Metaphysical Interdependence

In Mark Jago (ed.), Reality Making. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press UK. pp. 38-56 (2016)
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Abstract

It is commonly assumed that grounding relations are asymmetric. Here I develop and argue for a theory of metaphysical structure that takes grounding to be nonsymmetric rather than asymmetric. Even without infinite descending chains of dependence, it might be that every entity is grounded in some other entity. Having first addressed an immediate objection to the position under discussion, I introduce two examples of symmetric grounding. I give three arguments for the view that grounding is nonsymmetric (I call this view ‘metaphysical interdependence’). These arguments are: (i) that metaphysical interdependence is the only theory able to reconcile competing intuitions about grounding; (ii) that it is the only theory consistent with both ‘gunk’ and ‘junk’; and (iii) that offers a satisfactory solution to the problem concerning whether or not grounding is itself grounded.

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Naomi Thompson
University of Bristol

Citations of this work

No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
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Metaphysical Causation.Alastair Wilson - 2018 - Noûs 52 (4):723-751.
Fundamentality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Could a middle level be the most fundamental?Sara Bernstein - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1065-1078.

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References found in this work

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In Ryan Wasserman, David Manley & David Chalmers (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: metaphysics, logic, and epistemology. qnew York: Oxford University Press. pp. 109-135.

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