Existence and the existential quantifier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper draws a distinction between the existential quantifier and the symbol ‘∃’ used to express it, on the one hand, and existence and ‘exists’, on the other. It argues that some popular arguments in metaphysics, including arguments against vague existence and arguments against deflationary metaontology (which views ontological disputes as lacking substance), are guilty of fudging this distinction. The paper draws some lessons for metaphysical debate about existence and highlights some heretofore ignored and attractive positions in logical space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-358
Number of pages7
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • existence
  • existential quantification
  • metametaphysics
  • metaontology
  • ontology
  • ontology
  • reference magnetism
  • vague existence
  • vagueness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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