## Saturday, October 19, 2013

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Bill,

It seems to me that the distinction you need to reconcile (a)-(c) is the de-dicto/de-re distinction. After all, you wish to say both that Socrates' existence is contingent, but him being a man is an essential property of his. So the former can be expressed as (b) and the later as a de-re version of (c).

Clearly, (a) and (b) are de-dicto. However, (c) is a de-re modality. i.e.,

(c-Re) Socrates is such that necessarily he is a man.

From this it follows that 'he is a man' is true only in possible worlds in which Socrates exists. Hence, (c-Re) is compatible with(b), for (b) is true only in worlds in which Socrates does not exist, and with (a). Hence, (a)-(c-Re) are consistent.

Peter,

I thought of that, but then it seemed to me that 'Necessarily, Socrates is a man' and 'Socrates is necessarily a man' are equivalent. Convince me that they aren't.

>>(b) is true only in worlds in which Socrates does not exist<<

That's not right. (b) = 'Possibly, Socrates does not exist' which is necessarily true, hence true in every world. By the characteristic S5 axiom: Poss p --> Nec Poss p.

Bill,

There is no de-dicto reading of the sentence: 'Necessarily, Socrates is a man'. The closest de-dicto reading would be of the sentence: 'Necessarily, Socrates is a man, if Socrates exists.'

So in every world in which Socrates exists, then he is a man, which is compatible with (a) and (b). In worlds in which Socrates fails to exist, 'Socrates is a man, if Socrates exists' is vacuously true. But this too is compatible with (a) and (b).

On a de-re reading of (c), (a)-(c) are consistent.

Your second point about my claim regarding (b) is correct in S5. But this does not change my main claim that on a de-re reading of (c), (a)-(c) are consistent; whereas on a de-dicto reading of the properly formulated version, they are also consistent.

Dear Bill,

the move with intentional existence you make is that of Scotus (against the Avicennian possibilists like Henry of Ghent). I am very sympathetic to it. However, isn't it that this move gives you ammunition to a proof or real distinction between existence, and essence in esse intentionale, but not between existence, and essence in esse reale? No problem with that at all! But I would insist with Scotus that esse intentionale does not impart any reality whatsoever, it is just a "divine accusative", extrinsic denomination taken from the act of divine undersanding. So essences in esse intentionale are, in themselves and really speaking, just nothing. The distinction between essence and existence thus boils down to the distincion between an essence qua merely possible, and an essence qua actual - and not a distinction between two co-principles constituting an actual individual being (which is the conclusion Suárez arrives at).

Wow! I stumbled upon a Scotistic line of thought, despite knowing little about Scotus.

I agree that a real distinction between essence and esse intentionale is not the same as a real distinction between essence and esse reale. That is obvious in our own case.

But isn't it arguable that the two distinctions coincide in the case of God? Socrates really exists. But he is wholly dependent on God for his existence. God is a mind, and Socrates is an intentional object of the divine mind. So the esse reale of S = S's esse intentionale in relation to God.

>>So essences in esse intentionale are, in themselves and really speaking, just nothing.<<

That is not at all clear! A merely intentional object is something definite, hence not nothing. By definition, a merely intentional object is an object of awareness that does not (really) exist. Suppose I am thinking about a two-headed horse. My act of thinking is object-directed(has intentionality), and the object is distinct from the act of thinking. So the object, though merely intentional, is not nothing. Why not say it has esse intentionale?

Peter,

I'm not following you, but we can hash this out over Sunday breakfast at out favorite hash house.

Bill,

But if I reject (c), how can I claim, as I have, that while Socrates is possibly nonexistent, he is not possibly non-human?
Doesn't the left-to-right implication in (a) give you just this? It says, If Socrates exists, then he is a man. Isn't that what you want to say? You don't need a formulation explicitly involving necessarily or possibly. The modality is captured in the implication itself.

