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  1. Are Skeptical Doubts About Ground Warranted?Louis deRosset - manuscript
    No. More carefully: apparently not. [This piece was commissioned for the Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Ground. Depending on the decisions of the editor, Michael J. Raven, it may be published there.].
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  2. Investigating Non-Philosophers’ Judgements About the Asymmetry of Metaphysical Explanation.Andrew James Latham & Kristie Miller - manuscript
    It is often supposed that metaphysical explanation is asymmetric: that for all x and y, if x metaphysically explains y, then y does not metaphysically explain x. Even amongst those who hold that metaphysical explanation is not asymmetric, but nonsymmetric, it is assumed that a relatively small number of particular explanations are symmetric: by and large, if x metaphysically explains y, then y does not metaphysically explain x. Both parties agree that as a matter of fact we at least typically (...)
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  3. Non-Cognitivism About Metaphysical Explanation.Kristie Miller & James Norton - manuscript
    This paper introduces a non-cognitivist account of metaphysical explanation according to which the core function of judgements of the form ⌜x because y⌝ is not to state truth-apt beliefs. Instead, their core function is to express attitudes of commitment to, and recommendation of the acceptance of certain norms governing interventional conduct at contexts.
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  4. Grounding and the Myth of Ontological Innocence.Jonathan Barker - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-16.
    According to the Ontological Innocence Thesis (OIT), grounded entities are ontologically innocent relative to their full grounds. I argue that OIT entails a contradiction, and therefore must be discarded. My argument turns on the notion of “groundmates,” two or more numerically distinct entities that share at least one of their full grounds. I argue that, if OIT is true, then it is both the case that there are groundmates and that there are no groundmates. Therefore, so I conclude, OIT is (...)
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  5. Counterfactuals of Ontological Dependence.Sam Baron - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    A great deal has been written about 'would' counterfactuals of causal dependence. Comparatively little has been said regarding 'would' counterfactuals of ontological dependence. The standard Lewis-Stalnaker semantics is inadequate for handling such counterfactuals. That's because some of these counterfactuals are counterpossibles, and the standard Lewis-Stalnaker semantics trivializes for counterpossibles. Fortunately, there is a straightforward extension of the Lewis-Stalnaker semantics available that handles counterpossibles: simply take Lewis's closeness relation that orders possible worlds and unleash it across impossible worlds. To apply the (...)
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  6. We Need Non-Factive Metaphysical Explanation.Michael Bertrand - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    Suppose that A explains B. Do A and B need to be true? Provided that we have metaphysical explanation in mind, orthodoxy answers “yes:” metaphysical explanation is factive. This article introduces and defends a non-factive notion of metaphysical explanation. I argue that we need a non-factive notion of explanation in order to make sense of explanationist arguments where we motivate a view by claiming that it offers better explanations than its competitors. After presenting and rejecting some initially plausible rivals, I (...)
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  7. Indefinitely Descending Ground.Einar Duenger Bohn - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press.
    In this paper I argue against grounding being necessarily well-founded, and provide some reasons to think it's actually not well-founded.
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  8. Explaining Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing.Andrew Brenner - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-17.
    It is sometimes supposed that, in principle, we cannot offer an explanation for why there is something rather than nothing. I argue that this supposition is a mistake, and stems from a needlessly myopic conception of the form explanations can legitimately take. After making this more general point, I proceed to offer a speculative suggestion regarding one sort of explanation which can in principle serve as an answer to the question “why is there something rather than nothing?” The suggestion is (...)
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  9. How Does God Know That 2 + 2 = 4?Andrew Brenner - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-16.
    Sometimes theists wonder how God's beliefs track particular portions of reality, e.g. contingent states of affairs, or facts regarding future free actions. In this article I sketch a general model for how God's beliefs track reality. God's beliefs track reality in much the same way that propositions track reality, namely via grounding. Just as the truth values of true propositions are generally or always grounded in their truthmakers, so too God's true beliefs are grounded in the subject matters of those (...)
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  10. Hollow Truth.Louis deRosset - forthcoming - Philosophical Review.
    A raft of new philosophical problems concerning truth have recently been discovered by several theorists, following [Fine, 2010]. Most previ- ous commentators on these problems have taken them to shed light on the theory of ground. In this paper, I argue that they also shed light on the theory of truth. In particular, I argue that the notion of ground can be deployed to clearly articulate one strand of deflationary thinking about truth, according to which truth is “metaphysically lightweight.” I (...)
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  11. Ditching Dependence and Determination: Or, How to Wear the Crazy Trousers.Michael J. Duncan, Kristie Miller & James Norton - forthcoming - Synthese.
