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  1. Metaphysical Grounding.Ricki Bliss & Kelly Trogdon - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    General discussion of grounding, including its formal features, relations to other notions, and applications. (Originally published 2014; revised 2021).
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  • Grounding in the Image of Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
    Grounding is often glossed as metaphysical causation, yet no current theory of grounding looks remotely like a plausible treatment of causation. I propose to take the analogy between grounding and causation seriously, by providing an account of grounding in the image of causation, on the template of structural equation models for causation.
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  • Causal Necessitarianism and the Monotonicity Objection.Salim Hirèche - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2597-2627.
    Do causes necessitate their effects? Causal necessitarianism is the view that they do. One major objection—the “monotonicity objection”—runs roughly as follows. For many particular causal relations, we can easily find a possible “blocker”—an additional causal factor that, had it also been there, would have prevented the cause from producing its effect. However—the objection goes on—, if the cause really necessitated its effect in the first place, it would have produced it anyway—despite the blocker. Thus, CN must be false. Though different (...)
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  • An Explanatory Idealist Theory of Grounding.David Mark Kovacs - forthcoming - Noûs.
    How is grounding related to metaphysical explanation? The standard view is that the former somehow “backs”, “undergirds” or “underlies” the latter. This view fits into a general picture of explanation, according to which explanations in general hold in virtue of a certain elite group of “explanatory relations” or “determinative relations” that back them. This paper turns the standard view on its head: grounding doesn't “back” metaphysical explanation but is in an important sense downstream from it. I call this view “grounding (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Rates of Change.David Builes & Trevor Teitel - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):3155-3169.
    Most of our best scientific descriptions of the world employ rates of change of some continuous quantity with respect to some other continuous quantity. For instance, in classical physics we arrive at a particle’s velocity by taking the time-derivative of its position, and we arrive at a particle’s acceleration by taking the time-derivative of its velocity. Because rates of change are defined in terms of other continuous quantities, most think that facts about some rate of change obtain in virtue of (...)
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  • 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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  • Primitive Directionality and Diachronic Grounding.Naoyuki Kajimoto, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2019 - Acta Analytica 35 (2):195-211.
    Eternalists believe that there is no ontological difference between the past, present and future. Thus, a challenge arises: in virtue of what does time have a direction? Some eternalists, Oaklander and Tegtmeier ) argue that the direction of time is primitive. A natural response to positing primitive directionality is the suspicion that said posit is too mysterious to do any explanatory work. The aim of this paper is to relieve primitive directionality of some of its mystery by offering a novel (...)
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  • Grounding Interventionism: Conceptual and Epistemological Challenges.Amanda Bryant - forthcoming - Metaphilosophy.
    Philosophers have recently highlighted substantial affinities between causation and grounding, which has inclined some to import the conceptual and formal resources of causal interventionism into the metaphysics of grounding. The prospect of grounding interventionism raises two important questions: exactly what are grounding interventions, and why should we think they enable knowledge of grounding? This paper will approach these questions by examining how causal interventionists have addressed (or might address) analogous questions and then comparing the available options for grounding interventionism. I (...)
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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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  • A New Argument for the Groundedness of Grounding Facts.Fabrice Correia - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-16.
    Many philosophers have recently been impressed by an argument to the effect that all grounding facts about “derivative entities”—e.g. the facts expressed by the true sentences ‘the fact that Beijing is a concrete entity is grounded in the fact that its parts are concrete’ and ‘the fact that there are cities is grounded in the fact that p’, where ‘p’ is a suitable sentence couched in the language of particle physics—must themselves be grounded. This argument relies on a principle, Purity, (...)
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  • Wildman’s Defense of Sparse Modalism and a Dilemma of Post-Finean Modalism.Jaeho Lee - 2020 - Axiomathes 30 (5):531-547.
    Since K. Fine’s influential criticism of modalism, many philosophers have agreed that we cannot understand the concept of essence with that of modality. However, some philosophers have resisted this mainstream position. In this paper, I examine N. Wildman’s claim that, unlike other versions of modalism, his version of modalism, namely Sparse Modalism can save modalism. I will argue first that if we introduce the notion of grounding into this debates, Wildman’s criticisms of other versions are significantly undermined. Next, I will (...)
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  • New Perspectives in Metaontology: Introduction to the Special Issue.Carlo Rossi & Kyle Mitchell - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):1-5.
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  • Metaphysical and Conceptual Grounding.Robert Smithson - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1501-1525.
    Recently, many philosophers have claimed that the world has an ordered, hierarchical structure, where entities at lower ontological levels are said to metaphysically ground entities at higher ontological levels. Other philosophers have recently claimed that our language has an ordered, hierarchical structure. Semantically primitive sentences are said to conceptually ground less primitive sentences. It’s often emphasized that metaphysical grounding is a relation between things out in the world, not a relation between our sentences. But conflating these relations is easy to (...)
