Philosophy Lexicon 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.

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

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I 7
Non-existence/search/propositional attitudes/Boer: E.g. someone who is looking for the fountain of youth or e.g. someone who worships Zeus, is looking for something and worships something. One cannot say that he is not looking for anything
This leads to (D3):

(D3) R is an existence-independent relation = It is possible for an existing thing to have the relation ^R to something that is not an existing thing.

Boer: the application of (D3) now depends on how we interpret "some" and "existing".

Existence/Classical logic: to be value of a bound variable. Problem: then you can have no relation to an existing thing that is not an existing thing ((s). That is, classical logic leads to a contradiction on a more elementary level).
Relation/classical logic: must deny that there are such relations at all.
Solution: then you have to regard "looking for the fountain of youth" as a simple form without complexity, i.e. no relational verb with a singular term.
I 12
Existence-independence/conceptual dependency/non-actuality/"there is"/"exists"/Boer: distinction between "exists" and "there exists":
VsNon-Actualism/Boer: this is fixed on shady entities like potential fat men. (Unrealized Possibilities).
BoerVsVs: these are overreactions.
Solution/Boer: a metaphysical basis for the distinction exist/be without ontological overpopulation.
I 13
Non-actual/non-existent: here there are two possibilities then:
A) an essential property of N is not exemplified (e.g., fictional figures, "merely possible individuals" e.g. Superman)> Possibilism, also Plantinga pro as an actualist)
(B) N has no essential properties. For example, it is assumed that fictional characters are essentially fictional, that is, they could not be real. Then there might be at best an imitation of Superman. The fictional Superman is then a thing without individual essence.
If you accept this, you can still maintain the thesis that all things are necessarily self-identical.
I 16
Existence-independence/referential quantification/non-actualism: causal relations cannot be existence-independent. On the other hand, relations to non-existent objects must be existence-independent. E.g. search, worship, etc. can be relations to non-existent objects.

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.

Boer I
Steven E. Boer
Thought-Contents: On the Ontology of Belief and the Semantics of Belief Attribution (Philosophical Studies Series) New York 2010

Boer II
Steven E. Boer
Knowing Who Cambridge 1986

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-11-25