The World and Truth About What Is Not

Philosophical Quarterly 64 (254):82-98 (2014)
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Truthmaker says that things, broadly construed, are the ontological grounds of truth and, therefore, that things make truths true. Recently, there have been a number of arguments purporting to show that if one embraces Truthmaker, then one ought to embrace Truthmaker Maximalism—the view that all non-analytic propositions have truthmakers. But then if one embraces Truthmaker, one ought to think that negative existentials have truthmakers. I argue that this is false. I begin by arguing that recent attempts by Ross Cameron and Jonathan Schaffer to provide negative existentials with truthmakers fail. I then argue that the conditional—if one embraces Truthmaker, the one ought to embrace Truthmaker Maximalism—is false by considering worlds where very little, if anything at all, exists. The conclusion is that thinking that negative existentials do not have truthmakers, and therefore rejecting Truthmaker Maximalism, need not worry Truthmaker embracers.
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Truth and Ontology.Merricks, Trenton

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