It is commonplace for philosophers to ask whether a phenomenon of one kind is fundamental. Related questions are whether it is grounded in, or metaphysically dependent upon, or is less basic than a phenomenon of some other kind. Such claims raise a number of deep, unresolved philosophical questions in their own right. How are these notions of fundamentality related? What theoretical pursuits require them, and how can we come to know truths couched in terms of them? How do they relate to notions of mereology, modality, explanation, reduction, realization, substance, truthmaking, essence, provability, and causation? How is discourse about fundamentality to be regimented, and can well-behaved and interesting logical and semantic frameworks for this discourse be developed? What are the ontological commitments of this discourse? Must reality contain a sparsely populated ‘fundamental level’ of entities or facts? And how fundamental are these notions of fundamentality themselves?
|Key works||Notions of fundamentality have been discussed in philosophy since its inception, and can be found discussed at length by Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Bolzano, Husserl, Armstrong, Lewis, and Kim among many others. Interest in these notions has intensified during the first two decades of the 21st century largely (but not solely) due to the influence of Fine 1994, 2001, and 2012; Correia 2005; Schaffer 2003, 2009, and 2010; Rosen 2010; Sider 2009 and 2011; and Wilson 2014.|
|Introductions||For excellent introductions to recent work on metaphysical grounding see Clark & Liggins 2012, Correia & Schnieder 2012, and Trogdon 2013; for recent work on dependence in metaphysics see Correia 2008 and Koslicki 2013.|
Graduate studies at Western
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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Darrell P. Rowbottom
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