## Friday, January 06, 2006

### Is "Nothing" Possible?

Not according to the Maverick Philosopher, who writes:
1. Let S = Something exists and N = Nothing exists.
2. If N is possibly true, then S, which is true, and known to be true, is only contingently true.
Therefore
3. There are possible worlds in which S is false and possible worlds in which S is true. (By defn. of 'contingently true')
4. In the worlds in which S is true, something exists.
5. In the worlds in which S is false, it is also the case that something exists, namely, S. (For an item cannot have a property unless it exists, and so S cannot have the property of being false unless S exists)
Therefore
6. There is no possible world in which nothing exists.
Therefore
7. N is not possibly true, and necessarily something exists.
I think the Maverick slipped a fast one by us. Let's try it my way:
1. Let S = Something exists and N = Nothing exists.
2. If N is possibly true, then S, which is true, and known to be true, is only contingently true.
3. Where N is possibly true, S must be false.
Therefore
4. There are possible worlds in which S is false and possible worlds in which S is true. (By defn. of 'contingently true')
5. In the possible worlds in which S is true, something exists.
6. In the possible worlds in which S is false, it is the case that nothing exists, because N is true where S is false. (For an item cannot have a property unless it exists, and so S cannot have the property of being true where N is true, because something cannot exist where nothing exists.)
Therefore
7. There is a possible world in which nothing exists.
Therefore
8. N is possibly true in a world that exists apart from our world, in which S is true.
My conclusion: "Nothing" is logically possible, but we can never experience it because (a) we live in a world where there is "something," (b) it is impossible to live in a world where there is "nothing," and (c) it is impossible to experience "nothing." Therefore, a world of "nothing" is nothing more than a logically possible fantasy.