Fundamental as ineliminable
Michael Raven (University of Victoria)

May 3, 2013, 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Philosophy, University of Melbourne

Staff Common Room, Old Quad
801 Swanston St

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The concept of fundamentality is increasingly employed by metaphysicians. Fundamentality is commonly conceived on what I call the foundational model, which takes it to have a certain logic: to be fundamental just is to be the endpoint of a well-founded chain of dependence. My negative aim is to argue against the foundational model because it gets the logic of fundamentality wrong: it myopically overlooks the possibility of fundamentality without well-foundedness. My positive aim is to develop a new model avoiding this myopia. According to the ineliminability model, to be fundamental just is to be ineliminable in a distinctive sense which does not require well-foundedness. I develop this distinctive sense of ineliminability in terms of the notion of (metaphysical) ground. One application of the ineliminability model is that it disarms Schaffer (2010b)’s recent modal argument for priority monism.

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