Existence is what is asserted by the verb 'exist' (derived from the Latin word 'existere', meaning to appear or emerge or stand out). Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. The word 'exist' is certainly a grammatical predicate, but philosophers have long disputed whether it is also a logical predicate. In traditional Grammar, a predicate is one of the two main parts of a sentence (the other being the subject, which the predicate modifies Sometimes it is inconvenient or impossible to describe a set by listing all of its elements
Some philosophers claim that it predicates something called 'existence' of the subject. Thus 'four-leaved clover exists' predicates 'exists' of the subject 'four-leafed clover'. Cognates for this predicate are 'is real', 'has being', 'is found in reality', 'is in the real world' and so on. Cognates in Linguistics are words that have a common origin They may occur within a language such as shirt and skirt as two English words descended from
Other philosophers have denied that existence is logically a predicate, and claim that it is merely what is asserted by the etymologically distinct verb 'is', and that all statements containing the predicate 'exists' can be reduced to statements that do not use this predicate. Etymology is the study of the History of Words &mdash when they entered a language from what source and how their form and meaning have changed over time For example, 'Four-leaved clover exists' can be analysed into the equivalent statement 'some clover is four-leaved', where the verb 'is' connects the subject 'some clover' with the predicate 'four-leaved'.
This philosophical question is an old one, and has been discussed and argued over by philosophers from Aristotle, through Avicenna, Aquinas, Scotus, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard and many others. Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. TemplateInfobox Muslim scholars --> ( Persian /ابو علی الحسین ابن عبدالله ابن سینا (born Immanuel Kant (ɪmanuəl kant 22 April 1724 12 February 1804 was an 18th-century German Philosopher from the Prussian city of Königsberg Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (ˈsœːɐn ˈkʰiɐ̯kəˌɡ̊ɒˀ in Danish Anglicized as;)
In the western tradition of philosophy, the first comprehensive treatments of the subject are from Plato's Phaedo, Republic, and Statesman and Aristotle's Metaphysics, though earlier fragmentary writing exists. Avicennism ( is a school of Early Islamic philosophy which began during the middle of the Islamic Golden Age. Scholasticism was the dominant form of theology and philosophy in the Latin West in the Middle Ages, particularly in the 12th 13th and 14th centuries Biography Early life Birth and family Plato was born in Athens Greece Plato 's Phaedo (ˈfiːdoʊ Greek: Φαίδων, Phaidon) is one of the great Dialogues of his middle period along with The Republic ( Greek: / Politeía, meaning "political system" Latin: Res Publica, meaning "public business" or The Statesman, or Politikos in Greek and Politicus in Latin, is a four part dialogue contained within the work of Plato. Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. Metaphysics is one of the principal works of Aristotle and the first major work of the branch of philosophy with the same name Aristotle developed a complicated theory of being, according to which only individual things, called substances fully have being, but other things such as relations, quantity, time and place (called the categories) have a derivative kind of being, dependent on individual things. Categories ( Lat Categoriae, Greek Κατηγορίαι Katēgoriai) is a text from Aristotle 's Organon that
The Neo-Platonists and some early Christian philosophers argued about whether existence had any reality except in the mind of God. Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical Philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD founded by Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings Some taught that existence was a snare and a delusion, that the world, the flesh, and the devil existed only to tempt weak humankind away from God.
The medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas, perhaps following the Persian philosopher Avicenna, argued that God is pure being, and that in God essence and existence are the same. Medieval philosophy is the Philosophy of Europe and the Middle East in the era now known as Medieval or the Middle Ages, the period roughly extending from Early Islamic philosophy or classical Islamic philosophy is a period of intense philosophical development beginning in the 2nd century AH of the Islamic calendar TemplateInfobox Muslim scholars --> ( Persian /ابو علی الحسین ابن عبدالله ابن سینا (born In Philosophy, essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an object or substance what it fundamentally is and which it has by necessity At about the same time, the nominalist philosopher William of Ockham, argued, in Book I of his Summa Totius Logicae (Treatise on all Logic, written some time before 1327) that Categories are not a form of Being in their own right, but derivative on the existence of individuals. Nominalism is a metaphysical view in Philosophy according to which general or abstract terms and predicates exist but that either universals William of Ockham (also Occam, Hockham, or any of several other spellings ˈɒkəm (c The Summa Logicae is a textbook on Logic by William of Ockham.