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  • An account of truthmaking.Noël Blas Saenz - 2020 - Synthese 197 (8):3413-3435.
    In this paper, I both propose and discuss a novel account of truthmaking. I begin by showing what truthmaking is not: it is not grounding and it is not correspondence. I then show what truthmaking is by offering an account that appeals both to grounding and what I call ‘deep correspondence’. After I present the account and show that it is an account that unifies, I put it to work by showing how it can overcome an objection to truthmaking, how (...)
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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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  • Metafísica y Moral.Samuele Chilovi - forthcoming - In Ética Filosófica: Concepciones, Problemas, Proyecciones.
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  • Grounding and Dependence.Benjamin Schnieder - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):95-124.
    The paper deals with the notions of grounding and of existential dependence. It is shown that cases of existential dependence seem to be systematically correlated to cases of grounding and hence the question is raised what sort of tie might hold the two notions together so as to account for the observed correlation. The paper focusses on three possible ties between grounding and existential dependence: identity, definition, and grounding. A case for the definitional tie is made.
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  • Grounding-Mechanical Explanation.Kelly Trogdon - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1289-1309.
    Characterization of a form of explanation involving grounding on the model of mechanistic causal explanation.
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  • Grounding, Mental Causation, and Overdetermination.Michael J. Clark & Nathan Wildman - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3723-3733.
    Recently, Kroedel and Schulz have argued that the exclusion problem—which states that certain forms of non-reductive physicalism about the mental are committed to systematic and objectionable causal overdetermination—can be solved by appealing to grounding. Specifically, they defend a principle that links the causal relations of grounded mental events to those of grounding physical events, arguing that this renders mental–physical causal overdetermination unproblematic. Here, we contest Kroedel and Schulz’s result. We argue that their causal-grounding principle is undermotivated, if not outright false. (...)
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  • Social Construction: Big-G Grounding, Small-G Realization.Aaron Griffith - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):241-260.
    The goal of this paper is to make headway on a metaphysics of social construction. In recent work, I’ve argued that social construction should be understood in terms of metaphysical grounding. However, I agree with grounding skeptics like Wilson that bare claims about what grounds what are insufficient for capturing, with fine enough grain, metaphysical dependence structures. To that end, I develop a view on which the social construction of human social kinds is a kind of realization relation. Social kinds, (...)
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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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  • The Causal Metaphor Account of Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan L. Shaheen - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):553-578.
    This paper argues that the semantic facts about ‘because’ are best explained via a metaphorical treatment of metaphysical explanation that treats causal explanation as explanation par excellence. Along the way, it defends a commitment to a unified causal sense of ‘because’ and offers a proprietary explanation of grounding skepticism. With the causal metaphor account of metaphysical explanation on the table, an extended discussion of the relationship between conceptual structure and metaphysics ends with a suggestion that the semantic facts about ‘because’ (...)
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  • Ontological Dependence and Grounding in Aristotle.Phil Corkum - 2016 - Oxford Handbooks Online in Philosophy 1.
    The relation of ontological dependence or grounding, expressed by the terminology of separation and priority in substance, plays a central role in Aristotle’s Categories, Metaphysics, De Anima and elsewhere. The article discusses three current interpretations of this terminology. These are drawn along the lines of, respectively, modal-existential ontological dependence, essential ontological dependence, and grounding or metaphysical explanation. I provide an opinionated introduction to the topic, raising the main interpretative questions, laying out a few of the exegetical and philosophical options that (...)
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  • Ambiguity and Explanation.Jonathan L. Shaheen - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (8):839-866.
    This paper presents evidence that ‘because’ is importantly ambiguous between two closely related senses covering what are usually called causal explanations, on the one hand, and grounding or metaphysical explanations, on the other hand. To this end, it introduces the lexical categories of monosemy, polysemy and homonymy; describes a test for polysemy; and discusses the results of the test when applied to ‘because’. It also shows how to understand so-called hybrid explanations in light of the semantic facts established by 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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  • Do We Need Grounding?Ross P. Cameron - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):382-397.
    Many have been tempted to invoke a primitive notion of grounding to describe the way in which some features of reality give rise to others. Jessica Wilson argues that such a notion is unnecessary to describe the structure of the world: that we can make do with specific dependence relations such as the part–whole relation or the determinate–determinable relation, together with a notion of absolute fundamentality. In this paper I argue that such resources are inadequate to describe the particular ways (...)
