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Do all things exist?

 
 
Reply Tue 14 Jun, 2011 06:17 pm
Do all things exist?

Nonexistence is the absence of existence, by definition. So, nonexistence does not exist. Therefore there is no such thing as nonexistence. To say that something does not exist thus seems to be a fallacy, since NOTHING does not exist. Everything, therefore, must exist.

Is this right? If not, what is wrong with the above argument?
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Type: Question • Score: 9 • Views: 3,525 • Replies: 28
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thack45
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Jun, 2011 09:49 pm
@browser32,
Whatever is described as "not" is a placeholder. Fundamental boolean logic has been instrumental in human understanding and exploitation of our surroundings, but it has no bearing on the actual existence of things.

So yes. Everything exists.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 12:20 am
@browser32,
This is a non-question prompted by the false dichotomy between "materiality" and "concept". Formal logic has nothing to do with it.
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fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 12:57 am
@browser32,
NB. All words including "existence" only have meaning within contextual usage (Wittgenstein, Derrida et al).....

The scientist who argues that "the ether does not exist" implies that the concept of "the ether" has no explanatory function in accounting for his observations.
The atheist who argues that "God does not exist" implies that the concept has no functional utility for him in the praxis of living.

.....Note the semantic shift according to context.
0 Replies
 
Ding an Sich
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 09:36 am
@browser32,
browser32 wrote:

Do all things exist?

Nonexistence is the absence of existence, by definition. So, nonexistence does not exist. Therefore there is no such thing as nonexistence. To say that something does not exist thus seems to be a fallacy, since NOTHING does not exist. Everything, therefore, must exist.

Is this right? If not, what is wrong with the above argument?


Actually you can prove that something does not exist, both inductively and deductively. But the burden of proof is on the person who wants to assert that such and such is the case. Take for example the theist. The theist would have to first prove that God exists, whereas the atheist does not have to prove the non-existence of God from the outset. Perhaps an atheist can give proofs for why it is impossible to prove the existence of God, but this does not imply that God does not exist. It simply means that we do not know.

Also it is not a fallacy to simply assert "It is not the case that Socrates existed in the year 2010." There is not a state-of-affairs in to which the proposition "Socrates existed in the year 2010." occrs and hence we can assert the denial of this, which is true. Now you may reply, "But Socrates could have existed in the year 2010.", but this is a separate matter altogether.

"If nothing does not exist, then everything must exist" Seems dubious for a couple of reasons. 1) You are treating existence as a thing that has the property of non-existence. But if it is a thing, then is it really nothing? 2) In a modal context, there a number of possible worlds in which you or I do not exist, namely, in the worlds where your parents did not copulate and have you. So I would merely contingently exist, or possibly exist.

But there are even problems with this. If you assume that everything exists, then square circles must exist as well. But this creates a contradiction. Even if it is possible for a square circle to exist, you still have a contradiction, precisely because a square cannot be circle and a square at the same time (although it can be a rectangle).

Hope this helps.
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G H
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jun, 2011 10:13 am
@browser32,
Quote:
Everything, therefore, must exist.

Exist. . . . What are you basically requiring every possible noun to exist as, if it is other than being presented as a word, symbol, gesture, etc, and its definition(s)? Do nouns have to be representing intersubjectively perceived entities and/or theoretical ones that can't be directly experienced but arguably have measurable effects or consequences? Would "everything" include asserting that any arbitrary description represents an actual circumstance somewhere (that is perceivable or unperceivable)? Like: "On each flghash, the Hnigutaw of Kuljed perform their nilrrewz in the jumm-!* of hnn plane."

Just what is the standard or specific canon for existing here? Can the term "God" refer to a thought or information virus spreading from human brain to human brain for centuries, or must the word represent a literal omnipotent, omniscient human form somewhere with a distinguished, sagely face?
0 Replies
 
flashg
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Jul, 2011 06:00 am
@browser32,
Those things that don't exist (of which there are none) don't fall under the category of "all things". Ergo, all things exist.
0 Replies
 
Paulon0n
 
  0  
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2015 09:58 am
would not all things have to be present in all places for all things to exist as implied by the statement "all things"? Otherwise, it would not be all things?
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Jun, 2015 05:07 pm
Yes all things that do exist exist. Including the ones that exist as concepts and ideas.
Paulon0n
 
  0  
Reply Mon 29 Jun, 2015 03:07 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Yet does not 'all things exist' imply; if I have an apple and the apple exists then the same apple must not exist?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2015 06:56 pm
@Paulon0n,
Paulon0n wrote:

Yet does not 'all things exist' imply; if I have an apple and the apple exists then the same apple must not exist?


Only if you want to mean not existing is some form of existing in which case you probably a fan of Laurence Krauss...I am not.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2015 12:03 am
@Paulon0n,
If you really want to know about the word "existence" (of apples in particular Smile ) read up on "Fuzzy Logic". For general resolution of apparent dichotomies read Derrida on privileging.

N.B. I say "really" because most ostensible "philosophy threads" here tend to be random chat rooms for lonely aspiring "thinkers" who haven't researched the literature. The social contact tends to take precedence over the quality of the discussion.
Paulon0n
 
  0  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2015 01:26 am
@fresco,
Thank you, I will look into the literature.

I may make an arse out of myself, but I will elaborate my position prior to researching. I think I see a contradiction in both 'nothing' and 'all things exist', that I presume is of a likeness to the contradiction in 'the set of all sets' of set theory.

For example:

'All things exist' - existence then must contain itself, which, in a sense, may be plausible until the extent of the implication can no longer be fully realized.

'Nothing' - the set of all sets describes everything nothing cannot be, and I can fathom a set where nothing cannot be the set of all sets that describe everything that nothing cannot be.

I am blowing smoke, but this is my take on the topic at the moment.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2015 06:38 am
@fresco,
You got one word right in your entire post, not bad..."fuzzy" applies very well to you ! By the way did you told him only 5% of philosophers are anti realists ? You should...
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2015 07:50 am
@Paulon0n,
Wittgenstein, Russell's protege, ultimately rejected the paradox about "sets of all sets" as a linguistic abberation. Classical logic ignores the dynamic nature of semantic context which can shift the status of set membership, whereas fuzzy logic takes it on board and rejects the law of the excluded middle.
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2015 08:45 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
You seem to have English comprehension problems. I follow Rorty in rejecting a realism/anti-realism dichotomy. In short, the dichotomy is dysfunctional in describing what scientists do.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2015 10:17 am
@fresco,
That's even more entertaining Fresco...and yeah I cannot comprehend idiocy. Its fuzzy !
north
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jul, 2015 03:59 am
@Fil Albuquerque,

I'm thinking that all things exists means in the Universe; galaxies and on down.

Not All Ideas can exist.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jul, 2015 11:16 am
In a sense all things (i.e., creations of us "thingers"), exist as BEINGS, and in another sense they are non-existent insofar as they are BECOMING something else (at vastly different rates).
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jul, 2015 05:21 pm
The problem word is 'existence' which Heidegger argues can only be attributable to Daseins(humans who contemplate their own dynamic being). All other 'things' are transient functional extensions of such personal being. The 'becoming' is meaningless without the assumption of an observer whose 'existence' is founded on a concept of temporality.
 

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