### Follow the Bouncing Coloured Existential Ball.

"On Existentialism" from Plantinga (no introduction required, the title says it all...)

(N.B. if your wondering why certain words are in colour, it's because I find it very difficult to keep all the examples of

Existential Thesis:

Singular propositions (thisnesses) are ontologically dependent upon contingent objects (exemplifications)

Part of the argument against the Existential Thesis:

(3) Possibly Socrates does not exist

(4) If (3) then the proposition

(5) If the proposition

(6) Necessarily, if

and

(7) Necessarily, if

from (3), (4) and (5):

(8)

from (6) and (7):

(9) Necessarily, if

from (8) and (9):

(10) It is possible that both Socrates does not exist and the proposition

Therefore, the existential thesis is contradicted.

My confusion is with the denial of (6), the Pollock or Pollockian Existentialism, or anti-serious existential actualism, or serious anti-actualism with existential flavour, or …, objection. I don’t know what to call it nor do I get what it is exactly. Plantinga tries to clarify the position by adding another slew of premises, but I think (12) is supposed to sum it up:

(12) Necessarily for any object x, possible world W, and property P, if x has P in W, then x exists in W.

I get (12) and I get (6), but it gets a little hazy when you use existence as the property in the support of (12) in order to deny (6). Which seems to be what is going on, at least I think?

Perhaps I shall back up a bit and plug-in Socrates into premise (12):

(12*) Necessarily for any object Socrates, possible world W, and property existing, if Socrates has existence in W, then Socrates exists in W.

This seems to sound okay. But I can’t understand how given (12*) there is a denial of (6) and (7),

(6) Necessarily, if

and

(7) Necessarily, if

Is Pollock (or the anti-serious existential actualist) saying that if we take

“… thisness are ontologically dependent upon their exemplifications. Take any thisness

Yeah… well... the point is that I don’t understand how (6) and (7) conflict with (12). Perhaps if the whole thing was turned into a black and white movie with French subtitles then I’d get the anti-serious existential actualist’s point of view, but as it is explained here, I’m at a loss.

(N.B. if your wondering why certain words are in colour, it's because I find it very difficult to keep all the examples of

*propositions*distinct from the objects. No the use of italics are not good enough! So the use of colour keeps them visually and mentally ungarbled.)Existential Thesis:

Singular propositions (thisnesses) are ontologically dependent upon contingent objects (exemplifications)

Part of the argument against the Existential Thesis:

(3) Possibly Socrates does not exist

(4) If (3) then the proposition

*Socrates does not exist*is possible(5) If the proposition

*Socrates does not exist*is possible, then it is possibly true(6) Necessarily, if

*Socrates does not exist*had been true, then*Socrates does not exist*would have existedand

(7) Necessarily, if

*Socrates does not exist*had been true, then Socrates would not have existedfrom (3), (4) and (5):

(8)

*Socrates does not exist*is possibly true (i.e. the proposition could have been true)from (6) and (7):

(9) Necessarily, if

*Socrates does not exist*had been true, then*Socrates does not exist*would have existed and Socrates would not have existedfrom (8) and (9):

(10) It is possible that both Socrates does not exist and the proposition

*Socrates does not exist*existsTherefore, the existential thesis is contradicted.

My confusion is with the denial of (6), the Pollock or Pollockian Existentialism, or anti-serious existential actualism, or serious anti-actualism with existential flavour, or …, objection. I don’t know what to call it nor do I get what it is exactly. Plantinga tries to clarify the position by adding another slew of premises, but I think (12) is supposed to sum it up:

(12) Necessarily for any object x, possible world W, and property P, if x has P in W, then x exists in W.

I get (12) and I get (6), but it gets a little hazy when you use existence as the property in the support of (12) in order to deny (6). Which seems to be what is going on, at least I think?

Perhaps I shall back up a bit and plug-in Socrates into premise (12):

(12*) Necessarily for any object Socrates, possible world W, and property existing, if Socrates has existence in W, then Socrates exists in W.

This seems to sound okay. But I can’t understand how given (12*) there is a denial of (6) and (7),

(6) Necessarily, if

*Socrates does not exist*had been true, then*Socrates does not exist*would have existedand

(7) Necessarily, if

*Socrates does not exist*had been true, then Socrates would not have existedIs Pollock (or the anti-serious existential actualist) saying that if we take

*Socrates does not exist*as true then it conflicts with Socrates having the property of existing at W? If so, then they aren’t upholding the existentialist mantra of singular propositions being dependent on contingent objects. It’s the other way round, at least I think? I thought that you couldn’t take the*does not exist*part to conflict with Socrates having the property of existing at W. That would mean that the contingent object (Socrates) is dependant on the singular proposition (*does not exist*). Exemplifications are not dependent on thisness. If your following the bouncing coloured ball, red is not dependent on green, but green is dependent on red. Or as Plantinga says from the get go on the existentialist’s behalf:“… thisness are ontologically dependent upon their exemplifications. Take any thisness

*t*and the object*x*of which*t*is the thisness;*t*could not have existed if*x*had not. … Every thisness has*essentially*the property of being exemplified by the object that does not exemplify it. More exactly, the thesis in question is that it is*necessary*that every thisness has that property; it is not as if there could have been thisness that could have lacked the property in question.” (159)Yeah… well... the point is that I don’t understand how (6) and (7) conflict with (12). Perhaps if the whole thing was turned into a black and white movie with French subtitles then I’d get the anti-serious existential actualist’s point of view, but as it is explained here, I’m at a loss.

## 1 Comments:

yay Chelsea! I find comradery in your confusion!

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