Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Unicorn example, philosophy: the problem is about linguistic expressions for non-existent objects and principles of using these expressions. In logic it comes to the question of whether sentences containing expressions for non-existent objects are true, false, or senseless. See also Pegasus, nonexistence, reference, truth value, truth conditions, assertibility, meaning, sense, truth value gap.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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I 119ff
Unicorn example/existence/Reid/Russell/Prior: that which exists in heraldry, is not an animal but a picture.
I 155ff
"About"/unicorn": that a sentence is really about something that exists, can not depend on the form, because the form is the same, if the object is fictitious.
I 166
Unicorn/ontology/existence/Prior: solution: instead of a complex term "is thought of as having wings" functor, "it is assumed that". - (Instead of Russell s name-predicate basis).
Then "of x is assumed that it has wings" and "it is assumed that x has wings" both have equal force (de re, de dicto).
We do not need any additional assumption about the existence of x, because both say nothing when there is nothing that x designates.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Pri I
A. Prior
Objects of thought Oxford 1971

Pri II
Arthur N. Prior
Papers on Time and Tense 2nd Edition Oxford 2003

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> Counter arguments against Prior

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2018-04-20