• hypericin
    680
    To say "This rock exists" is saying something about the rock. Can this same something be said of the rock of yesterday or tomorrow?
  • hypericin
    680
    My answer: the past exists, to the extent that the past is embodied in the present. A baby in the past is embodied in an adult in the present, since the adult causally flowed from the baby. But a past event or object which is embodied by nothing in the present, for instance, a butterfly flapping it's wings once 10000 years ago, no longer exists.

    Similarly, future objects and events exist to the extent that they are embodied by present antecedents. For instance, a completed sculpture is embodied by a work in progress, but in a fuzzy manner, to the extent that the completed work can still take many forms. But future events and objects which have no antecedents yet, for instance the bar code number on a receipt given to a raven in a far future corvid civilization, does not yet exist in any sense.
  • Banno
    18.6k
    Of all the philosophical ubiquities, the most tedious is "does such-and-such really exist?"

    Yes, it does, since you are talking about it.

    You are asking the wrong question. You might usefully ask what such-and-such is, or how we use the term "such-and-such".
  • hypericin
    680
    Yes, it does, since you are talking about it.Banno

    how we use the term "such-and-such".Banno
    How about the term "exist"?

    You collapse the distinction that the term "exists" picks out. In your sense, fairies on mars exist as much as my nose.

    You are asking the wrong question.Banno

    Who made you arbiter of right and wrong questions?
  • Banno
    18.6k
    In your sense, fairies on mars exist as much as my nose.hypericin

    Yep. Both may be the. subject of a predicate.

    The way that first-order logic deals with individuals gives us a clear way of dealing with existential issues.

    Going back to your own question, "Can something be said of the rock of yesterday or tomorrow?", the answer remains "yes".

    Who made you arbiter of right and wrong questions?hypericin

    I can lead you to water, but not make you drink.
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k


    Ask me tomorrow.
  • hypericin
    680
    Yep. Both may be the. subject of a predicate.Banno

    Nope. This is just not how we use "exist". If it were, "x does not exist" would be a contradiction.

    can lead you to water, but not make you drink.Banno
    :lol:
  • Banno
    18.6k
    Hey, that was my joke...
  • Tate
    1.4k


    Here's an interesting quote from Carnap:

    "Einstein said the problem of the Now worried him seriously. He explained that the experience of the Now means something special for man, something essentially different from the past and the future, but that this important difference does not and cannot occur within physics. That this experience cannot be grasped by science seemed to him a matter of painful but inevitable resignation. So he concluded 'that there is something essential about the Now which is just outside the realm of science.' "
  • Srap Tasmaner
    3.9k
    In your sense, fairies on mars exist as much as my nose.
    — hypericin

    Yep. Both may be the. subject of a predicate.
    Banno

    ?

    "All the fairies on Mars like rice pudding" appears to predicate of these martian fairies but doesn't entail that any exist.
  • hypericin
    680
    Einstein seems to answer that the past and future exist as much as the present. If we grant this, then there is nothing mysterious about a specialness to "now" that cannot be explained by science. It is simply an illusion. After all, every single "now" has this apparent specialness.
  • hypericin
    680
    At least our has finally found religion. There is no God worth its salt that cannot be the subject of a predicate.
  • Banno
    18.6k


    Indeed. My error was to supose that folk here wanted clarification. They prefer obfuscation.
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    As the White Queen tried to explain to Alice when Alice said she didn't want any jam:

    "Well, I don't want any to-day, at any rate."
    "You couldn't have it if you did want it," the Queen said. "The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day."
    "It must come sometimes to 'jam to-day'," Alice objected.
    "No, it can't," said the Queen. "It's jam every other day: to-day isn't any other day, you know."
    "I don't understand you," said Alice. "It's dreadfully confusing!"
  • Banno
    18.6k
    To say "This rock exists" is saying something about the rock.hypericin

    As if putting a piece on the board were a move in chess.
  • hypericin
    680
    clarificationBanno

    What you've said was clear enough. Clearly wrong. But clear, yes.

    As if putting a piece on the board were a move in chess.Banno

    Except for your analogy.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    3.9k


    I think it's a perfectly good question.

    Our experience seems to suggest to many that there is something special, something unique about the present moment, about now, and it is tempting to think that the universe is continuously changing from one instantaneous state into another and exists only as it is in such an instantaneous state.

    There are, I understand, weighty arguments against such a view, but it is how we seem to experience things.
  • Banno
    18.6k
    I think it's a perfectly good question.Srap Tasmaner

    Sure. And the answer is "yes".
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    I'll reconstruct Parmenides' argument as best as I can.

    1. Becoming and Unbecoming are impossible because we can't get an x from what x is not and neither can what x is not get us to an x.

