The Metaphysics of Absences – Lecture I: Negative TruthStephen Mumford (Durham University)
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There is a traditional problem of what makes a negative truth true, such as that there is not a hippopotamus in this room or that there are no unicorns. The failure to explain the positive truthmakers for negative truths threatens the thesis that truth depends on being. A number of traditional solutions are ruled out as well as some more recent attempts to solve Molnar’s problematic. Molnar set up four propositions, each of which seemed plausible but together entailed that there were positive truthmakers for negative truths. We must reject at least one of those propositions.
Stephen Mumford is Professor of Metaphysics in the Department of Philosophy at Durham University. He is the author of Dispositions (Oxford, 1998), Russell on Metaphysics (Routledge, 2003), Laws in Nature (Routledge, 2004), David Armstrong (Acumen, 2007), Watching Sport: Aesthetics, Ethics and Emotion (Routledge, 2011), Getting Causes from Powers (Oxford, 2011 with Rani Lill Anjum), Metaphysics: a Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2012), Causation: a Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2013, with Anjum), Glimpse of Light (Bloomsbury, 2017), What Tends to Be (Routledge, 2018, with Anjum) and Causation in Science (Oxford, 2018, with Anjum). His next book will be Football: the Philosophy Behind the Game (Polity, 2019). He is currently working on a book on the metaphysics of absences, which is under contract with Oxford University Press.
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