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June 21, 2017: Jonathan Schaffer: Beyond Fundamentality

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OntoForMat FIRB Project "Classical Paradigms and Theoretical Foundation in Contemporary Research in Formal and Material Ontology"

OMS: OntoforMat Metaphysical Seminar - Spring 2017


Jonathan Schaffer (Rutgers University)

Beyond Fundamentality


June 21, 2017 h. 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Room Enzo Paci, Directorate of the Department of Philosophy

Via Festa del Perdono 7, Università degli Studi di Milano.



Abstract   What must the world be like, for explanation to be possible? Explanation generally involves three components: (1) starting conditions that are the source of what is to be explained, (2) concluding results to be explained, and (3) connecting links from the source to the results. So metaphysical explanation requires (1) ultimate grounds as the starting conditions (this might be something like: the quantum mechanical state of the cosmos), (2) derivative states as the concluding results to be explained (these might include various chemical, biological, psychological and other “higher level” states), and also (3) root principles as the connecting links (these might include principles codifying the ways in which the physical grounds the chemical). The resulting picture goes beyond the simple two-part division between the fundamental and the derivative, bringing in a third element (root principles) to explain the structure of reality.


The Talk will be held in English.
Participation is strongly recommended to students of the Doctoral School in Philosophy and Human Sciences.
Attendance is free. All welcome.

For informations: www.ontoformat.com  valerio.buonomo@unimi.it


21 June 2017
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