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  1. Grounding, Quantifiers, and Paradoxes.Francesco A. Genco, Francesca Poggiolesi & Lorenzo Rossi - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (6):1417-1448.
    The notion of grounding is usually conceived as an objective and explanatory relation. It connects two relata if one—the ground—determines or explains the other—the consequence. In the contemporary literature on grounding, much effort has been devoted to logically characterize the formal aspects of grounding, but a major hard problem remains: defining suitable grounding principles for universal and existential formulae. Indeed, several grounding principles for quantified formulae have been proposed, but all of them are exposed to paradoxes in some very natural (...)
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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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  • Explanation by Status as Empty-Base Explanation.Yannic Kappes - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2575-2595.
    This paper explores the practice of explanation by status, in which a truth with a certain status is supposed to be explained by its having that status. It first investigates whether such explanations are possible. Having found existing accounts of the practice wanting, it then argues for a novel account of explanation by status as empty-base explanation. The latter notion captures a certain limiting case of ordinary explanation so that according to the empty-base account, explanation by status can be fruitfully (...)
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  • Grounding and Supplementation.T. S. Dixon - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (2):375-389.
    Partial grounding is often thought to be formally analogous to proper parthood in certain ways. Both relations are typically understood to be asymmetric and transitive, and as such, are thought to be strict partial orders. But how far does this analogy extend? Proper parthood is often said to obey the weak supplementation principle. There is reason to wonder whether partial grounding, or, more precisely, proper partial grounding, obeys a ground-theoretic version of this principle. In what follows, I argue that it (...)
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  • Ground.Michael J. Raven - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (5):322-333.
    This essay focuses on a recently prominent notion of ground which is distinctive for how it links metaphysics to explanation. Ground is supposed to serve both as the common factor in diverse in virtue of questions as well as the structuring relation in the project of explaining how some phenomena are “built” from more fundamental phenomena. My aim is to provide an opinionated synopsis of this notion of ground without engaging with others. Ground, so understood, generally resists illumination by appeal (...)
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  • Ground and Grain.Peter Fritz - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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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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  • Grounding Rules for (Relevant) Implication.Francesca Poggiolesi - 2020 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 31 (1):26-55.
    In Poggiolesi [. Grounding principles for implication. Synthese, 1–28], a definition of the notion of grounding in the background of a relevant framework has been introduced; this...
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  • 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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  • Explanation impossible.Sam Baron & Mark Colyvan - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):559-576.
    We argue that explanations appealing to logical impossibilities are genuine explanations. Our defense is based on a certain picture of impossibility. Namely, that there are impossibilities and that the impossibilities have structure. Assuming this broad picture of impossibility we defend the genuineness of explanations that appeal to logical impossibilities against three objections. First, that such explanations are at odds with the perceived conceptual connection between explanation and counterfactual dependence. Second, that there are no genuinely contrastive why-questions that involve logical impossibilities (...)
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  • Grounding from a Syntactic Point of View: A Sentential-Logical Approach.Alexander Zimmermann, Reinhard Kleinknecht & Georg J. W. Dorn - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-30.
    We define the term \a set T of sentential-logical formulae grounds a sentential-logical formula A from a syntactic point of view\ in such a way that A is a syntactic sentential-logical consequence of T, and specific additional syntactic requirements regarding T and A are fulfilled. These additional requirements are developed strictly within the syntactics of sentential-logical languages, the three most important being new, namely: to be atomically minimal, to be minimal in degree, and not to be conjunction-like. Our approach is (...)
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  • Ground-Theoretic Equivalence.Stephan Krämer - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1643-1683.
    Say that two sentences are ground-theoretically equivalent iff they are interchangeable salva veritate in grounding contexts. Notoriously, ground-theoretic equivalence is a hyperintensional matter: even logically equivalent sentences may fail to be interchangeable in grounding contexts. Still, there seem to be some substantive, general principles of ground-theoretic equivalence. For example, it seems plausible that any sentences of the form A∧B\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$A \wedge B$$\end{document} and B∧A\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$B (...)
