Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Predication, by Colin McGinn

By Colin McGinn

The strategies of id, life, predication, necessity, and fact are on the centre of philosophy and feature rightly bought sustained cognizance. but Colin McGinn believes that orthodox perspectives of those subject matters are erroneous in vital methods. Philosophers and logicians have usually distorted the character of those thoughts in an try to outline them based on preconceived principles. Logical homes goals to recognize the normal methods we speak and imagine while we
employ those ideas, whereas whilst displaying that they're way more attention-grabbing and bizarre than a few have meant. There are genuine houses similar to those suggestions - logical homes - that problem naturalistic metaphysical perspectives. those usually are not pseudo-properties or mere items of
syntax. Logical houses is written with the minimal of formal equipment and bargains with logico-linguistic matters in addition to ontological ones. the point of interest is on attempting to get to the essence of what the idea that involved stands for, and never in basic terms discovering a few tested notation for delivering formal paraphrases.

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Extra info for Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Predication, Necessity, Truth

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If we try to translate the sentence in the standard way we get the gibberish, ‘ x(x)’, with no predicate to write down. You might think we could do better with 'x(Thing x), but this is pleonastic, given the usual meaning of ‘x’. 29 The natural translation is I think the right one: ‘x(Exists x)’—‘for some 29 A tempting alternative suggestion is that ‘something exists’ means the same as ‘something is self-identical’ or ‘the property of self-identity has at least one instance’. Thus the formula that captures our recalcitrant sentence is ‘(x )(x x )’, where ‘ ’ plays the role of the missing predicate.

I would regard such unspecific existential sentences as test cases for any theory of existence (they also block metalinguistic analyses along the lines of “ ‘Venus” denotes’, since ‘something’ is not a denoting term). Again, the orthodox view does not have the generality we should expect of a theory of existence. The fourth objection focuses on the requirement that any existent thing should fall under some property or other. This implies that nothing could exist that failed to fall under some property—other than existence, obviously.

As it were, thought and language are what bring non-existent objects into being. Even in the case of general statements of non-existence, such as ‘tigers with ten legs do not exist’, we cannot say which particular such tigers suffer from non-existence without invoking some conceptual individuation. In the case of unconceived existent objects the object itself operates to individuate it, but in the case of alleged unconceived non-existent particular objects there is simply nothing to give them individuation conditions—there is nothing specific that fails to exist in such a putative case.

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