According to Webster 1913, exist is a synonym of be. Actually, there is a subtle difference between existence and being in the use of the language. I am not sure I can explain it clearly, nor am I sure that I understand the concept well. But let me cite an example: "The centaur is a mythical being; it does not exist."

In this sentence, the verb to be (is) is used to refer to the centaur. Yet, clearly, the sentence wishes to affirm the non-existence of the creature. Is this a quirk of the language, or is there a real difference in the concepts of being and existence? (30 pts, 2 pages double-spaced)