Super-Relationism: Combining Eliminativism about Objects and Relationism about Spacetime

Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2151-2172 (2016)
Authors
Baptiste Le Bihan
University of Geneva
Abstract
I will introduce and motivate eliminativist super-relationism. This is the conjunction of relationism about spacetime and eliminativism about material objects. According to the view, the universe is a big collection of spatio-temporal relations and natural properties, and no substance (material or spatio-temporal) exists in it. The view is original since eliminativism about material objects, when understood as including not only ordinary objects like tables or chairs but also physical particles, is generally taken to imply substantivalism about spacetime: if properties are directly instantiated by spacetime without the mediation of material objects, then, surely, spacetime has to be a substance. After introducing briefly the two debates about spacetime (§1) and material objects (§2), I will present Schaffer's super-substantivalism (§3), the conjunction of substantivalism about spacetime and eliminativism about material objects at the fundamental level. I shall then expose and discuss the assumption from which the implication from eliminativism to substantivalism is drawn, and discuss the compatibility of eliminativism with relationism: if spacetime is not a substance, and if material objects are not real, how are we to understand the instantiation of properties (§4)? And what are the relata of spatio-temporal relations (§5)? I then show that each argument in favor of super-substantivalism offered by Schaffer also holds for super-relationism (§6) and examine several metaphysical consequences of the view (§7). I conclude that both super-substantivalism and super-relationism are compatible with Schaffer's priority monism (§8).
Keywords spacetime  material objects  eliminativism  substantivalism  relationism  super-substantivalism  super-relationism  priority monism
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-015-0602-2
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References found in this work BETA

Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - Routledge.
Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
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‘The Self’.Galen Strawson - 1997 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 4 (5-6):405-428.

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Citations of this work BETA

The No-Self View and the Meaning of Life.Baptiste Le Bihan - forthcoming - Philosophy East and West 69 (2).
Priority Monism Beyond Spacetime.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2018 - Metaphysica 19 (1):95-111.

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