No Statues
Merricks (Trenton)
Source: Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 78 (2000): 47-52.
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. This dialogue is a direct result of a lengthy correspondence with Eli Hirsch, in which, roughly, I played the part of A – whom I would defend to the last jot and tittle – and he played the part of B.
  2. Indeed, Hirsch could be considered a co-author of this paper, although I do not mean to imply that he said, or would endorse, everything B says.

Introductory Exchange
  1. So, have I convinced you that there are no statues1; that statues don't really exist2?
  2. Well, no. I can't really follow your arguments, since I'm confused about their conclusion, about what you mean by 'there are no statues3' or 'statues4 don't exist'. Let me see if I understand. I think I see a statue5 over there; you must think I'm hallucinating.
  1. No no no. Don't caricature my view. Your visual experience is no hallucination; but it is caused by atoms arranged statuewise6, not a statue7.
  2. So atoms arranged statuewise8 work in concert to produce visual and – presumably – tactile and other experiences. I suppose they serve as landmarks and are sold at auctions. Your 'atoms arranged statuewise9' seem exactly like my statues10. Indeed, all I or most anyone else means by 'there are statues11' is that there are some things arranged statuewise12.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 2: Footnote 7: Footnote 12:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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