The semantics of existence

Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (1):31-63 (2013)
Abstract
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)
DOI 10.1007/s10988-013-9127-3
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 2005 - Mind 114 (456):873 - 887.
How Things Persist.Katherine Hawley - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Sameness and Substance.David Wiggins - 1980 - Harvard University Press.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
A Force-Theoretic Framework for Event Structure.Bridget Copley & Heidi Harley - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (2):103-158.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2009-08-31

Total downloads
546 ( #3,190 of 2,202,776 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
33 ( #5,243 of 2,202,776 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature