Prove my existence.

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kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 03:12 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;156838 wrote:
How does this definition of existence square with the distinction between essential and accidental predication?

having properties seems to lean toward accidental predication but I suppose essential properties could be translated into something more accidental sounding like Socrates has humanness.

Is "instantiation" a general term that covers both types of predication?

Being human is having the properties of a human and having properties at all is existing.

Is existing an essential predicate? Grammatically, it seems to have more in common with the essential predicates than the accidental predicates.

Existence is said of a thing? Or is existence present in a thing?

I again lean toward the essential "said of".



I don't see how the distinction between those two kinds of properties is relevant. X exists as long as X instantiates properties, whether accidental or essential. X is an object, so we say of objects that they exist.

All we are saying when we say that X exists, is that something Xes. And when we say that X does not exist, we are saying that nothing Xes. So if we say that, for instance, Pegasus exists, what we are saying is that something pegasizes. And Pegaus does not exist means that nothing pegasizes. ( is a winged horse owned by Bellerophon).
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 01:39 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;156854 wrote:
I don't see how the distinction between those two kinds of properties is relevant. X exists as long as X instantiates properties, whether accidental or essential. X is an object, so we say of objects that they exist.

All we are saying when we say that X exists, is that something Xes. And when we say that X does not exist, we are saying that nothing Xes. So if we say that, for instance, Pegasus exists, what we are saying is that something pegasizes. And Pegaus does not exist means that nothing pegasizes. ( is a winged horse owned by Bellerophon).


I'm not sure how important the distinction is either but I think its worth noting.

For one thing it seems that for something to exist it must at least one essential property. If X had only accidental properties and no essential ones would it still exist?

X exists if it instantiates at least one essential property. X has at least one essential property if X exists.

This seems to make essence and existence equally important. You can't have one without the other.

Essence doesn't precede existence (like Avicenna said of all things) nor does existence precede essence (like Sartre said of at least some things). They are simultaneous.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 06:27 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;157001 wrote:
I'm not sure how important the distinction is either but I think its worth noting.

For one thing it seems that for something to exist it must at least one essential property. If X had only accidental properties and no essential ones would it still exist?

X exists if it instantiates at least one essential property. X has at least one essential property if X exists.

This seems to make essence and existence equally important. You can't have one without the other.

Essence doesn't precede existence (like Avicenna said of all things) nor does existence precede essence (like Sartre said of at least some things). They are simultaneous.


Some philosophers deny the accidental/essential distinction, and since it does not seem to be relevant here, why bring it in? Keep it simple. Besides the definition of existence in terms of instantiation, what is important is that we have here an exemplification (instantiation) of progress in philosophy, which so many like to deny is possible. For, if the nature of existence is not a philosophical issue, then what is? Moreover, we see what progress in philosophy is: it is no discovery in the sense of scientific discovery, but it is rather clarification and understanding of what we really already knew, but more vaguely. As T.S. Eliot writes:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

Little Gidding (The Four Quartets)
 
 

 
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