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NOTHINGNESS FOR COMPOSITIONALISTS

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Author(s): Dean Rickles

Journal: Annales Philosophici
ISSN 2067-3159

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 73;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: nothingness | compositionality | subtraction argument

ABSTRACT
Given that worlds are defined compositionally as maximally spatiotemporally interrelated sums of possible objects, or as recombinations of actual states of affairs: what of empty worlds? It seems that such theories cannot admit such worlds, for nothing cannot come from the fusion or recombination of something. This is generally supposed to rule out metaphysical nihilism, the claim that there might have been nothing. In this brief note, I argue that the two positions can be made compatible by modifying the relationship between possibilities and possible worlds.
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