Boring Infinite Descent

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/45415

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Tahko , T E 2014 , ' Boring Infinite Descent ' , Metaphilosophy , vol. 45 , no. 2 , pp. 257-269 . https://doi.org/10.1111/meta.12084

Title: Boring Infinite Descent
Author: Tahko, Tuomas E.
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies 2010-2017
Date: 2014
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: Metaphilosophy
ISSN: 0026-1068
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/45415
Abstract: In formal ontology, infinite regresses are generally considered a bad sign. One debate where such regresses come into play is the debate about fundamentality. Arguments in favour of some type of fundamentalism are many, but they generally share the idea that infinite chains of ontological dependence must be ruled out. Some motivations for this view are assessed in this article, with the conclusion that such infinite chains may not always be vicious. Indeed, there may even be room for a type of fundamentalism combined with infinite descent as long as this descent is “boring,” that is, the same structure repeats ad infinitum. A start is made in the article towards a systematic account of this type of infinite descent. The philosophical prospects and scientific tenability of the account are briefly evaluated using an example from physics.
Subject: 611 Philosophy
ontological dependence
well-foundedness
gunk
fundamental level
infinite regress
fundamentality
metaphysical infinitism
grounding
Metaphysics
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