Peter Jones writes: > Matter is a bare substrate with no properties of its own. The question > may well be asked at this point: what roles does it perform ? Why not > dispense with matter and just have bundles of properties -- what does > matter add to a merely abstract set of properties? The answer is that > not all bundles of posible properties are instantiated, that they > exist. > What does it mean to say something exists ? "..exists" is a meaningful > predicate of concepts rather than things. The thing must exist in some > sense to be talked about. But if it existed full, a statement like > "Nessie doesn't exist" would be a contradiction ...it would amout to > "the existing thign Nessie doesnt exist". However, if we take that the > "some sense" in which the subject of an "...exists" predicate exists is > only initially as a concept, we can then say whether or not the concept > has something to refer to. Thus "Bigfoot exists" would mean "the > concept 'Bigfoot' has a referent". > > What matter adds to a bundle of properties is existence. A non-existent > bundle of properties is a mere concept, a mere possibility. Thus the > concept of matter is very much tied to the idea of contingency or > "somethingism" -- the idea that only certain possible things exist.
But even existence can be defined as a bundle of properties. If I am wondering whether the pencil on my desk exists I can look at it, pick it up, tap it and so on. If my hand passes through it when I try to pick it up then maybe it is just an illusion. If it passes all the tests I put it through then by definition it exists. If I want to claim that some other object exists, like Nessie, what I actually mean is that it exists *in the same way as this pencil exists*. The pencil is the gold standard: there is no other, more profound standard of existence against which it can be measured. Stathis Papaioannou _________________________________________________________________ Be one of the first to try Windows Live Mail. http://ideas.live.com/programpage.aspx?versionId=5d21c51a-b161-4314-9b0e-4911fb2b2e6d --~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com To unsubscribe from this group, send email to [EMAIL PROTECTED] For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---