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The Unity of Grounding

Mind 127 (507):729-777 (2018)

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  1. Do We Have Reasons to Obey the Law?Edmund Tweedy Flanigan - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (2):159-197.
    Instead of the question, ‘do we have an obligation to obey the law?,’ we should first ask the more modest question, ‘do we have reasons to obey the law?’ This paper offers a new account of the notion of the content-independence of legal reasons in terms of the grounding relation. That account is then used to mount a defense of the claim that we do indeed have content-independent moral reasons to obey the law (because it is the law), and that (...)
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  • Why Truthmaking Is Not a Case of Grounding.Paul Audi - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (3):567-590.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Grounding Pluralism: Why and How.Kevin Richardson - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1399-1415.
    Grounding pluralism is the view that there are multiple kinds of grounding. In this essay, I motivate and defend an explanation-theoretic view of grounding pluralism. Specifically, I argue that there are two kinds of grounding: why-grounding—which tells us why things are the case—and how-grounding—which tells us how things are the case.
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  • Parfit, Convergence, and Underdetermination.Marius Baumann - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (3).
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  • Mackie Was Not an Error Theorist.Selim Berker - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):5-25.
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  • 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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  • Consequentialism and the Causal Efficacy of the Moral.Andrea Viggiano - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2927-2944.
    Assume consequentialism and assume moral properties are causally efficacious. Then, I’ll argue, a puzzle arises. These assumptions lead to denying each of two plausible metaphysical principles: that a cause cannot cause anything occurring before its ground and that a cause cannot cause anything belonging to its ground. We therefore have to reject either consequentialism or the causal efficacy of moral properties or the plausible metaphysical principles. And, I’ll show, the puzzle arises again even if we replace moral properties with the (...)
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  • Introduction: The Character of Physicalism.Andreas Elpidorou - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):435-455.
    The aim of this editorial introduction is twofold. First, Sects. 1–8 offer a critical introduction to the metaphysical character of physicalism. In those sections, I present and evaluate different ways in which proponents of physicalism have made explicit the metaphysical dependence that is said to hold between the non-physical and the physical. Some of these accounts are found to be problematic; others are shown to be somewhat more promising. In the end, some important lessons are drawn and different options for (...)
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  • Coherentism Via Graphs.Selim Berker - 2015 - Philosophical Issues 25 (1):322-352.
    Once upon a time, coherentism was the dominant response to the regress problem in epistemology, but in recent decades the view has fallen into disrepute: now almost everyone is a foundationalist (with a few infinitists sprinkled here and there). In this paper, I sketch a new way of thinking about coherentism, and show how it avoids many of the problems often thought fatal for the view, including the isolation objection, worries over circularity, and concerns that the concept of coherence is (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Moral Explanations.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 15.
    It’s commonly held that particular moral facts are explained by ‘natural’ or ‘descriptive’ facts, though there’s disagreement over how such explanations work. We defend the view that general moral principles also play a role in explaining particular moral facts. More specifically, we argue that this view best makes sense of some intuitive data points, including the supervenience of the moral upon the natural. We consider two alternative accounts of the nature and structure of moral principles—’the nomic view’ and ‘moral platonism’—before (...)
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  • Fundamentality in Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Physics. Part I: Metaphysics.Matteo Morganti - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (7).
    This is the first part of a two-tier overview article on fundamentality in metaphysics and the philosophy of physics. It provides an introduction to the notion of fundamentality in metaphysics, as well as to several related concepts. The key issues in the contemporary debate on the topic are summarised, making systematic reference to the most relevant literature. In particular, various ways in which the fundamental entities and the fundamental structure of reality may be conceived are illustrated and discussed. A final (...)
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  • Normative Commitments in Metanormative Theory.Pekka Väyrynen - 2019 - In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 193-213.
    First-order normative theories concerning what’s right and wrong, good and bad, etc. and metanormative theories concerning the nature of first-order normative thought and talk are widely regarded as independent theoretical enterprises. This paper argues that several debates in metanormative theory involve views that have first-order normative implications, even as the implications in question may not be immediately recognizable as normative. I first make my claim more precise by outlining a general recipe for generating this result. I then apply this recipe (...)
