Here is my reasoning to the conclusion of "existence is distinguishability/variation":

Assume objects A and B.

Question 1: How are they different from each other?

Answer 1: They are different/distinguishable in at least one way therefore we know that they definitely exist. Conclusion: 2 objects exist.

Answer 2: They aren't different/distinguishable in any way therefore there is either one object or none.

Question 2: Is there an object?

Answer 1: Yes there is because we can distinguish it/percieve it directly or indirectly in at least one way. Conclusion: There is one object.

Answer 2: We can't distinguish it/percieve it directly or indirectly therefore there are no objects. From this we can deduct that distinguishability=existence relative to an observer.

My question is this: Is my reasoning wrong/have I made a fallacy somewhere and what are the counter arguments?

  • 1
    Is this homework? (that doesn't prohibit answering). Also questions of the sort "am I right" are generally considered off topic. What is the philosophical question you have that you think could have a clear answer in a Q&A format? Here, I'm seeing more of a decision tree without a clear question.
    – virmaior
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 15:51
  • 1
    You ask if your reasoning is correct or not, but it's not clear to me what your reasoning is. For example, for every question you give two answers. I suppose these are possible answers. Are you asking what arguments for and against these possible answers could be, and if they are indeed possible?
    – user2953
    Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 16:02
  • I am showing what I consider a logical "proof" of the conclusion "distinguishability is existence" but I don't know whether my reasoning is sound so the question is "what are the flaws in my reasons and/or what are the counter-arguments" Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 17:12
  • 1
    Hello. Question 1 seems to imply that distinguishability pertains to number (0 / 1 / 2 / ...), not to existence. Question 2 seems to conflate distinction with perception. Distinction applies also to imperceptible things, as well as to nonexistent things. Commented Jul 9, 2015 at 23:13
  • This question of particulars has a long history. One that comes to mind that you should refer to and then use to hone your thinking is Leibniz's work on identity and indiscernability plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-indiscernible
    – virmaior
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 2:27


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .