Existence and Description

Bertrand Russell, “Existence and Description”

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§1 General Propositions and Existence

“Now when you come to ask what really is asserted in a general proposition, such as ‘All Greeks are men’ for instance, you find that what is asserted is the truth of all values of what I call a propositional function. A propositional function is simply any expression containing an undetermined constituent, or several undetermined constituents, and becoming a proposition as soon as the undetermined constituents are determined.” (24a)

“Much false philosophy has arisen out of confusing propositional functions and propositions.” (24b)

A propositional function can be necessary (when it is always true), possible (when it is sometimes true), and impossible (when it is never true).

“Propositions can only be true or false, but propositional functions have these three possibilities.” (24b)

“When you take any propositional function and assert of it that it is possible, that it is sometimes true, that gives you the fundamental meaning ‘existence’…. Existence is essentially a property of a propositional function. It means that the propositional function is true in at least one instance.” (25a)

— Brandon C. Look

— University Research Professor and Chair

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2018.10.07 Sunday ACHK

Mirror selves, 5.2

Anatta 3.3 | 無我 3.3

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You fight for existence, for being alive.

However, your existence is not “yours”.

The existence of you, is not your property.

The existence of you, is a property of the group you are in.

The existence of you, is a property of other people.

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To meaningfully say the statement “I exist”, you have to specify you exist with respect to whom.

To exist, you have to specify to exist in which people’s world.

— Me@2018-05-22 7:43 AM

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2018.07.02 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Life, 3

生命 3

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We exist in time because time is change.

Growing is part of the definition of life. Growing is a kind of change.

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Also, without time/change, there would be no thinking and no thoughts.

— Me@2017-12-26 11:42 am

— Me@2018-05-23 10:05:03 PM

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time ~ change

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Time is logically necessary if change is necessary.

— Me@2018-02-04 09:07:48 PM

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2018.05.23 Wednesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

The Sixth Sense, 3

Mirror selves, 2 | Anatta 3.2 | 無我 3.2

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You cannot feel your own existence or non-existence. You can feel the existence or non-existence of (such as) your hair, your hands, etc.

But you cannot feel the existence or non-existence of _you_.

— Me@2018-03-17 5:12 PM

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Only OTHER people or beings can feel your existence or non-existence.

— Me@2018-04-30 11:29:08 AM

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2018.04.30 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

The meanings of ONE

鑽石棉花 2

One bag of apples, one apple, one slice of apple — which of these is one unit? Explore the basic unit of math (explained by a trip to the grocery store!) and discover the many meanings of one.

— Lesson by Christopher Danielson, animation by TED-Ed.

A unit ~ a definition of one

(cf. One is one … or is it? — TED-Ed)

— Me@2017-02-13 8:48 AM

One is not a number, in the following sense:

Primality of one

Most early Greeks did not even consider 1 to be a number, so they could not consider it to be a prime. By the Middle Ages and Renaissance many mathematicians included 1 as the first prime number. In the mid-18th century Christian Goldbach listed 1 as the first prime in his famous correspondence with Leonhard Euler; however, Euler himself did not consider 1 to be a prime number. In the 19th century many mathematicians still considered the number 1 to be a prime. For example, Derrick Norman Lehmer’s list of primes up to 10,006,721, reprinted as late as 1956, started with 1 as its first prime. Henri Lebesgue is said to be the last professional mathematician to call 1 prime. By the early 20th century, mathematicians began to arrive at the consensus that 1 is not a prime number, but rather forms its own special category as a “unit”.

A large body of mathematical work would still be valid when calling 1 a prime, but Euclid’s fundamental theorem of arithmetic (mentioned above) would not hold as stated. For example, the number 15 can be factored as 3 · 5 and 1 · 3 · 5; if 1 were admitted as a prime, these two presentations would be considered different factorizations of 15 into prime numbers, so the statement of that theorem would have to be modified. Similarly, the sieve of Eratosthenes would not work correctly if 1 were considered a prime: a modified version of the sieve that considers 1 as prime would eliminate all multiples of 1 (that is, all other numbers) and produce as output only the single number 1. Furthermore, the prime numbers have several properties that the number 1 lacks, such as the relationship of the number to its corresponding value of Euler’s totient function or the sum of divisors function.

— Wikipedia on Prime number

As long as something exists, it is possible to define one.

