Authors
Michael J. Raven
University of Victoria
Abstract
A commonly held view is that a central aim of metaphysics is to give a fundamental account of reality which refers only to the fundamental entities. But a puzzle arises. It is at least a working hypothesis for those pursuing the aim that, first, there must be fundamental entities. But, second, it also seems possible that the world has no foundation, with each entity depending on others. These two claims are inconsistent with the widely held third claim that the fundamental just is the foundational. It is tempting to resolve the puzzle by rejecting the first or second claim, perhaps because it is obscure how the third claim might plausibly be challenged. But I develop a new analysis of fundamentality which challenges the third claim by allowing for an entity to be fundamental without being foundational. The analysis, roughly, is that an entity is fundamental just in case not all facts about it are grounded in facts about other entities. The possibility of fundamentality without foundations not only provides for a novel resolution to the puzzle, but has applications to some live debates: for example, it undermines Jonathan Schaffer's modal argument for priority monism.
Keywords fundamentality  grounding  priority monism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1111/phpr.12200
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-36.
The Possibility of Physicalism.Shamik Dasgupta - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (9-10):557-592.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.

View all 37 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Constitutive Explanation.Shamik Dasgupta - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):74-97.
Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.

View all 23 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Two Conceptions of Fundamentality.Mariam Thalos - 2011 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 41 (2):151-177.
On Shaky Ground?Nathan Wildman - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press.
Fundamental Determinables.Jessica M. Wilson - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12.
On the Fundamentality of Symmetries.Kerry McKenzie - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1090-1102.
By Our Bootstraps.Karen Bennett - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):27-41.
Laws and the Completeness of the Fundamental.Martin Glazier - 2016 - In Mark Jago (ed.), Reality Making. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 11-37.
Fundamentality and Time‐Travel.Shieva Kleinschmidt - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (1):46-51.
A Lewisian Trilemma.H. Orri Stefánsson - 2014 - Ratio 27 (3):262-275.
Schaffer on the Action of the Whole.Elizabeth Miller - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (3pt3):365-370.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-03-10

Total views
635 ( #7,223 of 2,326,002 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
78 ( #6,852 of 2,326,002 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes