Arguing against fundamentality

This paper aims to open up discussion on the relationship between fundamentality and naturalism, and in particular on the question of whether fundamentality may be denied on naturalistic grounds. A historico-inductive argument for an anti-fundamentalist conclusion, prominent within contemporary metaphysical literature, is examined; finding it wanting, an alternative ‘internal’ strategy is proposed. By means of an example from the history of modern physics - namely S-matrix theory - it is demonstrated that this strategy can generate similar anti-fundamentalist conclusions on more defensible naturalistic grounds, and that fundamentality questions can be empirical questions. Some implications and limitations of the proposed approach are discussed
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2011.09.002
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References found in this work BETA
Jonathan Schaffer (2009). On What Grounds What. In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press 347-383.
Paul Teller (1986). Relational Holism and Quantum Mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (1):71-81.

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Citations of this work BETA
Milena Ivanova (2013). Did Perrin's Experiments Convert Poincare to Scientific Realism. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 3 (1):1-19.

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