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  • Thanks, We’Re Good: Why Moral Realism is Not Morally Objectionable.David Enoch - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
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  • Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The notion of fundamentality, as it is used in metaphysics, aims to capture the idea that there is something basic or primitive in the world. This metaphysical notion is related to the vernacular use of “fundamental”, but philosophers have also put forward various technical definitions of the notion. Among the most influential of these is the definition of absolute fundamentality in terms of ontological independence or ungroundedness. Accordingly, the notion of fundamentality is often associated with these two other technical notions.
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  • Anchoring as Grounding: On Epstein’s the Ant Trap.Jonathan Schaffer - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):749-767.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Volume 99, Issue 3, Page 749-767, November 2019.
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  • 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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  • Reliabilism Without Epistemic Consequentialism.Kurt L. Sylvan - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (3):525-555.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • In Virtue Of: Determination, Dependence, and Metaphysically Opaque Grounding.Henrik Rydéhn - 2019 - Dissertation, Uppsala University
    This dissertation investigates grounding, the relation of non-causal determination whereby one fact obtains in virtue of some other fact or facts. Although considerations of grounding have been central throughout Western philosophy, the last 15-20 years have seen a renaissance of systematic work on grounding in analytic philosophy. The aim of the dissertation is to contribute to our understanding of the nature of grounding and its relation to other central phenomena in metaphysics. -/- Chapter 1 of the dissertation provides a brief (...)
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  • An Epistemic Non-Consequentialism.Kurt L. Sylvan - 2020 - The Philosophical Review 129 (1):1-51.
    Despite the recent backlash against epistemic consequentialism, an explicit systematic alternative has yet to emerge. This paper articulates and defends a novel alternative, Epistemic Kantianism, which rests on a requirement of respect for the truth. §1 tackles some preliminaries concerning the proper formulation of the epistemic consequentialism / non-consequentialism divide, explains where Epistemic Kantianism falls in the dialectical landscape, and shows how it can capture what seems attractive about epistemic consequentialism while yielding predictions that are harder for the latter to (...)
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  • A User’s Guide to Hybrid Tools.Caleb Perl - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):129-158.
    Hybrid metaethical theories have significant promise; they would have important upshots if they were true. But they also face severe problems. The problems are severe enough to make many philosophers doubt that they could be true. My ambition is to show that the problems are just instances of a highly general problem: a problem about what are sometimes called ‘intensional anaphora'. I'll also show that any adequate explanation of intensional anaphora immediately solves all the problems for the hybrid theorist. We (...)
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  • Grounding the Normative: A Problem for Structured Non-Naturalism.Justin Morton - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (1):173-196.
    Many non-naturalists about the normative want to endorse the view that some normative facts hold in virtue of both non-normative facts and normative principles. In this paper, I argue that non-naturalism is inconsistent with this thesis, due to the nature of normative principles and their grounds. I then consider two ways in which the nonnaturalist position could be modified or expanded to solve this problem. No solution, it turns out, is without its problems. I end by considering how the non-naturalist (...)
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  • Grounding and the Argument From Explanatoriness.David Kovacs - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):2927-2952.
    In recent years, metaphysics has undergone what some describe as a revolution: it has become standard to understand a vast array of questions as questions about grounding, a metaphysical notion of determination. Why should we believe in grounding, though? Supporters of the revolution often gesture at what I call the Argument from Explanatoriness: the notion of grounding is somehow indispensable to a metaphysical type of explanation. I challenge this argument and along the way develop a “reactionary” view, according to which (...)
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  • Depending on the Thick.Debbie Roberts - 2017 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 91 (1):197-220.
    The claim that the normative depends on the non-normative is just as entrenched in metanormative theory as the claim that the normative supervenes on the non-normative. It is widely held to be a genuine truism, a conceptual truth that operates as a constraint on competence with normative concepts. Call it the dependence constraint. I argue that this status is unwarranted. While it is true that the normative is dependent, it is not a genuine truism, or a conceptual truth, that it (...)
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  • The Myth of the Myth of Supervenience.David Kovacs - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):1967-1989.
