Don't Get Hung Up in the Middle

  • Yash Agarwal Ashoka University


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.

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.