Date of Award
Master of Arts
Peter van Elswyk, William Bristow
Sider argues that existence cannot be indeterminate, since the existential quantifier cannot be precisified in terms of domain variation. Barnes counterargues that domain variation is indeterminate in the case of indeterminate existence, which allows precisification. I argue that indeterminate domain variation among precisifications is only possible if domain variation is understood in a "strong" sense wherein some object in the domain of one precisification satisfies a given predicate, whereas no object in the domain of the other precisification satisfies this predicate. In presuming that something determinately exists, both Barnes and Sider end up imagining the precisifications as associated with weakly varied domains, where the salient difference between the domains (if there is more than one domain at all) is their size. The problem of indeterminate existence requires reconciling Barnes' indeterminate domain variation among precisifications with Sider's description of strongly varied domains.
Kim, Bethany, "To Be or Not to Be: the Problem of Indeterminate Existence" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 3287.