The early modern treatment of the subject derives from Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole's Logic, or 'The Art of Thinking', better known as the Port-Royal Logic, first published in 1662. The early modern period is a term used by historians to refer to the period in Western '''Europe''' and its first colonies which spans the three centuries between Antoine Arnauld, ( February 6, 1612 - August 6, 1694) &mdash le Grand as contemporaries called him to distinguish him from his Pierre Nicole ( 1625 - November 16, 1695) was one of the most distinguished of the French Jansenists Born in Chartres Port-Royal Logic, or Logique de Port-Royal, is the common name of La logique ou l'art de penser, an important textbook on logic first published anonymously Arnauld thought that a proposition or judgment, consists of taking two different ideas and either putting them together or rejecting them:
After conceiving things by our ideas, we compare these ideas and, finding that some belong together and others do not, we unite or separate them. In Logic and Philosophy, proposition refers to either (a the content or Meaning of a meaningful Declarative sentence Decision making can be regarded as an outcome of mental processes ( cognitive process) leading to the selection of a course of action among several alternatives This is called affirming or denying, and in general judging. This judgment is also called a proposition, and it is easy to see that it must have two terms. One term, of which one affirms or denies something, is called the subject; the other term, which is affirmed or denied, is called the attribute or Praedicatum. Not to be confused with the subiectum or Hypokeimenon in Aristotelianism Sometimes it is inconvenient or impossible to describe a set by listing all of its elements
—Antoine Arnauld, The Art of Thinking (Port-Royal Logic),(1662) (translated J. Port-Royal Logic, or Logique de Port-Royal, is the common name of La logique ou l'art de penser, an important textbook on logic first published anonymously Buroker 1996), Logic, II. 3, page 82
The two terms are joined by the verb "is" (or "is not", if the predicate is denied of the subject). Thus every proposition has three components: the two terms, and the "copula" that connects or separates them. Even when the proposition has only two words, the three terms are still there. For example "God loves humanity", really means "God is a lover of humanity", "God exists" means "God is a thing".
This theory of judgment dominated logic for centuries, but it has some obvious difficulties: it only considers proposition of the form "All A are B. ", a form which logicians call universal. In Predicate logic, universal quantification is an attempt to formalize the notion that something (a Logical predicate) is true for everything, or every It does not allow propositions of the form "Some A are B. ", a form logicians call existential. In Predicate logic, an existential quantification is the predication of a property or relation to at least one member of the domain If neither A nor B includes the idea of existence, then "some A are B" simply adjoins A to B. Conversely, if A or B do include the idea of existence in the way that "triangle" contains the idea "three angles equal to two right angles", then "A exists" is automatically true, and we have an ontological proof of A's existence. An Ontological argument for the existence of God attempts the method of a priori proof, which uses intuition and reason alone (Indeed Arnauld's contemporary Descartes famously argued so, regarding the concept "God" (discourse 4, Meditation 5)). Arnauld's theory was current until the middle of the nineteenth century.
David Hume argued that the claim that a thing exists, when added to our notion of a thing, does not add anything to the concept. David Hume (26 April 1711 25 August 1776 Scottish Philosopher, Economist, and Historian is an important figure in Western philosophy For example, if we form a complete notion of Moses, and superadd to that notion the claim that Moses existed, we are not adding anything to the notion of Moses. Kant also argued that existence is not a "real" predicate, but gave no explanation of how this is possible, indeed his famous discussion of the subject is merely a restatement of Arnauld's doctrine that in the proposition "God is omnipotent", the verb "is" signifies the joining or separating of two concepts such as "God" and "omnipotence". Immanuel Kant (ɪmanuəl kant 22 April 1724 12 February 1804 was an 18th-century German Philosopher from the Prussian city of Königsberg
Existence is often considered as to be "there". As cited in "The Giver". By Louis Lowry.
