David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Inquiry 57 (5-6):535–579 (2014)
It has recently been suggested that a distinctive metaphysical relation---"Grounding"---is ultimately at issue in contexts where some goings-on are said to hold "in virtue of"", be (constitutively) "metaphysically dependent on", or be "nothing over and above" some others (see Fine 2001, Schaffer 2009, and Rosen 2010). Grounding is supposed to do good work (better than merely modal notions, in particular) in illuminating metaphysical dependence. I argue that Grounding is also unsuited to do this work. To start, Grounding alone cannot do this work, for bare claims of Grounding leave open such basic questions as whether Grounded goings-on exist, whether they are reducible to or rather distinct from Grounding goings-on, whether they are efficacious, and so on; but in the absence of answers to such basic questions, we are not in position to assess the associated claim or theses concerning metaphysical dependence. There is no avoiding appeal to the specific metaphysical relations typically at issue in investigations into dependence---e.g., type or token identity, functional realization, classical mereological parthood, the set membership relation, the proper subset relation, the determinable/determinate relation, and so on---that are typically at issue in contexts where metaphysical dependence is at issue, and which are capable of answering these questions. But, I argue, once the specific relations are on the scene, there is no need for Grounding, either as tracking a coarse-grained but still useful level of investigation, as needed for the specific relations to fix the direction of priority, or as unifying the specific relations.
|Keywords||grounding dependence in virtue of fundamentality Schaffer Rosen Fine supervenience metaphysics ontology|
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Citations of this work BETA
Jonathan Schaffer (2016). Grounding in the Image of Causation. Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
Alexander Skiles (2015). Against Grounding Necessitarianism. Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.
Chad Carmichael (2016). Deep Platonism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):307-328.
Tuomas E. Tahko (forthcoming). Fundamentality and Ontological Minimality. In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press
Ross P. Cameron (2016). Do We Need Grounding? Inquiry 59 (4):382-397.
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Gideon Rosen (2010). Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction. In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press 109--36.
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