Are There Non-Existent Entities?

In Larry Lee Blackman (ed.), The Philosophy of Panayot Butchvarov: a collegial evaluation. Edwin Mellen Press. pp. 3-19 (2005)
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There are things of which it is true to say that there are no such things. How can we resolve this paradox? Panayot Butchvarov argues that there are objects of reference that are not also entities, where the former must merely be thinkable but the latter must be indefinitely re-identifiable. This paper argues that fictional and many other unreal objects are indeed indefinitely re-identifiable, so they must be counted as existing things on Butchvarov's theory. The paradox is best resolved by distinguishing among domains of existence: Sherlock Holmes exists in the unrestricted domain of objects and in the fictional domain created by Conan Doyle, but not in the domain of the real world. Thus to exist and to be real are different things; all objects exist in some domain, but only real objects really exist.
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