One as the basis for counting (number); one itself is not a number, in the sense that one is for existence, not for counting.

When counting, we have to know count with respect to what. That “what” is a “unit”, aka one.

That is why

x times 1 = x

— Me@2017-02-13 8:48 AM

2017.03.26 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Dear Esther, 4

cease to exist

~ cannot be found in the original region,

but is still possible to be found in the meta-region

For example, at the end of the video game Dear Esther, the character dies, computer screen turns black, you cease to exist there,

but you wake up and continue to exist outside that video game, outside that computer screen.  

— Me@2012.10.27

2014.06.01 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Hole, 2

The existence of X is not a property of X itself. Instead, the existence of X is a property of the bigger system that consists of X.

For example, the existence of a hole is a property of the whole, not of the hole itself. You cannot define a hole without the whole. Without the whole, the hole cannot exist at all.

hole ~ whole

— Me@2012.10.26

2014.04.30 Wednesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Existence, 10

exist

~ is

~ has

存在

~ 有

~ 擁有

An apple exists in there

~ There exists an apple

~ There is an apple

~ There [has] an apple

一個蘋果(儲)存在那裡

~ 那裡存在一個蘋果

~ 那裡有一個蘋果

~ 那裡(擁)有一個蘋果

— Me@2012-10-19 09:20:39 AM

— Me@2014-03-13 11:25:58 AM

2014.03.16 Sunday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Why does the universe exist? 6

Why is there something instead of nothing?

— Me@2012-10-15 08:33:01 AM

If you use “universe exists” to mean “something exists” and use “why does the universe exist” to represent “why does something exist“, you have to specify which thing the “something” refers to.

For every particular thing, you can explain how come it exists, at least in principle. For example, when you ask,

How come there is an apple?

I can answer,

Because I have just bought it.

Without specifying what “something” is, “why does something exist” is a meaningless question.

— Me@2012-10-18 12:47:32 PM

— Me@2014-03-08 08:22:11 AM

2014.03.10 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Property

Something is a “property” means that you can use that “property” to separate objects into two groups, such that all the members of one group have that “property”, while all the members of another group have not.

For example, “being big” is a property of some dogs, because you can separate all the dogs into two groups: group with big dogs and group with non-big dogs.

However, “existence” is not a property of any dogs, because you cannot separate all the dogs into two groups, such that one has existing dogs and one has non-existing dogs.

The existence of a dog is not a property of the dog itself. Instead, the existence of a dog is a property of, for example, rooms.

You can use “the existence of dogs” to separate all the rooms in this world into two groups: the room with dogs and the room without dogs. 

— Me@2012-10-18 12:47:32 PM

— Me@2014-03-03 02:46:35 PM

2014.03.03 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Universe 7

The universe as a whole is an un-observable for two reasons, one physical and one logical.

The physical reason is that the speed of light, while being the maximum possible signal transmission speed, is finite. However, the expansion of the universe, in a sense, is faster than the speed of light. So the light rays emitted by some objects can never reach your eyes, no matter how long you wait. You cannot observe everything at once at any particular moment of time.

The logical reason is that, for any observer, at least one thing in this universe it cannot observe: itself. You can never see yourself directly, just as a camera can never take a picture of itself directly.

— Me@2012-10-18 12:47:32 PM

— Me@2014-02-25 01:57:06 PM

2014.02.26 Wednesday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Universe | I

Onion self 9 | 洋蔥自我 9 | Inner and outer, 7

Universe is not something you can observe directly, but a logical implication.

Whatever you can observe, it is only part of the universe, not the universe itself. 

“I” is also a logical implication or logical limit.

Whatever you can observe, belongs to your “I”, but is not your “I”.

For example, you can see your right hand.

It is part of you.

It is yours, but it is not you.

— Me@2012.10.18

— Me@2014.02.09

2014.02.10 Monday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK

Universe 5

Existence, 9

meaning ~ use

The sentence “the universe exists” is meaningless

~ The sentence “the universe exists” has no use

X exists

~ X is in a container

~ X can be found in that container

universe ~ the maximum possible container

So, it is bizarre to state, “The universe exists.

the universe exists

~ the universe is in a container

~ the universe is within something bigger

— Me@2012.10.17

2014.01.30 Thursday (c) All rights reserved by ACHK