An analysis of existence

Info to Readers click to show or hide The Concept of Existence: Bertrand Russell - Logic and Knowledge. First, there is the problem of what we are to say about the existence of fictitious objects, such as centaurs, dragons, and Pegasus; second, there is the problem of what we are t o say about the existence of abstract objects, such as qualities, relations, and numbers. Both problems have tempted philosophers to say that there are inferior sorts of existence a s well as the ordinary straightforward sort, and they therefore often suggest that we use the word "being" to cover both kinds but restrict "existence" to "being" of the common, non-fictitious, non-abstract sort.

An analysis of existence

Info to Readers click to show or hide The Concept of Existence: Bertrand Russell - Logic and Knowledge. First, there is the problem of what we are to say about the existence of fictitious objects, such as centaurs, dragons, and Pegasus; second, there is the problem of what we are t o say about the existence of abstract objects, such as qualities, relations, and numbers.

Both problems have tempted philosophers to say that there are inferior sorts of existence a s well as the ordinary straightforward sort, and they therefore often suggest that we use the word "being" to cover both kinds but restrict "existence" to "being" of the common, non-fictitious, non-abstract sort.

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Sometimes the term "reality" is proposed for "existence" or for "being. For example, the integer between two and four is real, but the integer between two and three is fictitious. On the other hand, there are both concrete and abstract fictions; for example, the winged horse of Bellerophon and the integer between two and three.

Accordingly, philosophers have often dealt with the two problems in quite different ways and perhaps ought to do so. While these are the two main problems, there are others, f or example, that of what we are to say of the being of objects which have not yet begun, or have now ceased, to exist.

The history of this subject, moreover, has been tangled with theological issues, to which it will be necessary to refer at certain points. Macmillan - article Existence by Arthur Norman Prior, p. Everything that can be called philosophy of existence that was written by the Greek philosophers of antiquity was expressed with the help of 'einai', the Greek equivalent of 'be'; and it is impossible to reach any clear understanding of their doctrines without examining how they used this word, and how its synonyms in other languages are used.

VIII-IX "German and French idioms, which most frequently use 'Es gibt' and 'Il y a' in place of 'There is', seem to show a stronger awareness than English of the difference between existential propositions and propositions ascribing properties to objects.

Nevertheless even these languages have forms 'Es ist' and 'Il est', which make use of equivalents of the verb 'be', as English uses 'be' in 'There is' and 'There are', and one would have to look further a field to find languages where there was no possibility of construing an existential judgement as predicating being of an object or objects in the same way as dwelling in Transylvania or coming down the road can be predicated of an object or objects.

Latin, as we have seen, has the simple unadorned use of 'est' and 'sunt' as a possible substitution for the verbs 'existit' and 'existunt'. Classical Greek, which lacks any word obviously equivalent to 'exist', is forced to use parts of 'einai', its synonym for 'be', much more widely than the languages we have mentioned, for the expression of existential judgements.

Thereby hangs a philosophical story of epic dimensions, a Great Chain of Philosophies of Being. My aim here is to defend and illustrate this claim, and at the same time to suggest some of the reasons why it is that the concept of existence does not get singled out as a topic in its own right.

Finally, I shall raise in a tentative way the question whether or not the neglect of this topic was necessarily a philosophical disadvantage. Let me make clear that my thesis is limited to the classical period of Greek philosophy, down to Aristotle. The situation is more complicated in Hellenistic and Neoplatonic thought, I suspect that a careful study of these Greek terms would reveal that even in their usage we find no real equivalent of our concept of existence.

In any case, this later terminology My general view of the historical development is that existence in the modern sense becomes a central concept in philosophy only in the period when Greek ontology is radically revised in the light of a metaphysics of creation: As far as I can see, this development did not take place with Augustine or with the Greek Church Fathers, who remained under the sway of classical ontology.

The new metaphysics seems to have taken shape in Islamic philosophy, in the form of a radical distinction between necessary and contingent existence: To return now to the question with which we began: Why does existence not emerge as a distinct concept in Greek philosophy?

In principle the answer is clear. My explanation is that in Greek ontology in its early stages, in Plato and Parmenides, the veridical concept was primary, and the question of Being was the question of "reality" as determined by the concept of truth.

Since this conception of reality is articulated in Plato by copula sentences of the form "X is Y," it turns out that even the concept of existence gets expressed in this predicative form: In the scheme of categories which Aristotle takes as the starting point for his own investigation of being, this same predicative pattern serves as the primary device for analyzing what there is, and for showing how the various kinds of being are related to one another.

So it is naturally the theory of predication, and not the concept of existence, which becomes the central and explicit theme of Aristotle's metaphysics, as it was the implicit theme of Plato's discussion of Being in the Sophist.[ First distinction between essence and existence] "The primary analysis of the nature of being, its application to numerous things, and an introduction to the exposition of substance.

Being is recognized by reason itself without the aid of definition or description. Analysis. Although Existentialism is primarily a philosophy, existentialists emphasize artistic creation as a vital aspect of existence. As a result, Sartre often chose to combine both the finer points of his philosophy and aesthetic concerns in plays, short stories, and novels.

If existence is to be considered to be a first-order predicate, it follows that in statements denying the existence of certain objects, the absurdity ensues of stating something along the following lines: there is an A such that A doesn't exist.

An analysis of employment change in the state since suggests the existence of "two Pennsylvanias" during the period from to , according to economists in . Analysis.

Although Existentialism is primarily a philosophy, existentialists emphasize artistic creation as a vital aspect of existence.

An analysis of existence

As a result, Sartre often chose to combine both the finer points of his philosophy and aesthetic concerns in . A Critical Analysis of Plato's and Sartre's Views on Existence Words | 8 Pages CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF PLATO’S AND SARTRE’S VIEWS ON EXISTENCE Introduction In order to understand the meaning of existence in relation to philosophy, we need to discuss its ordinary meaning and the various levels of existence.

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