    Supervenience is necessary co-variation between two sets of entities. In the good old days, supervenience was considered a useful philosophical tool with a wide range of applications in the philosophy of mind, metaethics, epistemology, and elsewhere. In recent years, however, supervenience has fallen out of favor, giving place to grounding, realization, and other, more metaphysically “meaty”, notions. The emerging consensus is that there are principled reasons for which explanatory theses cannot be captured in terms of supervenience, or as the slogan (...)
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  • Consequentializing and Underdetermination.Marius Baumann - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):511-527.
    abstractThe paper explores a new interpretation of the consequentializing project. Three prominent interpretations are criticized for neglecting the explanatory dimension of moral theories. Instead...
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  • Genuine Violations of Laws.Tobias Wilsch - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-16.
    Could laws of nature be violated, in the sense that some proposition is both a law and false? I argue that opponents of regularity theories of laws should accept the metaphysical possibility of such genuine violations. I begin with a clarification of this claim. The main argument is then developed in three steps. I first argue that opponents of regularity theory should endorse the modal-essence view: certain modal principles are essential to the laws of nature. Second, I argue that the (...)
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  • New Work for a Theory of Ground.Michael J. Raven - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (6):625-655.
    There has been much recent interest in a distinctively metaphysical kind of determinative explanation: ground. This paper concerns various skeptical challenges to ground’s relevance to metaphysics, such as that it is an empty posit, that the work it is supposed to do is appropriated by other notions, and that it is inapt for specific issues it should serve. I argue against these challenges. My strategy is both critical and constructive. Critical because I argue that versions of these challenges raised by (...)
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  • In Defense of the Disunity of Grounding.Jon Erling Litland - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):97-108.
    Fine (2012) is a pluralist about grounding. He holds that there are three fundamentally distinct notions of grounding: metaphysical, normative, and natural. Berker (2017) argues for monism on the grounds that the pluralist cannot account for certain principles describing how the distinct notions of grounding interact. This paper defends pluralism. By building on work by Fine (2010) and Litland (2015) I show how the pluralist can systematically account for Berker's interaction principles.
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  • Moral Perception, Inference, and Intuition.Daniel Wodak - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1495-1512.
    Sarah McGrath argues that moral perception has an advantage over its rivals in its ability to explain ordinary moral knowledge. I disagree. After clarifying what the moral perceptualist is and is not committed to, I argue that rival views are both more numerous and more plausible than McGrath suggests: specifically, I argue that inferentialism can be defended against McGrath’s objections; if her arguments against inferentialism succeed, we should accept a different rival that she neglects, intuitionism; and, reductive epistemologists can appeal (...)
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  • The Explanatory Ambitions of Moral Principles.Selim Berker - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):904-936.
    Moral properties are explained by other properties. And moral principles tell us about moral properties. How are these two ideas related? In particular, is the truth of a given moral principle part of what explains why a given action has a given moral property? I argue “No.” If moral principles are merely concerned with the extension of moral properties across all possible worlds, then they cannot be partial explainers of facts about the instantiation of those properties, since in general necessitation (...)
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  • Can Grounding Characterize Fundamentality?Neil Mehta - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):74-79.
    It can seem incoherent to fully characterize fundamentality in terms of grounding, given that the fundamental is precisely that which cannot be fully characterized independently. I argue that there is no such incoherence.
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  • Subjectivism, Instrumentalism, and Prudentialism About Reasons: On the Normativity of Instrumental Transmission.Arash Abizadeh - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):387-402.
    According to a subjectivist theory, normative reasons are grounded in facts about our desires. According to an instrumentalist theory, reasons are grounded also in facts about the relevant means to desired objects. These are distinct theories. The widespread tendency to conflate the normativity of subjective and instrumentalist precepts obscures two facts. First, instrumentalist precepts incorporate a subjective element with an objective one. Second, combining these elements into a single theory of normative reasons requires explaining how and why they are to (...)
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  • Law-Determination as Grounding: A Common Grounding Framework for Jurisprudence.Samuele Chilovi & George Pavlakos - 2019 - Legal Theory 25 (1):53-76.
    Law being a derivative feature of reality, it exists in virtue of more fundamental things, upon which it depends. This raises the question of what is the relation of dependence that holds between law and its more basic determinants. The primary aim of this paper is to argue that grounding is that relation. We first make a positive case for this claim, and then we defend it from the potential objection that the relevant relation is rather rational determination (Greenberg 2004, (...)
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