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What Does "Existence" Differentiate?

Copyright 2002 by Ronald Pisaturo. All rights reserved.

The Table of Contents and Introduction of this 4,000-word essay are shown here. The remainder of the essay is available by purchase only. For information on ordering an e-copy for $10, click here.

November 4, 2002

 

Contents

1     The Primary Differentiations 2

1.1     Existence (The Whole) vs. Specific Parts, and Existence vs. Identity

1.1.1     The Concepts of Existence and Identity in Further Concept-Formation

1.1.2     Demonstrative Pronouns

1.1.3     The Concepts of Existence and Identity in Propositions

1.2     Existence vs. Consciousness

1.3     Existence vs. Objects of Awareness

2     A Derivative Differentiation: Existence vs. Non-Existence

3     An Application: The Extent of the Universe

4     Summary

 

1           Introduction

In Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (ITOE), Ayn Rand writes:

Since axiomatic concepts are not formed by differentiating one group of existents from others, but represent an integration of all existents, they have no Conceptual Common Denominator with anything else. They have no contraries, no alternatives. The contrary of the concept “table”—a non-table—is every other kind of existents. The contrary of the concept “man”—a non-man—is every other kind of existents. “Existence,” “identity” and “consciousness” have no contraries—only a void.[1]

In this essay, I will argue that the axiomatic concept of “existence” does indeed have Conceptual Common Denominators (CCDs) and, not literally “contraries,” but rather what I will call complements. I will also show that identifying the CCDs and complements sheds important light on this axiomatic concept. (An investigation into the CCDs and complements of the axiomatic concepts of consciousness and identity is outside the scope of this essay, except to the extent that it relates to the present analysis of “existence.”)[2]

[1] Ayn Rand, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (New York: Meridian, Expanded Second Edition, 1990), Chapter 6, p. 58.

[2] The ideas in this essay are, except where explicitly stated otherwise, my own and are not intended to be ascribed to Ayn Rand or to anyone else.


The Table of Contents and Introduction of this 4,000-word essay are shown above.
The remainder of the essay is available by purchase only.
For information on ordering an e-copy for $10, click here.

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