Ways of existing?

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Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 06:49 pm
How do you exist? Let me count the ways. (Apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning).

Many posters tell us that this or that exists in a different way from something else. Thoughts exists in a different way from material objects; unicorns exist in a different way from horses, and so on. Sometimes they explain this by using the locution, "exist as". For example, they say that unicorns "exist as" ideas, or "exist as" concepts. The question about this particular locution is whether it means anything more that that, for instance, that the concept or the idea of the unicorn exists (but that unicorns do not exist)? In other words, "X exists as a Y" just means that the Y of X exists.

The question I want to ask is whether it makes sense to talk of "ways of existing", and, if it does, what does it mean to talk that way. What I think is that there is only one way to exist, namely, to exist, so that it makes no sense to talk of different ways of existing. I also think that when someone says that this or that exists in this or that way, what he is really saying is that this or that does not exist, but maybe that something else does exist, usually the idea, or the concept, of this or that. It is a way of saying both that something does not exist, but that it does exist (but in a funny way). Which is, nonsense.
 
Krumple
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 07:21 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;140746 wrote:
How do you exist? Let me count the ways. (Apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning).

Many posters tell us that this or that exists in a different way from something else. Thoughts exists in a different way from material objects; unicorns exist in a different way from horses, and so on. Sometimes they explain this by using the locution, "exist as". For example, they say that unicorns "exist as" ideas, or "exist as" concepts. The question about this particular locution is whether it means anything more that that, for instance, that the concept or the idea of the unicorn exists (but that unicorns do not exist)? In other words, "X exists as a Y" just means that the Y of X exists.

The question I want to ask is whether it makes sense to talk of "ways of existing", and, if it does, what does it mean to talk that way. What I think is that there is only one way to exist, namely, to exist, so that it makes no sense to talk of different ways of existing. I also think that when someone says that this or that exists in this or that way, what he is really saying is that this or that does not exist, but maybe that something else does exist, usually the idea, or the concept, of this or that. It is a way of saying both that something does not exist, but that it does exist (but in a funny way). Which is, nonsense.


Well for me, I wouldn't actually use the term "exist as a concept" unless I was trying to make a point. Existing as a concept really doesn't mean what it implies. Of course all concepts exist but they are not substantial realities either, because if they were then everything exists conceptually. If you say that is true, then all you ready did was cancel out the word exist. If everything exists in those terms it is practically pointless to use the word when talking about a concept.

I think if you want to ruin a definition just use it in places where it is redundant or incoherent.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 07:44 pm
@kennethamy,
But there are higher-order concepts such as mathematical laws, even numbers themselves, or abstract entities such as the gross national product of Ecuador, which exist in a different way to your shoes or your kitchen table (just for starters).

I think what you mean by things that exist are what the medievals called 'corporeal objects' or material bodies. Is that what you mean?
 
pondfish
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 07:46 pm
@kennethamy,
Ok let me put my view just for your mind to masturbate.

Thought exist?.

So thought exist means you are thinking of fantasy creature , does not make it exist.

You are the fantasy creature.

Tree exist. It may not be called Tree in another universe but something else but it exist. Your body exist. Your belief do not exist. It is your creation. Your assumed identity.

Your mind do not want to be empty , it needs belief references , it is the food for the brain in someway for it to be alive.

Your belief of you is not real. It is just you making up things on top of the body. You punish your body for your assumed master belief.

Kennethamy do not exist but his or her body exist.

Until you start to see the separation , you can't see things clearly in its natural state. What you see is reflection of your belief in everything.

Body can live without kennethamy belief , it need just food , sleep and it can have all the pleasures of life without the controlling annoying master Kennethamy.

Humans always torture their body for their host belief parasite. it will not go voluntarily , it give all kind of fits like Exorcists.

You are angry because it is belief do not like to change. Once it comfortable , it does not want to waste energy in changing.

I do not exist , you do not exist but i aware i do not exist.

Ask questions , never agree or disagree.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 07:46 pm
@kennethamy,
the first things I referred to, are real, but they don't exist.

Material entities exist, and are also real, although they don't have any final or ultimate reality, as they are constantly changing.

