Grounding nonexistence

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

References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Timothy Williamson - 2013 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work

The Explanation of Logical Theorems and Reductive Truthmakers.Yannic Kappes - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1267-1284.
Reasons Why Not - On the Positive Grounds of Negative Truths.Julio De Rizzo - 2019 - Stuttgart, Deutschland: Metzler Verlag/ Springer.
Self-Explanation and Empty-Base Explanation.Yannic Kappes - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (3):436-453.

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