Reality is a rather large place. It contains protons, economies, headaches, sentences, smiles, asteroids, crimes, numbers, and very many other things. Much of the content of our reality appears to depend on other of its content. Economies, for example, appear to depend upon people and the way they behave, amongst other things. Some of the content of our reality also appears to be, in some significant sense, more important than other of its content. Whilst none of us would wish to deny the very important role that economies play in our lives, most of us would agree that without matter arranged certain ways in space, for example, there could be no economies in the first place. Very many contemporary philosophers are concerned with how exactly we are to fill in the details of this view. What they are inclined to agree on is that reality has an over-arching hierarchical structure ordered by relations of metaphysical dependence, where chains of entities ordered by those dependence relations terminate in something fundamental. It is also commonly taken for granted that what those dependence chains terminate in is merely contingently existent - those things could have failed to exist - and consistent - they have no contradictory properties. This volume brings together fifteen essays from leading and emerging scholars that address these core, yet often under-explored, commitments.
Graham Priest is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Boyce Gibson Professor Emeritus at the University of Melbourne. He is known for his work on non-classical logic, particularly in connection with dialetheism, on the history of philosophy, and on Buddhist philosophy. Ricki Bliss is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Lehigh University, USA. Prior to this, she was a Visiting Lecturer at Otago University, New Zealand, and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Kyoto University, Japan and the University of Hamburg, Germany. She works primarily in analytic metaphysics on issues associated with metaphysical dependence, fundamentality and the over-arching structure of reality. Her work is strongly historically oriented and draws on both Western and non-Western traditions.