Fundamentality and Ontological Minimality

In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure: Essays in Fundamentality. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 237-253 (2018)
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Abstract

In this chapter, a generic definition of fundamentality as an ontological minimality thesis is sought and its applicability examined. Most discussions of fundamentality are focused on a mereological understanding of the hierarchical structure of reality, which may be combined with an atomistic, object-oriented metaphysics. But recent work in structuralism, for instance, calls for an alternative understanding and it is not immediately clear that the conception of fundamentality at work in structuralism is commensurable with the mereological conception. However, it is proposed that once we understand fundamentality as an ontological minimality thesis, these two as well as further conceptions of fundamentality can all be treated on a par, including metaphysical infinitism of the ‘boring’ type, where the same structure repeats infinitely.

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Tuomas E. Tahko
University of Bristol

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