Philosophical Papers 45 (3):401-435 (2016)

David Hommen
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Absences, i.e., agential omissions and forbearances, but also ‘natural’ negative states and events beyond the sphere of human agency, seem to be part and parcel of the real world. Yet, it is exactly the putative reality of absences that strikes many philosophers as utterly mysterious, if not entirely unintelligible. As a promising approach towards solving the problem of real absences, I wish to explore the idea that absences are latent potentialities. To this end, I shall investigate what potentialities are, what kinds of potentiality exist, and what it means for a potentiality to remain latent. I will also discuss whether the framework of latent potentiality is able to meet the extensional constraints imposed on the theory of absences by our intuitions about the reach of negative acts and events, i.e., whether latent potentialities can account for all real absences.
Keywords absence  potentiality  latency
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DOI 10.1080/05568641.2016.1245829
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References found in this work BETA

Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1974 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 36 (3):602-605.
The Paradoxes of Time Travel.David K. Lewis - 1976 - American Philosophical Quarterly 13 (2):145-152.
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Citations of this work BETA

Making Sense of Negative Properties.David Hommen - 2017 - Axiomathes 28 (1):81-106.
Negative Properties—Negative Objects?David Hommen - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (4):395-412.

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