Grounding, Hierarchy, and Haecceities
Darcy, James, Philosophy - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Merricks, Trenton, AS-Philosophy, University of Virginia
Reality seems to have a hierarchical structure. There are some derivative, less fundamental facts and entities that seem dependent on or determined by some more fundamental facts and entities. And it is a popular position that this hierarchy is structured by the grounding relation, a relation of metaphysical determination or dependence closely linked to the notion of metaphysical explanation. In this dissertation I argue that a commitment to hierarchy and grounding requires a commitment to Fundamental Haecceitism. According to Fundamental Haecceitism, there are haecceities, which are irreducible and unanalyzable properties the having of which are necessary and sufficient for being identical to a particular individual. Furthermore, haecceities and facts about their instantiation are fundamental. I first argue that a commitment to hierarchy and grounding faces a number of serious problems. Then, I show that these problems can only be solved by adopting Fundamental Haecceitism. I then argue that Fundamental Haecceitism has a number of important implications. For instance, it entails the falsity of physicalism, undermines many of the intuitive features associated with a hierarchical view of reality, and shows that metaphysical explanation must come apart from notions of grounding and fundamentality.
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Metaphysics, Fundamentality, Grounding, Identity, Haecceities, Metaphysical Explanation
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