    This paper defends Flatland—the view that there exist neither determination nor dependence relations, and that everything is therefore fundamental—from the objection from explanatory inefficacy. According to that objection, Flatland is unattractive because it is unable to explain either the appearance as of there being determination relations, or the appearance as of there being dependence relations. We show how the Flatlander can meet the first challenge by offering four strategies—reducing, eliminating, untangling and omnizing—which, jointly, explain the appearance as of there being (...)
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  12. A Challenge to the New Metaphysics: deRosset, Priority, and Explanation.David Fisher, Hao Hong & Timothy Perrine - forthcoming - Synthese:1-31.
    Priority Theory is an increasingly popular view in metaphysics. By seeing metaphysical questions as primarily concerned with what explains what, instead of merely what exists, it promises not only an interesting approach to traditional metaphysical issues but also the resolution of some outstanding disputes. In a recent paper, Louis deRosset argues that Priority Theory isn’t up to the task: Priority Theory is committed to there being explanations that violate a formal constraint on any adequate explanation. This paper critically examines deRosset’s (...)
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  13. Joints and Basic Ways.Christopher Frugé - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Metaphysicians often distinguish between joints and basic ways. Joints are the unified and joint-carving properties that trace the structure of the world. They are theorized under the ideology of structural, perfectly natural, or sparse properties. Basic ways are the ultimate and independent properties that give rise to all others. They are theorized under the ideology of grounding, where the ungrounded properties are the basic ways. While these notions are often seen as rivals, I argue that we need both, because the (...)
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  14. Fundamental Yet Grounded.Joaquim Giannotti - forthcoming - Theoria.
    Grounding is claimed to offer a promising characterization of the fundamental as thatwhich is ungrounded. Detractors of this view argue that there can be fundamental and yet mutuallygrounded entities. Such a possibility undermines the denition of the fundamental as theungrounded. I aim to show, however, that the possibility of fundamental mutually grounded entitiesdoes not force us to renounce the prospects of characterizing fundamentality in terms of ground-ing. To accomplish this aim, I defend a grounding-based view that accommodates fundamentalmutually grounded entities (...)
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  15. Why 0-Adic Relations Have Truth Conditions: Essence, Ground, and Non-Hylomorphic Russellian Propositions.Cody Gilmore - forthcoming - In Chris Tillman (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. London: Routledge.
    I formulate an account, in terms of essence and ground, that explains why atomic Russellian propositions have the truth conditions they do. The key ideas are that (i) atomic propositions are just 0-adic relations, (ii) truth is just the 1-adic version of the instantiation (or, as I will say, holding) relation (Menzel 1993: 86, note 27), and (iii) atomic propositions have the truth conditions they do for basically the same reasons that partially plugged relations, like being an x and a (...)
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  16. Grounding, Essence, and the Knowledge Argument.Philip Goff - forthcoming - In Sam Coleman (ed.), The Knowledge Argument. Cambridge University Press.
    Few these days dispute that the knowledge argument demonstrates an epistemic gap between the physical facts and the facts about experience. It is much more contentious whether that epistemic gap can be used to demonstrate a metaphysical gap of a kind that is inconsistent with physicalism. In this paper I will explore two attempts to block the inference from an epistemic gap to a metaphysical gap – the first from the phenomenal concept strategy, the second from Russellian monism – and (...)
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  17. Disjunctive Parts.Mark Jago - forthcoming - In Federico L. G. Faroldi & Frederik Van De Putte (eds.), Outstanding Contributions to Logic: Kit Fine. Springer.
    Fine (2017a) sets out a theory of content based on truthmaker semantics which distinguishes two kinds of consequence between contents. There is entailment, corresponding to the relationship between disjunct and disjunction, and there is containment, corresponding to the relationship between conjunctions and their conjuncts. Fine associates these with two notions of parthood: disjunctive and conjunctive. Conjunctive parthood is a very useful notion, allowing us to analyse partial content and partial truth. In this chapter, I extend the notion of disjunctive parthood (...)
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  18. Grounding Logically Complex Facts.Michaela McSweeney - forthcoming - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. Routledge.
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  19. Disjunction and the Logic of Grounding.Giovanni Merlo - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    Many philosophers have been attracted to the idea of using the logical form of a true sentence as a guide to the metaphysical grounds of the fact stated by that sentence. This paper looks at a particular instance of that idea: the widely accepted principle that disjunctions are grounded in their true disjuncts. I will argue that an unrestricted version of this principle has several problematic consequences and that it’s not obvious how the principle might be restricted in order to (...)
