Friday, September 18, 2009

Morganti Wins the 2008 dialectica Essay Prize

Matteo Morganti (Konstanz) is the winner of the 2008 dialectica essay prize for his paper 'Ontological Priority, Fundamentality and Monism', which appeared in the latest issue of dialectica.

Here is the paper's abstract:

In recent work, the interrelated questions of whether there is a fundamental level to reality, whether ontological dependence must have an ultimate ground, and whether the monist thesis should be endorsed that the whole universe is ontologically prior to its parts have been explored with renewed interest. Jonathan Schaffer has provided arguments in favour of 'priority monism' in a series of articles (2003, 2004, 2007a, 2007b, forthcoming). In this paper, these arguments are analysed, and it is claimed that they are not compelling: in particular, the possibility that there is no ultimate level of basic entities that compose everything else is on a par with the possibility of infinite 'upward' complexity. The idea that we must, at any rate, postulate an ontologically fundamental level for methodological reasons (Cameron 2008) is also discussed and found unconvincing: all things considered, there may be good reasons for endorsing 'metaphysical infinitism'. In any event, a higher degree of caution in formulating metaphysical claims than found in the extant literature appears advisable.

Congratulations, Matteo!!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this Gabriele! I hope readers will find the paper interesting, and am curious to know what people think, especially about Schaffer's latest argument for priority monism, (based on the 'internal relatedness of all things'), which I don't deal with in the paper.