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Friday, September 07, 2012


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If I understood you correctly in previous posts, you agreed with the Quineans that self-identity was co-extensive with existence (something exists iff it is self-identical), but maintained that existence and self-identity were nonetheless distinct. Though existence goes hand-in-hand with self-identity, the thought goes, it is nonetheless *thicker* than mere self-identity. Is that correct?

If so, it would seem that these aporetics create the same puzzles for your view as they do for the Quinean's. For arguments A and B can be reformulated with the weaker premise that existence is co-extensive with self-identity, which premise I thought you accepted. If I'm right about that, then rejecting the common premise between arguments A and B is not, for you, an appealing way out of this puzzle.




Excellent comment!

Your first paragraph accurately expresses what I have been maintaining. Necessarily, x exists iff x is self-identical. But I don't take this as sanctioning a reduction of existence to self-identity. (Analogy: necessarily, x is triangular iff x is trilateral. But this equivalence does not underwrite a reduction of one of the properties to the other. Tha analogy limps, however, because existence is not a quidditative property.)

As for your second paragraph, you're right!

What I am trying to do, without succeeding, is to make the 'thickness' of existence intellectually visible while remaining on the plane of the discursive intellect, hence not appealing to intuition (e.g., Wittgenstein's wonder, Sartre's nausea).

My quandary is that the difference between existence and self-identity cannot show up extensionally (given that I have rejected Meinongianism). It is like an intensional difference, except that it is not intensional! Hyper-intensional?

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