alive w/ that person.
  • yes it is. Thats like that saying "if a tree falls in the woods on a bear shitting in the woods" well I don't remember how it goes but yes its still a key.
  • another if a tree fell type question. I say it knows not what else to be except what it was designed to be.
  • Yes : )
  • Most definately
  • uuh, sure! It has to be a key for something...even if it's a key to aid in opening a letter or something like that! (Just for the reference, I like old fashioned keys...)
  • A key without a lock to unlock is like a boat without a sea to sail. So, no.
  • LOL Well I suppose it depends. > If it was first made to unlock something then I believe it is a key. > If it was made for a decorative purpose it is a key-shaped item but not really a key. :-)
  • Great question and that could go either way , yes and no ' I think just depends if the key finds the lock one day + 5
  • is a lock still a lock if it doesn't have a key and can't be opened?....yes! is a key still a key if it doesn't have anything to lock/unlock?....I dunno this seems like it should be a simple question with a simple answer and it is not...you're getting a little too zen-like for me at this late hour :)--like the tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it...
  • Sounds like a Key to a Great Mystery Novel. Let me know when it get published so I can read it & come up with the answer.....M.C.S.
  • No. It is just some nicely fashioned metal. "Key- a small metal instrument specially cut to fit into a lock and move its bolt." It can't be a key then.
  • Maybe it just wait somebody who knows the door to happiness ,this key can open
  • I think it would still be a key because a locksmith or somebody clever could make another lock to fit it :o)
  • a key does not lose it name and duty, if it's job is gone.
  • Maybe it just waiting for a person who knows the door for the place where there is happiness
  • ... there are always musical keys ... "B-sharp" !
  • Yeah a key is still a key, even if it's lost its lock. Some keys have no locks. Some locks have no keys.
  • Who ever said a key will unlock something. A key will still be a key even if that of a key is not even a real key. I could be the key for our survival in acouple of years to come.
  • Is a lock still a lock if the key is lost.
  • It depends on how you look at it by its image yes, by its function no. If I were looking at that key I would say it is a key by it's image and function without knowing the fact that it unlocks nothing. Once I know it unlocks nothing then I know it's a key by image and not function. That being said would you not consider a drawing of a key or a child's plastic key still a key? Obviously it's not a key by function but it is by image. I'm pretty sure that if I drew a key and asked a bunch of people what it was they would say a key. So to answer that question is a key still a key if it unlocks nothing the answer is for simplicity yes.
  • Another totally different way in looking at this question is by looking at the pharse "The key to getting better grades is studying" so is studying the lock? you can argue that studying is the lock to the key philosphically if you believe that no matter what, the word key is still a key. But it sounds obsurd so in my opinion I say that it makes no sense if I walked up to someone who is getting bad grades and said "hey you the lock is studying." Unles the person I was talking to was able to determine what I meant be rearranging the pharse "the key to studying is the lock" there is no use of saying "the lock is studying" because if there is a lock there is a key and first come to head is a real key (the object)saying "the lock is studying" people would think that a normal key can unlock studying (obviously not)so here we are looking at the function. So the question "Is a key still a key if there's nothing to unlock?" needs to be elaborted because if it is viewed in that pharse I just said then there is nothing to unlock so it is only a key because of the way it's spelt, again notice that the way it's spelt is in fact the image, it is a key by image but not a key by function relative to the key as the object. The reason I said relative to the object is because the word key in the pharse still has a function but relative to the object it has none and by looking at this question most people's first thoughts are going to be about the object. So the IMAGE key is still key even without a function, for the sake of simplicity we don't say "it's a key by image" we say "it's a key". Ok I have no idea if I came through to anybody with my long answer lol but allowed me to think. I'm in grade 11 and I'm going to save this answer since I'm taking philosophy in grade 12 lol.
  • (this is a repeat I just fixed my spelling errors sorry about that) Another totally different way in looking at this question is by looking at the phrase "The key to getting better grades is studying" so is studying the lock? you can argue that studying is the lock to the key philosophically if you believe that no matter what, the word key is still a key. But it sounds absurd so in my opinion I say that it makes no sense if I walked up to someone who is getting bad grades and said "hey you the lock is studying." Unless the person I was talking to was able to determine what I meant be rearranging the phrase "the key to studying is the lock" there is no use of saying "the lock is studying" because if there is a lock there is a key and first come to head is a real key (the object)saying "the lock is studying" people would think that a normal key can unlock studying (obviously not)so here we are looking at the function. So the question "Is a key still a key if there's nothing to unlock?" needs to be elaborated because if it is viewed in that phrase I just said then there is nothing to unlock so it is only a key because of the way it's spelt, again notice that the way it's spelt is in fact the image, it is a key by image but not a key by function relative to the key as the object. The reason I said relative to the object is because the word key in the phrase still has a function but relative to the object it has none and by looking at this question most people's first thoughts are going to be about the object. So the IMAGE key is still key even without a function, for the sake of simplicity we don't say "it's a key by image" we say "it's a key". Ok I have no idea if I came through to anybody with my long answer lol but allowed me to think. I'm in grade 11 and I'm going to save this answer since I'm taking philosophy in grade 12 lol.
