Troubles with an Analysis of Facts of Existence

  • Marek Piwowarczyk The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Faculty of Philosophy
Keywords: fact of existence; state of affairs; principle of existence; inseparability


In the article, I examine whether an analysis of facts of existence is possible. A fact of existence is a specific variety of a state of affairs. States of affairs are ontological correlates of propositions. Facts of existence are counterparts of existential propositions. States of affairs, in contrast to facts of existence, can be analyzed as compositions of simpler ingredients, e.g. of subject and properties. There are philosophers who think the analogical analysis is possible in the case of facts of existence. According to such an analysis, facts of existence consist in having an existence but conceived as an inseparable inner principle called an act of existence or esse. I argue against the possibility of such an analysis. If we consequently analyze a fact of existence in terms of alleged ingredients, we are finally obliged to accept the thesis that esse is entirely external to the thing. I also show that inseparability of esse blocks the function ascribed to it: the function of making real. I maintain facts of existence are non-analyzable and I refute the validity of the real difference between essence and esse.


Dewan, Lawrence. „Étienne Gilson and the Actus Essendi”. Maritain Studies 15 (1999): 70–96.

Gilson, Étienne. Elementy filozofii chrześcijańskiej. Tłum. Tomasz Górski. Warszawa: IW PAX, 1965.

Moskal, Piotr. „Metafizykalny dowód istnienia Boga”. Roczniki Filozoficzne 51 (2003), nr 2: 21–32.

Stępień, Antoni B. „Zagadnienie kryterium istnienia”. W: Antoni B. Stępień. Studia i szkice filozoficzne. T. 1. Lublin: RW KUL, 1999.

Twetten, David B. „Really Distinguishing Essence from Esse”. Proceedings of the Society for Medieval Logic and Metaphysics 6 (2007): 57–94.

Wojtysiak, Jacek. „Istnienie. Podstawowe koncepcje”. W: Studia metafilozoficzne. T. 2. Red. Antoni B. Stepień i Jacek Wojtysiak, 215–262. Lublin: Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL, 2002.

Wojtysiak, Jacek. „O pojęciu istoty”. Zeszyty Naukowe KUL 38 (1995), nr 3–4: 63–83.