Ditching Dependence and Determination: Or, How to Wear the Crazy Trousers

Synthese 198 (1):395–418 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper defends Flatland—the view that there exist neither determination nor dependence relations, and that everything is therefore fundamental—from the objection from explanatory inefficacy. According to that objection, Flatland is unattractive because it is unable to explain either the appearance as of there being determination relations, or the appearance as of there being dependence relations. We show how the Flatlander can meet the first challenge by offering four strategies—reducing, eliminating, untangling and omnizing—which, jointly, explain the appearance as of there being determination relations where no such relations obtain. Since, plausibly, dependence relations just are asymmetric determination relations, we argue that once we come mistakenly to believe that there exist determination relations, the existence of other asymmetries (conceptual and temporal) explains why it appears that there are dependence relations.

Author Profiles

Michael J. Duncan
University of Sydney
James Norton
University of Tasmania
Kristie Miller
University of Sydney


Added to PP

497 (#25,242)

6 months
84 (#28,759)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?