Grounding, Essence, and Contingentism

Philosophia 49 (5):2157-2172 (2021)
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According to grounding necessitarianism if some facts ground another fact, then the obtaining of the former necessitates the latter. Proponents of grounding contingentism argue against this claim, stating that it is possible for the former facts to obtain without necessitating the latter. In this article I discuss a recent argument from restricted accidental generalisations provided by contingentists that advances such possibility. I argue that grounding necessitarianism can be defended against it. To achieve this aim, I postulate a relationship between grounding and essence by introducing a notion of individual essences understood as a set of essential properties that individuate its bearer. According to a proposed view grounding holds in virtue of identities of its relata, which are in turn determined by their respective individual essences. From there I claim that if grounding holds in virtue of the individual essences of its relata, then it is possible to resist the objection from restricted accidental generalisations and maintain a view that grounds necessitates what is grounded.

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Karol Lenart
Jagiellonian University


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