existence
For the question of why there is something and not nothing, see being . The modern treatment of existence in the theory of quantification is sometimes put by saying that existence is not a predicate. The idea is that the existential quantifier is itself an operator on a predicate, indicating that the property it expresses has instances. Existence is therefore treated as a second-order property, or property of properties. In this it is like number, for when we say that there are three things of a kind, we do not describe the things (as we would if we said there are red things of the kind), but instead attribute a property to the kind itself. The parallel with numbers is exploited by Frege in the dictum that affirmation of existence is merely denial of the number nought. A problem for the account is created by sentences like ‘This exists’, where some particular thing is indicated. Such a sentence seems to express a contingent truth (for this might not have existed), yet no other predicate is involved. ‘This exists’ is therefore unlike ‘Tame tigers exist’, where a property is said to have an instance, for the word ‘this’ does not locate a property, but only an individual. Possible worlds seem able to differ from each other purely in the presence or absence of individuals, and not merely in the distribution of exemplifications of properties.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • existence — [ ɛgzistɑ̃s ] n. f. • XIVe; bas lat. existentia I ♦ 1 ♦ Philos. Le fait d être ou d exister, abstraction faite de ce qui est. ⇒ 2. être. Le Cogito de Descartes assure l homme de son existence. « Le sentiment de l existence dépouillé de toute… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • existence — existence, being, actuality are closely related in meaning but not always interchangeable. Existence is the inclusive term which designates the state or condition of anything regarded as occurring in space or time, as distinct and apart from all… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Existence — Ex*ist ence, n. [Cf. F. existence.] 1. The state of existing or being; actual possession of being; continuance in being; as, the existence of body and of soul in union; the separate existence of the soul; immortal existence. [1913 Webster] The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • existence — Existence. s. f. v. Estat de ce qui existe. L existence de Dieu. l existence des choses creées. tout ce qui est au monde tient son existence de Dieu. cela n est plus en existence …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • existence — index entity, life (period of existence), materiality (physical existence), reality, survival Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton …   Law dictionary

  • existence — late 14c., reality, from O.Fr. existence, from M.L. existentia/exsistentia, from existentem/exsistentem (nom. existens/exsistens) existent, prp. of L. existere/exsistere stand forth, appear, and, as a secondary meaning, exist, be; from ex …   Etymology dictionary

  • existence — [eg zis′təns, igzis′təns] n. [ME < OFr < ML existentia < prp. of L existere] 1. the act of existing; state or fact of being 2. continuance of being; life; living 3. occurrence; specific manifestation 4. a manner of existing, being, or… …   English World dictionary

  • existence — [n] life actuality, animation, being, breath, continuance, continuation, duration, endurance, entity, essence, hand one is dealt*, individuality, journey, lifing, permanence, perseverance, presence, rat race*, reality, real world*, something,… …   New thesaurus

  • existence — ► NOUN 1) the fact or state of existing. 2) a way of living. ORIGIN Latin existentia, from exsistere come into being …   English terms dictionary

  • Existence — For other uses, see Existence (disambiguation). Philosophy …   Wikipedia

  • Existence — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Existence (homonymie). L existence désigne le fait d être, d être de manière réelle. Sommaire 1 L existence en philosophie 1.1 L existence en métaphysique …   Wikipédia en Français

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