Dear Bill,

I am a bit confused by your last comment. I thought you were doing this: since it turns out that there is no possible world where Socrates would not exist but still be human (posses his essence), the modal argument for real distinction fails. So let us re-conceive essence so that we obtain such worlds. This is achieved by stipulating that in worlds where Socrates does not exist really, he still exists intentionally, and therefore he can be said here to posses his essence, without having existence. Which would restore the modal argument. Is that what you intended?

If yes, then I say: good, but then the modal argument only proves a distinction between existence and intentionally existing essence, not between existence and really existing essence. So i was not speaking about the distinction between essence and intensional existence or essence and real existence.

Esse reale and esse intentionale in relation to God certainly are not identical: there are many things that are thought by God but do not really exist. The real existence of things is contingent and depending on God's will, whereas intentional existence is necessary and its source is divine intellect. It is not enough for God to conceive something in order that it really existed.

No problem to say that a two-headed horse has esse intentionale; but then we have to ask, what this esse is. There are reasons to think that it is nothing in the horse: for cognition is an immanent, not transitive, operation, i.e. its results remain wholly in its subject (it would be absurd to think that by conceiving Obama just now I have actually caused a change in him). "To be conceived" etc. are therefore mere extrinsic denominations or extrinsic properties; and therefore entities which are endowed exclusively with such esse intentionale are in fact in themselves nothing. I think it is an error (but seductive!) to think that a thing must be something in order to be capable of being conceived (or referred to).

If that is true, it follows that Socrates in esse intentionale and Socrates in esse reale do not have anything in common; there is really no common essence which would fisrt be in potency to existence and then actually endowed with it - which would allow us to argue for the real distinction. The essence is really there only when Socrates starts really existing; and so it seems sufficient to account (formally) for Socrates' existence.

Scotus does admit modes of esse, but as regards esse intentionale, he insists that it is no true being at all:

And if you are looking for some “true being” of this object as such [viz. of the object qua conceived], there is none to be found over and above that “being in a qualified sense”, except that this “being in a qualified sense” can be reduced to some “being in an unqualified sense”, which is the being of the respective intellection. But this being in an unqualified sense does not belong to that which is said to “be in a qualified sense” formally, but only terminatively or principiatively — which means that to this “true being” that “being in a qualifi ed sense” is reduced, so that without the true being of this [intellection] there would be no “being in a qualifi ed sense” of that [object qua conceived]. (Ord. I, dist. 36, q. un., n. 46 (ed. Vat. VI, 289))

This is a admittedly a little rough (doing this quickly after getting home from Mass), but it seems to me that perhaps Bill's argument can be strengthened with some Ontological Argument style reasoning:

1. Whatever has existence, essentially, in at least one possible world, exists in all possible worlds
2. Socrates has existence, essentially, in at least one possible world
3.Socrates exists in all possible worlds (which is clearly false)

The major seems necessarily true, showing the minor shouldn't be too hard. It's clear that Socrates is, essentially, a man in at least one possible world, and if we assume the essence of man is identical to existence, then we can argue:
Whatever has the essence of man is identical to existence
Socrates has the essence of man (at least in the world in which he exists)
Socrates is identical to existence (at least in the world in which he exists).

David,

"The modality is captured in the implication itself."

First, you seem to be conflating here the material conditional (if/then) with implication, which is an intensional relation.

Second, where is the necessity in "If Socrates exists, then he is a man"? How is this conditional any different from, say, "If Socrates is married, then he is happy"? Surely the later fails to capture any essential property of Socrates or of being married.

Bill,

strangely, about each other attempt of mine to comment at your blog fails
(even though I get the confirming message).

