A Language for Ontological Nihilism

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
According to ontological nihilism there are, fundamentally, no individuals. Both natural languages and standard predicate logic, however, appear to be committed to a picture of the world as containing individual objects. This leads to what I call the \emph{expressibility challenge} for ontological nihilism: what language can the ontological nihilist use to express her account of how matters fundamentally stand? One promising suggestion is for the nihilist to use a form of \emph{predicate functorese}, a language developed by Quine. This proposal faces a difficult objection, according to which any theory in predicate functorese will be a notational variant of the corresponding theory stated in standard predicate logic. Jason Turner (2011) has provided the most detailed and convincing version of this objection. In the present paper, I argue that Turner's case for the notational variance thesis relies on a faulty metasemantic principle and, consequently, that an objection long thought devastating is in fact misguided.
Categories
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
DIEALF
Revision history
First archival date: 2018-10-12
Latest version: 2 (2019-02-15)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
On What Grounds What.Schaffer, Jonathan

View all 38 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2018-10-12

Total views
344 ( #9,086 of 41,492 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
203 ( #1,838 of 41,492 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.