    Ergo

    2. The past did exist and so it can't not exist. It still exists.

    3. The future can't come into existence, but we're traveling into the future as I write this and so the future too exists.

    The long and short of it

    1. The past, present, and future ALL exist.

    :snicker:
  • Michael
    11.8k
    To say "This rock exists" is saying something about the rock. Can this same something be said of the rock of yesterday or tomorrow?hypericin

    On the one hand this is just an issue of grammar. Things in the past existed, things in the present exist, and things in the future will exist.

    On the other hand if "yesterday's rock", "today's rock", and "tomorrow's rock" refer to the same object, and if that object exists, then yesterday's rock exists and tomorrow's rock exists.

    Perhaps a more relevant question would be "does the rock exist with the properties it had in the past and/or will have in the future", although I think the remark above regarding the grammar should answer that.
  • Michael
    11.8k
    Going back to your own question, "Can something be said of the rock of yesterday or tomorrow?", the answer remains "yes".Banno

    The question was "can this same something be said of the rock of yesterday or tomorrow?".

    Some X ("it exists") is true of the rock today. He's asking if that X is true of the rock of yesterday and true of the rock of tomorrow. He's not just asking if we can say some Y about the rock of yesterday and some Z about the rock of tomorrow.

    In your sense, fairies on mars exist as much as my nose.hypericin

    Yep. Both may be the. subject of a predicate.Banno

    That fairies exist is that ∃xFx, where Fx means "x is a fairy". If ¬∃xFx then fairies do not exist. Some x is my nose but no x is a fairy, therefore my nose exists but fairies don't.

    Of all the philosophical ubiquities, the most tedious is "does such-and-such really exist?"

    Yes, it does, since you are talking about it.
    Banno

    This isn’t consistent with how we ordinarily use or understand the word “exists”. The claim “God does not exist” isn’t self-refuting, and so that God exists isn't just that God is talked about.
  • Mww
    3.4k
    To say "This rock exists" is saying something about the rock. Can this same something be said of the rock of yesterday or tomorrow?hypericin

    Obviously not.

    To say a thing exists, logically references a given, present, temporal domain. The minutia of immediate past or future time being irrelevant, insofar as “present” specifically denotes the time of the saying, and only by association, the thing as subject of it.

    Assuming “this rock” and “the rock” are in all ways identical.....

    ......yesterday I could have said this rock exists, but in the given temporal domain, I can only say this rock exist-ed yesterday, because I can prove that it did, which says something about this rock but does not say the same thing, and.....

    .......it follows, under the same conditions, that I can only say this rock may exist tomorrow, because I cannot prove it does or does not, which is also saying something, but not the same something, about this rock.

    Easy-peasey.

    But says not a damn thing about whether past and future exist. The thread title and the OP have no relation to each other.
  • javi2541997
    2.2k
    Of all the philosophical ubiquities, the most tedious is "does such-and-such really exist?"

    Yes, it does, since you are talking about it.
    Banno

    :clap: :100:
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    Maybe we can meet in the middle: the past exists, but in the way you think, but as memories (lessons) and the future exists, again not in the way you think, but as expectations (plans).
  • bongo fury
    1.5k
    Things in the past existed, things in the present exist, and things in the future will exist.Michael

    Or, e.g. for physics, some existing things are spatio-temporal regions wholly earlier than your present point of view, some temporally overlap that point of view, and some are wholly later.

    On the other hand if "yesterday's rock", "today's rock", and "tomorrow's rock" refer to the same object [or region of space-time], and if that object [or region not only] exists [but also temporally overlaps your p.o.v.], then yesterday's rock [not only] exists [but also overlaps] and tomorrow's rock [not only] exists [but also overlaps].Michael

    Yes, but any temporal slice of the region wholly earlier than today exists, and so does any temporal slice wholly later.

    Perhaps a more relevant question would be "does the [temporally overlapping part of the] rock exist with the properties [that existing but temporally non-overlapping parts of] it [have] had in the past and/or will have in the future"?Michael

    where Fx means "x is a fairy".Michael

    I.e. the existing space-time region is a fairy.
  • Pantagruel
    2.1k
    The now has no duration. So anything that exists in time (diachronically) must have both a past and a future.
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k
    Past and future are posited beyond all things, so no, they don't exist.
  • hypericin
    680
    which is also saying something, but not the same something,Mww
    which says something about this rock but does not say the same thingMww

    So you understand that you did not answer my question. I am asking if the same thing, the property of existence, can be applied to the rock of the past and future.

    "Exists" typically connotes the present only because we don't generally speak of metaphysical topics like the existence of the past and future.
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    To say "This rock exists" is saying something about the rock.hypericin

    I am wondering more about what it is saying about the person who says it and in what situation saying it would be of any use.
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