reply to post by EnPassant
There is a general problem you are looking at that has a basis in information and computer science; specifically with regards to
hierarchies/taxonomies versus tags. Tags are things that are properties of an item. Hierarchies place items as either parents, peers, or children.
Tags can often easily be made into a hierarchy. However tags don't necessarily require a hierarchy.
To illustrate this lets look at an example:
House, TV, owner
The owner might be trying to catalog things he recently purchased.
Owner (tags: house, tv)
This could be represented as:
The second hierarchy shows what the owner has and
the order in which they are contained.
In another scenario we might want to understand how things are spatially arranged. Like so:
This shows the house contains the owner and the tv.
Basically a hierarchy is a reflection of a relationship between items that can change relative to the question being asked.
What you seem to be trying to get at is, "What is more essential?"
"Existence" or "the thing that exists"
Do things come in to existence (a property) or is existence all there is- so things must come from it? (existence as a universal)
Then you show it is a bit of a tautology,
"This means that existence is not a property because such a property of already existing things would be unnecessary."
This would indicate that existence, as a property versus a hierarchical model, would put the "thing" and "existence" on the same level as peers.
Neither is the parent or the child. They are cosubstantial.
There is another way to think about the question though.
To really answer what is more essential, lets think about something imaginary like a unicorn.
Is existence a property of unicorns? No and yes, depending on your meaning.
If you mean do they exist on planet earth in the present day. The answer is no. However if we were to ask do they exist in fiction? Then most
So existence is a property of a domain and nonexistence is a property of something outside the domain.
The intersecting "and" (or conjunction) between existence and nonexistence occurs when the domain expands.
Meaning if I am a genetic engineer and I splice in the appropriate GATC sequence of a gazelle with a horse's DNA. Then we just brought our mythical
unicorn into existence. The Venn diagram overlaps and it transitions from "not in reality" to "into reality."
Existence is a place, imaginary or real. It just depends where and when.
edit on 2013-12-22 by Xtraeme because: (no reason given)