Re: failure of debate

From: Robert Owen (
Date: Sun Mar 05 2000 - 14:55:34 MST

Technotranscendence wrote:

> What is my definition of "existence"? I don't offer one. Instead, I accept
> Rand's view that existence is an axiomatic concept -- any attempt to define
> it results in a circular definition, any attempt to deny it assumes it.

If you are willing, Daniel, to more or less identify "existence", "actuality"
and "event", then the definition can proceed along the lines of "that
which can be located within, and specified in terms of, an n-dimensional
manifold". Of necessity, this manifold is metric; for example, "time" is
metrical time, not "duration" etc. If you apply the Principle of Sufficient
Reason to the "manifold", you encounter new problems.

This gets us away from the linguistic traps set by the conflation of the
"is" of predication [description] and the "is" of identity.

The approach I personally prefer is to treat things as "virtual objects"
which which "exist" only in terms of their relations with each other.
That is, they are completely specified by their relationships. To have
relationships is to exist.

None of the above is a panacea; the major hurdle to overcome is the
confusion of epistemology and ontology when trying get your bearings.


Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA

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