Symposium: What Actually Exists
Geach (Peter) & Stoothoff (Robert)
Source: Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes, Vol. 42 (1968), pp. 7-30
Paper - Abstract

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Geach’s Introduction

  1. ... When we ask whether there is a so-and-so, we are asking concerning some kind of objects whether anything at all is that sort of thing; and we cannot ever sensibly affirm or deny existence, in this sense, of an individual object, any more than we can sensibly ask whether a thing, rather than a kind of things, is frequent or infrequent. This doctrine of Frege's seems to me clear and certain; and attacks on it seem to me to contain obvious fallacies, and often, to show an aversion to the clarity that logic can bring. I shall in this paper take it for granted that Frege was right.
  2. Frege had less to say about existence in the sense of actuality; for he was interested in the foundations of mathematics; and the objects of mathematics, as we shall see, if they are objects, are not actualities. A provisional explanation of actuality may be given thus: x is actual if and only if x either acts, or undergoes change, or both; and here I count as 'acting' both the inner activities of mind, like thinking and planning, and the initiation of changes in things.

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