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  • Grounding and the Explanatory Role of Generalizations.Stefan Roski - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (8):1985-2003.
    According to Hempel’s influential theory of explanation, explaining why some a is G consists in showing that the truth that a is G follows from a law-like generalization to the effect that all Fs are G together with the initial condition that a is F. While Hempel’s overall account is now widely considered to be deeply flawed, the idea that some generalizations play the explanatory role that the account predicts is still often endorsed by contemporary philosophers of science. This idea, (...)
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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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  • Causal Grounds for Negative Truths.Robin Stenwall - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):2973-2989.
    Among truthmaker theorists it is generally thought that we are not able to use the entailment principle to ground negative truths. But these theorists usually only discuss truthmakers for truth-functional complexes, thereby overlooking the fact that there are non-truth-functional complexes whose truth values are not solely determined by the truth or falsity of their atomic propositions. And once we expand the class of truths that require their own bespoke truthmakers to also include these, there is no reason to exempt negative (...)
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  • Does the Counterfactual Theory of Explanation Apply to Non-Causal Explanations in Metaphysics?Alexander Reutlinger - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-18.
    In the recent philosophy of explanation, a growing attention to and discussion of non-causal explanations has emerged, as there seem to be compelling examples of non-causal explanations in the sciences, in pure mathematics, and in metaphysics. I defend the claim that the counterfactual theory of explanation (CTE) captures the explanatory character of both non-causal scientific and metaphysical explanations. According to the CTE, scientific and metaphysical explanations are explanatory by virtue of revealing counterfactual dependencies between the explanandum and the explanans. I (...)
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  • THE TRANSCENDENTAL METAPHYSIC OF G.F. STOUT: HIS DEFENCE AND ELABORATION OF TROPE THEORY.Fraser Macbride - 2014 - In A. Reboul (ed.), Mind, Value and Metaphysics: Papers Dedicated to Kevin Mulligan. Springer. pp. 141-58.
    G. F. Stout is famous as an early twentieth century proselyte for abstract particulars, or tropes as they are now often called. He advanced his version of trope theory to avoid the excesses of nominalism on the one hand and realism on the other. But his arguments for tropes have been widely misconceived as metaphysical, e.g. by Armstrong. In this paper, I argue that Stout’s fundamental arguments for tropes were ideological and epistemological rather than metaphysical. He moulded his scheme to (...)
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  • A Logic for Best Explanations.Jared Millson & Christian Straßer - 2019 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 29 (2):184-231.
    Efforts to formalize qualitative accounts of inference to the best explanation (IBE) confront two obstacles: the imprecise nature of such accounts and the unusual logical properties that explanations exhibit, such as contradiction-intolerance and irreflexivity. This paper aims to surmount these challenges by utilising a new, more precise theory that treats explanations as expressions that codify defeasible inferences. To formalise this account, we provide a sequent calculus in which IBE serves as an elimination rule for a connective that exhibits many of (...)
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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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  • In Defence of a Logic for ‘Because’.B. Schnieder - 2016 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 26 (2):160-171.
    The present author developed a calculus for the logic of ‘because’. In a recent paper in this journal, it has been claimed that the central inference rules for the logic are invalid and that the intuition upon which the rules are based is not accounted for. This note criticises these arguments and presents an independent argument in favour of the rules used in the logic.
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  • Reasons Why Not - On the Positive Grounds of Negative Truths.Julio De Rizzo - 2019 - Stuttgart, Deutschland: Metzler Verlag/ Springer.
    Many philosophers have shown sympathy to the thought that reality is fundamentally positive. Julio De Rizzo formulates this idea precisely by means of the notion of grounding, and examines how the resulting thesis fares with respect to three much discussed classes of negative truths, namely that of negative predications, that of negative causal reports, and that of negative existential truths. By shedding light on the issues advocates of the thesis have to deal with, this work shows the positivist account to (...)
