Over the course of the book Mumford defends what he calls “soft Parmenideanism.” Soft Parmenideanism has an ontological component and a methodological component. The ontological component: there are no negative entities (such things as absences or omissions or voids or nothings). The methodological component: we should not reject negative entities at all cost, but should rather accept negative entities if they are indispensable components of the best theories and they cannot be reduced to positive entities. I will briefly mention one concern I have about this methodology. It says that we should believe in negative entities if they are irreducible components of the best theories. Here Mumford is explicit that he means the best possible theories, not just the best theories we have managed to come up with (197). But how is this different from saying that we should believe in negative entities if they are irreducible components of the...

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