Grounding nonexistence

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (2):209-229 (2020)
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Abstract

Contingent negative existentials give rise to a notorious paradox. I formulate a version in terms of metaphysical grounding: nonexistence can't be fundamental, but nothing can ground it. I then argue for a new kind of solution, expanding on work by Kit Fine. The key idea is that negative existentials are contingently zero-grounded – that is to say, they are grounded, but not by anything, and only in the right conditions. If this is correct, it follows that grounding cannot be an internal relation, and that no complete account of reality can be purely fundamental.

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Author's Profile

Daniel Muñoz
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Citations of this work

The bases of truths.Michael J. Raven - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (7):2153-2174.
True by Default.Aaron Griffith - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (1):92-109.
The explanation of logical theorems and reductive truthmakers.Yannic Kappes - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1267-1284.

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On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1997 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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