Volume 16, Issue 1, 2019
David S. Oderberg
On a So-called Demonstration of the Causal Power of Absences
Tyron Goldschmidt has recently published a non-paper in which he claims to demonstrate the causal power of absences. His non-paper is, precisely, an empty page. The non-paper is ingenious and at first “glance” the “reader” might think that the absence of words on the page does prove that negative beings can literally cause states such as surprise or disappointment. Closer analysis, however, shows that Goldschmidt’s clever non-paper not only lacks words but also lacks causal power. Serious metaphysical problems pile up if we suppose otherwise.