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Ontological Dependence Workshop | Foundations of Structuralism Project | University of Bristol

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University of Bristol Foundations of Structuralism Project

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Ontological Dependence Workshop

Ontological Dependence

  • University of Bristol, Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th February 2011
  • AHRC Foundations of Structuralism Project & ERC Plurals, Predicates and Paradox: Towards a Type-Free Account Project


Audio files and presentations are available below for each of the lectures that took place as part of the Workshop. Please note, the audio files are large and may take a while to download.

The conference will be held in Lecture Theatre 2 (at the back of 11 Woodland Road), using the entrance at 3-5 Woodland Road, University of Bristol. Download the timetable (PDF, 85kB).

Philosophers talk about various dependence relations. For instance, ontological dependence is concerned with how the existence of an object depends on the existence of other objects; and identity dependence, with how the identity of an object depends on the identity of other objects. These relations are often taken to be more fine-grained than any relations that can be characterized in terms of metaphysical necessity and possibility.
A variety of questions arise, for instance the following.

  • What dependence relations are there, and what philosophical work
    do these relations do?
  • Should structuralist views in mathematics, physics, and
    metaphysics be characterized in terms of claims about dependence (for
    instance that objects from a structure depend upon one another or upon
    their structure)?
  • How are these dependence relations to be analyzed?
  • What are the logical properties of dependence relations; in
    particular, are they non-circular or even well-founded?
  • What is grounded dependence, and what technical and
    philosophical work can a requirement of groundedness do?
  • What is the relation between the notions of individuation and
    criteria of identity on the one hand and the dependence relation on
    the other?

See also the preliminary Questions for the Project.


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