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  1. Constitution and Dependence.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (3):150-177.
    Constitution is the relation that holds between an object and what it is made of: statues are constituted by the lumps of matter they coincide with; flags, one may think, are constituted by colored pieces of cloth; and perhaps human persons are constituted by biological organisms. Constitution is often thought to be a.
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  • Space Emergence in Contemporary Physics: Why We Do Not Need Fundamentality, Layers of Reality and Emergence.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (49):71-95.
    ‘Space does not exist fundamentally: it emerges from a more fundamental non-spatial structure.’ This intriguing claim appears in various research programs in contemporary physics. Philosophers of physics tend to believe that this claim entails either that spacetime does not exist, or that it is derivatively real. In this article, I introduce and defend a third metaphysical interpretation of the claim: reductionism about space. I argue that, as a result, there is no need to subscribe to fundamentality, layers of reality and (...)
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  • Quantum Gravity and Mereology: Not So Simple.Samuel Baron & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly.
    A number of philosophers have argued in favour of extended simples on the grounds that they are needed by fundamental physics. The arguments typically appeal to theories of quantum gravity. To date, the argument in favour of extended simples has ignored the fact that the very existence of spacetime is put under pressure by quantum gravity. We thus consider the case for extended simples in the context of different views on the existence of spacetime. We show that the case for (...)
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  • Eliminating Spacetime.Sam Baron - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    A number of approaches to quantum gravity (QG) seem to imply that spacetime does not exist. Philosophers are quick to point out, however, that the loss of spacetime should not be regarded as total. Rather, we should interpret these approaches as ones that threaten the fundamentality but not the existence of spacetime. In this paper, I argue for two claims. First, I argue that spacetime realism is not forced by QG; spacetime eliminativism remains an option. Second, I argue that eliminativism (...)
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  • Thinking About Spacetime.David Yates - 2021 - In Christian Wüthrich, Baptiste Le Bihan & Nick Huggett (eds.), Philosophy Beyond Spacetime. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Several different quantum gravity research programmes suggest, for various reasons, that spacetime is not part of the fundamental ontology of physics. This gives rise to the problem of empirical coherence: if fundamental physical entities do not occupy spacetime or instantiate spatiotemporal properties, how can fundamental theories concerning those entities be justified by observation of spatiotemporally located things like meters, pointers and dials? I frame the problem of empirical coherence in terms of entailment: how could a non-spatiotemporal fundamental theory entail spatiotemporal (...)
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  • Priority Monism Beyond Spacetime.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2018 - Metaphysica 19 (1):95-111.
    I will defend two claims. First, Schaffer's priority monism is in tension with many research programs in quantum gravity. Second, priority monism can be modified into a view more amenable to this physics. The first claim is grounded in the fact that promising approaches to quantum gravity such as loop quantum gravity or string theory deny the fundamental reality of spacetime. Since fundamental spacetime plays an important role in Schaffer's priority monism by being identified with the fundamental structure, namely the (...)
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  • Empirical Incoherence and Double Functionalism.Sam Baron - 2019 - Synthese:1-27.
    Recent work on quantum gravity suggests that neither spacetime nor spatiotemporally located entites exist at a fundamental level. The loss of both brings with it the threat of empirical incoherence. A theory is empirically incoherent when the truth of that theory undermines the empirical justification for believing it. If neither spacetime nor spatiotemporally located entities exist as a part of a fundamental theory of QG, then such a theory seems to imply that there are no observables and so no way (...)
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  • Composing Spacetime.Sam Baron & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy.
    According to a number of approaches in theoretical physics spacetime does not exist fundamentally. Rather, spacetime exists by depending on another, more fundamental, non-spatiotemporal structure. A prevalent opinion in the literature is that this dependence should not be analysed in terms of composition. We should not say, that is, that spacetime depends on an ontology of non-spatiotemporal entities in virtue of having them as parts. But is that really right? On the contrary, we argue that a mereological approach to dependent (...)
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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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  • Location and Mereology.Cody Gilmore - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • The curious case of spacetime emergence.Sam Baron - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2207-2226.
    Work in quantum gravity suggests that spacetime is not fundamental. Rather, spacetime emerges from an underlying, non-spatiotemporal reality. After clarifying the type of emergence at issue, I argue that standard conceptions of emergence available in metaphysics won’t work for the emergence of spacetime. I go on to consider spacetime functionalism as a way to make sense of spacetime emergence. I argue that a functionalist approach to spacetime modelled on mental state functionalism is not a viable alternative to the standard conception (...)