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  20. Ontology Without Hierarchy.Kristie Miller, Michael J. Duncan & James Norton - forthcoming - In Javier Cumpa (ed.), The Question of Ontology: The Contemporary Debate. Oxford University Press.
    It has recently become popular to suggest that questions of ontology ought be settled by determining, first, which fundamental things exist, and second, which derivative things depend on, or are grounded by, those fundamental things. This methodology typically leads to a hierarchical view of ontology according to which there are chains of entities, each dependent on the next, all the way down to a fundamental base. In this paper we defend an alternative ontological picture according to which there is no (...)
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  21. Grounding Orthodoxy and the Layered Conception.Gabriel Oak Rabin - forthcoming - In Ricki Leigh Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press.
    Ground offers the hope of vindicating and illuminating an classic philosophical idea: the layered conception, according to which reality is structured by relations of dependence, with physical phenomena on the bottom, upon which chemistry, then biology, and psychology reside. However, ground can only make good on this promise if it is appropriately formally behaved. The paradigm of good formal behavior can be found in the currently dominant grounding orthodoxy, which holds that ground is transitive, antisymmetric, irreflexive, and foundational. However, heretics (...)
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  22. Metaphysical Explanations and the Counterfactual Theory of Explanation.Stefan Roski - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    According to an increasingly popular view among philosophers of science, both causal and non-causal explanations can be accounted for by a single theory: the counterfactual theory of explanation. A kind of non-causal explanation that has gained much attention recently but that this theory seems unable to account for are grounding explanations. Reutlinger (2017) has argued that, despite these appearances to the contrary, such explanations are covered by his version of the counterfactual theory. His idea is supported by recent work on (...)
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  23. No Ground to Bridge the Gap.Elisabetta Sassarini - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    This paper examines an argument by Schaffer that aims to prove how, contrary to what many philosophers hold, there is no special explanatory gap occurring in the connection between the physical and the phenomenal. This is because a gap of the same kind can be found in every connection between a more fundamental and a less fundamental level of reality. These gaps lurk everywhere in nature. For Schaffer, they can be bridged by means of substantive metaphysical principles such as grounding (...)
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  24. Where Are You Going, Metaphysics, and How Are You Getting There? - Grounding Theory as a Case Study.Gila Sher - forthcoming - In Quo Vadis, Metaphysics? Berlin, Germany: de Gruyter Studium.
    The viability of metaphysics as a field of knowledge has been challenged time and again. But in spite of the continuing tendency to dismiss metaphysics, there has been considerable progress in this field in the 20th- and 21st- centuries. One of the newest − though, in a sense, also oldest − frontiers of metaphysics is the grounding project. In this paper I raise a methodological challenge to the new grounding project and propose a constructive solution. Both the challenge and its (...)
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  25. Building the Monarchy of the Father.Joshua R. Sijuwade - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-20.
    This article aims to provide an explication of the doctrine of the monarchy of the Father. A precisification of the doctrine is made within the building-fundamentality framework provided by Karen Bennett, which enables a further clarification of the central elements of the doctrine to be made and an important objection against it to be answered.
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  26. Grounding.Alexander Skiles & Kelly Trogdon - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & J. Miller (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York, NY, USA:
    Discussion of the relevance of grounding to substantiveness, theory-choice, and “location problems” in metaphysics.
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  27. Should Explananation Be a Guide to Ground?Alexander Skiles & Kelly Trogdon - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Grounding and explanation are said to be intimately connected. Some even maintain that grounding just is a form of explanation. But grounding and explanation also seem importantly different—on the face of it, the former is ‘worldy’ or ‘objective’ while the latter isn’t. In this paper, we develop and respond to an argument to the effect that there is no way to fruitfully address this tension that retains orthodox views about grounding and explanation but doesn’t undermine a central piece of methodology, (...)
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  28. Recent Work on Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - forthcoming - Analysis.
    A review of recent work on physicalism, focusing on what it means to say nothing exists over and above the physical, how "the physical" should be defined, and the causal argument for physicalism.
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  29. Full and Partial Grounding.Kelly Trogdon & D. Gene Witmer - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Discussion of partial grounds that aren't parts of full grounds; definition of full grounding in terms of partial grounding.
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  30. Normative Explanation Unchained.Pekka Väyrynen - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    [This paper is available as open access from the publisher.] Normative theories aim to explain why things have the normative features they have. This paper argues that, contrary to some plausible existing views, one important kind of normative explanations which first-order normative theories aim to formulate and defend can fail to transmit downward along chains of metaphysical determination of normative facts by non-normative facts. Normative explanation is plausibly subject to a kind of a justification condition whose satisfaction may fail to (...)