John Stuart Mill (and also Kant's pupil Herbart) argued that the predicative nature of existence was proved by sentences like "A centaur is a poetic fiction"  or "A greatest number is impossible" (Herbart). John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 &ndash 8 May 1873 British Philosopher, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament, was an influential Johann Friedrich Herbart ( May 4, 1776 - August 11, 1841) was a German Philosopher, Psychologist, and founder  Franz Brentano challenged this, so also (as is better known) did Frege. Franz Clemens Honoratus Hermann Brentano (January 16 1838 &ndash March 17 1917 was an influential German philosopher and psychologist whose influence Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege ( 8 November 1848, Wismar, Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin  &ndash 26 July 1925 Brentano argued that we can join the concept represented by a noun phrase "an A" to the concept represented by an adjective "B" to give the concept represented by the noun phrase "a B-A". For example, we can join "a man" to "wise" to give "a wise man". But the noun phrase "a wise man" is not a sentence, whereas "some man is wise" is a sentence. Hence the copula must do more than merely join or separate concepts. Furthermore, adding "exists" to "a wise man", to give the complete sentence "a wise man exists" has the same effect as joining "some man" to "wise" using the copula. So the copula has the same effect as "exists". Brentano argued that every categorical proposition can be translated into an existential one without change in meaning and that the "exists" and "does not exist" of the existential proposition take the place of the copula. He showed this by the following examples:
Frege developed a similar view (though later) in his great work The Foundations of Arithmetic, as did Charles Peirce. Die Grundlagen der Arithmetik (The Foundations of Arithmetic is a book by Gottlob Frege, published in 1884 in which he investigates the philosophical foundations Charles Sanders Peirce (pronounced purse) (September 10 1839 &ndash April 19 1914 was an American Logician mathematician, philosopher The Frege-Brentano view is the basis of the dominant position in modern Anglo-American philosophy: that existence is asserted by the existential quantifier (as expressed by Quine's slogan "To be is to be the value of a variable. Analytic philosophy (sometimes analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of Philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25 1908 Akron, Ohio &ndash December 25 2000 (known to intimates as "Van" " — On What There Is, 1948). 
In Two Dogmas of Empiricism, Quine says of classes,
The issue over there being classes seems more a question of convenient conceptual scheme; the issue over there being centaurs, or brick houses on Elm Street, seems more a question of fact. W V O Quine's paper " Two Dogmas of Empiricism " published in 1951, is one of the most celebrated papers of Twentieth century Philosophy But I have been urging that this difference is only one of degree, and that it turns upon our vaguely pragmatic inclination to adjust one strand of the fabric of science rather than another in accommodating some particular recalcitrant experience. 
In mathematical logic, there are two quantifiers, "some" and "all", though as Brentano (1838-1917) pointed out, we can make do with just one quantifier and negation. Mathematical logic is a subfield of Logic and Mathematics with close connections to Computer science and Philosophical logic. Franz Clemens Honoratus Hermann Brentano (January 16 1838 &ndash March 17 1917 was an influential German philosopher and psychologist whose influence The first of these quantifiers, "some" is also expressed as "there exists". Thus, in the sentence "There exist a man," the term "man" is asserted to be part of existence. But we can also assert, "There exists a triangle. " Is a "triangle", an abstract idea, part of existence in the same way that a "man", a physical body, is part of existence? Do abstractions such as goodness, blindness, and virtue exist in the same sense that chairs, tables, and houses exist? What categories, or kinds of thing can be the subject or the predicate of a proposition?
Worse, does "existence" exist?
