In order to understand negation as such, at least since Aristotle’s time, there have been many ways of conceptually modelling it. In particular, negation has been studied as inconsistency, contradictoriness, falsity, cancellation, an inversion of arrangements of truth values, etc. In this paper, making substantial use of category theory, we present three more conceptual and abstract models of negation. All of them capture negation as turning upside down the entire structure under consideration. The first proposal turns upside down the structure almost literally; it is the well known construction of opposite category. The second one treats negation as a contravariant functor and the third one captures negation as adjointness. Traditionally, negation was investigated in the context of language as negation of sentences or parts of sentences, e.g. names. On the contrary we propose to negate structures globally. As a consequence of our approach we provide a solution to the ontological problem of the existence of negative states of affairs.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Philosophy, other