Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Mind: Vol. 121, No. 484, October 2012

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Mind: Vol. 121, No. 484, October 2012

Article excerpt

Emergence and Fundamentality, ELIZABETH BARNES

This paper argues for a new way of characterizing ontological emergence. It appeals to recent discussions in meta-ontology regarding fundamentality and dependence, and shows how emergence can be simply and straightforwardly characterized using these notions. The article then argues that many of the standard problems for emergence do not apply to this account: given a clearly specified meta-ontological background, emergence becomes much easier to explicate. If these arguments are successful, they show both a helpful way of thinking about emergence and the potential utility of discussions in meta-ontology when applied to first-order metaphysics.

The Truthmaker Non-Maximalist's Dilemma, MARK JAGO

Amongst those who feel the pull of the truthmaker principle (that truths require for their truth a truthmaker to exist), there is disagreement as to whether it applies to all truths or merely to some distinguished subset. Those in the latter camp, the nonmaximalists, argue that "there are no ducks in my bath" is true not because of something's existence, but because of the lack of ducks in my bath. Maximalists, by contrast, insist that truths are made true by something's existence, and so appear to be committed to strange negative entities in their ontology. As a consequence, nonmaximalists appear to have a more common-sense ontology than maximalists. Things are not so straightforward, however. This paper argues that if maximalism is committed to strange entities then so is nonmaximalism; and if nonmaximalism can do without strange entities, then so can maximalism. …

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