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Against Grounding Necessitarianism

Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751 (2015)

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  1. Is the Macro Grounded in the Micro?Martin Glazier - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Let a priority micro pluralist be someone who holds that particles or other microscopic objects are fundamental. Rivals to priority micro pluralism include priority monism as well as the Aristotelian view that some ordinary macroscopic objects are fundamental. Although priority micro pluralism is popular, I show that it encounters great difficulty in even the most straightforward cases. For example, this tennis ball is spherical; how is this fact to be grounded in facts about the microscopic realm? I consider a number (...)
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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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  • Grounding and the Existence of God.Joshua Sijuwade - 2021 - Metaphysica.
    In this article, I seek to assess the extent to which Theism, the claim that there is a God, can provide a true fundamental explanation for the instantiation of the grounding relation that connects the various entities within the layered structure of reality. More precisely, I seek to utilise the explanatory framework of Richard Swinburne within a specific metaphysical context, a ground-theoretic context, which will enable me to develop a true fundamental explanation for the existence of grounding. And thus, given (...)
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  • Epistemic Modality, Mind, and Mathematics.Hasen Khudairi - 2021 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the epistemic status of large cardinal axioms, undecidable propositions, and abstraction principles in the philosophy of mathematics; to the modal profile of rational intuition; and (...)
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  • Principle of Sufficient Reason.Fatema Amijee - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York: Routledge. pp. 63-75.
    According to the Principle of Sufficient Reason (henceforth ‘PSR’), everything has an explanation or sufficient reason. This paper addresses three questions. First, how continuous is the contemporary notion of grounding with the notion of sufficient reason endorsed by Spinoza, Leibniz, and other rationalists? In particular, does a PSR formulated in terms of ground retain the intuitive pull and power of the PSR endorsed by the rationalists? Second, to what extent can the PSR avoid the formidable traditional objections levelled against it (...)
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  • Physicalism.Amanda Bryant - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York: Routledge. pp. 484-500.
    This chapter considers potential applications of grounding to the formulation of physicalism. I begin with an overview of competing conceptions of the physical and of physicalism. I then consider whether grounding physicalism overcomes well-known and seemingly fatal problems with supervenience physicalism. I conclude that while grounding physicalism improves upon supervenience physicalism in certain respects, it arguably falls victim to some of the same difficulties.
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  • Modality.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 348-360.
    A survey of the connection between grounding and modality, in particular supervenience. The survey explores three possible connections between grounding and supervenience: (1) supervenience can be analyzed in terms of grounding, (2) grounded facts supervene on their grounds, and (3) grounding and supervenience overlap in their theoretical roles.
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  • The Explanatory Demands of Grounding in Law.Samuele Chilovi & George Pavlakos - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    A new strategy in philosophy of law appeals to explanatory gap arguments to attack legal positivism. We argue that the strategy faces a dilemma, which derives from there being two available readings of the constraint it places on legal grounding. To this end, we elaborate the most promising ways of spelling out the epistemic constraints governing law-determination, and show that each of the arguments based on them has problems. Throughout the paper, we evaluate a number of explanatory requirements, ultimately with (...)
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  • A Metaphysical Puzzle for Neo‐Fregean Abstractionists.Thomas Donaldson - forthcoming - Theoria.
    We discuss abstraction principles in the context of modal and temporal logic. It is argued that abstractionism conflicts with both serious presentism and serious actualism.
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  • A Metaphysical Puzzle for Neo‐Fregean Abstractionists.Thomas Donaldson - forthcoming - Wiley: Theoria.
    We discuss abstraction principles in the context of modal and temporal logic. It is argued that abstractionism conflicts with both serious presentism and serious actualism.
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  • Fundación Y Causalidad.José Tomás Alvarado - 2022 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 63 (151):7-30.
    RESUMEN Trabajos recientes han propuesto un tratamiento de la fundación “a la imagen de la causalidad”. Hay importantes analogías entre la fundación y la causalidad: ambas parecen ser relaciones de ‘construcción’, ambas parecen ser órdenes estrictos y ambas parecen ser representables por modelos de ecuaciones estructurales. Pero también parece que hay importantes diferencias, porque la causalidad es usualmente considerada como una relación externa, mientras que la fundación es interna; hay casos de causalidad probabilística, pero no hay nada como una fundación (...)
