94:2 April 2011
The Architecture of Reality
Advisory Editor: Matthew H. Slater, Bucknell University
Humans are dividers and systematizers, confidently wielding the classificatory knife in the natural sciences and in metaphysics alike. But are we carving nature at its joints? We can identify distinct ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ components to this basic question. Horizontal: Is the world ‘intrinsically jointed’? Are there natural properties or natural kinds? Are there natural units which instantiate these properties and kinds? Vertical: Is reality divided into levels? If so, is there a fundamental level comprising reality’s ultimate furniture? If not, what? Presumably, these two sets of questions intersect. But how, precisely? What, in short, is the architecture of reality? Might we require multiple ‘architectural plans’ to describe nature correctly, or would just one do? We invite contributions on both the ground- level metaphysical issues (proposals for particular architectures or particular approaches to plan-drawing) and to methodological issues concerning these efforts.
Table of Contents:
Scientific Realism and Ontological Relativity
What if Reality has No Architecture?
Aristotle’s Pluralistic Realism
John T. Roberts
Extra-Physical Structure in a Physical World? or, Is the Study of Life Provincial?
Matthew C. Haug
Natural Properties and the Special Sciences: Nonreductive Physicalism without Levels of Reality or Multiple Realizability
Is Metaphysical Dependence Irreflexive?
Categories and Ontological Dependence