On the Semantics of Existence Predicates

  • Friederike Moltmann


The most common philosophical view about the notion of existence is that it is a second-order propertyor existential quantification. A less common view is that existence is a (first-order) property of 'existent' as opposed to 'nonexistent' (past or merely intentional) objects. An even less common view is that existence divides into different 'modes of being' for different sorts of entities. In this paper I will take a closer look at the semantic behavior of existence predicates in natural language, such as 'exist', 'occur', and 'obtain', arguing that existence predicates in natural language support the two less common philosophical views. I will develop explicit analyses of existence predicates in their time-relative and space-relative uses which will explain why they apply to some kinds of entities, but not others.
How to Cite
Moltmann, F. (1). On the Semantics of Existence Predicates. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 15, 31-54. Retrieved from https://ojs.ub.uni-konstanz.de/sub/index.php/sub/article/view/379