An Interpretation of Existence by Joseph Owens

By Joseph Owens

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But nothing characteristically existential enters into the message that something does exist. One has to assert that the content. In this sense there is still not even the beginning the existence of the thing in question is a fact. The object of of an authentic or genuine or, if an obsolete Latinism may a judgment has to enter the picture. The concept of fact can be pardoned for the moment, a "proper" concept of existence. again be used to take up this knowledge. The case is the That something exists also may be called a fact.

St. Thomas, Summa Theo­ logiae, I, 86, 3c. The necessary aspect of existence that is conceded to individuals appcrrs quite strikingly in Russell's attack: . . " Bertrand Russell "The Philosophy of Logical Atomism," The Monist, XXIX (1919), p. : ". . ' . . Sometimes, however, 'is' is not predicated as th; principal predicate, . . ' · · . " St. Thomas, In II Penhermenew, lect. 2, no. 2; tr. Jean T. Oesterle. " 64 AN INTERPRETATION OF EXISTENCE mentioned repeatedly in the preceding discnssions.

These considerations, consequently, show why existence should not be called a "property'' of a thing. It is not some­ thing that follows upon a thing's nature, but is prior to the nature. For the same reason there is difficulty in applying the term "attribute" to existence. "Attribute" suggests that the thing is already there and that something else is being attrib­ uted to it. But without existence the thing would not be there to receive the attribution. It might not, however, be too much to regard the term "attribute" as extending to whatever can be said about a subject, whether presupposed by the sub­ ject or following upon the subject.

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