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  • The Unity of Dependence.Jack Casey - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association (2):1-18.
    Most philosophers treat ontological dependence and metaphysical dependence as distinct relations. A number of key differences between the two relations are usually cited in support of this claim: ontological dependence's unique connection to existence, differing respective connections to metaphysical necessitation, and a divergence in their formal features. Alongside reshaping some of the examples used to maintain the distinction between the two, I argue that the additional resources offered by the increased attention the notion of grounding has received in recent years (...)
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  • Causal Necessitarianism and the Monotonicity Objection.Salim Hirèche - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2597-2627.
    Do causes necessitate their effects? Causal necessitarianism is the view that they do. One major objection—the “monotonicity objection”—runs roughly as follows. For many particular causal relations, we can easily find a possible “blocker”—an additional causal factor that, had it also been there, would have prevented the cause from producing its effect. However—the objection goes on—, if the cause really necessitated its effect in the first place, it would have produced it anyway—despite the blocker. Thus, CN must be false. Though different (...)
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  • Fundamentality And Modal Freedom.Jennifer Wang - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):397-418.
    A fundamental entity is an entity that is ‘ontologically independent’; it does not depend on anything else for its existence or essence. It seems to follow that a fundamental entity is ‘modally free’ in some sense. This assumption, that fundamentality entails modal freedom (or ‘FEMF’ as I shall label the thesis), is used in the service of other arguments in metaphysics. But as I will argue, the road from fundamentality to modal freedom is not so straightforward. The defender of FEMF (...)
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  • Maurinian Truths : Essays in Honour of Anna-Sofia Maurin on Her 50th Birthday.Robin Stenwall & Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (eds.) - 2019 - Lund, Sverige: Department of Philosophy, Lund University.
    This book is in honour of Professor Anna-Sofia Maurin on her 50th birthday. It consists of eighteen essays on metaphysical issues written by Swedish and international scholars.
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  • Forms of Luminosity.Hasen Khudairi - 2017
    This dissertation concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The dissertation demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The dissertation demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Grounding Interventionism: Conceptual and Epistemological Challenges.Amanda Bryant - 2022 - Metaphilosophy 53 (2-3):322-343.
    Philosophers have recently highlighted substantial affinities between causation and grounding, which has inclined some to import the conceptual and formal resources of causal interventionism into the metaphysics of grounding. The prospect of grounding interventionism raises two important questions: exactly what are grounding interventions, and why should we think they enable knowledge of grounding? This paper will approach these questions by examining how causal interventionists have addressed (or might address) analogous questions and then comparing the available options for grounding interventionism. I (...)
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  • A Problem for Extensional Theories of Time-Consciousness.Jan Almäng - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14865-14880.
    Extensionalist theories of the specious present suggest that every perceptual experience is extended in time for a short while, such that they are co-extensive in time with the time experienced in them. Thus, there can be no experience of time, unless the experience itself is extended in time. Accordingly, there must be something that unites the temporal parts of a perceptual experience into temporally extended wholes. I call this the “glue-problem for extensionalism”. In this paper I suggest three desiderata that (...)
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  • Indeterminacy: Deep but Not Rock Bottom.Cristian Mariani - 2022 - Wiley: Analytic Philosophy 63 (1):62-71.
    Barnes (2014) has argued in this journal for the following conditional: If there is any metaphysical indeterminacy, this must be at the most fundamental level of reality. To argue for this claim, Barnes relies on two principles that I shall call bivalent completeness and determinate link. According to the former, a complete description is a bivalent assignment of truth values to every sentence. The determinate link, instead, establishes that the determination relation between levels of reality preserves determinacy from one level (...)
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  • Disjunction and the Logic of Grounding.Giovanni Merlo - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (2):567-587.
    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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  • Arbitrary Grounding.Jonas Werner - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (3):911-931.
