Once we allow that the truthmaker for <x exists> can be something other than x this becomes an option on the table: ‘there is a sum of A, B and C’ might be true – but perhaps we don’t need a complex object to make it true: perhaps A, B and C themselves are enough to make this sentence true.
I like it! (Cf. the representational fallacy.) Cameron allows that x exists in such a case, but insists that it does so derivatively, i.e. x doesn't really - fundamentally - exist. This then raises my old worry: what is it to exist fundamentally? This problem is brought out by the fascinating penultimate section of Cameron's paper, when he writes:
I suggested... a picture of the world whereby the only things that really exist are simples, but where we have complex objects as derivative existents. But of course, we can run something like the above story without it being the simples that are taken as fundamental. We could follow Jonathan Schaffer and claim that there is only one fundamental existent – the world – with the proper parts of the world being taken as derivative.
What's the difference? The world is how it is, and this can be described from the perspective of various mereological 'levels' (from the greatest whole to the smallest parts), but - I'm inclined to suggest - at the end of the day there's nothing to decide between them. What would it even mean to privilege one level rather than another with a deeper status of 'being'? What is this difference supposed to consist in, exactly? I just can't get a grasp on what's being claimed here.
If forced to pick one, I'd go with Schaffer's suggestion that the world is fundamental. I don't think that anything else is. And I guess I can't very well claim that everything's derivative; the buck must stop somewhere. So maybe I'm committed to this view after all. I'm not sure, though. I'd really prefer to reject the fundamental/derivative distinction altogether, and simply say that claims are made true by the world - the way things are - without giving ontological priority to any particular aspect of it -- even the unitary entity "the world". In other words, I'd like to get by without any ontology at all (or with a moderately relativistic ontology, may be a better way of putting it). Have I any chance of getting away with this, or is the suggestion simply confused?