On What Consists in What

Date of Award

July 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Kristopher McDaniel

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities


This dissertation explores four metaphysical issues related to the concept of metaphysical analysis. One chapter explains the notion of analysis Leibniz invokes in his infinite-analysis theory of contingency, and defends that theory against a pair of objections. Another argues against a series of counterpossible analyses of essence. A third chapter argues that ontological realists should define Theodore Sider’s notion of fundamentality in terms of real definition, because Sider’s primitivism about fundamentality undermines his arguments for ontological realism, and a better argument for ontological realism can be stated in terms of real definition. The final chapter offers a theory of reduction and realism in terms of metaphysical analysis and ground, and uses that theory to offer some novel reductions of properties, numbers, and morality.


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