Syllabus for The Hägerström Lectures: Building, Causing, and the Non-Fundamental

Hägerströmföreläsningarna: byggande, orsakande och det icke-fundamentala


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5FT101
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Theoretical Philosophy A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2019-11-04
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 01, 2020
  • Entry requirements: Eligible is the person who fulfills the requirements for a bachelor's degree in the humanities or has a corresponding
    foreign degree
  • Responsible department: Department of Philosophy

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide students with thorough knowledge of the contemporary discussion of grounding and
fundamentaity, and about related questions. The focus is on Karen Bennett's influential work on these questions, primarily
in her book Making Things Up (Oxford University Press, 2017).
After the course the student is expected to have knowlede of what according to Bennett characterizes what she calls
"building relations" (where the notion of building is meant to be somewhat more general than the notion of grounding),
including how questions about causation relate to questions about building, and how investigations of fundamentality and
nonfundamentality relate to questions about building. The students are also expected to achieve the ability to
independently analyse and critically discuss theses and arguments regarding these issues.


The past decade questions about grounding, fundamentality and ontological dependence have been central within
analytic metaphysics. Karen Bennett's book Making Things Up (Oxford University Press, 2017) is an important contribution
to this debate. Bennett discusses the family of relations she calls building relations, and investigates their properties. In
connection with this she also discusses fundamentality and nonfundamentality. With Bennett's book as the basis , the
cours provides a thorough introduction to the contemporary debate over these questions.


Instruction will take the form of seminars, with focus on discussion.It is obligatory for the students to attend Bennett's
three Hägerström lectures.


The examination consists of a written take-home exam.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 01, 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

A compendium of articles and book excerpts, both primary and secondary sources.