---------- Post added 03-18-2010 at 12:58 PM ----------

An amusing quote from Terry Eagleton, on the way in which God exists:
Quote:
For Judeo-Christianity, God is not a person in the sense that Al Gore arguably is. Nor is he a principle, an entity, or 'existent': in one sense of that word it would be perfectly coherent for religious types to claim that God does not in fact exist. He is, rather, the condition of possibility of any entity whatsoever, including ourselves. He is the answer to why there is something rather than nothing. God and the universe do not add up to two, any more than my envy and my left foot constitute a pair of objects.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 08:12 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;140746 wrote:
What I think is that there is only one way to exist, namely, to exist, so that it makes no sense to talk of different ways of existing.
According to you and Fast, deceased presidents of the USA exist and it seems that you think this because there are true statements that can be made about them. For any dinosaur that ever lived there is at least one true statement that can be made, so it seems to me that you're committed to the existence of dinosaurs, if you insist on the existence of dead presidents, and this is in conflict with a policy that you often claim to espouse, concerning standard usage by competent speakers of the language as recorded in dictionaries. Putting "define extinct" into Google, the first result reads "no longer in existence", which is in direct conflict with your views, as dinosaurs are extinct. In short, rather than attempting to answer your question myself, I would like to hear what it is that you're talking about when you claim that things exist.
 
Junior phil
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 08:43 pm
@ughaibu,
I am me, my body is not. I am not attached to my body, even if that means it will be the end of me. The idea of me lives on (for a time), so I do not die immediately... but in time all things end. Though time is relative so time it self does not exist simply.

Existence is relative?
 
pondfish
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 08:50 pm
@kennethamy,
You are always a fantasy created by you.
 
Junior phil
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 09:06 pm
@pondfish,
pondfish;140778 wrote:
You are always a fantasy created by you.


I am cognitive constructs created by impulses in my brain.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 11:06 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;140751 wrote:
Well for me, I wouldn't actually use the term "exist as a concept" unless I was trying to make a point. Existing as a concept really doesn't mean what it implies. Of course all concepts exist but they are not substantial realities either, because if they were then everything exists conceptually. If you say that is true, then all you ready did was cancel out the word exist. If everything exists in those terms it is practically pointless to use the word when talking about a concept.

I think if you want to ruin a definition just use it in places where it is redundant or incoherent.


If "X exists as a concept" is not suppose to mean not that the concept X exists, but that X itself exists, but in a funny way, then why is it used? Why not simply say, "the concept X exists". The point of the funny phrase, "exists as a concept" is to have your cake, and to eat it too.

---------- Post added 03-18-2010 at 01:13 AM ----------

ughaibu;140767 wrote:
According to you and Fast, deceased presidents of the USA exist and it seems that you think this because there are true statements that can be made about them. For any dinosaur that ever lived there is at least one true statement that can be made, so it seems to me that you're committed to the existence of dinosaurs, if you insist on the existence of dead presidents, and this is in conflict with a policy that you often claim to espouse, concerning standard usage by competent speakers of the language as recorded in dictionaries. Putting "define extinct" into Google, the first result reads "no longer in existence", which is in direct conflict with your views, as dinosaurs are extinct. In short, rather than attempting to answer your question myself, I would like to hear what it is that you're talking about when you claim that things exist.


I really cannot speak for fast, but my own view is that the proposition that Abraham Lincoln existed in 1860 is true in 2010. If you choose to understand this as meaning that Abraham Lincoln exists (whatever that means) that is up to you. I have already mentioned that I think that to say that X exists is to say that certain properties are exemplified by X.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 11:20 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;140802 wrote:
I really cannot speak for fast, but my own view is that the proposition that Abraham Lincoln existed in 1860 is true in 2010. If you choose to understand this as meaning that Abraham Lincoln exists (whatever that means) that is up to you.
Even a realist about the existence of propositions as abstract objects would have no grounds for claiming that Lincoln exists because a proposition about him exists. Should I understand your reply to indicate that you do not hold the belief that dead people, or dinosaurs, exist?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 11:23 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;140759 wrote:
But there are higher-order concepts such as mathematical laws, even numbers themselves, or abstract entities such as the gross national product of Ecuador, which exist in a different way to your shoes or your kitchen table (just for starters).

I think what you mean by things that exist are what the medievals called 'corporeal objects' or material bodies. Is that what you mean?



What is the different way in which numbers exist from my shoes which cannot be understood as the difference between numbers and shoes?

No, I don't mean that by exist, especially since material bodies are examples of things that exist, but cannot be what anyone means by "things that exist". "I mean by things that exist, material bodies" means only, "Material bodies are examples of what I mean by the phrase, 'things that exist' ", but not what I (or anyone) mean by the phrase, "things that exist".

