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Saturday, May 30, 2020

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Bill,

Suppose nothing exists. Then there are no propositions. Hence, it's not true that nothing exists. So, it's impossible for "Nothing exists" to be true. It could, however, still be possible for there to be nothing at all, which is an awkward situation.

>>It could, however, still be possible for there to be nothing at all,<<

How, given my argument?

Bill,

I took this:

Is it possible that nothing exist? Is it possible that there be nothing at all? Arguably not, since if there were nothing at all, that would be the case: that would be that obtaining state of affairs, in which case there would be one 'thing,' namely, that state of affairs.

As, implicitly, a truthmaker argument. And since there are no propositions in the empty world, there is no need for truthbearers.

If it's not implicitly a truthmaker argument, aren't you equivocating on the ontologists' sense of a state of affairs (a unity of ontological constituents)* and the broader, vaguer ordinary language sense of state of affairs? You need some intermediary premise or principle to get from, "since if there were nothing at all, that would be the case: that would be that obtaining state of affairs" where "state of affairs" is taken in the willy-nilly ordinary sense to "in which case there would be one 'thing,' namely, that state of affairs".

*Armstrong: "The general structure of a state of affairs I take to be this. A state of affairs exists if and only if a particular has a property, or a relation holds between two or more particulars."

"truthbearer" s/b "truthmaker"

How are you understanding 'state of affairs'? I recall that you have followed Armstrong before (please correct me if I'm wrong). As I understand Armstrong, a state of affairs is the obtaining of a particular exemplifying a property, or some relation between particulars. What is this state of affairs that obtains in a world with nothing (no particulars/relations) at all?

Thanks!

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