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Absence and Nothing – The Philosophy of What There is Not - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Absence and Nothing: The Philosophy of What There is Not

Stephen Mumford


Nothing is not. Yet it seems that we invoke absences and nothings often in our philosophical explanations. Negative metaphysics is on the rise. It has been claimed that absences can be causes, there are negative properties, absences can be perceived, there are negative facts, and we can refer to and speak about nothing. Parmenides long ago ruled against such things. Here we consider how much of Parmenides’ view can survive. A soft Parmenidean methodology is adopted in which we aim to reject all supposed negative entities but are prepared to accept them, reluctantly, if they are indispensable a ... More

Keywords: absences, nothingness, Parmenides, properties, causation, possibility, perception, reference, truth, denial

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780198831532
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198831532.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Stephen Mumford, author
Professor of Metaphysics, Department of Philosophy, Durham University