This is the old Platonic riddle of nonbeing. Nonbeing must in some sense be, otherwise what is it that there is not? This tangled doctrine might be nicknamed Plato's beard; historically it has proved tough, frequently dulling the edge of Occam's razor.
The argument has been favored by prominent philosophers including Bertrand Russell, A. J. Ayer and C. J. F. Williams. Declaring that not p (¬p) can't exist, one may be forced to abandon truisms such as negation and modus tollens.
The Indian philosophical system Vaisheshika has a distinct category called "Abhava" (non-existence). It deals with this concept in detail, classifying it into absolute, anterior, posterior and reciprocal non-existence. Similarly, the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre was famously preoccupied with the being of nonbeing, as evidenced by his best-known work, Being and Nothingness.
- Antigonish (poem)
- Empty name
- Meinong's jungle
- Ostensive definition and extensional and intensional definitions
- Durrant, Michael (1998). "Plato's Quinean Beard: Did Plato ever grow it?". Philosophy. 73 (1): 113–121. doi:10.1017/S003181919700003X. ISSN 0031-8191.
- Bunnin, Nicholas; Yu, Jiyuan, eds. (2004). "The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy". doi:10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x. ISBN 978-1405191128.
- Works related to On What There Is at Wikisource
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