No ground to bridge the gap

Synthese:1-19 (forthcoming)
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This paper examines an argument by Schaffer that aims to prove how, contrary to what many philosophers hold, there is no special explanatory gap occurring in the connection between the physical and the phenomenal. This is because a gap of the same kind can be found in every connection between a more fundamental and a less fundamental level of reality. These gaps lurk everywhere in nature. For Schaffer, they can be bridged by means of substantive metaphysical principles such as grounding principles. He thus puts forward a version of grounding-based physicalism, which is supposed to provide this kind of substantive bridge principle. My main contention is as follows: even if Schaffer’s argument indeed proves the existence of a gap in every connection between fundamental and derivative entities, and that such gaps can be bridged by means of grounding principles, a different gap remains open in the psycho-physical connection.
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Archival date: 2021-04-17
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