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Thursday, September 02, 2010


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We made much progress in agreeing what the E/R distinction is. E: 'there no existence, there is only instantiation'. R: 'there is existence, but existence is only instantiation'. The 'but' and the 'only' of the reductivist pragmatically imply that there may be something more to existence, and it is this 'something more' that the eliminativist denies.

But here we disagree:

>> 'The property of being identical to Mungojerrie is instantiated' because there is no such haecceity property. But even if there were, the analysis would fail due to circularity. If you want to explain what it is for individual a to exist, you move in an explanatory circle of embarrassingly short diameter if you say that the existence of a is a's instantiation of a-ness: a's existence is logically prior to its instantiation of any property.

But at least we are clear on where we disagree. I say there is a haecceity property (or rather a haecceity predicate, a Cambridge predicate to which no real property corresponds). And I say that the concept embedded in this predicate is as it were logically prior to our concept of existence. So I think we are clear where we disagree. And I agree on your analysis above. If there is no haecceity property/predicate, the analysis would be circular. If there were, but existence were logically prior, then it would be circular. But we do not agree on the fundamental premisses of your argument. Your reasoning is valid, but it is not sound.

We have made some progress. We are agreed on the utility of the E/R distinction in general, though we may disagree when we get down to cases.

What exactly are the fundamental premises with which you disagree?


1. Whether there are haecceity properties

2. Whether existence is logically prior to haecceity.

Your (2) is a 'failover' premiss, i.e. you say there are no haecceity properties. But in that case fails, you can fall back on 2, the 'priority' argument. I disagree with both.

I have a question about existence within a formal system. Can we construct it so that a theorem t implies "there exists" theorem t itself?




You will have to say a bit more for me to understand what you are asking.

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