Jud Evans

 Jud Evans lives in Lancashire England and is married and has eight children. He is the author of many articles, primarily on the subjects of ontology and linguistic philosophy.

For the Nominalist there is no such phenomena exists such as Heidegger's 'Being,' or 'consciousness,' or 'existenz,' or 'existence,' or 'Being There.'

These and the similar variant names to be found throughout the primitive philosophy of this transcendentalist type simply describe the existential modes of humans that exist and are conscious, and are conscious of that awareness which they call their 'consciousness.'

It goes without saying that for a Nominalist 'awareness' itself doesn't exist either, but only that entitic embodied brain which is aware. It is a mistake however to assume that by Heidegger's removal of the 'soul-thing' from notions of being that one rids the Daseinic device of its metaphysicality, all that this achieves is to introduce a more sophisticated version of the metaphysical, for the notion that the 'act' of existing [existing in a certain way] is somehow different, [the ontological difference] from the material existent, is in itself an act of mystical metaphysicalisation or transcendentalism which is introduced by the Daseinic mechanism or gerundial function of 'Being There.' which constitutes the semantic sleight-of-hand.

In fact, looked at from the point of view of linguistic philosophy, the gerund 'Being There' is little different from: 'Fishing There' or 'Collecting Foreign Stamps There' or 'Eating Fish and Chips There' for they all describe existential modalities or entitic states and are not in themselves 'things' as they have certainly have no nominatum or describable designatum. Plainly the only thing that exists is the 'Be-er' the 'Fisher' and the 'Stamp Collector.

The actor acts, and the acting is the modalic actor that exists [IS there - is THERE as the acting actor] but the acting is not something 'different' ontologically from the actor, and the only reason that in natural language we nominalise or convert ANY 'acting words' into abstract nouns and gerunds is for purposes of descriptive convenience, i. e., in order to quickly describe using just one word the ways that existents exist whilst they are in a certain temporal or relative existential spatial positionality, or the modality or state of being here or there, or engaged in modes of fishing, or stamp-collecting.

The very fact of initially existing [being born] could be described as an act - and indeed the process of birth is engendered and has its origin in the sexual act. The act of giving and experiencing birth is for the human baby an involuntary, unintentional act of being in the world, as indeed Heidegger himself suggests in his 'throwness,' (Geworfenheit) which is a shared act between the thrower and the thrown, and which though it receives its momentum from the contracting womb of the 'thrower', is still an involuntary ' or 'passive' act' on the part of the 'thrown' newborn.

After birth - as the child grows, the existential acts become more and more voluntary, and less passive and involuntary, and of necessity the voluntary behaviour functions concomitantly and in accordance with the physiological acts of the bodily organs which are always reflexive (physiologically working without volition or conscious control,) in that the human body acts in a multiplicity of existential voluntary and involuntary acts or life- maintaining modalities other than perhaps defecation and other excretory functions, which is a combination of the voluntary and the involuntary with the involuntary dominating the voluntary eventually, that is they are controlled by the autonomic nervous system; without or in spite of conscious control.

The would-be suicide Hamlet, if he leaps from the battlements, does not put an end to his physical existence, for the body continues to exist after death. What the suicide does is to radically change the WAY the material of which the body-brain consists and is composed, which is then rearranged as it passes through the various involuntary acts of putrefaction or incineration. The modality of being conscious is eliminated as a result of these existential changes and neither the 'soul' nor Heidegger’s version Dasein survives, because of course it wasn't THERE [or Being There] in the first place, other than as a reification of the existent's act of existing. It was the existent {Fred Jones] who was being there, as a human being known as Fred Jones and not 'his' 'Being There' nor the 'Being Theres' of the Mitseins that were there too whilst he was being there as the denotatum known as 'Fred Jones.'

Nominalists, [contrary to the mistaken beliefs of some people] do not seek to bar or ban any words at all, including proper names, abstract nouns, universals or anything else. Nominalists restrict themselves in ontological or philosophical discussion to pointing out the non-existence of existence, and all the rest of the abstract hypostatisations that do not exist in the fairy-tale world of Platonic idealism. This is no way bars Nominalists from employing those word-types as descriptive verbal tools in order to point to their basic linguistic and semantic function, which is basically to save time and human effort in the uttering of the circumlocutionary or periphrastic sentence-strings which would be required to communicate the often complicated ideas involved in describing the activities of entities encapsulated in single abstract nouns, gerunds and universals. The trouble is that transcendentalists consistently confuse or deliberately employ these gerundial short-cuts for actual things and talk as if such a thing as 'Love' exists, when in fact it is the lover that exists in the existential mode of emotion and affection for another that we label with the signifier word: 'Love.'

Nominalists therefore are in no danger of 'falling into any ontological or communicational 'abyss' for no such 'abyss' exists. Nominalists are aware that words are only significata [signs] which point to existents or to reificational notions, [shopping, dancing, etc.,] as the observable existential modalities of entities in order to identify them and employ them as conversational enablers, but they have no wish to proscribe or eradicate these words from our language, but only to de-confuse the notions of certain philosophies and ontologies as to the semantic dangers of such pit-falls.

At ground it is the Nominalist love for words and ideas that lies at the very heart of Nominalism. Nominalists don't like seeing either words or ideas abused and employed for base ontological purposes.