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  • The Fundamentality of Fundamental Powers.Joaquim Giannotti - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-25.
    Dispositional essentialism is the view that all or many fundamental properties are essentially dispositional, or powers. The literature on the dispositional essence of powers is abundant. In contrast, the question of how to understand the fundamentality of fundamental powers has received scarce interest. Therefore, the fundamentality of powers stands in need of clarification. There are four main conceptions of the fundamental, namely as that which is metaphysically independent; or belonging to a minimally complete basis; or perfectly natural; or metaphysically primitive. (...)
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  • String Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity and Eternalism.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10:17.
    Eternalism, the view that what we regard locally as being located in the past, the present and the future equally exists, is the best ontological account of temporal existence in line with special and general relativity. However, special and general relativity are not fundamental theories and several research programs aim at finding a more fundamental theory of quantum gravity weaving together all we know from relativistic physics and quantum physics. Interestingly, some of these approaches assert that time is not fundamental. (...)
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  • The Location of Properties.Nikk Effingham - 2015 - Noûs 49 (4):846-866.
    This paper argues that, assuming properties exist and must be located in spacetime, the prevailing view that they are exactly located where their instances are is false. Instead a property is singularly located at just one region, namely the union of its instance's locations. This bears not just on issues in the metaphysics of properties, but also on the debate over whether multi-location is conceivable and/or possible.
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  • Gender and Gender Terms1.Elizabeth Barnes - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):704-730.
    Philosophical theories of gender are typically understood as theories of what it is to be a woman, a man, a nonbinary person, and so on. In this paper, I argue that this is a mistake. There’s good reason to suppose that our best philosophical theory of gender might not directly match up to or give the extensions of ordinary gender categories like ‘woman’.
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  • Hume's Dictum and Metaphysical Modality: Lewis's Combinatorialism.Jessica M. Wilson - 2015 - In Barry Loewer & Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to David Lewis. Blackwell. pp. 138-158.
    Many contemporary philosophers accept Hume's Dictum, according to which there are no metaphysically necessary connections between distinct, intrinsically typed entities. Tacit in Lewis 's work is a potential motivation for HD, according to which one should accept HD as presupposed by the best account of the range of metaphysical possibilities---namely, a combinatorial account, applied to spatiotemporal fundamentalia. Here I elucidate and assess this Ludovician motivation for HD. After refining HD and surveying its key, recurrent role in Lewis ’s work, I (...)
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  • A One Category Ontology.L. A. Paul - forthcoming - In John A. Keller (ed.), Being, Freedom, and Method: Themes From the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen. Oxford University Press.
    I defend a one category ontology: an ontology that denies that we need more than one fundamental category to support the ontological structure of the world. Categorical fundamentality is understood in terms of the metaphysically prior, as that in which everything else in the world consists. One category ontologies are deeply appealing, because their ontological simplicity gives them an unmatched elegance and spareness. I’m a fan of a one category ontology that collapses the distinction between particular and property, replacing it (...)
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  • Structuralism in the Idiom of Determination.Kerry McKenzie - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):497-522.
    Ontic structural realism is a thesis of fundamentality metaphysics: the thesis that structure, not objects, has fundamental status. Claimed as the metaphysic most befitting of modern physics, OSR first emerged as an entreaty to eliminate objects from the metaphysics of fundamental physics. Such elimination was urged by Steven French and James Ladyman on the grounds that only it could resolve the ‘underdetermination of metaphysics by physics’ that they claimed reduced any putative objectual commitment to a merely ‘ersatz’ form of realism. (...)
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  • Mereological Nominalism.Nikk Effingham - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):160-185.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • The Multi-Location Trilemma.Damiano Costa & Claudio Calosi - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-17.
    The possibility of multilocation --- of one entity having more than one exact location --- is required by several metaphysical theories such as the immanentist theory of universals and three-dimensionalism about persistence. One of the most pressing challenges for multi-location theorists is that of making sense of exact location --- in that extant definitions of exact location entail a principle called Functionality, according to which nothing can have more than one exact location. Recently in a number of promising papers, Antony (...)
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  • Monism: The Islands of Plurality.Sam Baron & Jonathan Tallant - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):583-606.
