The reality of absences

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. 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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DOI 10.1080/00048400600571679
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References found in this work BETA

A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7 (3):429-440.
Truthmaking and Difference-Making.David Lewis - 2001 - Noûs 35 (4):602–615.
A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility.D. M. Armstrong - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

How to Be a Truthmaker Maximalist.Ross P. Cameron - 2008 - Noûs 42 (3):410 - 421.
Intentional Omissions.Randolph Clarke - 2010 - Noûs 44 (1):158-177.
Seeing Empty Space.Louise Richardson - 2010 - European Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):227-243.
Absence of Action.Randolph Clarke - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):361-376.

View all 20 citations / Add more citations

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