'Nothing Over and Above' and 3rd Epistemology of Metaphysics Workshop

August 30, 2017 - August 31, 2017
Theoretical Philosophy, University of Helsinki

"Metsätalo", Room 10 (third floor)
Fabianinkatu 39


  • Academy of Finland

All speakers:

Arianna Betti
VU University Amsterdam
Andrew Brenner
Phil Corkum
Christopher Hauser
University of Barcelona
Alyssa Ney
University of California, Davis
Olla Solomyak
Ylwa Sjölin Wirling


Donnchadh O'Conaill
University of Helsinki
Bristol University

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Workshops: 'Nothing Over and Above' and 3rd Epistemology of Metaphysics Workshop, Helsinki

Everyone is warmly welcome to these two workshops, taking place at the University of Helsinki, Finland, August 30-31, 2017.

The venue for both events is Room 10, “Metsätalo”, Fabianinkatu 39 (third floor).

‘Nothing Over and Above’ (NOA) Workshop (August 30)

10:00 – 11:10 John Horden: ‘Nothing Over and Above’: A Slippery Phrase Explained

11:20 – 12:30 Olla Solomyak (Polonsky Academy for Advanced Study, Van Leer Jerusalem Institute): A Puzzle for Grounded Facts

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:10 Andrew Brenner (Notre Dame): Mereological Laws, Ontological Innocence, and Theory Choice

15:30 – 17:00 Arianna Betti (Amsterdam, ILLC): TBA

3rd Epistemology of Metaphysics Workshop (EMW 3) (August 31)

10:00 – 11:10 Phil Corkum (Alberta): Salience and Metaphysical Explanation

11:20 – 12:30 Ylwa Sjölin Wirling (Gothenburg): Supporting Non-uniformism about Modal Epistemology

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:10 Christopher Hauser (Rutgers): Fundamental Entities, Fundamental Facts, and Essences

15:30 – 17:00 Alyssa Ney (UC Davis): Physics and Fundamentality

‘Nothing Over and Above’ (NOA) Workshop (August 30)

The phrase ‘nothing over and above’ has become a familiar one across a range of philosophical discussions. It has been used to state a core commitment of physicalism in the philosophy of mind, and the relation which ontologically reducible entities bear to their reduction base; it has been referred to in debates concerning facts, mereology, constitution and grounding. This workshop will investigate these different uses of the term in different contexts. Questions discussed include: is there a core sense in which something can be said to be nothing over and above some entity or entities; can this sense be analysed or explained in more familiar theoretical terms; can this term help to clarify other contested notions such as reduction, entities being wholly distinct from each other, entities being essentially related, etc.; is this term useful or can it ultimately be dispensed with?


3rd Epistemology of Metaphysics Workshop (EMW 3) (August 31)

The focus of this workshop is on an area of meta-metaphysics that could be termed “the epistemology of metaphysics”. On one hand, the epistemology of metaphysics deals with topics that are well established in their own right, such as modal epistemology. On the other hand, it deals with topics related to the “toolbox” of metaphysics, such as theoretical virtues and various dependence relations (realization, ontological dependence, grounding etc.) that connect different “levels” of reality. One pressing question is how these dependence relations relate to the notion of fundamentality. There is also a natural overlap with more epistemically oriented topics, such as the use of intuitions and thought experiments in metaphysics and the role of a priori (armchair) methods vs. a posteriori (empirical) elements in metaphysics.

Organizers: Donnchadh O’Conaill (NOA) & Tuomas Tahko (EMW 3)

No registration is required, but note that space is limited. If you’re coming from far away, please let us know in advance.

For general inquiries, contact tuomas DOT tahko at the domain Helsinki DOT fi.

The events are funded by the Academy of Finland Project The Epistemology of Metaphysics.

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