How and in what manner is an object defined as "existing"? What principles are followed to deem some object as tangible or real, and not imaginative? Please answer.

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    – Conifold
    Sep 2 '18 at 23:37
  • The etymology of 'exist' is 'stand out'. Thus what stands out from a background we deem to exist. The background is another matter and in metaphysics this definition of 'exist' leads to intractable problems. Still it is what most people use. . .
    – user20253
    Sep 3 '18 at 15:22
  • See Nonexistent Objects and see Alexius Meinong. Sep 4 '18 at 9:15

Technically speaking, all objects are imaginative, because our mind constructs objects from a complex reality in order to aid cognition.

Think about a fist. Is it an object? Many people would say so, because it can punch and break things. But what happens to a fist when you open it? The object you thought was so real suddenly isn’t there - it morphed into something else.

This is the nature of all reality - everything is in constant flux, and things we perceive as physical objects are temporary arrangements of matter, arbitrarily named and categorized by our mind so we don’t get lost in complexity.

So to answer your question - all objects are indeed imaginative and as long as you can think of them, they exist. Whether they also exist on the physical observable reality is a question of scientific measurements of weight, volume, mass and / or other properties, but we’re entering the realm of physics here.

  • 2
    I like your answer. You could strengthen this answer by providing a reference or two to someone who holds the same view and perhaps quote that reference to confirm that it is a reference worth looking at. That would give the reader also a place to go for more information. Sep 2 '18 at 14:33
  • I dislike this answer because it doesn't address what "real" means. You call eveything imaginative but people use the word real so what is the difference. Also I don't understand your fist example because I don't see any inconsistency with something "existing" and being able to transmute to something else.
    – Cell
    Sep 2 '18 at 15:06

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