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  • No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
    It has recently been suggested that a distinctive metaphysical relation— ‘Grounding’—is ultimately at issue in contexts in which some goings-on are said to hold ‘in virtue of’’, be ‘metaphysically dependent on’, or be ‘nothing over and above’ some others. Grounding is supposed to do good work in illuminating metaphysical dependence. I argue that Grounding is also unsuited to do this work. To start, Grounding alone cannot do this work, for bare claims of Grounding leave open such basic questions as whether (...)
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  • The Unity of Grounding.Selim Berker - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):729-777.
    I argue—contra moderate grounding pluralists such as Kit Fine and more extreme grounding pluralists such as Jessica Wilson—that there is fundamentally only one grounding/in-virtue-of relation. I also argue that this single relation is indispensable for normative theorizing—that we can’t make sense of, for example, the debate over consequentialism without it. It follows from what I argue that there is no metaethically-pure normative ethics.
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  • An Epistemology for Practical Knowledge.Lucy Campbell - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (2):159-177.
    Anscombe thought that practical knowledge – a person’s knowledge of what she is intentionally doing – displays formal differences to ordinary empirical, or ‘speculative’, knowledge. I suggest these differences rest on the fact that practical knowledge involves intention analogously to how speculative knowledge involves belief. But this claim conflicts with the standard conception of knowledge, according to which knowledge is an inherently belief-involving phenomenon. Building on John Hyman’s account of knowledge as the ability to use a fact as a reason, (...)
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  • 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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  • More Grounds for Grounding Nominalism.Alexandre Declos - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (1):49-70.
    In this paper, I examine Peter Schulte’s “Grounding Nominalism” (Schulte, 2018), understood as the claim that first-order properties and relations are grounded in the concrete particulars which instantiate them. While Schulte offered reasons to think that this view is consistent, along with answers to a number of objections, a more straightforward argument for GN is still needed. I take on this task here, by discussing and defending what I call the “argument from abstraction”. The latter, I suggest, offers more grounds (...)
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  • Skeptical Doubts.Kathrin Koslicki - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. London, UK: pp. 164-179.
    This chapter reviews several varieties of grounding skepticism as well as responses that have been proposed by grounding enthusiasts to considerations raised by grounding skeptics. Grounding skeptics, as I conceive of them here, are theorists who belong to one of the following two schools of thought. “Old-school” grounding skeptics doubt the theoretical utility of the grounding idiom by denying one of its presuppositions, viz., that this notion is at least intelligible or coherent. “Second-generation” grounding skeptics call into question the theoretical (...)
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  • In Defense of Substance.Kathrin Koslicki - 2015 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 91 (1):59-80.
    In his “Farewell to Substance: A Differentiated Leave-Taking”, Peter Simons reaches the provocative conclusion that the concept of substance, as it is employed by metaphysicians, has become obsolete, since in the end there may be nothing at all which answers to it. No harm is done, Simons allows, if we continue to retain an everyday notion of substance, as long as we are aware of the limitations of this practice: there is no reason in general to expect that what is (...)
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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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  • Problemas de Metafísica Analítica / Problems in Analytical Metaphysics.Guido Imaguire & Rodrigo Reis Lastra Cid (eds.) - 2020 - Pelotas: Editora da UFPel / UFPel Publisher.
    O desenvolvimento da filosofia acadêmica no Brasil é direcionada, entre vários fatores, pelas investigações dos diversos Grupos de Trabalho (GTs) da Associação Nacional de Pós-Graduação em Filosofia (ANPOF). Esses GTs se dividem de acordo com a temática investigada. O GT de Metafísica Analítica é relativamente novo e ainda tem poucos membros, mas os temas nele trabalhados são variados e todos centrais no debate metafísico contemporâneo internacional. A sua investigação se caracteriza pelo rigor lógico e conceitual com o qual aborda esses (...)
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  • Conceptual (and Hence Mathematical) Explanation, Conceptual Grounding and Proof.Francesca Poggiolesi & Francesco Genco - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-27.
    This paper studies the notions of conceptual grounding and conceptual explanation, with an aim of clarifying the links between them. On the one hand, it analyses complex examples of these two notions that bring to the fore features that are easily overlooked otherwise. On the other hand, it provides a formal framework for modeling both conceptual grounding and conceptual explanation, based on the concept of proof. Inspiration and analogies are drawn with the recent research in metaphysics on the pair metaphysical (...)
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  • Fundamentality From Grounding Trees.Fabrice Correia - forthcoming - Synthese:1-30.
    I provide and defend two natural accounts of fundamentality for facts that do justice to the idea that the “degree of fundamentality” enjoyed by a fact is a matter of how far, from a ground-theoretic perspective, the fact is from the ungrounded facts.
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  • Do Identity and Distinctness Facts Threaten the PSR?Erica Shumener - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1023-1041.
