Don't Get Hung Up in the Middle

  • Yash Agarwal Ashoka University

Abstract

Grounding chains are usually taken to be top-ist, grounded in the largest entity (the cosmos), or bottom-ist, grounded in the smallest entity(ies) (mereological atoms). Between these two, middle-ism, the view that grounding chains terminate in middle-sized entities (like iPhones, toasters, amoebae), is almost never considered. Sarah Bernstein in her paper Could a middle level be the most fundamental? argues for the plausibility for middle-ism. In this paper I argue against Bernstein in that middle-ism is a view much more problematic than top-ism or bottom-ism. This is shown in three ways. The paper first shows how the middle level itself is problematic. The second problem is that middle-ism leads to a contradiction with respect to the notion of relative fundamentality, and third, middle-ism creates fatal problems for the parthood relation. Through these three issues, the paper shows how middle-ism is problematic in lieu of having fatal problems which refrain it from serving as the theory to explain fundamentalia and subsequently grounding structures.

Published
2022-06-01
How to Cite
Agarwal, Yash. 2022. “Don’t Get Hung Up in the Middle”. Dianoia: The Undergraduate Philosophy Journal of Boston College 9 (1), 42-52. https://doi.org/10.6017/dupjbc.v9i1.15483.