    Priority monism (hereafter, ‘monism’) is the view that there exists one fundamental entity—the world—and that all other objects that exist (a set of objects typically taken to include tables, chairs, and the whole menagerie of everyday items) are merely derivative. Jonathan Schaffer has defended monism in its current guise, across a range of papers. Each paper looks to add something to the monistic picture of the world. In this paper we argue that monism—as Schaffer describes it—is false. To do so (...)
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  • The Action of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):67-87.
    I discuss an argument for the monistic idea that the cosmos is the one and only fundamental thing, drawing on the idea that the cosmos is the one and only thing that evolves by the fundamental laws.
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  • Metaphysics as Modeling: The Handmaiden’s Tale.L. A. Paul - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):1-29.
    Critics of contemporary metaphysics argue that it attempts to do the hard work of science from the ease of the armchair. Physics, not metaphysics, tells us about the fundamental facts of the world, and empirical psychology is best placed to reveal the content of our concepts about the world. Exploring and understanding the world through metaphysical reflection is obsolete. In this paper, I will show why this critique of metaphysics fails, arguing that metaphysical methods used to make claims about the (...)
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  • Ontological Dependence in a Spacetime-World.Jonathan Tallant - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):3101-3118.
    Priority Monism, as defined by Jonathan Schaffer, has a number of components. It is the view that: the cosmos exists; the cosmos is a maximal actual concrete object, of which all actual concrete objects are parts; the cosmos is basic—there is no object upon which the cosmos depends, ontologically; ontological dependence is a primitive and unanalysable relation. In a recent attack, Lowe has offered a series of arguments to show that Monism fails. He offers up four tranches of argument, with (...)
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  • Fundamental Ontological Structure: An Argument Against Pluralism.Michael Bertrand - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1277-1297.
    In recent years, a hierarchical view of reality has become extremely influential. In order to understand the world as a whole, on this view, we need to understand the nature of the fundamental constituents of the world. We also need to understand the relations that build the world up from these fundamental constituents. Building pluralism is the view that there are at least two equally fundamental relations that together build the world. It has been widely, though tacitly, assumed in a (...)
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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 Metaphysics of Identity: Is Identity Fundamental?Shumener Erica - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (1):e12397.
    Identity and distinctness facts are ones like “The Eiffel Tower is identical to the Eiffel Tower,” and “The Eiffel Tower is distinct from the Louvre.” This paper concerns one question in the metaphysics of identity: Are identity and distinctness facts metaphysically fundamental or are they nonfundamental? I provide an overview of answers to this question.
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  • No Physical Particles for a Dispositional Monist?Baptiste Le Bihan - 2015 - Philosophical Papers 44 (2):207-232.
    A dispositional monist believes that all properties are essentially causal. Recently, an overdetermination argument has been proposed by Trenton Merricks to support nihilism about ordinary objects. I argue that this argument can be extended to target both nihilism about ordinary objects and nihilism about physical particles when dispositional monism is assumed. It implies that a philosopher who both endorses dispositional monism and takes seriously the overdetermination argument should not believe in the existence of physical particles. I end up by discussing (...)
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  • Are the Questions of Metaphysics More Fundamental Than Those of Science?Alyssa Ney - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):695-715.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Algebraic Metaphysical Semantics.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This paper argues that metaphysically fundamental truths ought to be defined within an algebraic language. In the first part of the paper, I provide examples of the algebraic structures used to define models of physical ontology (namely, quantum mechanics and field theory); the mathematical universe (set-theory); modal logic; and the metaphysics of consciousness. I outline, then, some explanatory desiderata concerning the relation between fundamental and derivative truths. I argue that a relation of apriori material implication, i.e. 'scrutability', cannot satisfy the (...)
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  • II—L. A. Paul: Categorical Priority and Categorical Collapse.L. A. Paul - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):89-113.
    I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
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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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  • L'espace et le temps existent-ils ? Le mystère de la gravité quantique.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2018 - Implications Philosophiques 1.
    La physique contemporaine pourrait bien nous livrer un enseignement incroyable, à savoir que l'espace et le temps n'existent pas fondamentalement. Je présenterai succinctement les ontologies suggérées par les deux principaux programmes de recherche en gravité quantique : la théorie des cordes et la gravité quantique à boucles. Je soutiendrai ensuite qu'il est fructueux de prendre les différentes conceptions ontologiques de la conscience en philosophie de l'esprit en modèles pour la construction de solutions au problème de l'émergence de l'espace-temps.
