The Talk I Was Supposed to Give…

In Andrea Bottani & Richard Davies (eds.), Modes of Existence: Papers in Ontology and Philosophical Logic. Ontos Verlag. pp. 131–152 (2006)
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Abstract

Assuming that events form a genuine ontological category, shall we say that a good inventory of the world ought to include “negative” events—failures, omissions, things that didn’t happen—along with positive ones? I argue that we shouldn’t. Talk of non-occurring events is like talk of non-existing objects and should not be taken at face value. We often speak as though there were such things, but deep down we want our words to be interpreted in such a way as to avoid serious ontological commitment.

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Achille C. Varzi
Columbia University

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