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Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics$
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D. M. Armstrong

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199590612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590612.001.0001

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Absences

Absences

Chapter:
(p.82) Chapter 11 Absences
Source:
Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics
Author(s):

David M. Armstrong

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590612.003.0011

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

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