Unstable Truthmaking


Correspondence to: E-mail: jaminasay@ln.edu.hk


Recent discussion of the problem of negative existentials for truthmaker theory suggests a modest solution to the problem: fully general negative truths like <there are no unicorns> do not require truthmakers, whereas partially general negative truths like <there are no unicorns in the Sydney Opera House> do. This modest solution provides a third alternative to the two standard solutions to the problem of negative existentials: the endorsement of truthmaker gaps, and the appeal to contentious ontological posits. We argue that this modest, middle-ground position is inconsistent with certain plausible general principles for truthmaking. The only stable positions are to treat all negative truths as requiring truthmakers, or admit that no negative truths require truthmakers. Along the way, we explore some previously unaddressed questions for nonmaximalist truthmaker theory.