Graduate studies at Western
Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):21 – 37 (2006)
|Abstract||In this paper, I make a contribution to a naturalistically-minded theory of truthmakers by proposing a solution to the nasty problem of truthmakers for negative truths. After formulating the difficulty, I consider and reject a number of solutions to the problem, including Armstrong's states of affairs of totality, incompatibility accounts, and JC Beall's polarity view. I then defend the position that absences of truthmakers are real and are responsible for making negative truths true (and positive falsehoods false). According to the positive account of absences I offer, absences of contingent states of affairs are causally relevant mind-independent features of the physical world, located within space and time, and capable of being discovered by scientific inquiry. Recognition of the reality of absences strengthens truthmaker theory as a naturalistic metaphysics, as truth and falsity of each and every contingent proposition finds an ontological grounding in some region of the physical universe.|
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