McGinn on Non-Existent Objects and Reducing Modality [Book Review]

Philosophical Studies 118 (3):439-451 (2004)
In this discussion of Colin McGinn's book, 'Logical Properties', I comment first on the chapter "Existence", then on the chapter "Modality." With respect to existence, I argue that McGinn's view that existence is a property that some objects have and other objects lack requires the property of existence to be fundamentally unlike ordinary qualitative properties. Moreover, it opens up a challenging skeptical problem: how do I know that I exist? With respect to modality, I argue that McGinn's argument that quantificational analyses of modality in terms of possible worlds are inevitably circular does not apply to modal theorists who hold that the notion of an impossible world is incoherent.
Keywords Logic  Modality  Necessity  Non-Existence  Existence
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DOI 10.1023/B:PHIL.0000026469.25986.0c
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