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Metaphysical Interdependence

In Mark Jago (ed.), Reality Making. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 38-56 (2016)

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  1. Grounding, infinite regress, and the thomistic cosmological argument.Thomas Oberle - 2022 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 92 (3):147-166.
    A prominent Thomistic cosmological argument maintains that an infinite regress of causes, which exhibits a certain pattern of ontological dependence among its members, would be vicious and so must terminate in a first member. Interestingly, Jonathan Schaffer offers a similar argument in the contemporary grounding literature for the view called metaphysical foundationalism. I consider the striking similarities between both arguments and conclude that both are unsuccessful for the same reason. I argue this negative result gives us indirect reason to consider (...)
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  • A grounding physicalist solution to the causal exclusion problem.Robin Stenwall - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11775-11795.
    Remember how Kim Mental causation, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1993b) used to argue against non-reductive physicalism to the effect that it cannot accommodate the causal efficacy of the mental? The argument was that if physicalists accept the causal closure of the physical, they are faced with an exclusion problem. In the original version of the argument, the dependence holding between the mental and the physical was cashed out in terms of supervenience. Due to the work or Fine and others, we have (...)
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  • New Frontiers in Ground, Essence, and Modality: Introduction.Donnchadh Ó Conaill & Tuomas Tahko - 2021 - Synthese 198 (6):1219-1230.
    Ground, essence, and modality seem to have something to do with each other. Can we provide unified foundations for ground and essence, or should we treat each as primitives? Can modality be grounded in essence, or should essence be expressed in terms of modality? Does grounding entail necessitation? Are the notions of ground and essence univocal? This volume focuses on the links—or lack thereof—between these three notions, as well as the foundations of ground, essence, and modality more generally, bringing together (...)
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  • 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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  • Varieties of Metaphysical Coherentism.Jan Swiderski - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-26.
    According to metaphysical coherentism, grounding relations form an interconnected system in which things ground each other and nothing is ungrounded. This potentially viable view’s logical territory remains largely unexplored. In this paper, I describe that territory by articulating four varieties of metaphysical coherentism. I do not argue for any variety in particular. Rather, I aim to show that not all issues which might be raised against coherentism will be equally problematic for all the versions of that view, which features far (...)
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  • The harmony of grounding.Sam Baron, Kristie Miller & Jonathan Tallant - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (11):3421-3446.
    Mereological harmony is the idea that the mereological structure of objects mirrors the mereological structure of locations. Grounding harmony is the idea that there is a similar mirroring between the grounding structure of objects and locations. Our goal in this paper is exploratory: we introduce and then explore two notions of grounding harmony: locative and structural. We outline potential locative and structural harmony principles for grounding, and show which of these principles may entail, or be entailed by, principles of mereological (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Grounding and the Epistemic Regress Problem.Robert Weston Siscoe - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    Modal metaphysics consumed much of the philosophical discussion at the turn of the century, yielding a number of epistemological insights. Modal analyses were applied within epistemology, yielding sensitivity and safety theories of knowledge as well as counterfactual accounts of the basing relation. The contemporary conversation has now turned to a new metaphysical notion – grounding – opening the way to a fresh wave of insights by bringing grounding into epistemology. In this paper, I attempt one such application, making sense of (...)
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  • Cosmic Interdependence: Heraclitus on Grounding.Richard Neels - 2021 - Ancient Philosophy Today 3 (1):30-53.
    Are there any metaphysically basic (i.e., absolutely fundamental) entities in the cosmos on which all the other entities in the cosmos depend? If not, how are the various entities in the cosmos related to each other in terms of relative fundamentality? These questions have been of interest since the birth of philosophy. In this paper I argue that, for the early Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, there are no metaphysically basic entities. Rather, 1) the various entities in the cosmos are metaphysically interdependent (...)
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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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  • Collective Abstraction.Jon Erling Litland - 2022 - Philosophical Review 131 (4):453-497.
    This paper develops a novel theory of abstraction—what we call collective abstraction. The theory solves a notorious problem for noneliminative structuralism. The noneliminative structuralist holds that in addition to various isomorphic systems there is a pure structure that can be abstracted from each of these systems; but existing accounts of abstraction fail for nonrigid systems like the complex numbers. The problem with the existing accounts is that they attempt to define a unique abstraction operation. The theory of collective abstraction instead (...)
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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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  • Inverse functionalism and the individuation of powers.David Yates - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4525-4550.
