The Nomological Account of Ground

Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3293-3312 (2015)
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Abstract

The article introduces and defends the Nomological Account of ground, a reductive account of the notion of metaphysical explanation in terms of the laws of metaphysics. The paper presents three desiderata that a theory of ground should meet: it should explain the modal force of ground, the generality of ground, and the interplay between ground and certain mereological notions. The bulk of the paper develops the Nomological Account and argues that it meets the three desiderata. The Nomological Account relies on two central notions: the notion of a ‘law of metaphysics’ and the notion of ‘determination via the laws’. The paper offers the constructional conception of the laws of metaphysics, on which the metaphysical laws are general principles that characterize construction–operations such as composition, constitution, or set-formation. The role of determination in the account is explained and some reductive approaches to the notion are sketched. The case for the Nomological Account presented in this article is also a case for the laws of metaphysics. Since the Nomological Account offers a promising approach to metaphysical explanation we should take the laws of metaphysics seriously

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Tobias Wilsch
University Tübingen

Citations of this work

Metaphysical grounding.Ricki Bliss & Kelly Trogdon - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.
Laws for Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):302-321.

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References found in this work

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New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
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.
A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:429-440.

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