Monism, Spacetime, and Aristotelian Substances

Acta Analytica 36 (3):375-392 (2021)
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Schaffer offers us in the last section of “On What Grounds What” (2009) an applied illustration of his allegedly Aristotelian metaontological position. According to this illustration, Schaffer’s metaontological position, supplemented with a few Aristotelian theses about substance and grounding, would converge in a view remarkably similar to his priority monism (Philosophical Studies, 145, 131–148, 2009b; Philosophical Review, 119, 31–76, 2010a), the view that there is one single fundamental substance. In this paper, I will argue against Schaffer’s suggestion that priority monism represents a viable development of Aristotelian metaphysics. In particular, I will hold that the most plausible version of Schaffer’s priority monism by Aristotelian standards fails to satisfy basic Aristotelian tenets about dependence, composition, change, and persistence, and suggest that this is evidence that Aristotelians are more at home with a pluralism rather than a monism about substance.



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From a Logical Point of View.W. V. O. Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-135.
Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.

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