David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (1):31-63 (2013)
The notion of existence is a very puzzling one philosophically. Often philosophers have appealed to linguistic properties of sentences stating existence. However, the appeal to linguistic intuitions has generally not been systematic and without serious regard of relevant issues in linguistic semantics. This paper has two aims. On the one hand, it will look at statements of existence from a systematic linguistic point of view, in order to try to clarify what the actual semantics of such statements in fact is. On the other hand, it will explore what sort of ontology such statements reflect. The first aim is one of linguistic semantics; the second aim is one of descriptive metaphysics. Philosophically, existence statements appear to reflect the distinction between endurance and perdurance as well as particular notions of abstract states and of kinds. Linguistically, statements of existence involve a particular way of drawing the distinction between eventive and stative verbs and between individual-level and stage-level predicates as well as a particular approach to the semantics of bare plurals and mass nouns
|Keywords||Existence Existence predicates Bare plurals Kind terms Events States Individual-level/stage-level distinction Adverbial modifiers|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Shaughan Lavine (2000). Quantification and Ontology. Synthese 124 (1-2):1-43.
Maria E. Reicher (2002). Ontological Commitment and Contextual Semantics. Grazer Philosophische Studien 63 (1):141-155.
Gabriele Contessa (2006). Constructive Empiricism, Observability, and Three Kinds of Ontological Commitment. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 37 (4):454–468.
Andrea Bonomi (1977). Existence, Presupposition and Anaphoric Space. Journal of Philosophical Logic 6 (1):239 - 267.
John Divers (2006). Possible-Worlds Semantics Without Possible Worlds: The Agnostic Approach. Mind 115 (458):187-226.
Christopher Menzel (1990). Actualism, Ontological Commitment, and Possible World Semantics. Synthese 85 (3):355 - 389.
Federica Russo (2006). Salmon and Van Fraassen on the Existence of Unobservable Entities: A Matter of Interpretation of Probability. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 11 (3):221-247.
Jamin Asay (2010). How to Express Ontological Commitment in the Vernacular. Philosophia Mathematica 18 (3):293-310.
Added to index2009-08-31
Total downloads263 ( #1,499 of 1,102,813 )
Recent downloads (6 months)24 ( #6,386 of 1,102,813 )
How can I increase my downloads?