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|Paper IPM / Philosophy / 14991||
Armstrong appeals to the existence of totalities in order to solve the problem of negative truths. The totality of first-order states of affairs is a truthmaker for all negative truths, but it involves things which are irrelevant to many such truths. To solve this problem, Armstrong claimed that negative truths have minimal truthmakers which usually consist in totalities smaller than the totality of first-order states of affairs. Merricks objects to this claim by arguing that given Armstrongï¿½??s definition of minimal truthmakers, the totality of first-order states of affairs is a minimal truthmaker for every negative truth. In this paper, I respond to Merricksï¿½??s objection. I will first show that the definition of minimal truthmakers that he proposes is not plausible. However, Merricksï¿½??s objection, I will argue, works also on the standard definition of minimal truthmakers. I will then show that for independent reasons, the standard definition should be revised, and, given my revised definition, Merricksï¿½??s objection fails.
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