In this lecture Dallas is beginning a new topic, the question of being. Let it be noted, first of all, that a lecture is missing between this one and the one on “Naming” from January 31st. At around 7:00 Dallas lists the four things he “will try to convince you of” in the next few weeks as he talks about being:
1. There is a difference between being and not being.
2. This difference is not constituted by your common garden variety predicate.
3. This predicate is not a part of the what or essence of any object at all.
4. There is no necessary connection between the existence and being of an object and the experience of an object.
The central part of the lecture is on Henri Bergson, who, Dallas claims, developed a pragmatic interpretation of Kantianism. His main text is Bergson’s “An Introduction to Metaphysics.”
At the end (1:05:15) Dallas mentions a handout “Lecture Notes on Essence and Existence” which is a paper in which Dallas writes out the history of the essence and existence distinction (not currently available digitally).