---------- Post added 03-18-2010 at 01:31 AM ----------

ughaibu;140805 wrote:
Even a realist about the existence of propositions as abstract objects would have no grounds for claiming that Lincoln exists because a proposition about him exists. Should I understand your reply to indicate that you do not hold the belief that dead people, or dinosaurs, exist?


Of course not, not if "exist" means, "are alive". I never said (I hope) that Lincoln is aiive because the proposition, "Lincoln exist(ed) in 1860" is true (in 2010). What would make you think I did?
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 11:37 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;140806 wrote:
Of course not, not if "exist" means, "are alive". I never said (I hope) that Lincoln is aiive because the proposition, "Lincoln exist(ed) in 1860" is true (in 2010). What would make you think I did?
Well, on the other thread Fast entrusted the explanation of Lincoln's existence to you, and as he thanked your immediately subsequent post, it seems probable that he believes that you explained the existence of a dead man. On the other hand, your responses are somewhat evasive, I'm trying to get a statement from you about what it means for something to exists. So:
1) does Lincoln exist?
2) do abstract objects, that is causally inert objects without location in time or space, exist?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 11:44 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;140810 wrote:
Well, on the other thread Fast entrusted the explanation of Lincoln's existence to you, and as he thanked your immediately subsequent post, it seems probable that he believes that you explained the existence of a dead man. On the other hand, your responses are somewhat evasive, I'm trying to get a statement from you about what it means for something to exists. So:
1) does Lincoln exist?
2) do abstract objects, that is causally inert objects without location in time or space, exist?


Lincoln is not alive. Has Abraham Lincoln properties? Of course he has. E.g. he is dead. And whatever has properties exists. Lincoln (for example) is not like a unicorn.
I think that abstract objects exist.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Wed 17 Mar, 2010 11:53 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;140812 wrote:
Has Abraham Lincoln properties? Of course he has. E.g. he is dead. And whatever has properties exists. Lincoln (for example) is not like a unicorn.
I think that abstract objects exist.
Okay, I take it then that you think that all people who will ever live existed before there were any people. I think this is problematic when you pose your rhetorical question supposed to suggest a mind independent reality; 'did the moon exist before there were any human minds (but human beings and human minds existed)?'
Anyway, thanks for the answers. I assume that for a thing to "have properties", then properties must exist, and thus properties must have properties, etc. How do you deal with the problems of regress or circularity? Or do you hold that while it's the case that anything with properties exists, it's not the case that everything that exists has properties?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 12:05 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;140815 wrote:
Okay, I take it then that you think that all people who will ever live existed before there were any people. I think this is problematic when you pose your rhetorical question supposed to suggest a mind independent reality; 'did the moon exist before there were any human minds (but human beings and human minds existed)?'
Anyway, thanks for the answers. I assume that for a thing to "have properties", then properties must exist, and thus properties must have properties, etc. How do you deal with the problems of regress or circularity? Or do you hold that while it's the case that anything with properties exists, it's not the case that everything that exists has properties?


I think that true propositions are 'eternally" true. And so, the proposition that Lincoln exists in 1860 is true a billion years ago. I don't know why you would want to understand that as meaning that Lincoln exists a billion years ago, but do so if it pleases you. But let me point out that it does not follow from the truth of, Lincoln existed in 1860, that Lincoln existed a billion years ago.

The existence of properties is a vexed question. But some properties do have the property of being exemplified, so some properties have at least one property. And, since to exist is to have a property, it follows that some properties exist. Or, in plain English, there are properties.
 
Humanity
 
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 12:06 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;140746 wrote:
How do you exist? Let me count the ways. (Apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning).

Many posters tell us that this or that exists in a different way from something else. Thoughts exists in a different way from material objects; unicorns exist in a different way from horses, and so on. Sometimes they explain this by using the locution, "exist as". For example, they say that unicorns "exist as" ideas, or "exist as" concepts. The question about this particular locution is whether it means anything more that that, for instance, that the concept or the idea of the unicorn exists (but that unicorns do not exist)? In other words, "X exists as a Y" just means that the Y of X exists.

The question I want to ask is whether it makes sense to talk of "ways of existing", and, if it does, what does it mean to talk that way. What I think is that there is only one way to exist, namely, to exist, so that it makes no sense to talk of different ways of existing. I also think that when someone says that this or that exists in this or that way, what he is really saying is that this or that does not exist, but maybe that something else does exist, usually the idea, or the concept, of this or that. It is a way of saying both that something does not exist, but that it does exist (but in a funny way). Which is, nonsense.
Fundamentally 'existence' is not a predicate (Kant).
'Exist' is just the verb "is".

