Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1277-1297 (2017)

Authors
Michael Bertrand
Ohio State University
Abstract
In recent years, a hierarchical view of reality has become extremely influential. In order to understand the world as a whole, on this view, we need to understand the nature of the fundamental constituents of the world. We also need to understand the relations that build the world up from these fundamental constituents. Building pluralism is the view that there are at least two equally fundamental relations that together build the world. It has been widely, though tacitly, assumed in a variety of important metaphysical debates. However, my primary aim in this paper is to argue that this has been a mistake. I will show that serious problems concerning the relationship between building and fundamentality afflict pluralism and are likely fatal to it. I claim that, for better or worse, our best hope is building singularism, the view that there is a single most fundamental building relation. I conclude by examining the advantage that singularist accounts enjoy over their pluralist rivals.
Keywords Grounding  Fundamentality  relative fundamentality  Building
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-016-0760-x
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References found in this work BETA

No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
On What Grounds What.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
Grounding: Toward a Theory of the I N-Virtue-Of Relation.Paul Audi - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (12):685-711.

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Citations of this work BETA

Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Metaphysical Constraints, Primitivism, and Reduction.Michael Bertrand - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (4):503-521.

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