354 research outputs found

    Priority monism

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    Argument that priority monism is best understood as being a contingent thesis

    Priority Monism Beyond Spacetime

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    I will defend two claims. First, Schaffer's priority monism is in tension with many research programs in quantum gravity. Second, priority monism can be modified into a view more amenable to this physics. The first claim is grounded in the fact that promising approaches to quantum gravity such as loop quantum gravity or string theory deny the fundamental reality of spacetime. Since fundamental spacetime plays an important role in Schaffer's priority monism by being identified with the fundamental structure, namely the cosmos, the disappearance of spacetime in these views might undermine classical priority monism. My second claim is that priority monism can avoid this issue with two moves: first, in dropping one of its core assumptions, namely that the fundamental structure is spatio-temporal, second, by identifying the connection between the non-spatio-temporal structure and the derivative spatio-temporal structure with mereological composition

    Weak Priority Monism: A New Theory of the Fundamental

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    In this PhD dissertation, I am defending a new version of Priority Monism, which I call Weak Priority Monism: that the Cosmos is fundamental and is identical to the collective plurality of its proper parts. This distinguishes it from the version of Priority Monism defended by Jonathan Schaffer, in that, unlike him, I accept the thesis composition as identity. I argue that Weak Priority Monism is preferable to Schaffer’s monism as not only can all the arguments for his version of monism be also utilised by the weak priority monist, but they also have two decisive advantages over Schafferian Priority Monism (i.e. what I call Strong Priority Monism). Firstly, they are able to explain how the Cosmos can ground all its proper parts in ‘weak’ junky worlds; and secondly, they have a novel solution to the problem of heterogeneity which is superior to any solution available to Schaffer. In accepting composition as identity, however, Weak Priority Monism is a controversial view. It might be thought, for one, that composition as identity entails that the irreflexivity of grounding/dependence is violated: as if some things are identical to the mereological fusion they are grounded in, then it would seemingly be the case that those things grounded themselves. However, I will show that this is not necessarily the case, and that we can make sense of some plurality of things collectively grounding each of those things in the plurality, without it being the case that each of those things ground themselves. Indeed, as I shall argue, there is still a distinction between the fundamental and derivative, even if turns out that all the proper parts of the Cosmos taken collectively are fundamental. Weak Priority Monism then, as we shall see, is a promising new position on what is fundamental

    Priority monism and essentiality of fundamentality: a reply to Steinberg

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    Steinberg has recently proposed an argument against Schaffer’s priority monism. The argument assumes the principle of Necessity of Monism, which states that if priority monism is true, then it is necessarily true. In this paper, I argue that Steinberg’s objection can be eluded by giving up Necessity of Monism for an alternative principle, that I call Essentiality of Fundamentality, and that such a principle is to be preferred to Necessity of Monism on other grounds as well

    Priority Monism, Partiality, and Minimal truthmakers

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    Disentangling Nature's Joints

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    Can the neo-Aristotelian uphold a pluralist substance ontology while taking seriously the recent arguments in favour of monism based on quantum holism and other arguments from quantum mechanics? In this article, Jonathan Schaffer’s priority monism will be the main target. It will be argued that the case from quantum mechanics in favour of priority monism does face some challenges. Moreover, if the neo-Aristotelian is willing to consider alternative ways to understand ‘substance’, there may yet be hope for a pluralist substance ontology. A speculative case for such an ontology will be constructed based on primitive incompatibility.Peer reviewe

    Brentano's Latter-day Monism

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    According to “existence monism,” there is only one concrete particular, the cosmos as a whole (Horgan and Potrč 2000, 2008). According to “priority monism,” there are many concrete particulars, but all are ontologically dependent upon the cosmos as a whole, which accordingly is the only fundamental concrete particular (Schaffer 2010a, 2010b). In essence, the difference between them is that existence monism does not recognize any parts of the cosmos, whereas priority monism does – it just insists that the parts are ontologically dependent upon the whole in this case. Brentano never maintained either of these views. But in the last two years of his life, he seems to have held the following approximation: there is only one physical substance, namely, the material universe as a whole. This is twice removed from existence or priority monism: first, it allows for a plurality of mental substances (souls); secondly, it allows for a plurality of physical accidents, which in Brentano’s reistic ontology are also concrete particulars. Still, the view that the only physical substance is the universe as a whole is quite radical and finds little precedent in the history of philosophy

    Priority Cosmopsychism and the Advaita Vedānta

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    The combination of panpsychism and priority monism leads to priority cosmopsychism, the view that the consciousness of individual sentient creatures is derivative of an underlying cosmic consciousness. It has been suggested that contemporary priority cosmopsychism parallels central ideas in the Advaita Vedānta tradition. The paper offers a critical evaluation of this claim. It argues that the Advaitic account of consciousness cannot be characterized as an instance of priority cosmopsychism, points out the differences between the two views, and suggests an alternative positioning of the Advaitic canon within the contemporary debate on monism and panpsychism

    Grounding-mechanical explanation

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    Characterization of a form of explanation involving grounding on the model of mechanistic causal explanation
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