1 ontological discriminations

Russell held that ‘a exists’, where ‘a’ is a logically proper name, was necessarily true. By contrast his account of ‘The K exists’ allowed this to be contingent, since, on his Theory of Descriptions, it did not assert the existence of an individual, but merely the instantiation of some uniquely identifying properties. The present paper refines Russell’s distinction in several ways, first by providing what Russell merely gestured at, namely explicit, formally defined logically proper names. But following from this it is seen that Russell’s intention with regard to ‘The K exists’ is better expressed ‘A unique K exists’, leaving the former to be assimilated into the non-contingent category, through interpreting its subject phrase ‘The K’ nonattributively. The paper closes with an exhibition of similar discriminations that are available with higher-order subjects, such as properties, numbers, and facts.
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