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  31. Essence, Explanation, and Modality.Michael Wallner & Anand Vaidya - forthcoming - Philosophy:1-27.
    Recently, Kit Fine's view that modal truths are true in virtue of, grounded in, or explained by essentialist truths has been under attack. In what follows we offer two responses to the wave of criticism against his view. While the first response is pretty straightforward, the second is based on the distinction between, what we call, Reductive Finean Essentialism and Non-Reductive Finean Essentialism. Engaging the work of Bob Hale on Non-Reductive Finean Essentialism, we aim to show that the arguments against (...)
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  32. Mathematical Anti-Realism and Explanatory Structure.Bruno Whittle - forthcoming - Synthese:1-15.
    Plausibly, mathematical claims are true, but the fundamental furniture of the world does not include mathematical objects. This can be made sense of by providing mathematical claims with paraphrases, which make clear how the truth of such claims does not require the fundamental existence of mathematical objects. This paper explores the consequences of this type of position for explanatory structure. There is an apparently straightforward relationship between this sort of structure, and the logical sort: i.e. logically complex claims are explained (...)
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  33. Something From Nothing: Why Some Negative Existentials Are Fundamental.Fatema Amijee - 2021 - In Sara Bernstein & Tyron Goldschmidt (eds.), Non-being: New Essays on the Metaphysics of Nonexistence. Oxford University Press. pp. 50-68.
    It strikes many as obvious that negative facts—such as that Justin Trudeau is not the prime minister of Australia—are not fundamental: negative facts must ultimately be explained in terms of positive facts (for instance, that Justin Trudeau is the prime minister of Canada). I focus on a particular class of negative facts: contingent negative existentials (such as that there are no 10ft tall humans). If contingent negative existentials are not fundamental, then they must be explained. But the claim that contingent (...)
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  34. Principle of Sufficient Reason.Fatema Amijee - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York: Routledge. pp. 63-75.
    According to the Principle of Sufficient Reason (henceforth ‘PSR’), everything has an explanation or sufficient reason. This paper addresses three questions. First, how continuous is the contemporary notion of grounding with the notion of sufficient reason endorsed by Spinoza, Leibniz, and other rationalists? In particular, does a PSR formulated in terms of ground retain the intuitive pull and power of the PSR endorsed by the rationalists? Second, to what extent can the PSR avoid the formidable traditional objections levelled against it (...)
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  35. Grounding at a distance.Sam Baron, Kristie Miller & Jonathan Tallant - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3373-3390.
    What distinguishes causation from grounding? One suggestion is that causation, but not grounding, occurs over time. Recently, however, counterexamples to this simple temporal criterion have been offered. In this paper, we situate the temporal criterion within a broader framework that focuses on two aspects: locational overlapping in space and time and the presence of intermediaries in space and time. We consider, and reject, the idea that the difference between grounding and causation is that grounding can occur without intermediaries. We go (...)
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  36. Quasi-Dependence.Selim Berker - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 15:195-218.
    Quasi-realists aim to account for many of the trappings of metanormative realism within an expressivist framework. Chief among these is the realist way of responding to the Euthyphro dilemma: quasi-realists want to join realists in being able to say, "It’s not the case that kicking dogs is wrong because we disapprove of it. Rather, we disapprove of kicking dogs because it’s wrong." However, the standard quasi-realist way of explaining what we are up to when we assert the first of these (...)
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  37. Infinite Descent.T. Scott Dixon - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 244-58.
    Once one accepts that certain things metaphysically depend upon, or are metaphysically explained by, other things, it is natural to begin to wonder whether these chains of dependence or explanation must come to an end. This essay surveys the work that has been done on this issue—the issue of grounding and infinite descent. I frame the discussion around two questions: (1) What is infinite descent of ground? and (2) Is infinite descent of ground possible? In addressing the second question, I (...)
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  38. Explanation.Martin Glazier - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. London: pp. 121-132.
    I survey the philosophical literature on grounding explanation and its connection to metaphysical ground.
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  39. The Limits of Classical Mereology: Mixed Fusions and the Failures of Mereological Hybridism.Joshua Kelleher - 2020 - Dissertation, The University of Queensland
    In this thesis I argue against unrestricted mereological hybridism, the view that there are absolutely no constraints on wholes having parts from many different logical or ontological categories, an exemplar of which I take to be ‘mixed fusions’. These are composite entities which have parts from at least two different categories – the membered (as in classes) and the non-membered (as in individuals). As a result, mixed fusions can also be understood to represent a variety of cross-category summation such as (...)
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  40. Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.
