Ontological Nihilism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

52 Scopus citations


Ontological nihilism is the radical-sounding thesis that there is nothing at all. This chapter first discusses how the most plausible forms of this thesis aim to be slightly less radical than they sound and what they will have to do in order to succeed in their less radical ambitions. In particular, they will have to paraphrase sentences of best science into ontologically innocent counterparts. The chapter then points out the defects in two less plausible strategies, before going on to argue that strategies that look more promising, including one based on Quine's predicate-functor language, face the same defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOxford Studies in Metaphysics
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191725418
ISBN (Print)9780199603039
StatePublished - Feb 10 2011


  • Ontological innocence
  • Ontological nihilism
  • Ontology
  • Paraphrase
  • Predicate-functor language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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