    The aim of this paper is to introduce, elucidate and defend the usefulness of a variant of grounding, or metaphysical explanation, that has the feature that the grounds explain of some states of affairs that one of them obtains without explaining which one obtains. I will dub this variant arbitrary grounding. After informally elucidating the basic idea in the first section, I will provide three metaphysical hypotheses that are best formulated in terms of arbitrary grounding in the second section. The (...)
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  • Grounding, Essence, And Identity.Fabrice Correia & Alexander Skiles - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):642-670.
    Recent metaphysics has turned its focus to two notions that are—as well as having a common Aristotelian pedigree—widely thought to be intimately related: grounding and essence. Yet how, exactly, the two are related remains opaque. We develop a unified and uniform account of grounding and essence, one which understands them both in terms of a generalized notion of identity examined in recent work by Fabrice Correia, Cian Dorr, Agustín Rayo, and others. We argue that the account comports with antecedently plausible (...)
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  • Grounding Pluralism: Why and How.Kevin Richardson - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1399-1415.
    Grounding pluralism is the view that there are multiple kinds of grounding. In this essay, I motivate and defend an explanation-theoretic view of grounding pluralism. Specifically, I argue that there are two kinds of grounding: why-grounding—which tells us why things are the case—and how-grounding—which tells us how things are the case.
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  • Deep Platonism.Chad Carmichael - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):307-328.
    According to the traditional bundle theory, particulars are bundles of compresent universals. I think we should reject the bundle theory for a variety of reasons. But I will argue for the thesis at the core of the bundle theory: that all the facts about particulars are grounded in facts about universals. I begin by showing how to meet the main objection to this thesis (which is also the main objection to the bundle theory): that it is inconsistent with the possibility (...)
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  • A Short Argument From Modal Rationalism to Fundamental Scrutability.Gabriel Oak Rabin - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):137-139.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Vagueness and the Laws of Metaphysics.Ryan Wasserman - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1):66-89.
    This is a paper about the nature of metaphysical laws and their relation to the phenomenon of vagueness. Metaphysical laws are introduced as analogous to natural laws, and metaphysical indeterminism is modeled on causal indeterminacy. This kind of indeterminacy is then put to work in developing a novel theory of vagueness and a solution to the sorites paradox.
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  • Metaphysical Causation.Alastair Wilson - 2018 - Noûs 52 (4):723-751.
    There is a systematic and suggestive analogy between grounding and causation. In my view, this analogy is no coincidence. Grounding and causation are alike because grounding is a type of causation: metaphysical causation. In this paper I defend the identification of grounding with metaphysical causation, drawing on the causation literature to explore systematic connections between grounding and metaphysical dependence counterfactuals, and I outline a non-reductive counterfactual theory of grounding along interventionist lines.
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  • A Simple Proof of Grounding Internality.Adam Lovett - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (3):154-166.
    Some people think that grounding is a type of identity. And some people think that grounding connections hold necessarily. I show that, under plausible assumptions, if grounding is a type of identity, then grounding connections hold necessarily.
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  • The Disjunction Thesis and Necessary Connection.Zamani Mohsen - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    In this paper I deal with the relation between the disjunction thesis—that the truthmaking relation is distributed over a disjunction—and the necessary connection thesis—that the existence of some entities requires the existence of other distinct entities. I will first show that because of this very relation, the arguments for and against the disjunction thesis that overlook its metaphysical considerations will fail. Finally, I will show that the commitment produced by truthmaker maximalism to totality states of affairs, or some relevantly similar (...)
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  • On Shaky Ground? Exploring the Contingent Fundamentality Thesis.Nathan Wildman - 2018 - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press.
    The past decade and a half has seen an absolute explosion of literature discussing the structure of reality. One particular focus here has been on the fundamental. However, while there has been extensive discussion, numerous fundamental questions about fundamentality have not been touched upon. In this chapter, I focus on one such lacuna about the modal strength of fundamentality. More specifically, I am interested in exploring the contingent fundamentality thesis - that is, the idea that the fundamentalia are only contingently (...)
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  • A Brighter Shade of Categoricalism.Michele Paolini Paoletti - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-30.
