I provide a case-by-case definition of essential truths based on the notions of metaphysical necessity and ontological dependence. Relying on suggestions in the literature, I adopt a definition of the latter notion in terms of the notion of ground. The resulting account is adequate in the sense that it is not subject to Kit Fine’s famous counterexamples to the purely modal account of essence. In addition, it provides us with a novel conception of truths pertaining to the essence of objects, (...) which might help to dispel doubts on the legitimacy of the notion of essence itself. (shrink)
Drawing from extensions of existing ideas in the logic of ground, a novel account of the grounds of necessity is presented, the core of which states that necessary truths are necessary because they stand in specific grounding connections.
In Metaphysics of States of Affairs, Bo Meinertsen reviews and works out several underdeveloped points in the existing scholarly debate on states of affairs, and presents his own original account in detail. In this paper, we raise three problems for Meinertsen’s account and draw attention to an alternative view that, though not discussed in the book, is not beset by these problems.
P. van Inwagen famously offered three precise versions of the so-called Consequence Argument for incompatibilism. The third of these essentially employs the notion of an agent’s having a choice with respect to a proposition. In this paper, I offer two intuitively attractive accounts of this notion in terms of the explanatory connective ‘because’ and explore the prospects of the third argument once they are in play. Under either account, the argument fails.
In the third chapter of his major work, the Controversy over the Existence of the World, Roman Ingarden discusses four varieties of dependence entities might exhibit. The aim of this essay is to explore these varieties and to put the claims Ingarden makes concerning them on a rigorous footing.
Many philosophers have shown sympathy to the thought that reality is fundamentally positive. Julio De Rizzo formulates this idea precisely by means of the notion of grounding, and examines how the resulting thesis fares with respect to three much discussed classes of negative truths, namely that of negative predications, that of negative causal reports, and that of negative existential truths. By shedding light on the issues advocates of the thesis have to deal with, this work shows the positivist account to (...) be a tenable position in metaphysics. (shrink)
This paper is a response to McKenzie (2017). I argue that the case she presents is not a genuine counterexample to the thesis she labels Brute Fundamentalism. My response consists of two main points. First, that the support she presents for considering her case a metaphysical explanation is misguided. Second, that there are principled reasons for doubting that partial explanations in Hempel’s sense, of which her case is an instance, are genuinely explanatory in the first place. Thus McKenzie’s attack on (...) Brute Fundamentalism fails. (shrink)
Is the macro grounded in the micro? That is, is every truth about a macroscopic object fully grounded in a truth wholly about its microscopic parts? In a recent interesting paper, Martin Glazier argued for a negative answer. Following him, call the position that the macro is grounded in the micro ‘priority micro pluralism’ (‘pluralism’ for short). In this discussion note, I propose a way out for the pluralist. In brief, it consists in the recognition that some metaphysical positions, including (...) pluralism, are best expressed by fundamentally de dicto grounding claims. In that these claims have a distinctive modal force, this recognition has far-reaching consequences that go beyond a defence of pluralism. (shrink)
Few if any distinctions are more easily recognisable and assented to than that between _objects_, that is, things which are some ways, and that which they are, that is, _ways for objects to be_ (‘ways of being’ for short). In this paper I present an argument designed to show that this distinction is indeterminate in the sense that the truth-conditions of predicational sentences leave open what should count as an object and a way of being. The bulk of the argument (...) is inspired by the celebrated permutation argument advanced by Quine, Wallace, Putnam and others. (shrink)
A traditional account of coincidences has it that two facts are coincidental whenever they are not related as cause and effect and do not have a common cause. A recent contribution by Lando : 132–151, 2017) showed that this account is mistaken. In this paper, I argue against two alternative accounts of coincidences, one suggested by Lando, and another by Bhogal : 677–694, 2020), and defend a third one in their place. In short, I propose that how explanatory links relate (...) to non-coincidental facts in explanation is what drives a wedge between coincidences and non-coincidences. This proposal is not susceptible to the worries I raise, and is more general, since it is not restricted to coincidences and non-coincidences involving physical facts. (shrink)
A natural proposal for the grounds of negative existential truths, such as that Vulcan does not exist, states that these truths are grounded in the totality truth affirming the existence of every existent thing together with the truth that they are all. In this paper I will put forward three objections to straightforward formulations of this idea, and argue that a change in the usual grammar of grounding claims, allowing for pluralities of sentences to express not only grounds, but also (...) groundees, is effective in making the account immune to the objections raised. (shrink)