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  • Object.Henry Laycock - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In The Principles of Mathematics, Russell writes: Whatever may be an object of thought, or may occur in any true or false proposition, or can be counted as one, I call a term. This, then, is the widest word in the philosophical vocabulary. I shall use as synonymous with it the words unit, individual and entity. The first two emphasize the fact that every term is one, while the third is derived from the fact that every term has being, i.e. (...)
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  • Grammar, Ontology, and the Unity of Meaning.Ulrich Reichard - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Durham
    Words have meaning. Sentences also have meaning, but their meaning is different in kind from any collection of the meanings of the words they contain. I discuss two puzzles related to this difference. The first is how the meanings of the parts of a sentence combine to give rise to a unified sentential meaning, as opposed to a mere collection of disparate meanings (UP1). The second is why the formal ontology of linguistic meaning changes when grammatical structure is built up (...)
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  • Beefing Up Recipe Realism: Stir a Pinch of Metaphysics Into the Pot.Steven French - unknown
    Recent developments in the scientific realism debate have resulted in a form of ‘exemplar driven’ realism that eschews general ‘recipes’ and instead focuses on the specific, ‘local’ reasons for adopting a realist stance in particular theoretical contexts. Here I suggest that such a move highlights even more sharply the need for the realist to incorporate a health dose of metaphysics in her position, particularly when it comes to the theories associated with modern physics. Turning to another set of recent developments, (...)
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  • When is a Concrete Property Basic?Pat Lewtas - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):607-622.
    We more or less understand how composition works in the case of objects. We cement bricks together to build a wall. We stir together red paint and yellow paint to get orange paint. In both cases, one way or another, A = B + C. This paper examines composition in the case of concrete natural properties. It explains why property composition is so much less straightforward than object composition. Then it distinguishes strictly basic properties , compositely basic properties , and (...)
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  • Groundless Truth.Sam Baron, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (2):175-195.
    We defend two claims: (1) if one is attracted to a strong non-maximalist view about truthmaking, then it is natural to construe this as the view that there exist fundamental truths; (2) despite considerable aversion to fundamental truths, there is as yet no viable independent argument against them. That is, there is no argument against the existence of fundamental truths that is independent of any more specific arguments against the ontology accepted by the strong non-maximalist. Thus there is no argument (...)
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  • Relations.Fraser MacBride - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In this paper I provide a state of the art survey and assessment of the contemporary debate about relations. After (1) distinguishing different varieties of relations, symmetric from non-symmetric, internal from external relations etc. and relations from their set-theoretic models or sequences, I proceed (2) to consider Bradley’s regress and whether relations can be eliminated altogether. Next I turn (3) to the question whether relations can be reduced, bringing to bear considerations from the philosophy of physics as well as metaphysics. (...)
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  • What Do We Mean When We Ask “Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?".Andrew Brenner - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1305-1322.
    Let’s call the sentence “why is there something rather than nothing?” the Question. There’s no consensus, of course, regarding which proposed answer to the Question, if any, is correct, but occasionally there’s also controversy regarding the meaning of the Question itself. In this paper I argue that such controversy persists because there just isn’t one unique interpretation of the Question. Rather, the puzzlement expressed by the sentence “why is there something rather than nothing?” varies depending on the ontology implicitly or (...)
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  • Object.Bradley Rettler & Andrew M. Bailey - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Comments on Karen Bennett's Making Things Up.Ross P. Cameron - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (2):482-488.
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  • Emergence for Nihilists.Richard L. J. Caves - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (1):2-28.
    I defend mereological nihilism, the view that there are no composite objects, against a challenge from ontological emergence, the view that some things have properties that are ‘something over and above’ the properties of their parts. As the nihilist does not believe in composite wholes, there is nothing in the nihilist's ontology to instantiate emergent properties – or so the challenge goes. However, I argue that some simples can collectively instantiate an emergent property, so the nihilist's ontology can in fact (...)
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  • Exploring Philosophical Implications of Quantum Decoherence.Elise M. Crull - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (9):875-885.
    Quantum decoherence is receiving a great deal of attention today not only in theoretical and experimental physics but also in branches of science as diverse as molecular biology, biochemistry, and even neuropsychology. It is no surprise that it is also beginning to appear in various philosophical debates concerning the fundamental structure of the world. The purpose of this article is primarily to acquaint non-specialists with quantum decoherence and clarify related concepts, and secondly to sketch its possible implications – independent of (...)
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