Given an abstract definition of a being "A" and a concept "B". Can a being "A" be defined or described in terms of a concept "B", if it was "A" who gave rise to "B" ? In other words, can "B" be used to prove something about "A".

Note: Here, by "gave rise to" I mean "created" (or "makes it exist" if you prefer) and not just "discovered".

My question is meant to be general, but here is a possible instantiation of "A" and "B" if it helps to better understand the question: an instance of "A" is "God", and an instance of "B" is "Existence". So for instance, can the question "Does God exist ?" even be asked, if "God" created the concept of "Existence" ?

  • Reminds me of the following caption for a toy action figure of Bertrand Russell from this series of action figures for philosophers, in the idiom of captions for toy action figures: There is an X such that: X is the originator of the theory of definite descriptions; and for any Y, if Y is the originator of the theory of definite descriptions, then Y is identical to X; and X is unbeatable in combat! – Niel de Beaudrap Dec 11 '13 at 10:48

You could certainly ask the question, but would it be meaningful? It's hard to think of any case this would apply to other than your example, since it would take a godlike being in order to create something like "existence".

However, what if we aren't as strict in terms of the concept of A "creating" B?

Let's say A is Thomas Edison, and B is the quality of being well illuminated, electrically. Just because Edison invented electric lighting, doesn't mean he can't also use it.

Or, suppose I'm a pop-culture tastemaker and I invent the concept of "funkicool". There's no reason I couldn't also exemplify "funkicoolness".

On the other hand, if I'm a writer and I write a book about a planet where everyone is either "Alpha-neutral" or "Alpha-polarized", it might not make sense to ask if I, the writer, exhibit Alpha neutrality or not, because the concept only exists within my made up world, it doesn't mean anything at my own level of reality.

In the specific case of your example, if we take it as a given that God created existence, the concept of "creation" already implies the existence of the creator, therefore it doesn't make sense to ask the question, but not for the reasons you suggest.

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