Metaphysical Foundationalism and Theoretical Unification

Erkenntnis 88 (4):1661-1681 (2023)
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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(s). 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, insofar as foundationalist theories allow us to derive all non-fundamental facts from some fundamental fact(s). Non-foundationalist theories can enjoy a similar sort of theoretical unification only by taking on objectionable metaphysical laws.

Author's Profile

Andrew Brenner
Hong Kong Baptist University


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