Analysis 69 (1):18 - 26 (2009)
AbstractMany philosophers accept a ‘layered’ world‐view according to which the facts about the higher ontological levels supervene on the facts about the lower levels. Advocates of such views often have in mind a version of atomism, according to which there is a fundamental level of indivisible objects known as simples or atoms upon whose spatiotemporal locations and intrinsic properties everything at the higher levels supervenes.1 Some, however, accept the possibility of ‘gunk’ worlds in which there are parts ‘all the way down’ such that there are no simples and insofar as composite objects exist these are composed of smaller objects which in turn are composed of smaller objects, and so on. It may nonetheless still be claimed that the facts about each ontological level supervene on the facts about the lower levels.
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