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  • Esistenza e Persistenza.Damiano Costa - 2018 - Milan, IT: Mimesis.
    Nel nostro universo, qualunque cosa, dalla più piccola particella alla più smisurata galassia, esiste in un qualche tempo e in un qualche luogo. Ma cosa significa esistere in un qualche tempo? Il fenomeno dell’esistenza temporale gioca un ruolo fondamentale nella comprensione dell’universo e di noi stessi quali creature temporali. Eppure è un fenomeno profondamente misterioso. L’esistenza temporale è da intendersi come una relazione? Che legami ha con l’esistenza dell’ontologia? L’esistenza temporale e la localizzazione spaziale sono due fenomeni essenzialmente differenti o (...)
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  • Normative Explanation Unchained.Pekka Väyrynen - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (2):278-297.
    [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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  • Upward Grounding.T. Scott Dixon - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):48-78.
    Realists about universals face a question about grounding. Are things how they are because they instantiate the universals they do? Or do they instantiate those universals because they are how they are? Take Ebenezer Scrooge. You can say that Scrooge is greedy because he instantiates greediness, or you can say that Scrooge instantiates greediness because he is greedy. I argue that there is reason to prefer the latter to the former. I develop two arguments for the view. I also respond (...)
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  • Grounding Principles for (Relevant) Implication.Francesca Poggiolesi - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7351-7376.
    Most of the logics of grounding that have so far been proposed contain grounding axioms, or grounding rules, for the connectives of conjunction, disjunction and negation, but little attention has been dedicated to the implication connective. The present paper aims at repairing this situation by proposing adequate grounding principles for relevant implication. Because of the interaction between negation and implication, new grounding principles concerning negation will also arise.
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  • Singular Troubles with Singleton Socrates.Stephan Krämer - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (1):40-56.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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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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  • HYPE: A System of Hyperintensional Logic.Hannes Leitgeb - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 48 (2):305-405.
    This article introduces, studies, and applies a new system of logic which is called ‘HYPE’. In HYPE, formulas are evaluated at states that may exhibit truth value gaps and truth value gluts. Simple and natural semantic rules for negation and the conditional operator are formulated based on an incompatibility relation and a partial fusion operation on states. The semantics is worked out in formal and philosophical detail, and a sound and complete axiomatization is provided both for the propositional and the (...)
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  • Why Pure Mathematical Truths Are Metaphysically Necessary: A Set-Theoretic Explanation.Hannes Leitgeb - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):3113-3120.
    Pure mathematical truths are commonly thought to be metaphysically necessary. Assuming the truth of pure mathematics as currently pursued, and presupposing that set theory serves as a foundation of pure mathematics, this article aims to provide a metaphysical explanation of why pure mathematics is metaphysically necessary.
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  • The Grounding of Identities.Lorenzo Azzano & Massimiliano Carrara - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-10.
    A popular stance amongst philosophers is one according to which, in Lewis’ words, “identity is utterly simple and unproblematic”. Building from Lewis’ famous passage on the matter, we reconstruct, and then criticize, an argument to the conclusion that identities cannot be grounded. With the help of relatively uncontroversial assumption concerning identity facts, we show that not all identities are equi-fundamental, and, on the contrary, some appear to be provided potential grounding bases using two-level identity criteria. Further potential grounding bases for (...)
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  • Metaphysical explanations and the counterfactual theory of explanation.Stefan Roski - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1971-1991.
    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 :239-256, 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 (...)
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  • A Minimality Constraint on Grounding.Jonas Werner - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (5):1153-1168.
    It is widely acknowledged that some truths or facts don’t have a minimal full ground [see e.g. Fine ]. Every full ground of them contains a smaller full ground. In this paper I’ll propose a minimality constraint on immediate grounding and I’ll show that it doesn’t fall prey to the arguments that tell against an unqualified minimality constraint. Furthermore, the assumption that all cases of grounding can be understood in terms of immediate grounding will be defended. This assumption guarantees that (...)
