Erkenntnis:1-16 (forthcoming)

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Abstract
Many have argued that the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” is defective in some way. While much of the literature on the Question rightly attends to questions about the nature and limits of explanation, little attention has been paid to how new work in metaontology might shed light on the matter. In this paper I discuss how best to understand the Question in light of the now common metaontological commitment to quantifiers that vary in metaphysical naturalness. I show that proponents of this view have arguments at their disposal that appear to challenge the metaphysical substantivity of the Question. Then I argue that, not only are there ways to resist these arguments, the arguments do not pose a challenge to the Question if it is construed in a way that makes reference to many quantifiers. Rendering the Question with multiple quantifiers not only allows one to grant the prima facie substantivity of the Question, but allows us to express it in a way that is mode-of-being-neutral and ontology-neutral—an independently desirable aim.
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-020-00366-6
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References found in this work BETA

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Ontological Realism.Theodore Sider - 2009 - In David Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 384--423.
Ontological Pluralism.Jason Turner - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (1):5-34.
Composition, Colocation, and Metaontology.Karen Bennett - 2009 - In David Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 38.
What We Disagree About When We Disagree About Ontology.Cian Dorr - 2005 - In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 234--86.

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