By A. Chakrabarti
This e-book attempts to discover, in language as non-technical as attainable, the inner most philosophical difficulties concerning the logical prestige of empty (singular) phrases corresponding to `Pegasus', `Batman', `The most unlikely staircase departs in Escher's portray `Ascending-Descending'+ etc., and concerning sentences which deny the lifestyles of singled-out fictional entities. it will likely be attention-grabbing for literary theorists with an aptitude for common sense, to scholars of metaphysics and philosophy of language, and for historians of philosophy attracted to the destiny of the Russell-Meinong debate. For lecturers of those facets of analytic philosophy this may offer a textbook which fits past the Western culture (without plunging into any mystical japanese `Emptiness', that is what a few earlier comparative philosophers did!).
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Additional resources for Denying Existence: The Logic, Epistemology and Pragmatics of Negative Existentials and Fictional Discourse
Etc. - relations further and further removed from our ordinary understanding of predication. 29He admits that upon his account all our talk is \,irtuallp to be placed in oratio obliqua. This is obviously too high a price to pay For a uniformity which is not even worth seeking. To summarise my qualms now, the so-called "office of Sherlock Holmes" may actually be fortuitously occupied without making it true that Sherlock Holmes exists. Unless one embraces the awkward alternative that only fictional names refer to offices, one has to reduce, in the same way as Russell, even non-vacuous names to definite descriptions.
With my picture of both serious and playful contexts of conversation overlooked by a double-natured stocktaking sort of talk, I have tried to provide a middle course between Quine's conservatism that existence is an illusory because universal property of all entities and the new "possibilism" that it is a genuine because non-universal property of some entities. I believe that within each 1 ordinary language-game existence is a universal but genuine property of individual ! topics of conversation.
Wummett (1981) The lnrerprernrion of Frege's Philosophj~,p. 393. '9 This concept, Kant says in a tell-tale parenthesis. R. B 627). Bennett (1974) Knnr's Dialectic. pp. 228-32. Hintikka (1981). Kant on Existence Predicarion ond thc 011tolr~gicnl Arxlo,renr. The strongest defence of the meta-linguistic view of singular existentials is to be found in Is Evisrerrce u Predicnte? B. Redmon (1978). Also see his paper "Exists" in Mind. January 1973. See 'Speaking of Nothing' by Donnellan in Schwanz (1977) p.