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  • Without Reason?Benjamin Schnieder & Alex Steinberg - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (4):523-541.
    The argument for modal collapse is partly responsible for the widespread rejection of the so-called Principle of Sufficient Reason in recent times. This paper discusses the PSR against the background of the recent debate about grounding and develops principled reasons for rejecting the argument from modal collapse.
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  • Bolzano and Kim on Grounding and Unification.Stefan Roski - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2971-2999.
    It is sometimes mentioned that Bernard Bolzano’s work on grounding anticipates many insights of the current debate on metaphysical grounding. The present paper discusses a certain part of Bolzano’s theory of grounding that has thus far not been discussed in the literature. This part does not so much anticipate what are nowadays common assumptions about grounding, but rather goes beyond them. Central to the discussion will be a thesis of Bolzano’s by which he tries to establish a connection between grounding (...)
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  • The Consequence Argument Ungrounded.Marco Hausmann - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4931-4950.
    Peter van Inwagen’s original formulation of the Consequence Argument employed an inference rule that was shown to be invalid given van Inwagen’s interpretation of the modal operators in the Consequence Argument. In response, van Inwagen recently suggested a revised interpretation of his modal operators. Following up on a debate between Blum and Schnieder, I analyze van Inwagen’s revised interpretation in terms of explanatory notions and I argue that van Inwagen faces a dilemma: he either has to admit that beta entails (...)
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  • On Constructing a Logic for the Notion of Complete and Immediate Formal Grounding.Francesca Poggiolesi - 2018 - Synthese 195 (3):1231-1254.
    In Poggiolesi we have introduced a rigorous definition of the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding; in the present paper our aim is to construct a logic for the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding based on that definition. Our logic will have the form of a calculus of natural deduction, will be proved to be sound and complete and will allow us to have fine-grained grounding principles.
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  • Towards a Theory of Ground-Theoretic Content.Stephan Krämer - 2016 - Synthese:1-30.
    A lot of research has recently been done on the topic of ground, and in particular on the logic of ground. According to a broad consensus in that debate, ground is hyperintensional in the sense that even logically equivalent truths may differ with respect to what grounds them, and what they ground. This renders pressing the question of what we may take to be the ground-theoretic content of a true statement, i.e. that aspect of the statement’s overall content to which (...)
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  • An Impure Logic of Representational Grounding.Fabrice Correia - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (5):507-538.
    I give a semantic characterisation of a system for the logic of grounding similar to the system introduced by Kit Fine in his “Guide to Ground”, as well as a semantic characterisation of a variant of that system which excludes the possibility of what Fine calls ‘zero-grounding’.
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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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  • Hyperintensional Metaphysics.Daniel Nolan - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (1):149-160.
    In the last few decades of the twentieth century there was a revolution in metaphysics: the intensional revolution. Many metaphysicians rejected the doctrine, associated with Quine and Davidson, that extensional analyses and theoretical resources were the only acceptable ones. Metaphysicians embraced tools like modal and counterfactual analyses, claims of modal and counterfactual dependence, and entities such as possible worlds and intensionally individuated properties and relations. The twenty-first century is seeing a hypterintensional revolution. Theoretical tools in common use carve more finely (...)
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  • Explanation by Induction?Miguel Hoeltje, Benjamin Schnieder & Alex Steinberg - 2013 - Synthese 190 (3):509-524.
    Philosophers of mathematics commonly distinguish between explanatory and non-explanatory proofs. An important subclass of mathematical proofs are proofs by induction. Are they explanatory? This paper addresses the question, based on general principles about explanation. First, a recent argument for a negative answer is discussed and rebutted. Second, a case is made for a qualified positive take on the issue.
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  • Fine's Trilemma and the Reality of Tensed Facts.Roberto Loss - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (3):209-217.
