Chapter

Ontological Nihilism

Jason Turner

in Oxford Studies in Metaphysics

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199603039
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725418 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199603039.003.0001

Series: Oxford Studies in Metaphysics

Ontological Nihilism

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Ontological nihilism is the radical-sounding thesis that there is nothing at all. This chapter first discusses how the most plausible forms of this thesis aim to be slightly less radical than they sound and what they will have to do in order to succeed in their less radical ambitions. In particular, they will have to paraphrase sentences of best science into ontologically innocent counterparts. The chapter then points out the defects in two less plausible strategies, before going on to argue that strategies that look more promising, including one based on Quine's predicate-functor language, face the same defects.

Keywords: ontology; ontological nihilism; predicate-functor language; ontological innocence; paraphrase

Chapter.  18332 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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