  • then what would you name it nothing? it is something? right? so it is a key, because that was its purpose, it is just not useful anymore.
  • At present, it may appear that there is nothing to unlock. But we do not know what the future holds for us. A key in hand is better than none.
  • a key is a formed piece of metal intended to unlock and/or lock locks. a pen is an implement designed to write with ink. if the pen has no ink then it is still an object that could potentially write if it had ink therefore still a pen, if a key has nothing to unlock then it is still a key because it is labelled so, if a bent key or broken key cannot unlock a lock then it is still a key but it has a descriptor. if a metal key is melted down into a ball which retained the molecules of the key then it is no longer a key but a ball of metal even though it retains the same molecules. a name is what we give to an assembled object. a wooden table is not a table if it is still a tree, a cotton tshirt is not a tshirt if the cotton hasn't been picked and assembled into fabric and sewn into a shirt
  • A key could be vocal.. for example, an entry word for a locked room, (say the right word and you are let in).. if that room becomes eternally open. the vocal key once used is no longer a key, but simply a word again. Just as a material formed into a physical key, for a door where the lock it was made for no longer exists, in essence, is just that material again, but still looks like what we view to be a key. And if you cut up a piece of metal into a shape that you think looks like a key, it is just a piece of metal still, just in the shape of a key. which is exactly what a key that did unlock something becomes if it no longer does. Taking aside the fact you could create a lock for the key, at that moment in time when it has nothing to unlock, it just looks and feels like what we view to be a key, but actually isn't one. so really when you see a key that you dont know actually unlocks something, you don't know whether it is a key or not, or just looks like one.
  • It depends on what th edefinition of a key is? How do you define a key?
  • of course. It can be no other thing. It does not need a lock to be a key.
  • by assigning names to things we are commiting the fundamental attribution error. Anything is what it can be used for regardless of what men call it. A key with a lock is more than just a key.
  • It's still recognized as a key even if it has nothing to unlock.
  • a cause is a cause because of its effect...; so are either key or lock cause or effect? ...it seems that they are both effect...manifested because of a thought of what seems to be... ...so the key will therefore remain a key, despite the presence or absence of a lock, until its cause is gone...
  • Why was it made?
  • imho, either a useless piece of metal or useless information.
  • Well, maybe there is something to lock?
  • According to Merriam-Webster Online the definition of key is: 1 a: a usually metal instrument by which the bolt of a lock is turned b: any of various devices having the form or function of such a key 2 a: a means of gaining or preventing entrance, possession, or control b: an instrumental or deciding factor 3 a: something that gives an explanation or identification or provides a solution <the key to a riddle> b: a list of words or phrases giving an explanation of symbols or abbreviations c: an aid to interpretation or identification : clue d: an arrangement of the salient characters of a group of plants or animals or of taxa designed to facilitate identification e: a map legend 4 a (1): cotter pin (2): cotter b: a keystone in an arch c: a small piece of wood or metal used as a wedge or for preventing motion between parts 5 a: one of the levers of a keyboard musical instrument that actuates the mechanism and produces the tones b: a lever that controls a vent in the side of a woodwind instrument or a valve in a brass instrument c: a part to be depressed by a finger that serves as one unit of a keyboard 6: samara 7: a system of tones and harmonies generated from a hierarchical scale of seven tones based on a tonic <the key of G major> 8 a: characteristic style or tone b: the tone or pitch of a voice c: the predominant tone of a photograph with respect to its lightness or darkness 9: a decoration or charm resembling a key 10: a small switch for opening or closing an electric circuit <a telegraph key> 11: the set of instructions governing the encipherment and decipherment of messages 12: a free-throw area in basketball If you mean a key by definition 1, then no. It is now a key by definition 9. So basically, it is no longer a key, but now it is a key.
  • That's a futile response there. The question which is at hand here is whether the key actually has a purpose if it cannot be fullfilled and therefore defeating its purpose. Should it be called something else then?
