Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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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
 
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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