On Golden Mountain

Browsing once more through Bill's back catalogue of posts on existence---it's a bit like worrying a loose tooth---I came across this one from May 2012.  I think this brings out the difference between the London view and the Phoenix view quite clearly.

Bill and Ed (and I) are agreed that
1. ‘Island volcanos exist’ is logically equivalent to ‘Some volcano is an island.’ 
But Bill goes on to make a qualification:
2. This equivalence, however, rests on the assumption that the domain of quantification is a domain of existing individuals. 
Ed disagrees strongly, and I'm with Ed on this. I'm tempted to ask, What other kind of individuals are there?  'Individual' and 'existent' (that which stands out) are equivalent, and one does not need to delve into the apparatus of the predicate calculus (talk of 'domain of quantification') to see this.  Bill explains:
Now there is nothing in the nature of logic to stop us from quantifying over nonexistent individuals. So suppose we have a domain populated by nonexistent individuals only. Supppose a golden mountain is one of these individuals. We can then say, relative to this domain, that some mountain is golden. But surely 'Some mountain is golden' does not entail 'A golden mountain exists.' The second sentence entails the first, but the first does not entail the second. Therefore, they are not logically equivalent.

To enforce equivalence you must stipulate that the domain is a domain of existing individuals only. If 'some' ranges over existing individuals, then 'Some mountain is golden' does entail 'A golden mountain exists.' In other words, you must stipulate that the domain be such that, if there are any individuals in it, then they be existent individuals, as opposed to (Meinongian) nonexistent individuals. The stipulation allows for empty domains; what it rules out, however, are domains the occupants of which are nonexistent individuals in Meinong's sense.
What to say?  Of course 'some mountain is golden' entails 'a golden mountain exists', and without qualification.  Imagine that you meet a travel-stained fellow in the ale-house.  He tells you of his adventures in distant lands.  In the remote region of Utopistan, he says, one of the mountains is golden, and he shows you a nugget.  So, you think, some mountain really is golden.  Yes, he says, a golden mountain really exists.

Let's be firm:  talk of nonexistent individuals is nonsense.  But Bill and Meinong are, I think, getting at something real in thought and language, even if the language they use is confused and leads us into absurdities.  The question is, What is really going on here?  Bill's view is that he is on the track of ontological profundities.  I think we are encountering the machinery of thought.  That may be going a bit far for Ed.

Of course there are individuals, objects, existents, call them what you will.  There is simply no need to make room for them by prising open a space between 'some' and 'exists'.

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