# "something white doesn't exist" -> "at least one of things that doesn't exist is white" [closed]

If something white doesn't exist, at least one of things that doesn't exist is white?

Is it logically correct?

• If something doesn't exist how do you know it's white? Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 19:01
• @MichaelCarey Because you know people say "you're small like a fairy" "you're white like an unicorn"?
– user68943
Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 19:03
• Yes, makes logically sense to me...also with the implication: "(at least)one thing that doesn't exist" = "all things, that do not exist" ...whereas I try not to use (the word) "exist" in combination with "thing"...since "things persist" Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 19:42
• If you use Aristotles logic (term logic) you can say "a non existent thing is white", "some non existent things (at least one) is white"
– user50018
Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 22:03
• "Something wjite does not exist" is simply "there are no white things". Nothing mysterious here... Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 10:36

It is risky to speak about non-existent things and their properties.

Better to make use of the possibility of our language to discriminate between a concept and it referent. And to remember that some concepts do not have referents.

Transforming your sentence accordingly you say:

• First: Let's assume that the concept of a "white thing" does not have a referent.
• Secondly: Then at least one referent of a concept without a referent is white. - Obviously this sentence is nonsensical.

The whole statement from your question is a linguistic trap.

• If nonexistent objects have no properties, is "something is white like a unicorn" or "someone is small like a fairy" semantically nonsense because unicorns are nonexistent so don't have color?
– user68943
Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 19:02
• @Collins My advice is to avoid speaking about non-existent objects. – Of yourse one say: The concept of an unicorn is the concept of a snow-white animal with a single horn on his head. Subsequently, you can the transform the problematic statement “something is white like a unicorn” into the non-problematic statement “something is snow-white”. – Forget about the unicorn. Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 19:21

This is a statement in natural language, so its meaning is ambiguous. If you did translate it to a formal language, that process would force you to remove the ambiguities.

You would probably need a predicate logic to handle this. In the logics I'm familiar with, however, you can't meaningfully talk about the properties of a non-existent object (it's not part of your universe of discourse), so you wouldn't even be able to express this idea.