PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Fundamentality, Composition and Modality

I examine competing modal conceptions of the (relatively) fundamental. I argue that the metaphysicians' conception of the fundamental has become too divorced from the practices of physics: for those of us who wish to pursue philosophy along broadly Quinean, Naturalistic lines, this situation is unsatisfactory. I offer an account of the Fundamental using modal and compositional notions that are grounded in mainstream physics. Though the resulting notion fails to serve certain philosophical purposes, I argue that it serves the purposes of science and the philosophy of science.

Author Information:

Joseph Melia    
Faculty of Philosophy
University of Oxford


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