Some things do not exist
Routley (Richard)
Source: Notre Dame J. Formal Logic 7, no. 3 (1966), 251–276
Paper - Abstract

Paper Summary


Philosophers Index Abstract

    Several logics without existence assumptions are studied. First the meaning and semantics of the predicate 'exists' are discussed; then a basic logic with possibility quantifiers is designed in which the elementary logic of 'exists' is formulated. Free logic is mapped into the basic logic and semantics are provided for both. Extensions of the basic logic to admit impossible items are studied; and the cases of null and empty domains are distinguished and studied. With the introduction of the identity some implications are accomplished, and theories of Hintikka and of Leblanc-Hailperin are shown to be encompassed as special cases. A new theory of descriptions, with advantages over prevailing theories, is applied to several problems. Finally Quine's criterion of ontological commitment is critically examined.

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