David M. Armstrong

in Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590612
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723391 | DOI:

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It is desirable to expel absences from the ontology. Phil Dowe's account of preventions and omissions (which involve absences) indicates that they supervene on actual causal states of affairs. Totality states of affairs can then be used to give truthmakers for truths of absence. It is noted that this result was anticipated by Russell. The solution is applied to give truthmakers for the possibility (but not the existence) of what David Lewis calls ‘aliens’.

Keywords: absences; preventions; omissions; Phil Dowe; totalities; Russell; aliens; David Lewis

Chapter.  1805 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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