Grounding, physicalism and necessity

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (7):713-730 (2018)
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Abstract

Recent work on metaphysical grounding has suggested that physicalism can be characterised in terms of the mental facts being grounded in physical facts. It is often assumed that the full grounds of a fact metaphysically necessitate that fact. Therefore, it seems that if the physical grounds the mental, then the physical facts metaphysically necessitate the mental facts. Stefan Leuenberger argues that such a version of physicalism would be vulnerable to counterexamples. I shall outline a characterisation of grounding which appeals to a relation between grounding and the essences of properties instantiated in the grounded facts or in their grounds. If a grounded fact is such that its constituent property is essentially related to the properties instantiated in its grounds, or vice versa, then the grounded fact will be metaphysically necessitated by its full grounds. This characterisation of grounding not only avoids Leuenberger’s counterexamples, but has broader implications for characterising physicalism in terms of grounding.

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Citations of this work

Metaphysical grounding.Ricki Bliss & Kelly Trogdon - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Grounding, Necessity, and Relevance.Salim Hireche - 2023 - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
Grounding, Essence, and Contingentism.Karol Lenart - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (5):2157-2172.
Physicalism.Amanda Bryant - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York: Routledge. pp. 484-500.

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References found in this work

The character of consciousness.David John Chalmers - 2010 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Does conceivability entail possibility.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.
Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
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.
Against Grounding Necessitarianism.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.

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