Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Unicorn example, philosophy: the problem is about linguistic expressions for non-existent objects and principles of using these expressions. In logic it comes to the question of whether sentences containing expressions for non-existent objects are true, false, or senseless. See also Pegasus, nonexistence, reference, truth value, truth conditions, assertibility, meaning, sense, truth value gap.
Author Item Excerpt Meta data
Prior, Arthur
Books on Amazon
Unicorn Example I 119 ~
unicorn / existence / Reid / Russell / Prior: that which exists in heraldry, is not an animal but a picture. I 155 ~ "about" / Unicorn ": that a sentence is really about something that exists, can not depend on the form, because the form is the same, if the object is fictitious. I 166 unicorn / ontology / existence / Prior: solution: instead of a complex term "is thought of as having wings" functor, "it is assumed that" - (instead of Russell s name-predicate basis) - Then "of x is assumed that it has wings" and "it is assumed that x has wings" both have equal force (de re, de dicto) - we do not need any additional assumption about the existence of x, because both say nothing when there is nothing that x designates.

Pri I
A. Prior
Objects of thought Oxford 1971

Pri II
Arthur N. Prior
Papers on Time and Tense 2nd Edition Oxford 2003

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-04-26