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The equivocation objection to priority monism

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Fundamentality theorists may agree that the same objects exist – such as tables, mountains, electrons and people – but they may also disagree as to which of these entities are ontologically fundamental. In a number of recent papers, Jonathan Schaffer has argued for ‘priority monism’, a doctrine which holds that the uppermost mereological whole is fundamental and all of its mereological parts are ontologically dependent, derivative entities. I will show that Schaffer’s central argument masks a crucial equivocation – between ‘Aristotelian unities’ and ‘mereological wholes’ – that, when uncovered, seriously weakens the case for priority monism.

This talk is part of the HPS Philosophy Workshop series.

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