VICTR Presents: Will Gamester, “Nothing is True”

Nothing is True

Will Gamester

Will Gamester will present a talk titled “Nothing is True” at the Virtual International Consortium for  Truth Research (VICTR) on January 18 2021 at 10:00am EST (15:00 UTC).

Abstract: Alethic nihilism is the view that nothing is true.  At first encounter, nihilism strikes most of us as clearly false, silly, anarchic, dangerous and/or incoherent.  This talk has three parts.  In the first, I give an argument for alethic nihilism.  In the second, I defend nihilism from some obvious objections.  I argue that nihilism is not clearly false, silly, anarchic, dangerous, or incoherent.  Rather, whether we should accept nihilism turns on whether we think there is any important function served by truth-talk that it could not serve if nothing is true.  In the third, I argue that we can use truth-talk to serve an expressive function – as a device for semantic descent – even if nothing is true, by treating truth-talk as a useful fiction.  If this expressive function exhausts the function of truth-talk, as deflationists contend, then we stand to gain something and lose nothing by accepting nihilism.  We thus end up with a conditional case for nihilism: deflationists about truth should be alethic nihilists.

Please email for the Zoom link.