Against Fundamentality‐Based Metaphysics

Noûs 52 (3):587-610 (2018)
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Metaphysical views typically draw some distinction between reality and appearance, endorsing realism about some subject matters and antirealism about others. There are different conceptions of how best to construe antirealist theories. A simple view has it that we are antirealists about a subject matter when we believe that this subject matter fails to obtain. This paper discusses an alternative view, which I will call the fundamentality-based conception of antirealism. We are antirealists in this sense when we think that the relevant matter fails to be constitutive of fundamental reality. The following discussion will not rely on any particular understanding of fundamental reality, covering conceptions based on grounding, naturalness and truthmaking, to name three salient ones. This paper argues that there are serious issues with fundamentality-based metaphysics. It will be argued that: the fundamentality-based approach shapes and restricts our realist and antirealist views in unsatisfying ways, that it is unable to handle the conflicting facts that lie across the envisaged ‘layers’ of the metaphysically structured world, and that the methodological reasons for adopting the fundamentality-based approach fail. The paper will conclude with a diagnosis of the discussed issues, identifying a common source.



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Martin A. Lipman
Leiden University

Citations of this work

Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Fine’s McTaggart: Reloaded.Roberto Loss - 2017 - Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 40 (1):209-239.
Ideological innocence.Daniel Rubio - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-22.

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