    In the pure powers ontology (PPO), basic physical properties have wholly dispositional essences. PPO has clear advantages over categoricalist ontologies, which suffer from familiar epistemological and metaphysical problems. However, opponents argue that because it contains no qualitative properties, PPO lacks the resources to individuate powers, and generates a regress. The challenge for those who take such arguments seriously is to introduce qualitative properties without reintroducing the problems that PPO was meant to solve. In this paper, I distinguish the core claim (...)
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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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  • Making Things Up, by Karen Bennett. [REVIEW]Alastair Wilson - 2019 - Mind 128 (510):588-600.
    Making Things Up, by Karen Bennett. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. xi + 260.
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  • Metaphysical Causation.Alastair Wilson - 2018 - Noûs 52 (4):723-751.
    There is a systematic and suggestive analogy between grounding and causation. In my view, this analogy is no coincidence. Grounding and causation are alike because grounding is a type of causation: metaphysical causation. In this paper I defend the identification of grounding with metaphysical causation, drawing on the causation literature to explore systematic connections between grounding and metaphysical dependence counterfactuals, and I outline a non-reductive counterfactual theory of grounding along interventionist lines.
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  • The Essences of Fundamental Properties.Jennifer Wang - 2019 - Metaphysics 2 (1):40-54.
    There is a puzzle concerning the essences of fundamental entities that arises from considerations about essence, on one hand, and fundamentality, on the other. The Essence-Dependence Link (EDL) says that if x figures in the essence of y, then y is dependent upon x. EDL is prima facie plausible in many cases, especially those involving derivative entities. But consider the property negative charge. A negatively charged object exhibits certain behaviors that a positively charged object does not: it moves away from (...)
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  • Nominalist dispositional essentialism.Lisa Vogt - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    Dispositional Essentialism, as commonly conceived, consists in the claims that at least some of the fundamental properties essentially confer certain causal-nomological roles on their bearers, and that these properties give rise to the natural modalities. As such, the view is generally taken to be committed to a realist conception of properties as either universals or tropes, and to be thus incompatible with nominalism as understood in the strict sense. Pace this common assumption of the ontological import of Dispositional Essentialism, the (...)
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  • Grounding theories of powers.Matthew Tugby - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):11187-11216.
    Necessitarianism, as we shall use the term, is the view that natural properties and causal powers are necessarily connected in some way. In recent decades the most popular forms of necessitarianism have been the anti-Humean powers-based theories of properties, such as dispositional essentialism and the identity theory. These versions of necessitarianism have come under fire in recent years and I believe it is time for necessitarians to develop a new approach. In this paper I identify unexplored ways of positing metaphysically (...)
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  • Setting the story straight: fictionalism about grounding.Naomi Thompson - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):343-361.
    This paper explores a middle way between realism and eliminativism about grounding. Grounding-talk is intelligible and useful, but it fails to pick out grounding relations that exist or obtain in reality. Instead, grounding-talk allows us to convey facts about what metaphysically explains what, and about the worldly dependence relations that give rise to those explanations.
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  • Holes in Spacetime: Some Neglected Essentials.Trevor Teitel - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (7):353-389.
    The hole argument purports to show that all spacetime theories of a certain form are indeterministic, including the General Theory of Relativity. The argument has given rise to an industry of searching for a metaphysics of spacetime that delivers the right modal implications to rescue determinism. In this paper, I first argue that certain prominent extant replies to the hole argument—namely, those that appeal to an essentialist doctrine about spacetime—fail to deliver the requisite modal implications. As part of my argument, (...)
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  • Essence and Cause: Making Something Be What It Is.Riin Sirkel - 2018 - Discipline Filosofiche 28 (1):89-112.
    Aristotle frequently describes essence as a “cause” or “explanation”, thus ascribing to essence some sort of causal or explanatory role. This explanatory role is often explicated by scholars in terms of essence “making the thing be what it is” or “making it the very thing that it is”. I argue that this is problematic, at least on the assumption that “making” expresses an explanatory relation, since it violates certain formal features of explanation. I then consider whether Aristotle is vulnerable 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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  • Grounds and ‘Grounds’.Bradley Rettler - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (5):631-655.
    In this paper, I offer a new theory of grounding. The theory has it that grounding is a job description that is realized by different properties in different contexts. Those properties play the grounding role contingently, and grounding is the property that plays the grounding role essentially. On this theory, grounding is monistic, but ‘grounding’ refers to different relations in different contexts. First, I argue against Kit Fine’s monist univocalism. Next, I argue against Jessica Wilson’s pluralist multivocalism. Finally, I introduce (...)