Despite the above, the word 'exist' is normall predicated by humans.

As such we end up with the following;

Humans (exist),

and since humans are multi-variate;

Humans [realist, non-realists, common, language games, etc. (exist)]

1. A realist will insists objects exist as independent of human minds waiting there externally for humans to correspond with them.
This is a delusional type of existence.

2. A non-realist will have a different conception of existence.

3. The common man will have a different view of existence.

4. A scientist (QM or non-QM) will have their own concept of existence.

5. There are other views on existence.

There are different consensus on the above views.
Why should one of the above be the ONLY existence.

This is why we need to acknowledge that there are different views of existence and no absolute existence.

But the fact remains, we cannot extricate 'exist' from the human element, i.e.

Humans (exist)

It just cannot stand alone, i.e

(((exist)))

So, realistically, fact is

Humans (exist)
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 12:16 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;140818 wrote:
let me point out that it does not follow from the truth of, Lincoln existed in 1860, that Lincoln existed a billion years ago.
Of course it doesn't, and equally, it doesn't follow that Lincoln exists now! But how can this
kennethamy;140812 wrote:
Lincoln is not alive. Has Abraham Lincoln properties? Of course he has. E.g. he is dead. And whatever has properties exists.
be understood as other than a claim by you that Lincoln exist now?
If a thing exists, then that thing exists now, this is a matter of grammar. That a thing existed does not imply that it exists now.
Does Lincoln exist, yes or no?
 
pondfish
 
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 01:09 am
@kennethamy,
You people are prisoned by words , meaning and assumptions. Any answer you come up with will not solve your problem. You all humans are just time killers.

I do not exist!. Very Happy
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Thu 18 Mar, 2010 02:29 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;140746 wrote:
Many posters tell us that this or that exists in a different way from something else.


So I propose that corporeal objects exist in a different way to abstract things such as theories or ideas. Why is it not self-evident that different types of things exist in different ways? Even Aristotle recognised that. It is the basis of the discipline of ontology, is it not? If you say that a thing either exists or it doesn't, what of Hamlet? It exists as a work of fiction, yet people all over the world would know who you meant when you used the term. But Hamlet's existence is of a different order to Queen Mary of Denmark, who actually exists. So they exist in different ways. What's your point?

---------- Post added 03-18-2010 at 07:58 PM ----------

Humanity;140819 wrote:

'Exist' is just the verb "is".


I don't know about that. I think 'to exist' and 'to be' mean different things. I propose that the word exist means 'ex' apart from 'ist' be. So to exist is to 'be apart', this thing, as distinct from that thing. Anything that exists can be counted, and has an identity. Actually, Kennethamy quoted a Quine saying on this very point, 'no entity without identity' in another thread.

That which is, by way of distinction, is a different level of meaning in philosophy. Its translation in latin is EST and Sanskrit is SAT meaning that which is (slightly different to veritas, meaning truth). If you go back to the Parmenides, the question was asked 'how can that which is, cease to be, and how can that which is not, come to be'. This probably would not be a question unless we as intelligent subjects happen to be intertwined in a whole bunch of fleeting stuff which regularly comes into and goes out of existence, as we ourselves do also. This is why it is understood as a basic, or the basic, question of philosophy.

So in fact the most basic question in philosophy used to be 'what truly is' as distinct from 'what simply exists'. Now I am sure this is the fundamental distinction between noumenon and phenomenon. But it is a very hard question to ask. (I hope am not trivializing it by spelling it out like this.) The various traditional philosophies all propose ways of firstly differentiating the real from the unreal, delusion from enlightenment, the transient from the eternal, and then secondly actualizing that in some way. But now in a secular age the whole question is too hard and on the whole has been abandoned or relegated to history.

One can differentiate being from existence. The existence is the material particulars, the personality and mode of life, and so on. The being is a deeper level than this corresponding with what the ancients would have called soul which is of course now out of fashion.

Now this is generally not accepted by analytical or modern philosophy for reasons which we all know. It is however represented in traditional Western philosophy by the 'great chain of being' and the celestial hierarchy which proposed an entire taxonomy of beings of various degrees of reality, from plants up to angels. This is where the whole idea of ontology originated, before it became a purely scientific question (although the existence of non-baryonic matter seems far less intelligible to me than the Celestial Hierarchy....)

There's some food for thought, anyway. I don't expect it to be believed or accepted but it is worth thinking about.
 
 

 
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