Few philosophers believe in the existence of so-called negative properties. Indeed, many find it mind-boggling just to imagine such entities. By contrast, I believe not only that negative properties are quite conceivable, but also that there are good reasons for thinking that some such properties actually exist. In this paper, I would like to explicate a concept of negative properties which I think avoids the logical absurdities commonly believed to frustrate theories of negative existences. To do this, I shall deploy a conceptual approach to ontology: I first evaluate the ontological commitments of ordinary negative statements, before I argue that, from the perspective of conceptual analysis, negative properties are no more suspicious than positive properties. In the second part of this paper, I probe the extent to which one can explain the distinction between positive and negative properties in terms of facts about logico-semantical entailment.
Axiomathes – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 27, 2017
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