Fundamental ontological structure: an argument against pluralism

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

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.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,442

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Building the world from its fundamental constituents.L. A. Paul - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):221-256.
From an Ontological Point of View. [REVIEW]John W. Carroll - 2006 - Philosophical Review 115 (1):127-131.
Abstract entities in a presentist world.Aldo Filomeno - 2016 - Metaphysica 17 (2):177-193.
A Russellian Response to the Structural Argument Against Physicalism.Barbara Montero - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (3-4):70-83.
From an Ontological Point of View.John Heil - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Fundamentality without Foundations.Michael J. Raven - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):607-626.
Logic and Ontological Pluralism.Jason Turner - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (2):419-448.
Could God Have More Than One Nature?Robert Mckim - 1988 - Faith and Philosophy 5 (4):378-398.

Analytics

Added to PP
2016-08-16

Downloads
150 (#85,815)

6 months
8 (#106,013)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Michael Bertrand
Ohio State University

Citations of this work

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.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
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.

View all 35 references / Add more references