David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):457 – 486 (2005)
One familiar form of argument for rejecting entities of a certain kind is that, by rejecting them, we avoid certain difficult problems associated with them. Such problem-avoidance arguments backfire if the problems cited survive the elimination of the rejected entities. In particular, we examine one way problems can survive: a question for the realist about which of a set of inconsistent statements is false may give way to an equally difficult question for the eliminativist about which of a set of inconsistent statements fail to be 'factual'. Much of the first half of the paper is devoted to explaining a notion of factuality that does not imply truth but still consists in 'getting the world right'. The second half of the paper is a case study. Some 'compositional nihilists' have argued that, by rejecting composite objects (and so by denying the composition ever takes place), we avoid the notorious puzzles of coincidence, for example, the statue/lump and the ship of Theseus puzzles. Using the apparatus developed in the first half of the paper, we explore the question of whether these puzzles survive the elimination of composite objects.
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Citations of this work BETA
Daniel Z. Korman (2015). Fundamental Quantification and the Language of the Ontology Room. Noûs 49 (2):298-321.
Jonathan Schaffer (2007). From Nihilism to Monism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):175 – 191.
David Liggins (2008). Nihilism Without Self-Contradiction. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62 (62):177-196.
Matthew McGrath (2008). Conciliatory Metaontology and the Vindication of Common Sense. Noûs 42 (3):482-508.
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