In some statements, existence is implied without being mentioned. Categories ( Lat Categoriae, Greek Κατηγορίαι Katēgoriai) is a text from Aristotle 's Organon that The statement "A bridge crosses the Thames at Hammersmith. " cannot just be about a bridge, the Thames, and Hammersmith. It must be about "existence" as well. On the other hand, the statement "A bridge crosses the Styx at Limbo," has the same form, but while in the first case we understand a real bridge in the real world made of stone or brick, what "existence" would mean in the second case is less clear.
The nominalist approach is to argue that certain noun phrases can be "eliminated" by rewriting a sentence in a form that has the same meaning, but which does not contain the noun phrase. Nominalism is a metaphysical view in Philosophy according to which general or abstract terms and predicates exist but that either universals Thus Ockham argued that "Socrates has wisdom", which apparently asserts the existence of a reference for "wisdom", can be rewritten as "Socrates is wise", which contains only the referring phrase "Socrates". William of Ockham (also Occam, Hockham, or any of several other spellings ˈɒkəm (c This method became widely accepted in the twentieth century by the analytic school of philosophy. Analytic philosophy (sometimes analytical philosophy) is a generic term for a style of Philosophy that came to dominate English-speaking countries in the 20th century
However, this argument may be inverted by realists in arguing that since the sentence "Socrates is wise" can be rewritten as "Socrates has wisdom", this proves the existence of a hidden referent for "wise". Contemporary philosophical realism is the belief in a Reality that is completely Ontologically independent of our conceptual schemes linguistic practices beliefs
A further problem is that human beings seem to process information about fictional characters in much the same way that they process information about real people. For example, in the 2008 United States presidential election, a politician and actor named Fred Thompson ran for the Republican Party nomination. In polls, potential voters identified Fred Thompson as a "law and order" candidate. Thompson plays a fictional character on the television series Law and Order. The term " Law & Order franchise" is commonly used to describe a number of related American Television programs created by Dick There is no doubt that the people who make the comment are aware that Law and Order is fiction, but at some level, they process fiction as if it were fact. Another example of this is the common experience of actresses who play the villain in a soap opera being accosted in public as if they are to blame for the actions of the character they play.
A scientist might make a clear distinction about objects that exist, and assert that all objects that exist are made up of either matter or energy. But in the layperson's worldview, existence includes real, fictional, and even contradictory objects. A comprehensive world view (or worldview) is a term Calqued from the German word Weltanschauung ( Welt is the German Thus if we reason from the statement Pegasus flies to the statement Pegasus exists, we are not asserting that Pegasus is made up of atoms, but rather that Pegasus exists in a particular worldview, the worldview of classical myth. In Greek mythology, Pegasus ( Greek: Πήγασος, Pégasos, 'strong' was a winged horse that was the son of Poseidon, in his role When a mathematicians reasons from the statement "ABC is a triangle" to the statement "triangles exist", she is not asserting that triangles are made up of atoms but rather that triangles exist within a particular mathematical model. Note The term model has a different meaning in Model theory, a branch of Mathematical logic.
According to Bertrand Russell's Theory of Descriptions, the negation operator in a singular sentence takes wide and narrow scope: we distinguish between "some S is not P" (where negation takes "narrow scope") and "it is not the case that 'some S is P'" (where negation takes "wide scope"). Bertrand Arthur William Russell 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970 was a British Philosopher, Historian The theory of descriptions is one of the philosopher Bertrand Russell 's most significant contributions to the Philosophy of language. The problem with this view is that there appears to be no such scope distinction in the case of proper names. The sentences "Socrates is not bald" and "it is not the case that Socrates is bald" both appear to have the same meaning, and they both appear to assert or presuppose the existence of someone (Socrates) who is not bald, so that negation takes narrow scope.
The theory of descriptions has generally fallen into disrepute, though there have been recent attempts to revive it by Stephen Neale and Frank Jackson. Stephen Roy Albert Neale (born January 9 1958 is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and holder of the John H Frank Cameron Jackson (born 1943 is an Australian philosopher currently Distinguished Professor and former Director According to the direct-reference view, an early version of which was originally proposed by Bertrand Russell, and perhaps earlier by Gottlob Frege, a proper name strictly has no meaning when there is no object to which it refers. A direct reference theory is a theory of meaning that claims that the meaning of an expression lies in what it points out in the world Bertrand Arthur William Russell 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970 was a British Philosopher, Historian Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege ( 8 November 1848, Wismar, Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin  &ndash 26 July 1925 This view relies on the argument that the semantic function of a proper name is to tell us which object bears the name, and thus to identify some object. But no object can be identified if none exists. Thus, a proper name must have a bearer if it is to be meaningful.
