Boring Infinite Descent

Metaphilosophy 45 (2):257-269 (2014)

Authors
Tuomas E. Tahko
Bristol University
Abstract
In formal ontology, infinite regresses are generally considered a bad sign. One debate where such regresses come into play is the debate about fundamentality. Arguments in favour of some type of fundamentalism are many, but they generally share the idea that infinite chains of ontological dependence must be ruled out. Some motivations for this view are assessed in this article, with the conclusion that such infinite chains may not always be vicious. Indeed, there may even be room for a type of fundamentalism combined with infinite descent as long as this descent is “boring,” that is, the same structure repeats ad infinitum. A start is made in the article towards a systematic account of this type of infinite descent. The philosophical prospects and scientific tenability of the account are briefly evaluated using an example from physics
Keywords ontological dependence  well‐foundedness  gunk  fundamental level  infinite regress  fundamentality  metaphysical infinitism  grounding
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DOI 10.1111/meta.12084
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References found in this work BETA

Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
By Our Bootstraps.Karen Bennett - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):27-41.
Is There a Fundamental Level?Jonathan Schaffer - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):498–517.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ground.Michael J. Raven - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (5):322-333.
Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Fundamentality Without Foundations.Michael J. Raven - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):607-626.
An Introduction to Metametaphysics.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2015 - Cambridge University Press.

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