So, once more and better: :-)

Starting from the end of your reply: no problem to say that a merely intentional object O has an esse intentionale; but what is this esse? There are reaosns to think that it is nothing within O: for objects have intentional being in virtue of being conceived (known, etc...), and cognition in general is an immanent operation, i.e. its effects remain within its subject. It would be absurd to assume that by conceiving of Obama just now (and so imparting him an esse intentionale) I cause a change in him! So intentional being seems to be a mere extrisic denomination from the cognitive act, a merely extrinsic property. Consequently, objects which have only intentional being, are in themselves nothing. They do not represent an item in the complete inventory of what is there. It seems to me that it is an error (yes, I beleive there are philosophical errors:-)) to assume that objects must be something in themselves in order to be capable of being conceived (or referred to).

As for Scotus, there is not a complete consensus on that matter, but I am convinced that this precisely was his point when he criticised Henry of Ghents "esse essentiae". He has no problem with modes of being in general, but as for intentional being he denies that it is in any sense a true being - itis a mere "esse secundum quid", which is not a genuine "esse", just like fake money is not money. Cf. this famous passage:

And if you are looking for some “true being” of this object as such [viz. of
the object qua conceived], there is none to be found over and above that
“being in a qualified sense”, except that this “being in a qualified sense” can
be reduced to some “being in an unqualified sense”, which is the being of
the respective intellection. But this being in an unqualified sense does not
belong to that which is said to “be in a qualified sense” formally, but only
terminatively or principiatively — which means that to this “true being” that
“being in a qualifi ed sense” is reduced, so that without the true being of this
[intellection] there would be no “being in a qualified sense” of that [object
qua conceived]. - Ord. I, dist. 36, q. un., n. 46 (ed. Vat. VI, 289)

Now my point is: If it is correct that intentional being does not impart any kind of reality whatsoever to its subject, then the conclusion that existence is distinct from an essence-in-intentional-being -- the only conclusion enabled by the move introducing "esse intentionale" -- has no bearing on the question whether there is a real composition withing a really existing individual of two real co-principles, essence and existence.

Note that I was contrasting the distinction between essence-in-intentional-being and existence against the distinction between essence-in-real-being and existence (and claimed that only the former can be inferred by your argument) -- and not, as you interpret it, the distinction between essence and esse intentionale against the distinction between essence and esse reale.

As for the identity of esse reale and esse intentionale in relation to God, I don't think it can be admitted - simply because not all that God thinks of needs to exist. God thinks of all the possibilia, so all the possible worlds have esse intentionale (and necessarily so), but only the actual world exists really, due to a contingent decret of divine will.

Hello Peter,

Yes, I thought you or Bill would pick me up on that. I think that we derive our sense of the necessary from our experience of inference. If we are given If Socrates exists, then he is a man, and also Socrates exists then we infer Socrates is a man. This inference has the 'force' of necessity behind it. Socrates must be a man. Not possibly not. We have touched on this topic before, I think. But for the present I can fall back on the explicit modality present in (a).

David,

I agree in part with Peter in his response to you. We need to make a three-fold distinction:

a. Material implication. 'p --> q' is false just in case p is true and q false. In the other three cases it is true. '-->' is a truth-functional connective that abstracts from the meanings of the propositions. Thus 'Peter smokes' materially implies 'David lives in London.'

b. Strict implication. This is the necessitation of material implication: Nec (p --> q). I want to Peter to note that is still purely extensional, not intensional! Nothing depends on the meanings (intensions) of the propositions. Thus 'Necessarily, if green is a color, then 2 + 2 = 4' is true because there is no possible world in which the antecedent is true and the consequent false. Obviously there is no meaning connection between antecedent and consequent. Note also that 'Necessarily, Socrates is self-diverse --> London is a city' is true even though the antecedent is impossible. For there is no possible world in which the antecedent is true and the consequent false. And so there are 'paradoxes' of strict implication as there are 'paradoxes' of material implication.

c. Analytic entailment. 'If Tom is a bachelor, then Tom is male.' This goes beyond material implication and strict implication. For now, to compute the truth value we need to consider the meanings of the constituent propositions.

