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Fundamental Properties of Fundamental Properties

In Karen Bennett Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 8. pp. 78-104 (2013)

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  1. A Survey of Logical Realism.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):4775-4790.
    Logical realism is a view about the metaphysical status of logic. Common to most if not all the views captured by the label ‘logical realism’ is that logical facts are mind- and language-independent. But that does not tell us anything about the nature of logical facts or about our epistemic access to them. The goal of this paper is to outline and systematize the different ways that logical realism could be entertained and to examine some of the challenges that these (...)
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  • Explaining Identity and Distinctness.Erica Shumener - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):2073-2096.
    This paper offers a metaphysical explanation of the identity and distinctness of concrete objects. It is tempting to try to distinguish concrete objects on the basis of their possessing different qualitative features, where qualitative features are ones that do not involve identity. Yet, this criterion for object identity faces counterexamples: distinct objects can share all of their qualitative features. This paper suggests that in order to distinguish concrete objects we need to look not only at which properties and relations objects (...)
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  • Recombining Non-Qualitative Reality.Sam Cowling - 2021 - Synthese 198 (3):2273-2295.
    Haecceitism and Hume’s Dictum are each controversial theses about necessity and possibility. According to haecceitism, there are qualitatively indiscernible possible worlds that differ only with respect to which individuals occupy which qualitative roles. According to Hume’s Dictum, there are no necessary connections between distinct entities or, as Humeans sometimes put it, reality admits of “free recombination” so any entities can co-exist or fail to co-exist. This paper introduces a puzzle that results from the combination of haecceitism and Hume’s Dictum. This (...)
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  • Following Logical Realism Where It Leads.Michaela McSweeney - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):117-139.
    Logical realism is the view that there is logical structure in the world. I argue that, if logical realism is true, then we are deeply ignorant of that logical structure: either we can’t know which of our logical concepts accurately capture it, or none of our logical concepts accurately capture it at all. I don’t suggest abandoning logical realism, but instead discuss how realists should adjust their methodology in the face of this ignorance.
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  • Conceptual Evaluation: Epistemic.Alejandro Pérez Carballo - 2020 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 304-332.
    On a view implicitly endorsed by many, a concept is epistemically better than another if and because it does a better job at ‘carving at the joints', or if the property corresponding to it is ‘more natural' than the one corresponding to another. This chapter offers an argument against this seemingly plausible thought, starting from three key observations about the way we use and evaluate concepts from en epistemic perspective: that we look for concepts that play a role in explanations (...)
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  • Ethics Without Numbers.Jacob M. Nebel - manuscript
    This paper develops an alternative to the standard framework of social welfare functionals. In the standard framework, a social or overall betterness ordering is assigned to each profile of utility functions, where utilities are real numbers. Different possibilities for the measurability and interpersonal comparability of well-being are captured, in this framework, by invariance conditions on social welfare functionals. But these invariance conditions are highly restrictive and it is not clear whether they really follow from the underlying measurability/comparability possibilities with which (...)
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  • The Limits of Theoretical Disagreements in Jurisprudence.Adam Dyrda & Tomasz Gizbert-Studnicki - forthcoming - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique.
    This paper discusses the “positivistic” idea of the limits of law in various contexts: the conceptual problem of the “limits of law”, the limits of legal interpretation and the limits of theoretical disagreements in jurisprudence. In the latter case, we briefly show how contemporary “reflective” or “critical” positivist theories approach the possibility and limits of disagreements over the “grounds” of law. In what follows, we argue that these theories, which argue for a form of an “institutional” limit for admissible “legal” (...)
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  • Fundamentality And Modal Freedom.Jennifer Wang - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):397-418.
    A fundamental entity is an entity that is ‘ontologically independent’; it does not depend on anything else for its existence or essence. It seems to follow that a fundamental entity is ‘modally free’ in some sense. This assumption, that fundamentality entails modal freedom (or ‘FEMF’ as I shall label the thesis), is used in the service of other arguments in metaphysics. But as I will argue, the road from fundamentality to modal freedom is not so straightforward. The defender of FEMF (...)
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  • Parthood and Naturalness.M. Eddon - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3163-3180.
    Is part of a perfectly natural, or fundamental, relation? Philosophers have been hesitant to take a stand on this issue. One reason for this hesitancy is the worry that, if parthood is perfectly natural, then the perfectly natural properties and relations are not suitably “independent” of one another. In this paper, I argue that parthood is a perfectly natural relation. In so doing, I argue that this “independence” worry is unfounded. I conclude by noting some consequences of the naturalness of (...)
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  • Intrinsic Explanations and Numerical Representations.M. Eddon - 2014 - In Robert M. Francescotti (ed.), Companion to Intrinsic Properties. De Gruyter. pp. 271-290.
    In Science Without Numbers (1980), Hartry Field defends a theory of quantity that, he claims, is able to provide both i) an intrinsic explanation of the structure of space, spacetime, and other quantitative properties, and ii) an intrinsic explanation of why certain numerical representations of quantities (distances, lengths, mass, temperature, etc.) are appropriate or acceptable while others are not. But several philosophers have argued otherwise. In this paper I focus on arguments from Ellis and Milne to the effect that one (...)
