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‘The nature of existence’ is a phrase that will mean different things to different people. To some it will bring to mind the question of the nature of our own existence. This lecture is not about that important question, but about another one: the nature of existence as such. What is it for anything at all to exist? Tim Crane addresses this question by contrasting existence with non-existence, and contrasting the kinds of properties existing and non-existing things have. He rejects the claim, deriving from Descartes and Malebranche, that nothingness can have no properties, and instead he argues that non-existing things can only have properties of one distinctive kind. This marks a difference with existing things, and tells us something about the nature of existence.
Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge
Visiting Lecturer, Department of English, Queen Mary University of London and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow
Recored on 8 October 2013 at the LSE