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
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: