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Sense of Existence | by samuelanwar ( Catching up..)
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Sense of Existence

In common usage, existence is the world of which we are aware through our senses, but in philosophy the word has a more specialized meaning, and is often contrasted with essence. Philosophers investigate questions such as "What exists?" "How do we know?" "To what extent are the senses a reliable guide to existence?" "What is the meaning, if any, of assertions of the existence of categories, ideas, and abstractions."


The word "existence" comes from the Latin word 'existere', meaning to appear or emerge or stand out.


The word 'exist' is certainly a grammatical predicate, but philosophers have long disputed whether it is also a logical predicate. Some philosophers claim that it predicates something, and has the same meaning as 'is real', 'has being', 'is found in reality', 'is in the real world' and so on. Other philosophers deny that existence is logically a predicate, and claim that it is merely what is asserted by the etymologically distinct verb 'is', and that all statements containing the predicate 'exists' can be reduced to statements that do not use this predicate. For example, 'A Four-leaved clover exists.' can be rephrased as 'There is a clover with four leaves.'

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Taken on February 10, 2009