Is "exist" an overburdened word? We say that ideas exist, processes exist, and

Is "exist" an overburdened word? We say that ideas exist, processes exist, and

Is "exist" an overburdened word? We say that ideas exist, processes exist, and substances exist, but doesn't "exist" mean something different in each case? When we say a particular apple exists, we mean the apple takes up space in the world. When we say the sport of baseball exists, we mean there's this process that people could enact. When we say the color red exists, we mean that there's this shared subjective experience that arises from certain stimuli. When I think about whether or not certain things exist, e.g. mind, time, morality, etc., it's really tricky to know which standards to apply, that of processes, materials, or ideas. Might it be more useful to say that substances exist, processes occur, and ideas arise? Then whether or not the mind exists wouldn't even be a valid question, any more than asking whether apples occur or baseball arises. I suggested this to a professor of philosophy who's dating a friend of mine, and he said he didn't think reserving a special meaning for "exist" would make any difference. Is he right, and if so, why wouldn't it?

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