Tag Archives: existence is not the metaphysical primary

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.



Existence is Relative Because Location is Relative

Existence must have a location…that is, if something exists, it must exist somewhere. And somewhere must be relative. Otherwise, there is no distinction between the thing said to exist and where it exists. It simply exists where it is itself.

But to say something exists at the place of itself is nonsensical. “Itself” is not an answer to the question: “Where does a thing exists?” In fact, such an answer really translates to nowhere. In other words, if a thing doesn’t have a specific location other than itself, it doesn’t have a location at all, because “itself” isn’t a location, it’s a definition. And if a thing does not exist in a location then it doesn’t exist anywhere. And if it doesn’t exist anywhere then it cannot be said to exist at all.

Therefore, everything said to exist must exist in a location relative to something else. This makes any given object’s existence co-dependent upon the existence of another object (or other objects). Which means that existence cannot be the metaphysical primary. Because it is not singular.