David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 156 (2):173-197 (2011)
A philosophical standard in the debates concerning material constitution is the case of a statue and a lump of clay, Goliath and Lumpl, respectively. According to the story, Lumpl and Goliath are coincident throughout their respective careers. Monists hold that they are identical; pluralists that they are distinct. This paper is concerned with a particular objection to pluralism, the Grounding Problem. The objection is roughly that the pluralist faces a legitimate explanatory demand to explain various differences she alleges between Lumpl and Goliath, but that the pluralist’s theory lacks the resources to give any such explanation. In this paper, I explore the question of whether there really is any problem of this sort. I argue (i) that explanatory demands that are clearly legitimate are easy for the pluralist to meet; (ii) that even in cases of explanatory demands whose legitimacy is questionable the pluralist has some overlooked resources; and (iii) there is some reason for optimism about the pluralist’s prospects for meeting every legitimate explanatory demand. In short, no clearly adequate statement of a Grounding Problem is extant, and there is some reason to believe that the pluralist can overcome any Grounding Problem that we haven’t thought of yet.
|Keywords||Material Constitution Supervenience Metaphysical Explanation The Grounding Problem Coincidence|
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References found in this work BETA
John Locke (2008/1995). An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Oxford University Press.
Theodore Sider (2001). Four Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time. Oxford University Press.
David K. Lewis (1986/2001). On the Plurality of Worlds. Blackwell Publishers.
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Citations of this work BETA
Noël B. Saenz (2015). A Grounding Solution to the Grounding Problem. Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2193-2214.
Anna-Sofia Maurin (2013). Exemplification as Explanation. Axiomathes 23 (2):401-417.
Tom Polger (2013). Physicalism and Moorean Supervenience. Analytic Philosophy 54 (1):72-92.
Troy T. Catterson (2015). Sorting Out the Sortals: A Fregean Argument for Essentialism. Erkenntnis 80 (1):137-157.
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