    Categoricalism is a doctrine about properties according to which the dispositional aspects of properties are not essential to them. In opposition to categoricalism, dispositionalism holds that the dispositional aspects of properties are essential to them. In this article, I shall construct a new version of categoricalism that should be favoured over the other existing versions: Semi-Necessitarian Categoricalism. In Section 2 I shall elaborate on the distinction between categoricalism and dispositionalism and single out different ‘shades’ of both doctrines. I shall also (...)
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  • Metaphysical Explanations for Modal Normativists.Theodore Locke - 2020 - Metaphysics 3 (1):33-54.
    I expand modal normativism, a theory of metaphysical modality, to give a normativist account of metaphysical explanation. According to modal normativism, basic modal claims do not have a descriptive function, but instead have the normative function of enabling language users to express semantic rules that govern the use of ordinary non-modal vocabulary. However, a worry for modal normativism is that it doesn’t keep up with all of the important and interesting metaphysics we can do by giving and evaluating metaphysical explanations. (...)
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  • Grounding, Conceivability, and the Mind-Body Problem.Hasen Khudairi - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):919-926.
    This paper challenges the soundness of the two-dimensional conceivability argument against the derivation of phenomenal truths from physical truths in light of a hyperintensional, ground-theoretic regimentation of the ontology of consciousness. The regimentation demonstrates how ontological dependencies between truths about consciousness and about physics cannot be witnessed by epistemic constraints, when the latter are recorded by the conceivability—i.e., the epistemic possibility—thereof. Generalizations and other aspects of the philosophical significance of the hyperintensional regimentation are further examined.
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  • Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The notion of fundamentality, as it is used in metaphysics, aims to capture the idea that there is something basic or primitive in the world. This metaphysical notion is related to the vernacular use of “fundamental”, but philosophers have also put forward various technical definitions of the notion. Among the most influential of these is the definition of absolute fundamentality in terms of ontological independence or ungroundedness. Accordingly, the notion of fundamentality is often associated with these two other technical notions.
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  • The Metaphysics of Identity: Is Identity Fundamental?Erica Shumener - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (1):1-13.
    Identity and distinctness facts are ones like “The Eiffel Tower is identical to the Eiffel Tower,” and “The Eiffel Tower is distinct from the Louvre.” This paper concerns one question in the metaphysics of identity: Are identity and distinctness facts metaphysically fundamental or are they nonfundamental? I provide an overview of answers to this question.
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  • Composition, Contingency, and Local Supervenience.Deborah C. Smith - 2019 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 57 (4):589-612.
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  • The laws of modality.Matthew Tugby - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    Nomic realists have traditionally put laws to work within a theory of natural modality, in order to provide a metaphysical source for causal necessitation, counterfactuals, and dispositions. However, laws are well-suited to perform other work as well. Necessitation is a widespread phenomenon and includes cases of categorial, conceptual, grounding, mathematical and normative necessitation. A permissive theory of universals allows us to extend nomic realism into these other domains. With a particular focus on grounding necessitation, it is argued that the sorts (...)
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  • Real Acquaintance and Physicalism.Philip Goff - 2015 - In Paul Coates & Sam Coleman (eds.), Phenomenal Qualities: Sense, Perception and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
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  • Metaphysical Grounding.Ricki Bliss & Kelly Trogdon - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    General discussion of grounding, including its formal features, relations to other notions, and applications. (Originally published 2014; revised 2021).
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  • Essentialist Explanation.Martin Glazier - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2871-2889.
    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in metaphysical explanation, and philosophers have fixed on the notion of ground as the conceptual tool with which such explanation should be investigated. I will argue that this focus on ground is myopic and that some metaphysical explanations that involve the essences of things cannot be understood in terms of ground. Such ‘essentialist’ explanation is of interest, not only for its ubiquity in philosophy, but for its being in a sense an ultimate (...)
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  • Grounding, Explanation, and the Limit of Internality.Jon Erling Litland - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (4):481-532.
    Most authors on metaphysical grounding have taken full grounding to be an internal relation in the sense that it's necessary that if the grounds and the grounded both obtain, then the grounds ground the grounded. The negative part of this essay exploits empirical and provably nonparadoxical self-reference to prove conclusively that even immediate full grounding isn't an internal relation in this sense. The positive, second part of this essay uses the notion of a “completely satisfactory explanation” to shed light on (...)
