Making Things Up
Prof Karen Bennett (Cornell University)

October 10, 2016, 9:15am - 11:15am
Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Umeå University, Sweden

Hörsal F, Humanities Building
Umeå University
Umeå 90187 Umeå

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

Topic areas


Lecture 1: Building

Monday October 10, 13.15-15, hörsal F, Humanities Building

Abstract: I characterize a class of relation I call ‘building relations’: roughly, relations whereby less fundamental phenomena are made of or generated from more fundamental phenomena.  I argue that it’s better to speak generally about a class of such relations than to claim that there is a single most privileged one.  Finally, I defend the claim that such relations are a) antisymmetric and irreflexive and b) necessitating in a particular sense against some recent claims to the contrary.


Lecture 2: Causing

Tuesday October 11, 13.15-15, hörsal F, Humanities Building

Abstract: I argue that the class of building relations is causally tainted in the following two senses.  First, causation itself counts as one, and second, various particular building relations frequently obtain in virtue of causal facts.

Lecture 3: Relative Fundamentality

Wednesday October 12, 13.15-15, hörsal F, Humanities Building

Abstract: Philosophers frequently help themselves to relative fundamentality talk.  But what does it mean to say that one thing is more fundamental than (or ontologically prior to) another?  I argue that we cannot treat the relative fundamentality facts as primitive, and instead must account for them in terms of building.  I go on to provide an account of the more fundamental than relation in terms of building, and defend it against various objections.

All interested are welcome to these lectures! No registration is required.

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