The Titus-Hepp Lecture Series welcomes Kelly Trogdon, assistant professor of philosophy at Virginia Tech, presenting “Wherefore Fundamentality?” It’s a familiar idea that there must be an ultimate foundation for being or existence and that non-fundamental entities are “grounded” or “depend upon” other entities. Call the thesis that, necessarily, any non-fundamental entity is fully grounded by fundamental entities, metaphysical foundationalism. But why think that metaphysical foundationalism is true? Taking a page from Leibniz, Jonathan Schaffer has recently argued that, by appeal to the notion of reality inheritance, we can successfully argue for metaphysical foundationalism. This talk will argue that Schaffer’s novel strategy for defending metaphysical foundationalism is unsuccessful, but that a similar argument is more promising for demonstrating that there must be a fundamental level to reality.
Kelly Trogdon is an assistant professor of philosophy at Virginia Tech. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro; and M.A. in philosophy from the University of Florida; and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His main philosophical interests lie in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind.