Javier-Castellanos

Photo credit: Isaiah Lin.

I am a philosophy PhD student at Syracuse University, and I did my undergraduate work in philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

I am primarily interested in the metaphysics of material objects. In my dissertation, I defend our beliefs that there are trees, tables and other ordinary objects, from debunking arguments intended to undermine them. I then argue that if you believe in ordinary objects, you should have a permissivist ontology. Unlike other arguments, however, mine doesn’t rely on considerations of vagueness, but on the thought that diachronic composition is intrinsic.

Here is my CV, here is my academia.edu page, and here are my publications:

(Forthcoming) "Quantifier Variance, Ontological Pluralism and Ideal Languages". Philosophical Quarterly.
Abstract. Penultimate draft.

Kris McDaniel has recently defended a criterion for being an ontological pluralist that classifies the quantifier variantist as one. In this paper, I argue that this is a mistake. There is an important difference between the two views, which is sometimes obscured by a common view in the metaphysics of fundamentality. According to the simple analysis, a language is ideal—it allows for a maximally metaphysically perspicuous description of reality—just in case all its primitives are perfectly natural. I argue that this analysis struggles to distinguish quantifier variance from ontological pluralism, and then I discuss various accounts that can do better. I then propose a criterion for being an ontological pluralist that does not misclassify the quantifier variantist. Finally, I discuss some additional advantages of my proposal.

(2016) "Duplication and Collapse". Thought: A Journal of Philosophy. 5/3: 196-202.
Abstract. Penultimate draft.

Kris McDaniel has argued that strong composition as identity entails a principle he calls the 'Plural Duplication Principle' (PDP), and that PDP is inconsistent with the possibility of strongly emergent properties. Theodore Sider has objected that this possibility is only inconsistent with a closely analogous principle he calls the 'Set Duplication Principle' (SDP). According to Sider, however, the friend of strong composition as identity is under no pressure to accept SDP. In this paper, I argue that the friend of strong composition as identity has strong reason to accept either SDP or a principle that is likewise inconsistent with the possibility of strongly emergent properties. Thus, Sider's objection fails.

(2014) "Some Challenges to a Contrastive Treatment of Grounding". Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3/3: 184-92.
Abstract. Penultimate draft.

Jonathan Schaffer has offered three alleged counterexamples to the transitivity of grounding. He has then used these cases to motivate his own contrastive account of grounding. In this paper, I argue that this line of argument backfires: if one of Schaffer’s own counterexamples succeeds, there is a similar case that undermines the motivation for Schaffer's own account. The upshot is that Schaffer cannot use the counterexample in question to motivate his account.


Syracuse University. Department of Philosophy.
541 Hall of Languages. Syracuse, NY. 13244-1170.
aajavier [at] syr [dot] edu
917-520-9935