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

By Colin McGinn

ISBN-10: 0191529230

ISBN-13: 9780191529238

ISBN-10: 0199241813

ISBN-13: 9780199241811

The innovations of identification, 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 very important methods. Philosophers and logicians have frequently distorted the character of those ideas in an try and outline them in response to preconceived principles. Logical homes goals to recognize the standard methods we speak and imagine whilst we
employ those strategies, whereas whilst displaying that they're way more fascinating and weird than a few have intended. There are genuine homes such as those techniques - logical houses - that problem naturalistic metaphysical perspectives. those will not be pseudo-properties or mere items of
syntax. Logical houses is written with the minimal of formal gear and offers with logico-linguistic matters in addition to ontological ones. the focal point is on attempting to get to the essence of what the idea that involved stands for, and never only discovering a few tested notation for delivering formal paraphrases.

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Additional resources for Logical Properties: Identity, Existence, Predication, Necessity, Truth

Example text

As a matter of strict logic, then, it is never possible to infer existence from anything (except existence itself, of course), not even a sentence of partial quantification. 36 EXISTENCE ‘objects of thought’. When we use the word in this kind of context all suggestions of existence are cancelled. If I speak of the object of your search as the fountain of youth, there is no implication of existence here. 39 This is why we can quite happily say, ‘some objects (of thought) do not exist’. On this view, it is not that when ‘some’ occurs without existential force it is always somehow embedded in an intentional context which erases its customary existential punch; rather, it packs no such punch as a matter of its semantics (as opposed to its pragmatics) but serves purely to express quantity or proportion—just like ‘all’.

This is simply because existence is being analysed 30 Again, we have the question of what to say about self-identity: is it contradictory to suppose that an object exists and lacks even the property of self-identity? This does seem to me quite impossible, but I am not convinced that it is actually formally contradictory. In any case, it is of no real help to the defender of the Russellian thesis, since this seems precisely the wrong kind of property to invoke in order to analyse what it means to say that something exists, for the reasons mentioned in the previous footnote.

The same point applies if we replace ‘I’ with ‘the bearer of these mental states’, 46 What about invoking self-identity again in the shape of the predicate ‘ I’? Then we could say that ‘I exist’ means ‘(x )(x I)’, which latter inherits the semantic properties of the original indexical. But, again, this presupposes my existence, since the term ‘I’ must be taken to refer to an existent entity—me—in the context ‘ I’. We do not explain what it is for me to exist by stating that someone is identical to me.

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


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