The Puzzle of Existence

E. J. Lowe

in The Possibility of Metaphysics

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780199244997
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597930 | DOI:
 The Puzzle of Existence

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Deals with one of the deepest of all metaphysical problems, the question of why there should be anything at all—that is to say, why there should be a world of concrete objects existing in space and time. After querying another recent approach to this question favoured by Peter van Inwagen, an answer is offered which appeals to the distinction between concrete and abstract entities and proposes that, while some of the latter (such as numbers) but none of the former are necessary beings, abstract entities can exist only in a possible world that is populated by at least some concrete entities.

Keywords: abstract entities; concrete entities; existence; necessary beings; numbers; possible worlds; space; time; van Inwagen

Chapter.  5925 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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