Is “Nothing nothings” true?

In a 1929 lecture, Martin Heidegger argued that the following claim is true: Nothing nothings. In German: “Das Nichts nichtet”. Years later Rudolph Carnap ridiculed this statement as the worst sort
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In a 1929 lecture, Martin Heidegger argued that the following claim is true: “Nothing nothings.” In German: “Das Nichts nichtet”. Years later Rudolph Carnap ridiculed this statement as the worst sort of meaningless metaphysical nonsense in an essay titled “Overcoming of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language”. But is this positivistic attitude reasonable? Is the sentence as nonsensical as Carnap claimed? In this essay I want to examine Heidegger’s claim that nothing nothings. I will argue that there are at least two ways to read the claim, and on either reading the claim comes out as true (at least, given certain common and plausible assumptions regarding the underlying logic). In addition, the truth of a slight modification of the claim hinges on the outcome of a metaphysical debate currently raging in the philosophical literature. Before arguing for any of this, however, the following caveat is important to note: I am not claiming that any of the claims or. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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