Notions such as ground, metaphysical dependence, metaphysical explanation, structure, and fundamentality enjoy an enormous amount of attention in branches of the contemporary analytic tradition. We are quite often assured by proponents of these notions that they are not at all new and are, in fact, of illustrious, historical pedigree. Aristotle, for example, is often cited as the granddaddy of the idea that reality is structured by an ontological priority ordering, with all else depending upon primary, or basic, substances. Appeal to the history of these metaphysical notions, however, is, by no means, the only motivation we are provided with for taking their study seriously. Some philosophers like to claim that it was metaphysical dependence relations of just this kind that were the real target of theories framed in terms of the (arguably) troubled relation of supervenience, for example. Sometimes, though, we are simply told...

You do not currently have access to this content.