BaalChatzaf

What does Existence Exists mean?

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Existence (or "exists") arises in the assertion there exists x such that P(x) (i.e. the predicate P is truly asserted for x), which P applies to objects, i.e. values that the individual variable x might assume.

Does the statement "existence exists" imply existence is a thing, an object, a value that an individual variable x might assume. I never really have understood this assertion. By me, to assert existence is to have some predicate and to assert there is some-THING to which that predicate applies. Existence is a noun but I cannot come up with a particular referent to it. Is existence the universe? Is it the planet earth? What is existence taken as an unqualified noun?

I believe there exist things which I can perceive. Why? Because I perceive things all the time and I have no reason to believe I am hallucinating. I believe the planet earth exists. Why? I live on it and some pieces of it are around me at all times and I can see, hear, small, taste and feel them.

But Existence? Damned if I know what that is, except as a synonym for the physical universe.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

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Somewhere (I thought on Daniel's blog, but I can't find it there) I wrote some time ago:

The axiom "existence exists" isn't even coherently formulated. What does she mean by "existence"? 1. The fact that there is something/things exist? Or (a different meaning I found in the dictionary)2. "everything that exists"?

In case 1 the phrase is nonsense, as "the fact that things exist" then would be itself a thing that exists, unless you interpret it in the sense that the concept "existence" exists, but so does the concept "nothing" and in that sense "nothing exists" would be equally valid, which is obviously not the intention of her statement.

Remains interpretation 2: "everything that exists exists". Well, duh. Everything that flies flies. Everything that stinks stinks. Really deep insights!

What she probably meant was something like "something exists", the world exists", "things exist". But this is a banality from which you cannot derive anything meaningful.

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Existence? Damned if I know what that is, except as a synonym for the physical universe.

Bearing in mind the Principle of Charity, I go with this meaning whenever the phrase lumbers into view unsullied by denotations or connotations or explanations.

This often leads to an impasse, for sometimes those influenced by Rand seem to think that 'Check your premises" means "I don't have to check MY premises. They are perfect. Check your own premises, as my intuition and amour propre suggests they are imperfect."

In other words, "Existence Exists" often means "You are wrong, and this phrase proves it." Presumably those who intend this meaning also believe that when they pull the covers over their heads, the Monster in the Closet cannot eat them [i think this might be related to A= A in its sometimes meaning of "if you throw water (criticism) on me, I will melt into the floor, you hateful little shit (pulls covers over head and trembles)," which is possibly related to "I am/am not a Plagerist. I am/am not what I say I am. Why are you picking on me"])

The Monster being "Tchesquieroan Premiss," like Grendal a frightening monster indeed. Others may imagine themselves the Wizard, like Smirky Smug Parker Demon the Solipsist, or the Wicked Witch like Master Civil, or our hostess at his most intransigent and bull-headed and mean, and so view the Monster as Dorothy with a bucket.

EDIT: added context, removed incorrect premiss.

Edited by william.scherk

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Here is an interesting take on existence by Korzybski et al in 1923. Entire article here.

"And now we are approaching the central problem of all human knowledge. A sign or a label, if attached to nothing is a pseudo-symbol which symbolizes nothing; that is, it is not a symbol at all but is merely a noise if spoken, or blotch of black on white if written. Before a sign may acquire meaning and therefore become a symbol there must exist something for this sign to symbolize. The problem of existence has several aspects and is extremely important though not all of these aspects concern us at this stage. Poincaré defines logical existence as one free from contradiction. Russell derives existence from his theory of propositional function. "If j(x) is sometimes true, we may say there are x's for which it is true, or we may say 'arguments

satisfying j(x) exist',". Russell's conception is much more fundamental, but for the time being, Poincaré's definition will be sufficient."

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Existence exists, what else does it have to do all day?

Most often, it contemplates its own perfect existence, which is usually sufficient.

Occasionally, it flirts with non-existence, but invariably pulls back.

Thus, our existence is secured, spiced with a frisson of novelty and adventure.

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Does the statement "existence exists" imply existence is a thing, an object, a value that an individual variable x might assume.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I don't have time right now to give a good response to existence. But I just wanted to make a note about this sentence.

Existence cannot be a value that a variable could assume. Because anything that does have the value could not obtain "existence" from nonexistence.

From Ayn Rand, The Ayn Rand Lexicon, pg. 156, [ibid]

Existence and identity are not attributes of existents, they are the extents..... The units of the concepts "existence" and "identity" are every entity, action, event or phenomenon (including consciousness) that exist, has ever existed or will ever exist.

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Does the statement "existence exists" imply existence is a thing, an object, a value that an individual variable x might assume.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I don't have time right now to give a good response to existence. But I just wanted to make a note about this sentence.

Existence cannot be a value that a variable could assume. Because anything that does have the value could not obtain "existence" from nonexistence.

From Ayn Rand, The Ayn Rand Lexicon, pg. 156, [ibid]

Existence and identity are not attributes of existents, they are the extents..... The units of the concepts "existence" and "identity" are every entity, action, event or phenomenon (including consciousness) that exist, has ever existed or will ever exist.

Then it makes no sense. Existence can only be assert of an object that satisfies some predicate. What predicate is associated the existence of Existence?

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Does the statement "existence exists" imply existence is a thing, an object, a value that an individual variable x might assume.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I don't have time right now to give a good response to existence. But I just wanted to make a note about this sentence.

Existence cannot be a value that a variable could assume. Because anything that does have the value could not obtain "existence" from nonexistence.

From Ayn Rand, The Ayn Rand Lexicon, pg. 156, [ibid]

Existence and identity are not attributes of existents, they are the extents..... The units of the concepts "existence" and "identity" are every entity, action, event or phenomenon (including consciousness) that exist, has ever existed or will ever exist.

Then it makes no sense. Existence can only be assert of an object that satisfies some predicate. What predicate is associated the existence of Existence?

Ba'al Chatzaf

I was a little tired last night so I'm sorry if I'm not clear.

What I'm trying to say is that if there is an object, then it exist. Existence is not a property, you can not take it away from an object. Like wise it cannot be added to something that doesn't exist to make it exist.

If my car is red, I can scrape the paint away to make it not red, or paint it blue to make it blue, but I can't make it not exist. If I destroy the car, I am destroying the object, not the existence of the object.

I think, I am not positive about this, but Ayn was trying to combat the skeptics that say that existence may not exist and the world was not real, or could be different from what you are seeing and so forth.

She was saying no! You wake up in the morning, open your eyes and see something. You exist and there is a world of objects out there that also exist. You understanding of this is your consciousness.

--Dustan

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She was saying no! You wake up in the morning, open your eyes and see something. You exist and there is a world of objects out there that also exist. You understanding of this is your consciousness.

--Dustan

The all you need to know is the difference between Out There and In Here. Out There is where the hard stuff is. In Here is where the abstractions live.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

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She was saying no! You wake up in the morning, open your eyes and see something. You exist and there is a world of objects out there that also exist. You understanding of this is your consciousness.

--Dustan

The all you need to know is the difference between Out There and In Here. Out There is where the hard stuff is. In Here is where the abstractions live.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I not sure I understand you 100%, but it sounds right on the face of it.

You are apart of the world, your consciousness tries to make sense out of the objective world by using reason.

Dustan

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