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  • Grounding and Metaphysical Explanation.Naomi Thompson - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (3):395-402.
    Attempts to elucidate grounding are often made by connecting grounding to metaphysical explanation, but the notion of metaphysical explanation is itself opaque, and has received little attention in the literature. We can appeal to theories of explanation in the philosophy of science to give us a characterization of metaphysical explanation, but this reveals a tension between three theses: that grounding relations are objective and mind-independent; that there are pragmatic elements to metaphysical explanation; and that grounding and metaphysical explanation share a (...)
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  • In Defense of the (Moderate) 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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  • New powers for Dispositionalism.Giacomo Giannini - 2022 - Synthese 200 (384):1-30.
    Establishing Dispositionalism as a viable theory of modality requires the successful fulfilment of two tasks: showing that all modal truths can be derived from truths about actual powers, and offering a suitable metaphysics of powers. These two tasks are intertwined: difficulties in one can affect the chances of success in the other. In this paper, I generalise an objection to Dispositionalism by Jessica Leech and argue that the theory in its present form is ill-suited to account for de re truths (...)
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  • Fundamental Yet Grounded.Joaquim Giannotti - 2021 - Theoria 87 (3):578-599.
    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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  • Slot Theory and Slotite Theory.Nikk Effingham - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (1):17-35.
    ‘Instantiation-directed slot theorists’ believe that properties/relations have slots which are filled by their instances/relata e.g., where Abigail is taller than Bronia, there are two slots in the relation Taller Than such that Abigail fills the first slot and Bronia fills the second. This crude statement of the theory runs into ‘The Problem of Filling’, whereby a natural understanding of the relation between slots, filling, and instantiation leads to absurd results. This paper examines a variety of solutions to that problem, one (...)
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  • Against Mereological Nominalism: Reply to Effingham.Javier Cumpa & Alexandre Declos - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8991-9011.
    Mereological Nominalism, as traditionally understood, states that properties are mereological wholes and that instantiation is mereological. Thus defined, this view faces a number of well-known issues, which make it virtually untenable. Recently, Effingham :160–185, 2020) has offered an alternative account of Mereological Nominalism, which intends to avoid these problems by accepting while rejecting. In this paper, we argue that this theory is not viable for two main reasons. First, it faces a threat of circularity. Second, the various non-mereological accounts of (...)
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  • Mutual Indwelling.Aaron Cotnoir - 2017 - Faith and Philosophy 34 (2):123-151.
    Perichoresis, or “mutual indwelling,” is a crucial concept in Trinitarian theology. But the philosophical underpinnings of the concept are puzzling. According to ordinary conceptions of “indwelling” or “being in,” it is incoherent to think that two entities could be in each other. In this paper, I propose a mereological way of understanding “being in,” by analogy with standard examples in contemporary metaphysics. I argue that this proposal does not conflict with the doctrine of divine simplicity, but instead affirms it. I (...)
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  • Metaphysical Foundationalism and Theoretical Unification.Andrew Brenner - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    Some facts ground other facts. Some fact is fundamental iff there are no other facts which partially or fully ground that fact. According to metaphysical foundationalism, every non-fundamental fact is fully grounded by some fundamental fact. In this paper I examine and defend some neglected considerations which might be made in favor of metaphysical foundationalism. Building off of work by Ross Cameron, I suggest that foundationalist theories are more unified than, and so in one important respect simpler than, non-foundationalist theories, (...)
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  • Could a middle level be the most fundamental?Sara Bernstein - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1065-1078.
    Debates over what is fundamental assume that what is most fundamental must be either a “top” level (roughly, the biggest or highest-level thing), or a “bottom” level (roughly, the smallest or lowest-level things). Here I sketch an alternative to top-ism and bottom-ism, the view that a middle level could be the most fundamental, and argue for its plausibility. I then suggest that the view satisfies the desiderata of asymmetry, irreflexivity, transitivity, and well-foundedness of fundamentality, that the view has explanatory power (...)
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  • Emergencia y reducción.José Tomás Alvarado - 2019 - Filosofia Unisinos 20 (1).
