Run Aground: Kit Fine’s Critique of Truthmaker Theory

Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268):443-463 (2017)
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Kit Fine, the leading proponent of the metaphysical project of grounding theory, has offered a number of potentially devastating objections to truthmaker theory, the branch of metaphysics dedicated to exploring the ontological grounds for truths. In this paper I show what presuppositions about truthmaker theory Fine’s objections are based upon, and why they are false. I discuss four objections that Fine raises, and demonstrate how truthmaker theorists may respond to them. I then showcase the positive contribution that truthmaker theory can make to metaphysics, including its ability to speak to a core metaphysical topic (the ontological grounds for truths) that Fine’s approach to grounding must ultimately remain silent on. I conclude by exploring what I take to be the best option when it comes to understanding how truthmaking and grounding fit together.
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