Single Idea 6067

[catalogued under 5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 1. Quantification]

Full Idea

What the existential quantifier does is indicate the quantity of things in question - it says that some are; it is left up to the predicate 'exists' to express existence.

Gist of Idea

Existential quantifiers just express the quantity of things, leaving existence to the predicate 'exists'


Colin McGinn (Logical Properties [2000], Ch.2)

Book Reference

McGinn,Colin: 'Logical Properties' [OUP 2003], p.32

A Reaction

This seems right. The whole quantification business seems like a conjuring trick to conceal the embarrassingly indefinable and 'metaphysical' notion of 'existence'. Cf Idea 7697.

Related Idea

Idea 7697 On Russell's analysis, the sentence "The winged horse has wings" comes out as false [Jacquette]