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  • On the (in)Significance of Hume’s Law.Samuele Chilovi & Daniel Wodak - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (2):633-653.
    Hume’s Law that one cannot derive an “ought” from an “is” has often been deemed to bear a significance that extends far beyond logic. Repeatedly, it has been invoked as posing a serious threat to views about normativity: naturalism in metaethics and positivism in jurisprudence. Yet in recent years, a puzzling asymmetry has emerged: while the view that Hume’s Law threatens naturalism has largely been abandoned (due mostly to Pigden’s work, see e.g. Pigden 1989), the thought that Hume’s Law is (...)
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  • Fundamentality and Minimalist Grounding Laws.Joaquim Giannotti - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-25.
    What grounds facts of ground? Some metaphysicians invoke fundamental grounding laws to answer this question. These are general principles that link grounded facts to their grounds. The main business of this paper is to advance the debate about the metaphysics of grounding laws by exploring the prospects of a plausible yet underexplored minimalist account, one which is structurally analogous to a familiar Humean conception of natural laws. In the positive part of this paper, I articulate such a novel view and (...)
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  • Full and Partial Grounding.Kelly Trogdon & D. Gene Witmer - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (2):252-271.
    Discussion of partial grounds that aren't parts of full grounds; definition of full grounding in terms of partial grounding.
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  • Against Purity.Jonathan Barker - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    A fundamental fact is “pure” just in case it has no grounded entities—ex. Tokyo, President Biden, the River Nile, {Socrates}, etc.—among its constituents. Purity is the thesis that every fundamental fact is pure. I argue that Purity is false. My argument begins with a familiar conditional: if Purity is true, then there are no fundamental “grounding facts” or facts about what grounds what. This conditional is accepted by virtually all of Purity’s defenders. However, I argue that it is also the (...)
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  • Grounding, Metaphysical Laws, and Structure.Martin Grajner - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (4):376-395.
    According to the deductive-nomological account of ground, a fact A grounds another fact B in case the laws of metaphysics determine the existence of B on the basis of the existence of A. Accounts of grounding of this particular variety have already been developed in the literature. My aim in this paper is to sketch a new version of this account. My preferred account offers two main improvements over existing accounts. First, the present account is able to deal with necessitarian (...)
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  • The (Metaphysical) Foundations of Arithmetic?Thomas Donaldson - 2017 - Noûs 51 (4):775-801.
    Gideon Rosen and Robert Schwartzkopff have independently suggested (variants of) the following claim, which is a varian of Hume's Principle: -/- When the number of Fs is identical to the number of Gs, this fact is grounded by the fact that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the Fs and Gs. -/- My paper is a detailed critique of the proposal. I don't find any decisive refutation of the proposal. At the same time, it has some consequences which many will (...)
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  • Qualitative Grounds.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):309-348.
    Suppose that all non-qualitative facts are grounded in qualitative facts. I argue that this view naturally comes with a picture in which trans-world identity is indeterminate. But this in turn leads to either pervasive indeterminacy in the non-qualitative, or else contingency in what facts about modality and possible worlds are determinate.
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  • Grounding Is Not Causation.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):21-38.
    Proponents of grounding often describe the notion as "metaphysical causation" involving determination and production relations similar to causation. This paper argues that the similarities between grounding and causation are merely superficial. I show that there are several sorts of causation that have no analogue in grounding; that the type of "bringing into existence" that both involve is extremely different; and that the synchronicity of ground and the diachronicity of causation make them too different to be explanatorily intertwined.
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  • Fundamentality and Time-Travel.Shieva Kleinschmidt - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (1):46-51.
    The relation of being more fundamental than, as well as the Finean notion of partial grounding, are widely taken to be irreflexive, transitive, and asymmetric. However, certain time-travel cases that have been used to raise worries about the irreflexivity, transitivity, and asymmetry of proper part of can also be used to argue that more fundamental than and partially grounds do not have these formal properties. I present this worry and discuss several responses to it, with the aim of showing that (...)
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