To adapt an argument of Peter Strawson's, someone who points to an apparently empty space, uttering "that's a fine red one" communicates nothing to someone who cannot see or understand what he is pointing to. Sir Peter Frederick Strawson ( 23 November 1919  &ndash 13 February 2006) was an English philosopher Variants of the direct-reference view have been proposed by Saul Kripke, Gareth Evans, Nathan Salmon, Scott Soames, and others. Saul Aaron Kripke (born on November 13, 1940 in Bay Shore New York) is an American philosopher and Logician now Emeritus Gareth Evans ( 12 May 1946 &ndash 10 August 1980) was a British Philosopher at Oxford University during Nathan U Salmon (né Nathan Salmon Ucuzoglu 1951 - is an American philosopher in the analytic tradition specializing in Philosophy of language Scott Soames (born 1946) is a professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California.
According to the "two sense" view of existence, which derives from Alexius Meinong, existential statements fall into two classes. Alexius Meinong ( July 17, 1853 - November 27, 1920) was an Austrian Philosopher.
The problem is then evaded as follows. "Pegasus flies" implies existence in the wide sense, for it implies that something flies. But it does not imply existence in the narrow sense, for we deny existence in this sense by saying that Pegasus does not exist. In effect, the world of all things divides, on this view, into those (like Socrates, the planet Venus, and New York City) that have existence in the narrow sense, and those (like Sherlock Holmes, the goddess Venus, and Minas Tirith) that do not. SOCRATES is the European Community action programme in the field of Education. The VENUS ( V ictoria E xperimental N etwork U nder the S ea project is a cabled sea floor observatory operated by the University Sherlock Holmes is a famous fictional detective of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who first appeared in Publication in 1887 Venus was a major Roman Goddess principally associated with Love, Beauty and fertility, the equivalent of the Greek goddess This article is about the city in the Third Age. For the First Age tower of the same name see Minas Tirith (First Age.
However, common sense suggests the non-existence of such things as fictional characters or places.
Influenced by the views of Brentano's pupil Alexius Meinong, and by Edmund Husserl, Germanophone and Francophone philosophy took a different direction regarding the question of existence. Alexius Meinong ( July 17, 1853 - November 27, 1920) was an Austrian Philosopher. Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (ˈhʊsɛrl April 8 1859 – April 26 1938) was a philosopher, known as the father of Existentialism has been a major strand of continental philosophy in the twentieth century. Existentialism is a philosophical doctrine which posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives and that this essence follows from their existence Continental philosophy, in contemporary usage refers to a set of traditions of 19th and 20th century philosophy from mainland Europe
" la Cogito ergo sum " (I think therefore I am sometimes misquoted as la Dubito ergo cogito ergo sum (Latin "I doubt therefore I think therefore I am" The cosmological argument is an Argument for the Existence of God or a " First Cause " Gödel's ontological proof is a formalization of Saint Anselm's Ontological argument for God 's existence by the mathematician Kurt Gödel. Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers theologians and others See also Western philosophy, Eastern religions, Eastern philosophy The Solipsism ( Latin: solus, alone + ipse, self is the philosophical idea that "My mind is the only thing that I know exists According to the Buddhist tradition all phenomena other than Nirvana, ( sankhara) are marked by three characteristics sometimes referred to as the Dharma seals The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP is a freely-accessible Online encyclopedia of Philosophy maintained by Stanford University. See also 2002 (disambiguation Year 2002 ( MMII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. Events 1218 - The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre for Egypt. 1276 - Magnus Ladulås is crowned