David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In this dissertation I suggest an answer to the famous question ‘why is there something rather than nothing?’ I argue that there is something because there could not have been nothing. The focus of my discussion is the empty possible world of metaphysical nihilism, and the first chapter is a rejection of the only prominent argument for that position; the subtraction argument. In the second part of my discussion I construct a positive argument against metaphysical nihilism, I assume, as is common in the literature, that inconceivability provides evidence of impossibility. I establish the inconceivability of nothingness taking propositional imagining to be the core of conceivability, claiming that we have no experience of nothingness in the relevant sense and are unable to imagine it. Finally, I suggest that a distinction should be made between everyday use of the term ‘nothing’, and the sense under discussion here. The inconceivability of nothingness applies only in the latter case. Given that nothingness is inconceivable, we have prima facie reason to suppose that the empty world is impossible. I conclude that given the failure of the subtraction argument and in light of my argument against metaphysical nihilism, that position should be rejected
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Tyron Goldschmidt (2012). Metaphysical Nihilism and Necessary Being. Philosophia 40 (4):799-820.
Aviv Hoffmann (2011). It's Not the End of the World: When a Subtraction Argument for Metaphysical Nihilism Fails. Analysis 71 (1):44-53.
D. Efird & T. Stoneham (2005). Genuine Modal Realism and the Empty World. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 1 (1):21-37.
Geraldine Coggins (2010). Could There Have Been Nothing?: Against Metaphysical Nihilism. Palgrave Macmillan.
Sarah Richmond (2007). Sartre and Bergson: A Disagreement About Nothingness. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 15 (1):77 – 95.
Reidar Due (2005). Freedom, Nothingness, Consciousness Some Remarks on the Structure of Being and Nothingness. Sartre Studies International 11 (s 1-2):31-42.
Stig Børsen Hansen (2012). Metaphysical Nihilism and Cosmological Arguments: Some Tractarian Comments. European Journal of Philosophy 20 (2):223-242.
David Efird & Tom Stoneham (2009). Justifying Metaphysical Nihilism: A Response to Cameron. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (234):132-137.
David Efird (2010). The Subtraction Argument for the Possibility of Free Mass. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (1):50-57.
Luca Moretti (2014). Global Scepticism, Underdetermination and Metaphysical Possibility. Erkenntnis 79 (2):381-403.
E. J. Lowe (2002). Metaphysical Nihilism and the Subtraction Argument. Analysis 62 (273):62–73.
Geraldine Coggins (2003). World and Object: Metaphysical Nihilism and Three Accounts of Worlds. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3):353–360.
Michael Novak (1970). The Experience of Nothingness. New York,Harper & Row.
Ross Cameron (2007). Subtractability and Concreteness. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (227):273 - 279.
D. Efird & T. Stoneham (2005). The Subtraction Argument for Metaphysical Nihilism. Journal of Philosophy 102 (6):303 - 325.
Added to index2011-05-26
Total downloads54 ( #45,725 of 1,699,704 )
Recent downloads (6 months)28 ( #22,466 of 1,699,704 )
How can I increase my downloads?