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Durham e-Theses
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The metaphysics of possibility: could there have been nothing?

Coggins, Geraldine Philomena (2002) The metaphysics of possibility: could there have been nothing? Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



My project involves looking at the metaphysics of possibility. There are two questions that are central to the metaphysics of possibility: firstly, what are possible worlds and secondly, is there an empty possible world. Possibilist and actualist accounts of worlds attempt to answer the first question while discussions of metaphysical nihilism, the empty world and the modal ontological arguments deal with the second. However no one has systematically considered how the answers given to one of these questions affect the answers available to the other - this is my project. I develop a new way of categorising theories of possible worlds. I argue that metaphysical nihilism (the claim that there could have been nothing), in all its published forms, is incompatible with each of the fully worked out, robust accounts of possible worlds available. I point out the importance of using the correct criterion of concreteness in discussions of metaphysical nihilism. I argue that if we modify the account of abstract objects used by the metaphysical nihilists, then nihilism can be shown to be compatible with the ersatz account of possible worlds. Finally, I argue that given these considerations, Lowe’s arguments against the nihilist are more plausible than nihilism itself

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2002
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 11:40

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