Philosophia 39 (1):83-103 (2011)

Niall Connolly
University of Sheffield
This paper maintains (following Yougrau 1987; 2000 and Hinchliff 1996) that the dead and other former existents count as examples of non-existent objects. If the dead number among the things there are, a further question arises: what is it to be dead—how should the state of being dead be characterised? It is argued that this state should be characterised negatively: the dead are not persons, philosophers etc. They lack any of the (intrinsic) qualities they had while they lived. The only facts involving the dead are facts about the relations they stand in—including the relations they bear to the qualities they formerly instantiated, and the intentional relations they stand in to us. Given an appropriate conception of qualities the dead can be said to be quality-less objects: bare particulars. The ‘Bare Particular Theory’ of individuals, it is argued, is coherent if and only if it concedes that the bare particulars it allows for don’t exist. The account of the dead and other former existents as bare particulars does justice to the misfortune of death, and points the way to a general theory of nonexistent objects
Keywords Metaphysics  Death  Presentism  Non-existence  Bare particulars
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-010-9258-5
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References found in this work BETA

Truth and Ontology.Trenton Merricks - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Nonexistent Objects.Terence Parsons - 1980 - Yale University Press.
Well-Being and Death.Ben Bradley - 2009 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Yes: Bare Particulars!Niall Connolly - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1355-1370.
Real (and) Imaginal Relationships with the Dead.Kathryn Norlock - 2017 - Journal of Value Inquiry 51 (2):341-356.
Forgiving the Dead.Macalester Bell - 2019 - Social Philosophy and Policy 36 (1):27-51.

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