*This lecture is supported by the Willson Center for Humanities & Arts.
I articulate a much overlooked debate in fundamental metaphysics--the debate over the relative ontological priority between individuality and collectivity. I distinguish this debate from other more familiar ones in the literature (e.g., over the relative priority between parts and wholes) and defend its in-principle intelligibility from initially appealing but ultimately flawed objections. I then argue that one of the views at play in the debate--the thesis that collectivity grounds individuality, which I call ontological collectivism--is not only coherent but of also of critical interest to metaphysics: it allows for novel approaches to a variety of metaphysical questions.
Raul Saucedo is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He works primarily in metaphysics and related topics in logic and philosophy of science. His current research focuses on a few interconnected issues concerning parts and wholes, space and time, plurals, and fundamentality. He is also interested in the treatment of such themes across the history of philosophy (especially in the ancient Greek and early modern periods) as well as in non-Western intellectual traditions (especially ancient Indian thought). At the moment he's working on a few papers articles and a book manuscript defending the ontological priority of collectivity over individuality.