Existence is a Predicate


A legacy post originally published on November 8, 2007 at 12:58 PM
🔗 Existence is a Predicate by Alexander Pruss

Let ‘w‘ refer to any world.  Then “exists in” expresses a perfectly fine relation between entities and worlds.  Let S be the set of worlds in which history ends in 30 BC.  Then, there are some members w of S such that Aristotle exists in w, but for every member w of S it is the case that Charlemagne does not exist in w (assuming essentiality of approximate time of conception).  Thus, for any given w, some entities are related by “existing in” to w and some are not.  Call this relation “E”.

Now, we can define two “exists” predicates.  Let ‘@’ rigidly refer to our world.  Then, we can say “x exists” provided xE(the actual world) and that “x exists*” provided xE@.  For any relation term R and any referring term t, “___Rt” is a predicate.  So “exists” and “exists*” are predicates.

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