David writes, >>I think that we derive our sense of the necessary from our experience of inference. If we are given If Socrates exists, then he is a man, and also Socrates exists then we infer Socrates is a man. This inference has the 'force' of necessity behind it. Socrates must be a man.<<

Well, you have to distinguish the necessity of an inference and the necessity of a proposition involved in an inference. Contrast these two arguments:

If Socrates exists, then he is a man; Socrates exists; ergo, Socrates is a man. The argument is valid in virtue of its form (modus ponens) and the inference is correct (truth-preserving).

The same goes for: If Socrates exists, then he is a philosopher; Socrates exists; ergo, Socrates is a philosopher. Valid argument, correct inference. But note that the major premise is contingently true unlike in the first argument where the major premise is necessarily true.

Note too that in the second argument, the conclusion is contingently true, not necessarily true even though the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises.

One must not confuse the necessity of the consequence (the inference) with the necessity of the consequent (that which is inferred).

I conclude that we have some sort of insight into necessity that is independent of inference.

For example, 7 is essentially a prime number: in every possible world in which it exists, it is prime. And since it exists in every possible world, we can go further and say that 7 is necessarily prime.

Bill,

I agree with your threefold distinction. However, when David mentioned 'implication' I thought he meant what you call "analytic entailment".

David,

I suspect your view is that modality is dispensable in terms of provability. I demur.

However, going back to our primary concern. (c) as formulated is false. Moreover, it fails to capture Bill's original concern of stating both that to be a man is an essential property of Socrates and that essence is to be distinguished from existence. Bill can reformulate (c) as a de-re reading of "Socrates is necessarily a man, if he exists at all." I am not sure whether the left-to-right conditional of (a) gives you that, as you propose, because the consequence here is a material conditional and that, I worry, won't do.

Hi Scott Sullivan,

Welcome to the discussion. You give this argument:

1. Whatever has existence, essentially, in at least one possible world, exists in all possible worlds
2. Socrates has existence, essentially, in at least one possible world
3.Socrates exists in all possible worlds (which is clearly false)

You say the major is necessarily true. I have a problem right there.

I exist in the actual world, hence I exist in at least one possible world, but I don't exist in all worlds. I exist in some but not all worlds, which is to say: I am a contingent being.

It is also not clear what it means to exist essentially in at least one possible world. Either x exists in world w or it does not.
*Essentially* is a modal concept. X is essentially F =df x is F in every possible world in which it exists.

Only necessary beings are such that, if they exist in one world, then they exist in all. For example, if God is possible, then God is necessary, which entails that God is actual.

Peter,

I argued as follows: S is possibly nonexistent but S is not possibly non-human. Ergo, the existence of S is not the same as his particular humanity.

Novak replied by rejecting my premise. Novak maintained in effect that S is possibly nonexistent (There are possible worlds in which S does not exist) but it is also true that S is possibly non-human because there are possible worlds in which S is not human. For in every world in which S does not exist he is not there to have or lack properties.

You want me to say to Novak: S. is not necessarily existent, but he is necessarily a man given that he exists.

But this doesn't work. For if S is necessarily a man given that he exists, then he is a man in every possible world in which case he necessarily exists.

I don't think you appreciate the force of Novak's objection.

Bill,

1. "if S is necessarily a man given that he exists, then he is a man in every possible world in which case he necessarily exists."

Not true. From the fact that "S is necessarily a man, if S exists" it does not follow that "S is a man in every possible world" or that "S necessarily exists".

2. "I don't think you appreciate the force of Novak's objection."

With due respect to Novak, no I don't. My reasoning is as follows.
Intuitively, I do not appreciate Novak's objection because it flies in the face of our normal modal intuitions. If Socrates fails to exist in a given world w, then it is simply false to say that in w Socrates is not a man; this is simply not what one would say. Instead one would simply say that in such a world, the sentences 'Socrates is a man' and 'Socrates is not a man' have no truth values due to the lack of a suitable reference for the term 'Socrates' (or because he does not exist).