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  • Is Naturalness Natural?Thompson Naomi - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4):381-396.
    Abstract -/- The perfectly natural properties and relations are special—they are all and only those that "carve nature at its joints." They act as reference magnets, form a minimal supervenience base, figure in fundamental physics and in the laws of nature, and never divide duplicates within or between worlds. If the perfectly natural properties are the (metaphysically) important ones, we should expect being a perfectly natural property to itself be one of the (perfectly) natural properties. This paper argues that being (...)
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  • Quantity Tropes and Internal Relations.Markku Keinänen, Antti Keskinen & Jani Hakkarainen - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (3):519-534.
    In this article, we present a new conception of internal relations between quantity tropes falling under determinates and determinables. We begin by providing a novel characterization of the necessary relations between these tropes as basic internal relations. The core ideas here are that the existence of the relata is sufficient for their being internally related, and that their being related does not require the existence of any specific entities distinct from the relata. We argue that quantity tropes are, as determinate (...)
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  • Building and Modal Recombination.Jennifer Wang - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (7):745-757.
    ABSTRACT In Making Things Up, Bennett defends an impressive array of theses surrounding the notion of building. My focus is on Bennett’s use of modal recombination principles in her arguments, including in particular the principle that contingent fundamental entities are freely recombinable. I have argued that such principles are motivated by mere intuition, and that we have reasons to reject them. I discuss how worries about modal recombination principles affect three of her key arguments, which concern whether building is necessitating, (...)
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  • Ideological Parsimony.Sam Cowling - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3889-3908.
    The theoretical virtue of parsimony values the minimizing of theoretical commitments, but theoretical commitments come in two kinds : ontological and ideological. While the ontological commitments of a theory are the entities it posits, a theory’s ideological commitments are the primitive concepts it employs. Here, I show how we can extend the distinction between quantitative and qualitative parsimony, commonly drawn regarding ontological commitments, to the domain of ideological commitments. I then argue that qualitative ideological parsimony is a theoretical virtue. My (...)
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  • Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The notion of fundamentality, as it is used in metaphysics, aims to capture the idea that there is something basic or primitive in the world. This metaphysical notion is related to the vernacular use of “fundamental”, but philosophers have also put forward various technical definitions of the notion. Among the most influential of these is the definition of absolute fundamentality in terms of ontological independence or ungroundedness. Accordingly, the notion of fundamentality is often associated with these two other technical notions.
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  • The Metaphysical Basis of Logic.Michaela McSweeney - 2016 - Dissertation, Princeton University
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  • The Dual Nature of Properties: The Powerful Qualities View Reconsidered.Joaquim Giannotti - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    Metaphysical orthodoxy holds that a privileged minority of properties carve reality at its joints. These are the so-called fundamental properties. This thesis concerns the contemporary philosophical debate about the nature of fundamental properties. In particular, it aims to answer two questions: What is the most adequate conception of fundamental properties? What is the “big picture” world-view that emerges by adopting such a conception? I argue that a satisfactory answer to both questions requires us to embrace a novel conception of powerful (...)
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  • Philosophy of Mathematics for the Masses : Extending the Scope of the Philosophy of Mathematics.Stefan Buijsman - 2016 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    One of the important discussions in the philosophy of mathematics, is that centered on Benacerraf’s Dilemma. Benacerraf’s dilemma challenges theorists to provide an epistemology and semantics for mathematics, based on their favourite ontology. This challenge is the point on which all philosophies of mathematics are judged, and clarifying how we might acquire mathematical knowledge is one of the main occupations of philosophers of mathematics. In this thesis I argue that this discussion has overlooked an important part of mathematics, namely mathematics (...)
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  • Naturalness.Cian Dorr & John Hawthorne - 2013 - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 8. Oxford University Press. pp. 1.
    Lewis's notion of a "natural" property has proved divisive: some have taken to the notion with enthusiasm, while others have been sceptical. However, it is far from obvious what the enthusiasts and the sceptics are disagreeing about. This paper attempts to articulate what is at stake in this debate.
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  • Quantitative Properties.M. Eddon - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (7):633-645.
    Two grams mass, three coulombs charge, five inches long – these are examples of quantitative properties. Quantitative properties have certain structural features that other sorts of properties lack. What are the metaphysical underpinnings of quantitative structure? This paper considers several accounts of quantity and assesses the merits of each.
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  • Structuring Reality.Naomi Margaret Claire Thompson - unknown
    This thesis explores attempts to characterise the structure of reality. Three notions stand out: Lewisian naturalness, Sider’s ‘structure’, and grounding, where the latter has become the most popular way to characterise the structure of reality in the contemporary literature. I argue that none of these notions, as they are currently understood, are suited for limning the metaphysical structure of reality. In the first part of the thesis I argue that, by the lights of the relevant theories, both naturalness and structure (...)
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  • Is Naturalness Natural?Nmc Thompson - unknown
    The perfectly natural properties and relations are special – they are all and only those that “carve nature at its joints”. They act as reference magnets; form a minimal supervenience base; figure in fundamental physics and in the laws of nature; and never divide duplicates within or between worlds. If the perfectly natural properties are the important ones, we should expect being a perfectly natural property to itself be one of the natural properties. This paper argues that being a perfectly (...)
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