Seminar in Metametaphysics (Spring 2019)


INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Bradley Rettler


OFFICE: Ross Hall 128

OFFICE HOURS: Tuesday 1-3, Thursday 11-12, and by appointment

MEETINGS: Thursdays, 4:10-6:40

ROOM: Ross Hall 135


Course Website:



Schedule and Readings (readings are to be done by the day they are listed)

Jan 31:

FB, Introduction

van Inwagen -- "Meta-ontology"

Thomasson, Ch 1 -- ``The Forgotten Easy Approach''


Feb 7:

FB, Chapter 1 -- ``Ways of Being''

Merricks -- "The Only Way to Be"

Thomasson, Ch 2 -- ``The Unbearable Lightness of Existence''



Feb 14:

Caplan -- ``Ontological Superpluralism''

Turner -- ``Ontological Pluralism''


Feb 21:

Korman -- ``Fundamental Quantification and the Language of the Ontology Room''

Rettler -- ``Quantification in the Ontology Room''



Feb 28:

Thomasson, Ch 10 -- ``Can Hard Questions be Revived in Ontologese?''


March 7:

FB, Chapter 2 -- ``A Return to the Analogy of Being''

David Lewis -- ``New Work for a Theory of Universals''


March 14:

FB, Chapter 3 -- ``Ways of Being and Time''

SEP -- Time (Section 6)

SEP -- Presentism




March 28:

FB, Chapter 4 -- ``Categories of Being''

van Inwagen -- ``What is an Ontological Category?''



April 4:

FB, Chapter 5 -- ``Being and almost Nothingness''

Lewis and Lewis -- ``Holes''


April 11:

FB, Chapter 6 -- ``Persons and Value''

Unger -- ``I Do Not Exist''

April 18:

FB, Chapter 7 -- ``Degrees of Being''

Lewis -- Properties (from On The Plurality of Worlds)


April 25:

FB, Chapter 8 -- ``Being and Ground''

Schaffer -- ``What Grounds What?''


May 2:

FB, Chapter 9 -- ``Being and Essence''

Koslicki -- "Essence, Necessity, and Explanation"

May 9:

Author meets Students -- McDaniel visit or Skype


Cameron - Critical Study of Kris McDaniel's The Fragmentation of Being

Sider - Ontological Realism

Dorr - What do we Disagree about when we Disagree about Ontology?

Fine - Essence and Modality

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