  • the essence of the key is to unlock things... if there is nothing to unlock then it is nothing but a metal made in a key form... lol! did i make sense?
  • Yes, because you've already defined the object as a key. Your question was of the form "Is x=x, if condition y holds?". x=x is a self-evident logical truth, so the consequent of the conditional is true and thus the whole statement works out to be true - regardless of condition y's truth or falsity. Condition y can say anything it wants, even be totally contradictory or logically impossible, and the statement is still true, simply because all keys are keys. The real question is: if there exists nothing to be unlocked, how did you make the first step to identifying the object as being a key? So "a key-like object that would be a key in a world containing objects for it to unlock" may not be a key in a world with no 'unlockables', but an object known or defined to be a key would be, IF it existed.
  • An appendix is still an appendix, yet it serves no purpose.
  • Is a doobie a doobie if you haven't a match? ;-)
  • no if the lock is destroyed and it still lives it must either have or find new purpose
  • it is if it's on a map or a graph.
  • Very nice question. I think, like many interesting philosophical questions, it ultimately can be answered by examining how we use and mean different words. The word "key" is used, often interchangeably, in two distinct semantic senses. The first is that of an object that would be visually recognized as having the shape and form of what we are taught to generally identify as "key". So here, semantically, we are categorizing it based on its appearance - it's shape. The second is that of fuctionality. "Key" in this semantic context means something capable of opening one or more locks, or, perhaps more specifically and unambiguously, something capable of opening and specifically designed to open one or more locks (to avoid including lockpicks in this semantic functional category of "keys"). Here we categorize it based on its function - it's purpose. A key that is not designed to fit any lock would still be a key in the first semantic sense (by appearance-recognition), but not a key in the second semantic sense (by purpose / function). On the other hand, there may be keys that open highly irregular locks, or electronic keys that unlock both physical and/or computerized locks, that we would not recognize normally in the first semantic category (based on their shapes), but that we would recognize in the second semantic category (because they serve to unlock). Fun question.
  • It is a key, sometimes there are hidden locks that you havent found.
  • Everyone is going to have their different perspectives, but I for one believe that it is still a key. Just because it lost its purpose, does not mean that it lost its identity. A lot of people who think that it's no longer a key, say that it's just a piece of metal formed like a key. But I think they are just contradicting themselves. Because in the end, it will always be seen or called a key whether or not it lost its purpose.
  • yes. the object remains a key, its just now without purpose. But it still remains what it essentially is.
  • if a key is called a key because it unlocks something, and if that something is destroyed, or doesnt possesses its purposes behind the name ("if that is the meaning of the word key,") then im afarid not. Just a nameless item.
  • If there is nothing to unlock, it would not have been a key in the first place. I believe the real key is to find something to unlock.
  • yes.. because it is what it is made for.
  • Yes! ... as is the lock still a lock without a key
  • thats a good question
  • Why not? It may simply be useless, but nevertheless, a key.
  • A "key" is always a "key" - if the lock is open, broken or missing then it may be called a "useless key" untill another use is found for it. Would you call a key a "candybar" if it was unable to open something? Perhaps the key would work in another lock someplace else - most likely it would - as there are only a finite number of lock combinations in current use. A key is a key is a key. If it was made as a key it is called a key. Is a car not a car if it dosn't work? Is the Titanic still not a ship even though it has sunk?
  • i don't think it is. i think you define something by its purpose rather than it's appearance. if it looks like a key but doesn't unlock anything, i don't think it is a key.
  • it is simply a mystery if you do not know where the lock to unlock is... chances are there is a lock or else the key would have not been made
  • It could go either No. It is a peice of metal in an odd shape. Yes. It can be used to open something else. (Letter Opener)
  • if by nothing to unlock u mean that a lock was never created, then wouldnt the key not exist either becuse a key was created to unlock a lock but if no lock was created then there was no key created either.
  • if this was meant to be a utilitarian question,then no. it stops being a key. physicality does not mean identity. man is not man just because it looks like a man. but answering a question like this, which concerns an object, should not be clumsily answered to make a comparison with man's condition. with objects, there should be purpose before it is created, that is, essence precedes existence. with man, existence precedes essence. man BECOMES man. if we are to assume that we were created for something, and reduce ourselves to mere blobs of caged purpose created by someone else (because only that could be assumed considering we did not wish to be born, and the fact that we were not even there to make any choice), then we are no different from a dead object.
  • I am going to say no. For it to be a key it needs to unlock something. If that doesn't exist, neither does the key.
