Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Existence statement, existence assertion, philosophy, logic: the simple assertion of the existence of an object is problematic because it cannot be empirically refuted. In contrast, quantification is the attribution of properties, not of "naked" existence. E.g. "Socrates exists" is considered by some authors as senseless. See also bare particulars, predication, existence, quantification, existence predicate, iota operator.

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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.

 
Author Item Summary Meta data
VIII 24ff
Existence Statement/Quine: special: "There is one thing that is so and so" (mentions the name) - general: "There is a thing that is so" (specifies a variable instead of names) - E.g. Pegasus: is a sense equivalent to description.
XII 27
Object/Translation/Indefiniteness/Expression Conditions/Language Learning/Radical Interpretation/Quine: the expression conditions are not sufficient to be able to say with certainty what a speaker of a foreign language regards as objects.
Problem: how can assertions of existence (theorems of existence) ever be empirically invalidated?
Solution: the knowledge of the conditions of utterance does not ensure the reference to the subject, but it does help to clarify what serves as empirical confirmation of the truth of the whole sentence.
XII 28
We then project our own acceptance of objects onto the indigenous language.
We can be sure that the assumed object is an observed object in the sense that the amplified stimuli emanate quite directly from it.
XII 33
Abstract/abstract object/existence/coherence/Quine: Existence assertions about abstract objects can only be judged by their coherence or by simplicity considerations.
Example: to avoid paradoxes with classes.
Property/Quine: the law of education for properties states that every statement that speaks about a thing ascribes a property to it (predication). This is a cultural heritage.
VII (i) 167
Existence/Logic/Quine: we can dispense with such confusing notations as "a exists" because we know how to translate singular sentences of existence into more basic expressions if the singular term is contained in a description.
Observation sentence: is meaningless in the past, since it is assumed that it was learned by direct conditioning.
Theorem of Existence/Russell: For this reason, Russell declares singular theorems of existence pointless if their subject is a real proper name.
((s) Real proper name: "this". No, not only!"Nine" too: are names whose reference is saved. So from acquaintance, which corresponds to a descriptions. For fake names, the description corresponds to what a fiction says about it: e.g. Pegasus. "winged horse".
Name/identification(s): each name corresponds to a description because no thing in the world can only be referenced by a name and for each description a name can be invented but not every description is fulfilled by an object.
((s) Precisely because of the necessary acquaintance the question whether the theorem of existence is true is pointless.)
Quine: the reason is the same here.
((s) Theorem of existence (s): Example "There is Napoleon": can only refer to one learning situation. Circular, so to speak, from the very beginning. Exactly the same: e.g. "There are daisies". Davidson/(s): One could also not say meaningfully: Example: "It has turned out that this and that does not exist": because then one says only that one has learned a word wrongly.


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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.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Quine I
W.V.O. Quine
Word and Object, Cambridge/MA 1960
German Edition:
Wort und Gegenstand Stuttgart 1980

Quine II
W.V.O. Quine
Theories and Things, Cambridge/MA 1986
German Edition:
Theorien und Dinge Frankfurt 1985

Quine III
W.V.O. Quine
Methods of Logic, 4th edition Cambridge/MA 1982
German Edition:
Grundzüge der Logik Frankfurt 1978

Quine V
W.V.O. Quine
The Roots of Reference, La Salle/Illinois 1974
German Edition:
Die Wurzeln der Referenz Frankfurt 1989

Quine VI
W.V.O. Quine
Pursuit of Truth, Cambridge/MA 1992
German Edition:
Unterwegs zur Wahrheit Paderborn 1995

Quine VII
W.V.O. Quine
From a logical point of view Cambridge, Mass. 1953

Quine VII (a)
W. V. A. Quine
On what there is
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (b)
W. V. A. Quine
Two dogmas of empiricism
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (c)
W. V. A. Quine
The problem of meaning in linguistics
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (d)
W. V. A. Quine
Identity, ostension and hypostasis
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (e)
W. V. A. Quine
New foundations for mathematical logic
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (f)
W. V. A. Quine
Logic and the reification of universals
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (g)
W. V. A. Quine
Notes on the theory of reference
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (h)
W. V. A. Quine
Reference and modality
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VII (i)
W. V. A. Quine
Meaning and existential inference
In
From a Logical Point of View, , Cambridge, MA 1953

Quine VIII
W.V.O. Quine
Designation and Existence, in: The Journal of Philosophy 36 (1939)
German Edition:
Bezeichnung und Referenz
In
Zur Philosophie der idealen Sprache, J. Sinnreich (Hg), München 1982

Quine IX
W.V.O. Quine
Set Theory and its Logic, Cambridge/MA 1963
German Edition:
Mengenlehre und ihre Logik Wiesbaden 1967

Quine X
W.V.O. Quine
The Philosophy of Logic, Cambridge/MA 1970, 1986
German Edition:
Philosophie der Logik Bamberg 2005

Quine XII
W.V.O. Quine
Ontological Relativity and Other Essays, New York 1969
German Edition:
Ontologische Relativität Frankfurt 2003

Quine XIII
Willard Van Orman Quine
Quiddities Cambridge/London 1987


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-05-28
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