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Paper   IPM / Philosophy / 14991
School of Analytic Philosophy
  Title:   The Totality of States of Affairs and the Minimal Truthmaker
  Author(s):  Mohsen Zamani
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Theoria
  No.:  4
  Vol.:  83
  Year:  2017
  Pages:   471-483
  Supported by:  IPM
  Abstract:
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 Armstrong�??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 Merricks�??s objection. I will first show that the definition of minimal truthmakers that he proposes is not plausible. However, Merricks�??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, Merricks�??s objection fails.

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