Turtles all the way down: Regress, priority and fundamentality

Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):1-14 (2008)
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Abstract

I address an intuition commonly endorsed by metaphysicians, that there must be a fundamental layer of reality, i.e., that chains of ontological dependence must terminate: there cannot be turtles all the way down. I discuss applications of this intuition with reference to Bradley’s regress, composition, realism about the mental and the cosmological argument. I discuss some arguments for the intui- tion, but argue that they are unconvincing. I conclude by making some suggestions for how the intuition should be argued for, and discussing the ramifications of giving the justification I think best.

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Ross Cameron
University of Virginia

Citations of this work

Metaphysical grounding.Ricki Bliss & Kelly Trogdon - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Ground.Michael J. Raven - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (5):322-333.
By Our Bootstraps.Karen Bennett - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):27-41.

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References found in this work

Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
Is there a fundamental level?Jonathan Schaffer - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):498–517.
Realism and Independence.C. S. Jenkins - 2005 - American Philosophical Quarterly 42 (3):199 - 209.

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