Tag Archives: existence and the ability to exist

A Concise Explication of the Insufficiency of Existence as the Metaphysical Primary

Existence absent existing—absent the DOING of itself—does not actually exist.  So the idea of passive Existence is irrational.

So Existence is active. Existence exists. Existence is EXISTING. Which must mean that it is rooted in ABILITY.  Existence must be empowered by its ability to actually DO itself; for nothing can act that is unable to act.

But if Existence is a function the ability to act, then does Existence itself have any real metaphysical value?

Here is a metaphysical corollary I have devised:

Ability = being (the active manifestation of ability) = an IS (the specific thing epistemologically defined as being—that which is being what it IS).

E.g. Ability = Being = Apple IS (being an apple)

(Note: We could even substitute “Being” with “Existing”; but we must understand that in this case, Existence itself is NOT implied by “Existing”. “Existing” in this case is simply a synonym for “Being”.)

Or, even more concisely: Ability implies action, implies a thing which acts.

This is in contrast to the brand of metaphysics which puts existence in the place of Ability, where the corollary would look something like this:

Existence = an IS (a specific thing defined) = Being (the manifestation of existence)

E.g. Existence = Apple IS (being an apple) = Being

The first problem here is that the apple is BEING the apple BEFORE “Being” as a root and general metaphysical parameter is implied.

But notice the second problem. Since existence doesn’t imply Ability (to act) there can be no such thing as the action of existence—there can be no such thing as existING; there can be no BEING…or the DOING of Existence. And in that case, there can be no manifestation of existence, and thus, there can be no IS…no specific thing defined (as existing). Nothing EXISTS because Existence is entirely passive.

Perhaps to correct this problem we could reverse “IS” and “Being” and render the corollary as:

Existence = Being = an IS

E.g. Existence = Being = Apple IS (being an apple)

This technically corrects the first problem, but the problem of Existence not inherently implying action remains. There is no BEING (again the DOING of Existence) without action and there is no action without ability. And there is no ability anywhere in the metaphysics of Existence. Because if there was then ABILITY would be the metaphysical primary, and thus there would BE no metaphysics of Existence.

Okay. Perhaps then we might render the corollary this way to correct the problem:

Ability = Existence = Being = an IS

But notice here how Existence becomes both irrelevant and irrational. Ability ALONE implies Being, because Being is a manifestation of Ability, while Existence is not. There is nothing needed or even rational mediating the relationship Ability and Being. Existence, properly stated, is an IS—a distinct thing itself..albeit an abstract one (we are speaking philosophically here, not really grammatically; I understand that Ability is an abstract THING in the grammatical sense, but metaphysically it rationally serves as a universal root essence, thereby making it NON-specific, which is not the case with Existence, as I’ve demonstrated). And therefore Existence qua Existence belongs to the epistemological category of philosophy, not to the category dealing with metaphysics.



What Exists? What is Able?: Why the first question is meaningless and the second is not

1. There is no such thing as a “not”, or “nothing”. “Not” or “nothing” cannot exist. Because if it IS, then it is SOMETHING. And if nothing is something then…well, you get the idea. The absence of things cannot itself be a thing

2. Existence, if not a function of the ability to act–to do–means that Existence can do nothing (is at root UNABLE), which means that Existence cannot actually exist. Logically and practically speaking, however, existing IS the SAME thing as Existence…hence the common metaphysical claim “Existence exists”. The two are functionally identical; they are corollary. Existence, then, implying EXISTING, must possess an underlying ability to act–an ability to exist. Therefore, the metaphysical claim, “Existence exists” is in fact proof that Existence is not the metaphycial primary. The primary is Ability.

I could end this article here, for the point has been made and proven. But I wish to belabor it a bit; and I still am obliged to explain why Ability does not fall into the same trap of rational fallacy as Existence.

3. Existence cannot precede the action of existence–existing–because that would imply that Existence at its root does NOT exist. This would be in effect the synthesis of Existence with its own contradiction: Existence which does not exist. But the fact is, as I said, they are corollary. There cannot be one without the other.

4. To say “Existence exists” objectively and clearly implies that Existence ACTS, which necessarily means that it possesses the Ability to act. To say otherwise is to claim that it is either UNable to exist at root, or that it simply doesn’t DO, at root; that action is itself incompatible with Existence. But if this is the case then you cannot define anything according to Existence. You cannot claim that the chair exists (as the chair) vs the ball which exists (as the ball). You could say that the ball is Existence, and the chair is Existence, but that wrecks any distinction. If everything is Existence as opposed to EXISTING, then there is no such thing as a ball or a chair. Again, Existence and Existing are arrant corollaries. If the chair and ball are EXISTING then Existence itself is active, not passive. Which means that it is empowered by Ability. And if they are not existing then they obviously cannot be what they are claimed to be (ball and chair)…because how exactly do you define (or even conceptualize) that which doesn’t exist? Nothing cannot be called something. See point number one.

5. Absent the underlying Ability to act, and absent then the corollary between Existence and Existing, “Existence exists” is a rationally impossible claim. It would need to be rendered instead “Existence”, period. Which neither implies nor allows anything beyond the meaningless tautology, “Existence is”…which rendered another way becomes “Existence is Existence”…an idea which serves no rational or practical purpose whatsoever.

6. “Ability is able” is not a contradiction as a primary metaphysical premise, like “Existence exists”, because Ability, by definition, and obviously endemic to its root self, is not UNABLE to act. Unlike Existence, which alone, absent Ability, cannot be said to be compatible with doing. “Existence exists” clearly means that Existence is DOING ITSELF; but doing, without the underlying Ability to do, is impossible. “Ability is able” likewise means that Ability is doing itself. But this of course is entirely rational because the ability to do is EXPLICIT in Ability. Again, this is simply not the case with Existence.

7. Since “Existence exists” as a root metaphysical claim is a contradiction, the question “What exists?” becomes meaningless. It’s not a question which has an answer at the ROOT metaphysical level because it’s NOT a question which has anything to do with root metaphysics. Existence is an epistemological sub-category, not a metaphysical primary. On the other hand “Ability is able” is not a metaphysical contradiction, and therefore the question “What is able?” is perfectly legitimate. The answer, of course, is elementary:

“What is able?”


“What is able.”

Meaning that whatever man declares to BE via the perception/conceptualization corollary, including himself, is at root ABLE to be whatever what he declares it to be. It is ABLE to BE, relative to himself. And that–meaning Ability–is why it can be said to exist AS it is defined and given meaning by man, who is the Observer.

Breaking Down the Five Primaries: 1. Metaphysics: ABILITY



The root of (object) X’s causing or being caused upon is its Ability to exist. That is, the Ability of X to be what it is the the irreducible reason it can cause anything or be caused upon.

The apple falls from the tree because it is Able to be caused upon by gravity, and this because it is Able to be “apple”. The apple divots the soft ground because it is Able to carry the velocity necessary to do so, and this because it is Able to be “apple”.