  • hmmm good question. well i dont know really, but i would assume that the sole purpsose of a key IS to unlock somethig so why would a key be made if it was not matched to anything to unlock?
  • If you define a key as something used to open a lock, then if there's nothing to unlock the key no longer fits the definition and ceases to be a key. We might call it an inanimate object. It would still meet your stereotype of a key if you saw it but could not be defined as a key. If a lock was made later for the key to work in, it would again meet the requirements to be a key.
  • in theory yes it is still a key, in practice it is not. It just doesn't serve its purpose, but still it has everything a key is known for.
  • It has become the key to open up questions
  • I believe this question would be better answered trough a linguistic perspective rather than a philosophical response. Rational man/women created recognizable sounds for the sake of naming common objects, this set of sounds later became more complex and developed into a language that could also name abstract thoughts for instance "love", "freedom" etc. When men/ women create or invent new things they name them with a specific sound, that sound is unique and most important is able to differentiate that specific object from everything else (most of the time). This is the tricky part, an object can only be called by its name if it functions for the purpose it was built or if its essence is still there. example: a fish tank with a light, if the light breaks it affects the fish tank but the fish tank can still function as such, so it is still a fish tank. But if the fish tank leaks water and cant be filled with water is no longer a fish tank IT RESEMBLES A FISH TANK. The thing with the key is a bit more complicated, because it would be practically impossible to prove that the key does not open anything on this world, it would be just an assumption or a guess. Let say just for the sake of the argument that we prove that this particular key does not open anything on this world. Then some people might think is still a key because it looks like a key, it is not broken all its parts are there, but it does not function for the purpose it was built. So IT RESEMBLES A KEY. But it would be safe to say that every key you see or touch in your life can be call "key" it would be impossible to prove its purpose wrong.
  • Name and function aren't bound. (My name means "princess" but I'm more of a queen :)
  • yes and no , yes because it was made and no because it was made to unlock something ;)
  • It's still a key, just a rather useless one.
  • why would it be anything different? You are what you are, not what you do.
  • Well you could use your key to lock all the unlocked things, keys do have two purposes to lock and unlock. you only mentioned no more things to unlock. if a thing is deffined by its purpose, then we as people, as humans... are pretty screwed... does a key know that its purpose is to lock and unlock?
  • Definitions come from our mind...so they are what they are, "definitions", "ideas", "opions"...they do not represent the truth. A key is key for our mind's logic...but it might be pointless for our whole being. It's just we believe ourselves to be our mind, and it is just a part of the whole. So, in terms of our mind, which is based on duality, everything IS or ISN'T...However, for totality, to which we belong and are part of, knowledge keep changing just like everything, and therefore relativity flows into these "concepts" we create to label things. Thanks for asking :) hugs, maramel
  • key is relative to lock. they are both interdependent. one cannot be without the other
  • a piano key
  • Yes it is , you could always make a lock for it, my dog was a dog, before I built it a kennel .
  • If the percipient is understanding the object as a key, then it is a key.
  • Depends whether you can sing in the new key, say F minor, for example.
  • The word key has many meanings it does not have to be a physical object for example " This job is the key to my future success.
  • its like if a husband is still a husband if there is no wife! good question liked it!
  • No because clearly only the lock actively causes the existence of the key.
  • the key is a key if you believe it to be
  • It is what it is, because it's not what it's not :)
  • yes a key is still a key without a lock... im not all deep or anything but would it be the same as a shoe not being a shoe anymore because there is no foot...what does it become then ...its still a shoe right? BUt then i guess a key is defined as something used to unlock a lock...if no lock existed ..the key would be defined as...? good question though..id like to hear of someone who would say that a key isnt a key if its purpose no longer existed. just for a bit of persepctive lol +1 only coz its all i can + but still a very good question :)
  • My dear a key will unlock something you but need to find it. The heart that it unlocks will become you're true lover. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOn7FvGslao
  • A key is not a key if theres nothing to unlock. A key is something that unlocks something. If theres nothing to unlock then its just a key shaped piece of metal.
  • Yes, there may be a subconsious or symbolic meaning behind the material question opposed the literal question. Both the key and the lock are possibilities vs. oppositions for example. The owner of the key and lock no longer have a blocked path. One may have achieved a metaphorical breakthrough in achievement. Therefore the key and lock are just old memories in some respect.
  • A key isnt a key if there is no "keyness" to it. keyness coming from having something to unlock. just like there are different breeds of dogs but they all have a "dogness", if that dogness is taken away, they arent what they are.

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