Existence as a Negative Property
Jong, A.P. de
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This thesis is a thesis about existence questions. My contention is that the metaphysical game, especially the game of existence questions, is rigged. One of my aims in this thesis is to attack one of the leading paradigms in contemporary metaphysics. This paradigm serves as the cornerstone to contemporary ontology: the Quinean notion of ontological commitment as the proper interpretation of existence. To be clear, I take this interpretation of existence to be a mischaracterization of existence questions. For that reason, we should look for a way to formulate existence questions anew. We should formulate them in a way that is as faithful as possible to the ordinary understanding of existence questions. Therefore, in the grander scheme of things, I propose a makeover of the way in which we should interpret existence questions in contemporary ontology. I will argue that there is a single notion of nonexistence and that existence is properly interpreted as its complement.