    Fine (2005, 2006) has presented a ‘trilemma’ concerning the tense-realist idea that reality is constituted by tensed facts. According to Fine, there are only three ways out of the trilemma, consisting in what he takes to be the three main families of tense-realism: ‘presentism’, ‘(external) relativism’, and ‘fragmentalism’. Importantly, although Fine characterises tense-realism as the thesis that reality is constituted (at least in part) by tensed facts, he explicitly claims that tense realists are not committed to their fundamental existence. Recently, (...)
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  • A New Puppet Puzzle.Andrew M. Bailey & Joshua Rasmussen - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (3):202-213.
    We develop a new puzzle concerning a material being's relationship to the smallest parts of the material world. In particular, we investigate how a being could be responsible for anything if its be...
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  • How to Properly Lose Direction.Alex Steinberg - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4229-4250.
    One of the central puzzles in ontology concerns the relation between apparently innocent sentences and their ontologically loaded counterparts. In recent work, Agustín Rayo has developed the insight that such cases can be usefully described with the help of the ‘just is’ operator: plausibly, for there to be a table just is for there to be some things arranged tablewise; and for the number of dinosaurs to be Zero just is for there to be no dinosaurs. How does the operator (...)
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  • An Argument Against Aristotelian Universals.Damiano Costa - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4331-4338.
    I provide an argument against the Aristotelian view of universals, according to which universals depend for their existence on their exemplifiers. The argument consists in a set of five jointly inconsistent assumptions. As such, the argument can be used to argue in favour of other conclusions, such as that exemplification is no relation or that plausible principles concerning ontological dependence or grounding do not hold.
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  • The Logic of Relative Fundamentality.Fabrice Correia - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 6):1279-1301.
    I introduce a proof system for the logic of relative fundamentality, as well as a natural semantics with respect to which the system is both sound and complete. I then “modalise” the logic, and finally I discuss the properties of grounding given a suggested account of this notion in terms of necessity and relative fundamentality.
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  • The Explanation of Logical Theorems and Reductive Truthmakers.Yannic Kappes - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1267-1284.
    This paper first identifies several plausible desiderata on satisfactory explanations of logical theorems, shows that ordinary grounding explanations cannot satisfy them and argues that there is reason to believe that no alternative grounding explanations of logical theorems can be given. It then develops an alternative explanation of logical theorems based on Yablo’s idea of reductive truthmaking. The resulting proposal invokes instances of reductive truthmaking that bear an interesting structural similarity to the notion of zero-ground, in virtue of which it is (...)
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  • Normative Explanation and Justification.Pekka Väyrynen - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):3-22.
    Normative explanations of why things are wrong, good, or unfair are ubiquitous in ordinary practice and normative theory. This paper argues that normative explanation is subject to a justification condition: a correct complete explanation of why a normative fact holds must identify features that would go at least some way towards justifying certain actions or attitudes. I first explain and motivate the condition I propose. I then support it by arguing that it fits well with various theories of normative reasons, (...)
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  • Are Identities Unexplainable? Towards a Non‐Causal Contrastive Explanation of Identities.Lorenzo Azzano & Massimiliano Carrara - 2021 - Theoria 87 (2):457-482.
    Can an identity be the proper subject of an explanation? A popular stance, albeit not one often argued for, gives a negative answer to this question. Building from a contentious passage from Jaegwon Kim in this direction, we reconstruct an argument to the conclusion that identities, to the extent in which they are necessary, cannot be explained. The notion of contrastive explanation, characterized as difference-seeking, will be crucial for this argument; however, we will eventually find the argument to be unsatisfactory. (...)
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  • Grounding Grounds Necessity.Julio De Rizzo - 2021 - Analysis 80 (4):639-647.
    Drawing from extensions of existing ideas in the logic of ground, a novel account of the grounds of necessity is presented, the core of which states that necessary truths are necessary because they stand in specific grounding connections.
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