The Deflationary Theory of Ontological Dependence

Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):481-502 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

When an entity ontologically depends on another entity, the former ‘presupposes’ or ‘requires’ the latter in some metaphysical sense. This paper defends a novel view, Dependence Deflationism, according to which ontological dependence is what I call an aggregative cluster concept: a concept which can be understood, but not fully analysed, as a ‘weighted total’ of constructive and modal relations. The view has several benefits: it accounts for clear cases of ontological dependence as well as the source of disagreement in controversial ones; it gives a nice story about the evidential relevance of modal, mereological and set-theoretic facts to ontological dependence; and it makes sense of debates over the relation's formal properties. One important upshot of the deflationary account is that questions of ontological dependence are generally less deep and less interesting than usually thought.

Similar books and articles

Ontological Dependence and Grounding in Aristotle.Phil Corkum - 2016 - Oxford Handbooks Online in Philosophy 1.
Ontological Dependence.Fabrice Correia - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (5):1013-1032.
Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Varieties of Ontological Dependence.Kathrin Koslicki - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press. pp. 186.
Some Varieties of Metaphysical Dependence.E. J. Lowe - 2013 - In Miguel Hoeltje, Benjamin Schnieder & Alex Steinberg (eds.), Varieties of Dependence: Ontological Dependence, Grounding, Supervenience, Response-Dependence. Philosophia. pp. 193-210.
Essence and Dependence.Jessica Wilson M. - 2020 - In Mircea Dumitru (ed.), Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality: Themes from Kit Fine. Oxford University Press. pp. 283-300.
An Introduction to Grounding.Kelly Trogdon - 2013 - In Miguel Hoeltje, Benjamin Schnieder & Alex Steinberg (eds.), Varieties of Dependence. Munich, Germany: Philosophia Verlag. pp. 97-122.
Substance and Independence in Aristotle.Phil Corkum - 2013 - In B. Schnieder, A. Steinberg & M. Hoeltje (eds.), Varieties of Dependence: Ontological Dependence, Supervenience, and Response-Dependence. Basic Philosophical Concepts Series, Philosophia Verlag. pp. 36-67.
Object-Dependence.Avrum Hiller - 2013 - Essays in Philosophy 14 (1):33-55.
Ontological Priority.Michael M. Gorman - 1993 - Dissertation, State University of New York at Buffalo

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-03-10

Downloads
1,007 (#6,864)

6 months
47 (#21,131)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

David Mark Kovacs
Tel Aviv University

Citations of this work

Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Ground Grounded.Theodore Sider - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):747-767.
The Metaphysics of Moral Explanations.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 15.
The Myth of the Myth of Supervenience.David Kovacs - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):1967-1989.
There Are No Easy Counterexamples to Legal Anti-Positivism.Emad H. Atiq - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (1).

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
New Work for a Theory of Universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.
Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Making Things Up.Karen Bennett - 2017 - Oxford University Press.

View all 70 references / Add more references