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  • Panpsychism and Cosmopsychism.Khai Wager - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    This collection of papers centres around a novel approach to the problem of phenomenal consciousness called cosmopsychism. A simple version of cosmopsychism says that the cosmos as a whole is conscious. In this collection, I focus on a comparison between arguably the most promising versions of cosmopsychism and panpsychism, called constitutive cosmopsychism and constitutive panpsychism, respectively. -/- The first paper, ‘A Blueprint for Cosmopsychism’ offers a blueprint for a cosmopsychist approach, comparing it to the panpsychist approach. It highlights how following (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Necessity First.Alastair Wilson - 2022 - Argumenta 14.
    My topic in this paper is the relationships of metaphysical priority which might hold between the different alethic modal statuses—necessity, contingency, possibility and impossibility. In particular, I am interested in exploring the view that the necessity of necessities is ungrounded while the contingency of contingencies is grounded—a scenario I call ‘necessity first’. I will explicate and scrutinize the contrast between necessity first and its ‘contingency first’ contrary, and then compare both views with ‘multimodal’ and ‘amodal’ alternatives, drawing on David Lewis’s (...)
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  • Interpreting Interdependence in Fazang's Metaphysics.Nicholaos Jones - 2022 - Journal of East Asian Philosophy 2:35-52.
    This paper examines the metaphysics of interdependence in the work of the Chinese Buddhist Fazang. The dominant approach of this metaphysics interprets it as a species of metaphysical coherentism wherein everything depends upon everything else, no individual is more fundamental than any other, and so reality itself is non-well-founded in the sense that chains of dependence never terminate. I argue, to the contrary, that Fazang's metaphysics is better interpreted as a novel variety of foundationalism. I argue, as well, using set- (...)
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  • Grounding and Creaturely Participation in God.Ross Inman - forthcoming - In Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics and the Theology of Nature.
    This chapter aims to explore the intersection of Christian theism, a neo-Aristotelian gloss on metaphysical grounding, and creaturely participation in God. In section one, I aim to de- velop several core tenets at the heart of a theistic participatory ontology as it is found in the Christian tradition, what I call minimal participatory ontology. In section two, I examine the contemporary notion of metaphysical grounding, namely the formal and structure features of the grounding relation, and offer a grounding-theoretic framework for (...)
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  • 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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  • Physicalism.Amanda Bryant - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York: Routledge. pp. 484-500.
    This chapter considers potential applications of grounding to the formulation of physicalism. I begin with an overview of competing conceptions of the physical and of physicalism. I then consider whether grounding physicalism overcomes well-known and seemingly fatal problems with supervenience physicalism. I conclude that while grounding physicalism improves upon supervenience physicalism in certain respects, it arguably falls victim to some of the same difficulties.
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  • 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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  • Metafísica para Juristas.Samuele Chilovi - 2022 - In D. Lagier & G. Lariguet (eds.), Filosofía. Una Introducción para Juristas. Madrid: Trotta.
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  • Metafísica y Moral.Samuele Chilovi - forthcoming - In Ética Filosófica: Concepciones, Problemas, Proyecciones.
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  • Dispositional Essentialism and Ontic Structural Realism - a hybrid view.Julie Godfrey - 2020 - Dissertation, Durham University
    Dispositional Essentialism and Ontic Structural Realism aim to account for modality. Dispositional Essentialism takes properties to account for laws. In particular, it takes determinate properties to account for laws of nature, which are determinable. Ontic Structural Realism does the reverse. According to Steven French, Ontic Structural Realism takes laws and symmetries to be part of the fundamental structure of the world. Determinate properties are “dependent” on laws. The core difference between Dispositional Essentialism and Ontic Structural Realism’s accounts of modality is (...)
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  • Fundamental Yet Ontologically Dependent.Joaquim Giannotti - manuscript
    The notion of fundamentality is supposed to play an important role in philosophical inquiry and scientific theorising. Yet there is no consensus on how to formulate it in precise terms. According to a promising view, fundamentality is a form of ontological independence. This view has the merit of capturing a natural connection between fundamentality and ontological dependence. However, it has been recently argued that it is possible that there are fundamental and yet ontologically dependent entities; therefore, we should not characterise (...)
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  • From nature to grounding.Mark Jago - 2018 - In Ricki Leigh Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 199-216.
    Grounding is a powerful metaphysical concept; yet there is widespread scepticism about the intelligibility of the notion. In this paper, I propose an account of an entity’s nature or essence, which I then use to provide grounding conditions for that entity. I claim that an understanding of an entity’s nature, together with an account of how logically complex entities are grounded, provides all we need to understand how that entity is grounded. This approach not only allows us to say what (...)
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