Philosophical Studies 172 (11):3101-3118 (2015)

Jonathan Tallant
Nottingham University
Priority Monism, as defined by Jonathan Schaffer, has a number of components. It is the view that: the cosmos exists; the cosmos is a maximal actual concrete object, of which all actual concrete objects are parts; the cosmos is basic—there is no object upon which the cosmos depends, ontologically; ontological dependence is a primitive and unanalysable relation. In a recent attack, Lowe has offered a series of arguments to show that Monism fails. He offers up four tranches of argument, with different focuses. These focal points are: being a concrete object; aggregation and dependence; analyses of ontological dependence; Schaffer’s no-overlap principle. These are all technical notions, but each figures at the heart of a cluster of arguments that Lowe puts forward. To respond, I work through each tranche of argument in turn. Before that, in the first section, I offer a cursory statement of Monism, as Schaffer presents it in his 2010 paper, Monism: The Priority of the Whole. I then respond to each of Lowe’s criticisms in turn, deploying material from Schaffer’s 2009 paper Spacetime: the One Substance, as well as various pieces of conceptual machinery from Lowe’s own works to deflect Lowe’s attacks. In the process of defending Monism from Lowe, I end up offering some subtle refinements to Schaffer’s view and explain how the resulting ‘hybrid’ view fares in the wider dialectic
Keywords Ontological dependence  Priority monism  Spacetime  Schaffer  Lowe
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-015-0459-4
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References found in this work BETA

Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - In James Ladyman, Don Ross, David Spurrett & John Collier (eds.), Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Grounding: It’s (Probably) All in the Head.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3059-3081.
Monism.Jonathan Schaffer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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