    This paper develops and motivates a unification theory of metaphysical explanation, or as I will call it, Metaphysical Unificationism. The theory’s main inspiration is the unification account of scientific explanation, according to which explanatoriness is a holistic feature of theories that derive a large number of explananda from a meager set of explanantia, using a small number of argument patterns. In developing Metaphysical Unificationism, I will point out that it has a number of interesting consequences. The view offers a novel (...)
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  41. Four Questions of Iterated Grounding.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):341-364.
    The Question of Iterated Grounding (QIG) asks what grounds the grounding facts. Although the question received a lot of attention in the past few years, it is usually discussed independently of another important issue: the connection between metaphysical explanation and the relation or relations that supposedly “back” it. I will show that once we get clear on the distinction between metaphysical explanation and the relation(s) backing it, we can distinguish no fewer than four questions lumped under QIG. I will also (...)
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  42. Modality.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 348-360.
    A survey of the connection between grounding and modality, in particular supervenience. The survey explores three possible connections between grounding and supervenience: (1) supervenience can be analyzed in terms of grounding, (2) grounded facts supervene on their grounds, and (3) grounding and supervenience overlap in their theoretical roles.
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  43. The Logic of Ground.Adam Lovett - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (1):13-49.
    I explore the logic of ground. I first develop a logic of weak ground. This logic strengthens the logic of weak ground presented by Fine in his ‘Guide to Ground.’ This logic, I argue, generates many plausible principles which Fine’s system leaves out. I then derive from this a logic of strict ground. I argue that there is a strong abductive case for adopting this logic. It’s elegant, parsimonious and explanatorily powerful. Yet, so I suggest, adopting it has important consequences. (...)
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  44. The Puzzles of Ground.Adam Lovett - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2541-2564.
    I outline and provide a solution to some paradoxes of ground.
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  45. A Solution to Some Grounding Problems for Relationism.Brannon McDaniel - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-17.
    Let wF, wC+, and wC– be three distinct worlds, each of which contains only a single point-sized material particle, and in each of which spacetime is: uniformly flat, constantly positively curved, and constantly negatively curved, respectively. By the relationist’s lights, these worlds seem to be qualitatively identical. Nevertheless, for each world, there are propositions concerning possible arrangements of material points that are true in that world, but false in the other two. I argue that, surprisingly, the relationist can ground these (...)
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  46. Debunking Logical Ground: Distinguishing Metaphysics From Semantics.Michaela Markham McSweeney - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (2):156-170.
    Many philosophers take purportedly logical cases of ground ) to be obvious cases, and indeed such cases have been used to motivate the existence of and importance of ground. I argue against this. I do so by motivating two kinds of semantic determination relations. Intuitions of logical ground track these semantic relations. Moreover, our knowledge of semantics for first order logic can explain why we have such intuitions. And, I argue, neither semantic relation can be a species of ground even (...)
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  47. Grounding Nonexistence.Daniel Muñoz - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (2):209-229.
    Contingent negative existentials give rise to a notorious paradox. I formulate a version in terms of metaphysical grounding: nonexistence can't be fundamental, but nothing can ground it. I then argue for a new kind of solution, expanding on work by Kit Fine. The key idea is that negative existentials are contingently zero-grounded – that is to say, they are grounded, but not by anything, and only in the right conditions. If this is correct, it follows that grounding cannot be an (...)
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  48. The Logic of Leibniz’s Borrowed Reality Argument.Stephen Puryear - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (279):350-370.
    Leibniz argues that there must be a fundamental level of simple substances because composites borrow their reality from their constituents and not all reality can be borrowed. I contend that the underlying logic of this ‘borrowed reality argument’ has been misunderstood, particularly the rationale for the key premise that not all reality can be borrowed. Contrary to what has been suggested, the rationale turns neither on the alleged viciousness of an unending regress of reality borrowers nor on the Principle of (...)
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  49. Explaining essences.Michael J. Raven - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1043-1064.
    This paper explores the prospects of combining two views. The first view is metaphysical rationalism : all things have an explanation. The second view is metaphysical essentialism: there are real essences. The exploration is motivated by a conflict between the views. Metaphysical essentialism posits facts about essences. Metaphysical rationalism demands explanations for all facts. But facts about essences appear to resist explanation. I consider two solutions to the conflict. Exemption solutions attempt to exempt facts about essences from the demand for (...)
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  50. New twists on the great chain of being: Ricki Bliss and Graham Priest (eds): Reality and its structure. Essays in fundamentality. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 324 pp, £50 HB. [REVIEW]Pierre Saint-Germier - 2020 - Metascience 29 (2):345-349.
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1 — 50 / 144