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Studia Neoaristotelica

Volume 18, Issue 1, 2021

Michele Paolini PaolettiOrcid-ID
Pages 27-64

Respects of Dependence and Symmetry

In this article I discuss several apparent counterexamples to the asymmetry of ontological dependence. These counterexamples were introduced in discussions about grounding, but they can affect every theory of ontological dependence. I show that, if one adopts metaontological pluralism (i.e., the view according to which there are many dependence relations), one has some advantages when it comes to defending the asymmetry of dependence. In Section 1, I introduce metaontological pluralism and my own version of it, which is based on Respect-of-Dependence Relations (rd-relations). I then single out five strategies to deal with apparent cases of symmetric dependence and show that two of them are only available to metaontological pluralists. In Sections 2, 3, and 4 I deal with cases of symmetric dependence by adopting these strategies. Finally, in Section 5, I anticipate and reply to three objections against my account.