Knowing that Something Does Not Exist: Existence and Epistemic Logic

Emilio Gómez-Caminero Parejo


In this paper we deal with a classical question of western philosophy: Is it possible to know that there are things which do not exist? We begin with a brief analysis of some fragments of Parmenides, and later we study whether these arguments are valid using three kinds of epistemic logic: a classical style epistemic logic, where axiom holds (see PDF), a free epistemic logic, where this axiom does not hold, and finally, we study Lenzen's proposal of using two kinds of quantifiers: possibilistic and realistic quantifiers. We conclude that the last last one is the closest to our intuition and a good way to deal with this kind of problem.


Existence; epistemic logic; intuition; possibilistic and realistic quantifiers


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