Metaphysical Nihilism and Necessary Being

Philosophia 40 (4):799-820 (2012)
This paper addresses the most fundamental question in metaphysics, Why is there something rather than nothing? The question is framed as a question about concrete entities, Why does a possible world containing concrete entities obtain rather than one containing no concrete entities? Traditional answers are in terms of there necessarily being some concrete entities, and include the possibility of a necessary being. But such answers are threatened by metaphysical nihilism, the thesis that there being nothing concrete is possible, and the subtraction argument for this thesis, an argument that is the subject of considerable recent debate. I summarize and extend the debate about the argument, and answer the threat it poses, turning the tables on it to show how the subtraction argument supports a cosmological argument for a necessary being
Keywords Metaphysical Nihilism  Subtraction Argument  Necessary Being  Cosmological Argument  Contingency  Concrete Being
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-012-9362-9
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References found in this work BETA
Peter Van Inwagen & E. J. Lowe (1996). Why Is There Anything at All? Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 70:95 - 120.
William Lycan (2009). Giving Dualism its Due. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):551-563.

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