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By Geraldine Coggins

May possibly there were not anything? is the 1st book-length learn of metaphysical nihilism – the declare that there might have been no concrete items. It severely analyses the controversy round nihilism and similar questions on the metaphysics of attainable worlds, concrete gadgets and ontological dependence.

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Extra info for Could there have been Nothing?: Against Metaphysical Nihilism

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In contrast, any molecules that are parts of the leg of my chair are also parts of the chair. 30 Disanalogies with set-membership are also available for the Armstrongian compositionalist. On this view, possibilities are considered to be maximally consistent states of affairs. These states of affairs are composed of particulars and properties. A state of affairs composed of concrete entities, like particulars and instantiated properties, is concrete, whereas a set of particulars and properties is abstract.

Objects. Its existence is not dependent on its holding any objects: worlds are the sort of things that exist regardless of whether or not they contain any concrete objects at all. We will look at three views of worlds to see which, if any, are compatible with the subtraction argument. I call the view that worlds are composed of concrete objects the compositional view or compositionalism. There are two forms of compositionalism: Lewisian and Armstrongian. 3 The worldview required for the subtraction argument means that the worlds in question must not be mereologically composed of concrete objects.

Now, as Efird and Stoneham accept, if the null individual exists in a non-empty world, then it has not one, but very many spatial locations. This is because it is located wherever there is any other object as it is a part of every other object. However in the otherwise empty world, the null individual would not seem to be spatially located. Its spatial location seems to depend on that of a spatio-temporal object of which it forms part, and in the empty world, there are no such objects. Efird and Stoneham seem to have considered some of the ways that the existence of the null individual might conflict with Lewis’ ontology, but not the ways in which it might violate ontological plausibility.

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