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What, if anything, are wrong with these syllogisms?

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:56 am
by LogicalMetaphysician
What, if anything is wrong with these syllogisms?

Definition of existence:
the state or fact of having being especially independently of human consciousness and as contrasted with nonexistence

Definition of being:
something that is conceivable and hence capable of existing

Definition of nonexistence:
absence of existence : the negation of being

Claim: Everything exists
Proposition: The absence of existence is itself absent of existence
Proposition: nonexistence does not exist (A=A, Tautology)
Proposition: nonexistence is nonexistant (A=A, Tautology)
Proposition: If nonextence is nonexistant, then everything exists.
Conclusion: Everything Exists

Claim: Unicorns Exist
Proposition: If everything exists, then unicorns exist.
Proposition: Everything exists.
Conclusion: Unicorns exist

Bonus: Also, I posted about this in another forum (a political one), and someone there was trying to argue that the first one was not a syllogism because it had more than two propositions. Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia seem to disagree with whether or not a syllogism can have more than two propositions with wikipedia saying that it can and Merriam-Webster thinking that it can't. I thought Wikipedia was the better source, but the person disagreed. Can a syllogism have more than two propositions?

Re: What, if anything, are wrong with these syllogisms?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:58 am
by James S Saint
This sounds like fun ... 8)
LogicalMetaphysician wrote:What, if anything is wrong with these syllogisms?

Usually the symbology, other than that, no problemo.

LogicalMetaphysician wrote:Definition of existence:
the state or fact of having being especially independently of human consciousness and as contrasted with nonexistence

Well, there are still issues with proper definitions. A proper definition doesn't merely substitute one word for another unless the other is much better understood. In your proposed definition, you have merely substituted "being" for "existence". How does that help anyone? A definition should provide description and clarity, else what good is it. And a proper definition, to avoid ambiguity should clearly imply what a word does not mean as well as what it means.

LogicalMetaphysician wrote:Definition of being:
something that is conceivable and hence capable of existing

Good that you continued the clarification, but... is what you just said true? Is anything that I can conceive of equal to, or even a part of, existence? Have you ever known there to be a 15 legged dog? Perhaps a refrigerator with a built in ping-pong table and hottube? A unicorn? Fairies in the forest (not counting New York city)? The fact that my grandmother was a space alien?

All magical things are conceivable. Does that make them real or existent? If so, what is the point in having such a word? What would be the difference between a true story and a fictional story?

LogicalMetaphysician wrote:Claim: Everything exists
Proposition: The absence of existence is itself absent of existence
Proposition: nonexistence does not exist (A=A, Tautology)
Proposition: nonexistence is nonexistant (A=A, Tautology)
Proposition: If nonextence is nonexistant, then everything exists.
Conclusion: Everything Exists

Emmm... you didn't define "everything" and the rest is mere tautology, thus a bit pointless.

LogicalMetaphysician wrote:Claim: Unicorns Exist
Proposition: If everything exists, then unicorns exist.
Proposition: Everything exists.
Conclusion: Unicorns exist

If a unicorn is a thing, is it a real thing or a fictional thing?
What would be a nonexistent thing?

LogicalMetaphysician wrote:Bonus: Also, I posted about this in another forum (a political one), and someone there was trying to argue that the first one was not a syllogism because it had more than two propositions. Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia seem to disagree with whether or not a syllogism can have more than two propositions with wikipedia saying that it can and Merriam-Webster thinking that it can't. I thought Wikipedia was the better source, but the person disagreed. Can a syllogism have more than two propositions?

Depends on how you define it.
.. snicker .. :mrgreen:

And I would take Merriam over Wiki any day. But the issue is one of making certain that you are properly understood. So when in doubt, specify.


In effect, you still haven't defined "existence".

{Like the pseudonym, btw 8) }

Re: What, if anything, are wrong with these syllogisms?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:15 pm
by Zero_Sum
LogicalMetaphysician wrote:What, if anything is wrong with these syllogisms?

Definition of existence:
the state or fact of having being especially independently of human consciousness and as contrasted with nonexistence

Definition of being:
something that is conceivable and hence capable of existing

Definition of nonexistence:
absence of existence : the negation of being

Claim: Everything exists
Proposition: The absence of existence is itself absent of existence
Proposition: nonexistence does not exist (A=A, Tautology)
Proposition: nonexistence is nonexistant (A=A, Tautology)
Proposition: If nonextence is nonexistant, then everything exists.
Conclusion: Everything Exists

Claim: Unicorns Exist
Proposition: If everything exists, then unicorns exist.
Proposition: Everything exists.
Conclusion: Unicorns exist

Bonus: Also, I posted about this in another forum (a political one), and someone there was trying to argue that the first one was not a syllogism because it had more than two propositions. Merriam-Webster and Wikipedia seem to disagree with whether or not a syllogism can have more than two propositions with wikipedia saying that it can and Merriam-Webster thinking that it can't. I thought Wikipedia was the better source, but the person disagreed. Can a syllogism have more than two propositions?


This reminds me of a conversation I had with somebody years ago and the discussion centered around what is real versus unreal or what is natural versus unnatural. Needless to say it seems in philosophy the consensus is that all things are real and natural where nothing is unreal or unnatural. This sort of thinking has always come across as pro status quo because if everything is real and natural nothing can be criticized, rejected, or questioned.

Re: What, if anything, are wrong with these syllogisms?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:20 pm
by LogicalMetaphysician
I was not trying to make a claim about real or not in the syllogism. Unicorns and fairies exist in our imaginations along with that 12 legged dog or whatever. There is no such thing as a nonexistent thing. I don't support the status quo at all. I am a staunch libertarian and something nearing an anarchist. I like to call my proposition for governance "microarchy." I don't know how to define existence without using the word being nor how to define being without the word existence. Evidently, neither does Merriam-Webster. Glad James at least agrees that those are tautologies. That was in dispute in other forums where I posted this. I was mostly just using it as a logic puzzle to test reasoning skills. I do believe that everything exists, but that is just to say that existence exists which is one of the primary axioms.

There is no such thing as a non-thing, other than nonexistence itself. Someone in another forum complained that I was using non things to prove the existence of things. Perhaps a valid point?

Re: What, if anything, are wrong with these syllogisms?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:55 pm
by James S Saint
LogicalMetaphysician wrote:I don't know how to define existence without using the word being nor how to define being without the word existence. Evidently, neither does Merriam-Webster.

Yes. The world of philosophy seems to have had that problem for millennia.
I would recommend that "existence" is well defined as "that which has affect". That which has no affect whatsoever does not exist. And "to affect" means to cause or be responsible for change.

LogicalMetaphysician wrote:There is no such thing as a non-thing, other than nonexistence itself. Someone in another forum complained that I was using non things to prove the existence of things. Perhaps a valid point?

I would also suggest that a "physical unicorn" is a "thing" that does not exist. Granted one can imagine a unicorn and thus has an image within the mind. That image exists, but not the physical entity.

Re: What, if anything, are wrong with these syllogisms?

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:50 pm
by Arminius
We have to consider two realms: (1) the real realm, (2) the ideal or spiritual realm.

This means that the existence is either necessary (=> 1) or possible (=> 2).

So, we have to consider necessity (=> 1) and possibility (=> 2).

"Wenn die Bedingungen der Möglichkeit in ihrer Totalität da sind, dann bilden sie zugleich Notwendigkeit." - Nicolai Hartmann.
My translation:
"If the conditions of the possibility are there in their totality, then they form at the same time necessity."