    One conception of the Principle of Sufficient Reason maintains that every fact is metaphysically explained. There are different ways to challenge this version of the PSR; one type of challenge involves pinpointing a specific set of facts that resist metaphysical explanation. Certain identity and distinctness facts seem to constitute such a set. For example, we can imagine a scenario in which we have two qualitatively identical spheres, Castor and Pollux. Castor is distinct from Pollux but it is unclear what could (...)
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  • 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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  • Explaining Contingent Facts.Fatema Amijee - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1163-1181.
    I argue against a principle that is widely taken to govern metaphysical explanation. This is the principle that no necessary facts can, on their own, explain a contingent fact. I then show how this result makes available a response to a longstanding objection to the Principle of Sufficient Reason—the objection that the Principle of Sufficient Reason entails that the world could not have been otherwise.
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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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  • Curbing Enthusiasm About Grounding.Jason Turner - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):366-396.
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  • Collective Essence and Monotonicity.Justin Zylstra - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):1087-1101.
    This paper focuses on the concept of collective essence: that some truths are essential to many items taken together. For example, that it is essential to conjunction and negation that they are truth-functionally complete. The concept of collective essence is one of the main innovations of recent work on the theory of essence. In a sense, this innovation is natural, since we make all sorts of plural predications. It stands to reason that there should be a distinction between essential and (...)
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  • Grounding and Metaphysical Explanation: It’s Complicated.Anna-Sofia Maurin - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1573-1594.
    Grounding theorists insist that grounding and explanation are intimately related. This claim could be understood as saying either that grounding ‘inherits’ its properties from explanation or it could be interpreted as saying that grounding plays an important—possibly an indispensable—role in metaphysical explanation. Or both. I argue that saying that grounding ‘inherits’ its properties from explanation can only be justified if grounding is explanatory by nature, but that this view is untenable. We ought therefore to be ‘separatists’ and view grounding and (...)
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  • Laws and Their Instances.Nina Emery - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1535-1561.
    I present an argument for the view that laws ground their instances. I then outline two important consequences that follow if we accept the conclusion of this argument. First, the claim that laws ground their instances threatens to undermine a prominent recent attempt to make sense of the explanatory power of Humean laws by distinguishing between metaphysical and scientific explanation. And second, the claim that laws ground their instances gives rise to a novel argument against the view that grounding relations (...)
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  • A Psychologistic Theory of Metaphysical Explanation.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2777-2802.
    Many think that sentences about what metaphysically explains what are true iff there exist grounding relations. This suggests that sceptics about grounding should be error theorists about metaphysical explanation. We think there is a better option: a theory of metaphysical explanation which offers truth conditions for claims about what metaphysically explains what that are not couched in terms of grounding relations, but are instead couched in terms of, inter alia, psychological facts. We do not argue that our account is superior (...)
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  • The Essence of Grounding.Justin Zylstra - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):5137-5152.
    I develop a reduction of grounding to essence. My approach is to think about the relation between grounding and essence on the model of a certain conceptof existential dependence. I extend this concept of existential dependence in a coupleof ways and argue that these extensions provide a reduction of grounding to essenceif we use sorted variables that range over facts and take it that for a fact to obtain is forit to exist. I then use the account to resolve various (...)
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  • Explanatory Asymmetries, Ground, and Ontological Dependence.Lina Jansson - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (1):17-44.
    The notions of ground and ontological dependence have made a prominent resurgence in much of contemporary metaphysics. However, objections have been raised. On the one hand, objections have been raised to the need for distinctively metaphysical notions of ground and ontological dependence. On the other, objections have been raised to the usefulness of adding ground and ontological dependence to the existing store of other metaphysical notions. Even the logical properties of ground and ontological dependence are under debate. In this article, (...)
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  • Where Grounding and Causation Part Ways: Comments on Schaffer.Kathrin Koslicki - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):101-112.
    Does the notion of ground, as it has recently been employed by metaphysicians, point to a single unified phenomenon? Jonathan Schaffer holds that the phenomenon of grounding exhibits the unity characteristic of a single genus. In defense of this hypothesis, Schaffer proposes to take seriously the analogy between causation and grounding. More specifically, Schaffer argues that both grounding and causation are best approached through a single formalism, viz., that utilized by structural equation models of causation. In this paper, I present (...)
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  • Truths Qua Grounds.Ghislain Guigon - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):99-125.
    A number of philosophers have recently found it congenial to talk in terms of grounding. Grounding discourse features grounding sentences that are answers to questions about what grounds what. The goal of this article is to explore and defend a counterpart-theoretic interpretation of grounding discourse. We are familiar with David Lewis's applications of the method of counterpart theory to de re modal discourse. Counterpart-theoretic interpretations of de re modal idioms and grounding sentences share similar motivations, mechanisms, and applications. I shall (...)
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