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Organon F

2020, Pages 1–17

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article

Subject and Predicate in Existential Propositions: A Survey of Frege’s Problem and Its Solutions

Siavash Asadi

DOI (to be assigned)


Frege argues that considering Socrates as an object in the proposition “Socrates exists” raises two problems. First, this proposition would be uninformative. Second, its negation entails a contradiction. Attempting to solve these problems, Frege claims that Socrates is representing the concept of a man whose name is Socrates. Therefore, existence is a second-order concept. This paper surveys the main modern theories about the types of existence, in order to find another response to Frege’s problems. For, if Socrates’ existence differs from the type that “exists” implies, “Socrates exists” is informative and its negation is not a contradiction. At last, this paper argues for an idea, in which “existence” is not a concept or property. Existence is the principle of the objects. So, “Socrates exists” is in fact “the existence is Socrates,” and “Socrates does not exist” is “there is no existence that be Socrates.” This idea could be an alternative for responding to Frege’s problems.


Existential proposition; existence; Frege; object; concept.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Siavash Asadi


Duquesne University


601 Fisher Hall, Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA



About this article


11 December 2019


24 June 2020

Published online

17 October 2020


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as

Asadi, S. (2020). Subject and Predicate in Existential Propositions: A Survey of Frege’s Problem and Its Solutions. Organon F, 1–17. https://www.organonf.com/journal/asadi

Copyright information

© Siavash Asadi

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