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Oral Defense

Thursday, May 9, 2013
12:00 AM
1164 Angell Hall

Realism and Fundamentality in Ethics and Elsewhere

This is a dissertation about how the notion of metaphysical fundamentality can contribute to several outstanding problems in metaethics and elsewhere. It can, I argue, provide an adequate underpinning for the distinction between realist and irrealist theories, feature in a promising account of reference for realists, distinguish ordinary realist theories from quasi-realist Expressivism, and contribute to a defense of traditional non-naturalist views. By developing these fundamentality-based solutions, we also learn something about the notion of fundamentality itself; many of these solutions are feasible only if fundamentality is understood as a primitive degreed notion, not susceptible to definition in other terms.

William (Billy) Dunaway, PhD Candidate