3. In order to highlight my point consider your statement of Novak's objection:

"... but it is also true that S is possibly non-human because there are possible worlds in which S is not human."

So the claim is: given that Socrates in the actual world exists and is human, but he might not have existed at all, it is alleged to be true that "Possibly Socrates is non-human".

OK. Let w* be a putative world in which Socrates does not exist. Could "Socrates is not-human" be true in w*. Now, in order to determine truth conditions for 'Socrates is non-human' in w*, we must assign a referent to 'Socrates'. What would that referent be? It can't be Socrates, since, ex-hypothesis, Socrates does not exist in w*. And it can't be any other object in w*, say a rock, since that won't capture Novak's idea that it might be true that it is *Socrates* who is non-human. So the idea is that Socrates is human in every world in which he exists; in worlds in which Socrates fails to exist, the sentences 'Socrates is human' and 'Socrates is non-human' have no truth values.

To conclude, I fail to see how the opposite conclusion can be justified nor do I see which modal intuitions Novak's argument aims to capture.

Hi Bill,
What I mean by 1 is that is that to have existence essentially is to have it necessarily. In other words it is to be a necessary being.

So if "being a man" is identified with "existence", then Socrates' essence is existence, which makes Socrates a necessary being (in at least one possible world).

Thus if that were true, then Socrates would exist in all possible worlds, since what you say is correct - necessary beings, if they exist in one possible world, they exist in all. This is clearly false for Socrates.

So for this reason we should reject the idea that "being a man" is identical to existence.

Peter Lupu,

when one says that Socrates does not exist in w*, one need not look for a referent in w*. Quite naturally, we refer rigidly to Socrates who exists in some words and does not exist in other words, without needing to specify precisely where Socrates exists and where he dose not, in order that the reference be succesful. And of this individual it is true that in the world w* he does not exist. The possibility to refer to individuals regardless of their existence is entailed in the possibility to use existence as a first-order predicate (which is something we agree on with Bill). It is also entailed in the natural language, which uses contrafactuals like "if my parents never met, I would not exist", which are perfectly meaningful, and in this case even true.

In the same way, when we say that "Socrates is not human in w*", where "not human" is mere negation of "human" (and not some disguised positive property like "either Martian or bovine or..."), we refer rigidly to Socrates, an individual existing (among other places) in the actual world and ascribe to him absence of humanity in the world w*. And since Socrates, as stipulated, does not exist in w*, he certainly is not human in w*, therefore the truth condition of his not being human there is fulfilled.

Lukas contra Peter

The possible world w* is stipulated to be a world in which Socrates does not exist. Since S. is a contingent being, there must be at least one such world. And we all agree that S. is essentially human: human in every world in which he exists. So what is the disagreement about?

Peter seems to be saying that in w* 'S. is not human' has no truth value, while Lukas seems to be saying that in w* the sentence is false. Peter holds his view because he assumes that a sentence about an individual cannot have a truth value in a world w unless the individual exists in w. Lukas rejects this assumption: he thinks that a sentence about an individual can have a truth value in w even if the individual does not exist in w.

Thus Lukas thinks 'Socrates is not human' is true in w* even though S. does not exist in w*. If I understand Lukas, he thinks that the fact that 'Socrates' does in actuality have a referent suffices for successful reference with respect to all worlds, including those in which S. does not exist.

I think what Lukas is assuming is this: A singular proposition p about an individual x can be evaluated with respect to a possible world w even if x does not exist in w. Peter doesn't assume this.

Now, is this what you boys are at root disagreeing about?

Bill,

yes, this seems to be the issue. Only I would not put it so that it is the reference which is "with respect to all worlds"; as though there was any variation or multiplication or multifurcation in the reference across the worlds. Rather, I would put it so that there is one single individual capable of being referred to by a unitary, invariable reference, and this individual has certain modal dimension, which is manifested as variation of some of its properties (including existence/non-existence) across the possible worlds.

