Ground, Essence, and the Metaphysics of Metanormative Non-Naturalism

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9 (26):674-701 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The past few decades have witnessed an extraordinary revival of interest in metanormative non-naturalism. Despite this interest, it is still unclear how to understand the distinctive metaphysical commitments of this view. We illustrate the relevant difficulties by examining what is arguably the most prominent class of contemporary attempts to formulate non-naturalism’s metaphysical commitments. This class of proposals, exemplified in work by Gideon Rosen and Stephanie Leary, characterizes the distinctive metaphysical commitments of non-naturalism in terms of metaphysical grounding and essence. We argue that these proposals overgeneralize: they either misclassify intuitively naturalistic hypotheses about the metaphysics of normativity as “non-naturalist”, or misclassify hypotheses in other areas of metaphysics. We argue that this problem stems from features of grounding itself. We suggest a more promising alternative for formulating non-naturalism, which revolves around the notion of objective similarity between classes of properties. We conclude by drawing some general lessons for inquiry about the metaphysics of normativity, and about metaphysics in general.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,168

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Nature as Sacred Ground: A Metaphysics for Religious Naturalism by Donald A. Crosby.Scot D. Yoder - 2017 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 38 (2):232-235.
Against quietist normative realism.Tristram McPherson - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (2):223-240.
Definition and essence in Metaphysics vii 4.Lucas Angioni - 2014 - Ancient Philosophy 34 (1):75-100.
The ground of ground, essence, and explanation.Michael Wallner - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 6):1257-1277.
Metaphysics as the Science of Essence.E. J. Lowe - 2018 - In Alexander Carruth, Sophie Gibb & John Heil (eds.), Ontology, Modality, and Mind: Themes from the Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 14-34.
El ateísmo hegeliano.Jesús Ezquerra Gómez - 2011 - Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España] 44:121-135.
Editorial.Riin Sirkel & Tuomas E. Tahko - 2014 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 7 (2):1.
Metaethics and the Conceptual Ethics of Normativity.Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-34.
Naturalism in the Philosophy of Mathematics.Alexander Paseau - 2012 - In Peter Adamson (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.


Added to PP

132 (#139,678)

6 months
101 (#44,756)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Tristram McPherson
Ohio State University
David Plunkett
Dartmouth College

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: metaphysics, logic, and epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-135.
Essence and modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8 (Logic and Language):1-16.
Wise Choices, Apt Feelings.Allan Gibbard - 1990 - Ethics 102 (2):342-356.
The Possibility of Physicalism.Shamik Dasgupta - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (9-10):557-592.
From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (197):539-542.

View all 49 references / Add more references