October 7, 2009
Grammar and Existence 
“straightforward abstract entities as Triangularity, Mankind, and the proposition
Tom is clever.
'white' plays two roles, corresponding to triangular/triangularity. 
III. Since the use of category words involves a prima facie commitment to abstract singular terms
such as 'Triangularity'.
.the question naturally arises, “Does the use of these singular terms [viz.
'Triangularity'] involve a commitment to Platonism?” 
“[T]he widespread view that the introduction of predicate variables carries with it the use of such
category words as 'quality', 'attribute', or 'property' is simply a mistake. 
“'triangular' must be turned into 'triangularity' and 'f' to 'f-ness' as one moves from 'S is __' to '__ is a
The issue of introducing classifying expressions:
“I believe it is clarifying to read '(Ex) x is white'
is white', rather than 'There is an
, x, such that x is white,' and '(Ef) S is f' as 'S
is something' rather than 'There is a
, f-ness, such that S has f-ness,'.
“It will be convenient to use the expresson 'that-p' as the variable which corresponds to 'p', as 'f-
ness' to 'f' and 'K-kind' to 'K'.”
VI. “There is no
existentially quantified formulae
“It is just as incorrect to read '(Ex) x is white' as 'There is a thing which.
.' as to read '(Ef) S is f' as
'There is a property.
unless one see that not even quantification over singular term variables of
type 0 makes,
, an existence commitment involving an ontological category, i.e.
particulars', one is likely to think that 'There are particulars' is unavoidable in a way in which 'There are
“We can sum this up by saying that only where the so-called 'existential quantification' is a
quantification over a context of the form 'i is an N' is a quantified statement the counterpart of a
statement asserting the existence of objects of a certain sort—and this, after all, is analytic.
positively, the thesis seems to ring true. If, however, we make the same point negatively, by saying that
to quantify over an adjective-, common noun-, or sentence variable is not to make the PMese
equivalent of a statement asserting the existence of attributes, kinds, or propositions, it becomes clear
that we have much more work to do.” 
Now Geach's '
There is something
' corresponds to our 'S is
'. And his insistence
that the something which S
corresponds to our distinction between 'S is
something' and 'S has (i.e. exemplifies) something'. Thus, in the terms of our analysis, Geach's 'There is
something which S
) is the counterpart of '(Ef) S is f' (2) and he has correctly seen that the latter
does not involve a commitment to the use of such abstract singular terms as 'whiteness' or 'tallness'.
But while he is on the right track up to this point, he builds the above insight into a larger mistake. For