Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Non-existence, philosophy: non-existence is not simply expressible for the classical predicate logic which attributes properties through quantification in the form of (Ex)(Fx) "There is at least one x, with the property F" (in short "There is at least one F"), since existence is not a property. The form "There is at least one x that does not exist" is contradictory. See also existence predicate, "There is", existence, unicorn example, pegasus example, round square, proof of God's existence.

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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
Stalnaker I 55f
Non-existence/Empty Name/Meinong/QuineVsWyman/Quine/Stalnaker: (fictional Wyman)/Quine: a distinction between "there is" and "exists" (reserved for actuality). - QuineVs: existence is no predicate that introduces a distinctive property. Wyman creates the illusion of a match between Meinongians and their critics. Stalnaker: pro Quine: Existence: applies to everything, what can be quantified.
Stalnaker I 55
Pegasus/QuineVsWyman/Quine: Pegasus could have existed - the round square does not.
I 65
Wyman: Thesis: contradictions are meaningless - VsWyman: Stalnaker Quine, Lewis.
- - -
Quine III 258
About/non-existence/meaning/reference/Quine: similar error: to say that one talks with "Zerberus" about a thing Zerberus, and then the problem arises that one "talks about nothing".
Non-existence/Quine: this is not about "about". For example, what do you talk about when you say that there are no Bolivian warships?
III 259
Errors: to assume that our speaking only makes sense if there are the things we are talking about. (Confusion of meaning and object under discussion).
III 260
Non-existence/Possibility/meaning/significance/Quine: wrong solution: some authors think that a word for a completely impossible object is meaningless. Analogue: just as a logically unrealizable sentence is a non-sentence, not false but meaningless. ((s) (here sic, but otherwise mostly called senseless.
QuineVs: 1. It is unnatural. 2. It is also impractical. Then we no longer have a test procedure for significance, just as quantum logic has no decision-making procedure for universality and satisfiability.
Solution/Quine: it is sufficient that words have the task of designating something. This is sufficient to express non-existence. The words have a full meaning.
III 281
Truth Value/Existence/Non-Existence/Ontology/Logic/Quine: what truth value do sentences such as "Zerberus barks" have? (See also >Unicorn example).
The answer "wrong" would be hasty.
III 282
Problem: for all sentences that would be wrong, there would be a negation that would then be true! Our derivation methods prove nothing in case the object does not exist. What would have to be proved is based on an unfulfilled condition.
Truth value gap/Quine: comes from the everyday language, in logic we have to fill it. And be it arbitrary. Each sentence should have a truth value (true or false).
This was the reason for the convenient extension of the concept of the conditional in § 3,m which generally permitted a truth value for the entire conditional. We now need a similar extension for singular terms, which mean nothing.
But this cannot be achieved by an all-encompassing decision. However, this is possible for simple sentences from which we derive rules for compound sentences.
Def simple predicate: is a predicate if it does not explicitly take the form of quantification, negation, conjunction, alternation, etc. of shorter components.
If a simple predicate is applied to a singular term that does not denote anything, the sentence in question should be considered false. Then, for example, "Zerberus barks" is wrong, because it represents an application of the predicate "[1] barks" to "Zerberus".
- - -
I 429
Ideal objects: a case, with certain parallels to infinite quantities: the ideal objects of physics: e.g. mass points, smooth surfaces, isolated systems. Such objects would be contrary to the laws of theoretical physics. At the same time, however, the basic laws of mechanics are regularly formulated with reference to such ideal objects, usually with universal quantifying conditional sentences. "(x)(if x is a mass point, then...)"
Consequently, the absence of ideal objects does not falsify the mechanics! Sentences of this kind remain true in meaningless ways, since there are no counterexamples.


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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

Stalnaker I
R. Stalnaker
Ways a World may be Oxford New York 2003

Quine XIII
Willard Van Orman Quine
Quiddities Cambridge/London 1987


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-09-15
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