Plus this consideration: Peter Lupu seems to think that in order to evaluate a proposition in relation to a possible world, we should imagine the proposition as "being in" that world and so being confined to the inventory of that world. But this seems to me wrong. Propositions need not be "in" the worlds they are about. In fact, they are all in the actual world. In case a different world were actual, there would be different propositions.

Lukas,

I wasn't suggesting that there is any multifurcation of reference. We are all assuming, I think, that 'Socrates' is a rigid designator, not a definite description in disguise. My point was that sentences containing 'Socrates' can be evaluated in all worlds, including those in which S. does not exist.

Your view seems to be this: The REFERENCE of 'Socrates' is invariable across all worlds, but only in some worlds does the name have a REFERENT. Right?

How do you view propositions? In a Russellian manner? Does the proposition expressed by 'Socrates is wise' have Socrates himself as a constituent? If yes, then this proposition exists only in those worlds in which Socrates exists.

Lukas,

How would you refute this argument:

Peter's nonexistence is thinkable without contradiction. Peter's non-self-identity is not thinkable without contradiction. Therefore, Peter's existence is not the same as Peter's self-identity.

Bill,

"Peter seems to be saying that in w* 'S. is not human' has no truth value, while Lukas seems to be saying that in w* the sentence is false."

Actually, the problem is that Lucas argues that the sentence 'S. is non-human' is *true* in a possible world in which S. fails to exist, as you yourself stated in a previous post:

"Novak maintained in effect that S is possibly nonexistent (There are possible worlds in which S does not exist) but it is also true that S is possibly non-human because there are possible worlds in which S is not human. For in every world in which S does not exist he is not there to have or lack properties." (BV: Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 05:56 PM)

That is why you thought that Lukas has an objection against one of your arguments for the distinction between essence and existence.

I reject Lukas' claim because I simply cannot see how we can attribute a property to Socrates in worlds in which he fails to exist. I ask: to which object are we attributing the property in a such a world?

Imagine a world w* (distinct from the actual world) in which the only objects are Plato, Aristotle, and Kant (this is it!). For simplicity, let us assume that names are rigid. Now, if the sentence 'Socrates is non-human' is true/false in w*, then the term 'Socrates' must designate one of these three gentlemen. Which one? Not Plato; not Aristotle; not Kant, since none of these gentlemen is identical to Socrates in the actual world. If 'Socrates' designates nothing in w*, then the sentence 'Socrates is non-human' cannot have a truth value in w*. (you can run the argument in the same way regarding Russelian propositions as you suggested in your recent post).

Lukas,

1. "Peter Lupu seems to think that in order to evaluate a proposition in relation to a possible world, we should imagine the proposition as "being in" that world and so being confined to the inventory of that world."

I do not hold the view that *propositions* must be "in" a world in order to evaluate them with respect to truth values. Rather, I hold that in order to evaluate certain sentences/propositions (i.e., so-called "singular sentences/propositions") about a given individual (say, Socrates), that individual must exist in that world. O/w I do not see how such sentences are evaluated.

2. Now, I think Lukas has in mind something like the following. 'to exist' and 'not to exist' are properties of individuals, not much different than: 'being human' and 'being non-human'; 'being happy' and being 'non-happy'; etc.

Now, just like we can permute these last two pairs of properties (human/happy and their negations) so as to obtain various so-called possible worlds, we can permute the pair of existence properties with say the pair being human/non-human. The result is a putative possible world in which Socrates gets the permutation: not-existing + non-human.

My problem with this picture:

(A) What (who) is the thing which gets the permutation in question (i.e., is non-existing + non-human)? Not Socrates, for in this permutation-world, Socrates is non-existent?

(B) Following Lukas, if *there is some object* in this particular permutation-world which gets the combined properties; non-existent + non-human, then it seems we have two concepts of existence operating simultaneously here: the first concept is expressed by the four star words following 'if' (i.e., 'there is some object') and the second is the property of non-existence that we assume in this world the object in question (namely, Socrates) lacks.

