Could a middle level be the most fundamental?

Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1065-1078 (2021)
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Debates over what is fundamental assume that what is most fundamental must be either a “top” level (roughly, the biggest or highest-level thing), or a “bottom” level (roughly, the smallest or lowest-level things). Here I sketch an alternative to top-ism and bottom-ism, the view that a middle level could be the most fundamental, and argue for its plausibility. I then suggest that the view satisfies the desiderata of asymmetry, irreflexivity, transitivity, and well-foundedness of fundamentality, that the view has explanatory power on par with that of top-ism and bottom-ism, and that it satisfies the Principle of Sufficient Reason.
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First archival date: 2018-08-09
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