I ask Lukas: What is the difference between these two concepts of existence?

And now an admission. Lukas raised two serious and related problems for my position.

1. I hold that in a world w* in which Socrates does not exist, sentences about Socrates have no truth value. (this can be rephrased in terms of a suitable notion of a proposition). But, surely, the sentence 'Socrates does not exist' is true in w*. This seems to contradict my official position.

2. A similar problem arises regarding certain sentences containing indexicals (e.g., 'I'). Lukas points out that certain counterfactuals containing the indexical 'I' are perfectly meaningful and even true. E.g., Lukas says: ""if my parents never met, I would not exist". So we imagine a possible world in which my parents never met (not even by means of IVF). In such a world the sentence 'I do not exist" is true. But in such a world 'I' fails to have a referent (since I do not exist in such a world). So how do we determine the truth-value of this sentence? Note that the construction '(x)~ (x = I)' does not seem to work.

While there may be a metalinguistic trick to solve these problems, I do not find that they get to the heart of the problem Lukas raises, particularly if the problem is recast in terms of propositions rather than sentences.

Bill,

could I distinguish real and merely intentional self-identity? In worlds where Peter does not exist, he cannot be really self-identical, because he cannot bear real properties at all. But he is still intentionally self-identical even there (that's why we can talk about the same Peter as existing in one world and not existing in another). So Peter's real non-self-identity is thinkable without contradiction just like his non-existence: there are worlds, where Peter is not, i.e. where Peter is not really Peter. Thus Peter's existence is only proved to be not the same as his intentional self-identity, which Peter enjoys in all possible worlds and which does not involve keeping one's essence really, but as far as the argument goes, it can still be identical to Peter's real self-identity.

To Bill's other comment:

Bill: "The REFERENCE of 'Socrates' is invariable across all worlds, but only in some worlds does the name have a REFERENT. Right?"

Well - it seems misleading to me to put it thus. I would not say that 'Socrates' does not "have a referent in a world". I would say that 'Socrates' either has or has not a referent, full stop, for all the worlds. The fact that the referent may not exist in some worlds does not affect the reference, or its being the referent, in any way.

I take propositions to be meanings (senses) of sentences, i.e. intentionally existing objects. Categoric propositions are IMO intentional identifications (or dis-identifications, if negative) of a conceptual content expressed by the predicate with one or more individuals referred to by the subject. The proposition 'Socrates is wise' is an intentional identification of the conceptual content or objective concept 'wise' with Socrates: it's a (objective content of a) cognitive reflexion of identity of Socrates and that which we conceive as wise.

Thus conceived, a proposition involves the real Socrates (because Socrates is real), but does not require his reality; in order to be capable of becoming a subject of a predication, it is enough for Socrates to be represented by a concept, i.e. to have intentional being.

Lukas,

I was thinking along those lines myself. The problem, however, is that the distinction between Peter's existence and his intentional self-identity is not a real distinction, but a notional one. It is not a distinction in Peter apart from us and our thinking, but a distinction that arises when we think about Peter.

When I think about Peter, or any contingent individual, I cannot think of him except as self-identical, even when I think about him as nonexistent. But this does not prove the distinctio realis.

That distinction, though not a distinction between two things, as Giles of Rome is supposed to have thought, is nevertheless a distinction in reality independent of our finite minds.

Now, do you hold that Peter is identical to his existence? If not, why not? And if Peter were identical to his existence, would it not follow that he is a necessary being?

Lukas,

Am I to understand you that there is what you call "intentional existence" and "intentional self-identity" in addition to existence and self-identity, where the former are defined in terms of "thinking about" whereas the later are defined independently from thought?

If the above correctly represents your view, then I have a couple of questions:

What are the identity conditions of Socrates intentional-existence? Are these conditions different from existence "in re"?

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