About this topic
Summary Consider the following three claims made by Plato, Russell, and Kripke, respectively: an act is lovable by the gods in virtue of its being pious, complexes exist because simples exist, and the fact that our use of the term ‘Aristotle’ is causally connected in the right kind of way to how it was originally used explains why ‘Aristotle’ refers to Aristotle when we use the term. Some suggest that these and related claims should be read as grounding claims – claims about what grounds what. Key issues with respect to grounding include whether grounding is unitary, whether we can analyze the concept of grounding, the logical form of grounding statements, how grounding is related to explanation as well as necessity, and what philosophical work grounding can be put to.  
Key works Recent interest in grounding is due in large part to the following four papers: Fine 2001, Fine 2012, Rosen 2010, and Schaffer 2009
Introductions For introductions to and surveys of recent work on grounding, see Bliss & Trogdon 2014, Clark & Liggins 2012, Correia & Schnieder 2012, and Trogdon 2013.  
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  1. Run Aground: Kit Fine’s Critique of Truthmaker Theory.Jamin Asay - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Kit Fine, the leading proponent of the metaphysical project of grounding theory, has offered a number of potentially devastating objections to truthmaker theory, the branch of metaphysics dedicated to exploring the ontological grounds for truths. In this paper I show what presuppositions about truthmaker theory Fine’s objections are based upon, and why they are false. I discuss four objections that Fine raises, and demonstrate how truthmaker theorists may respond to them. I then showcase the positive contribution that truthmaker theory can (...)
  2. A Clarification and Defense of the Notion of Grounding.Paul Audi - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press. pp. 101-121.
  3. The Incompatibility of Composition as Identity, Priority Pluralism, and Irreflexive Grounding.Andrew M. Bailey - 2011 - Analytic Philosophy 52 (3):171-174.
    Some have it that wholes are, somehow, identical to their parts. This doctrine is as alluring as it is puzzling. But in this paper, I show that the doctrine is inconsistent with two widely accepted theses. Something has to go.
  4. Symposium: Metaphysical Explanation.Kenneth Barber - 1975 - Metaphilosophy 6 (3-4):259-260.
  5. The Priority of the Now.Sam Baron - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly:0-0.
    This paper motivates and develops a new theory of time: priority presentism. Priority presentism is the view according to which (i) only present entities exist fundamentally and (ii) past and future entities exist, but they are grounded in the present. The articulation of priority presentism is an exercise in applied grounding: it draws on concepts from the recent literature on ontological dependence and applies those concepts in a new way, to the philosophy of time. The result, as I will argue, (...)
  6. Grounds and Consequences.Roderick Batchelor - 2010 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 80 (1):65-77.
    We first introduce the intuitive idea of a relation of grounding between facts . Then we propose a definition of this idea, based on a certain theory of the structure of facts . Finally we consider the idea of proofs of a special kind, namely proofs which follow the grounds of what is proved.
  7. Uma Proposta Tomista Para o Debate Actual Entre Monismos E Pluralismos Na Metafísica da Fundação.Ricardo Barroso Batista & Álvaro Balsas - 2016 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 72 (2-3):725-770.
    Before the limits of the standard Quinean meta-ontology that persists in contemporary analytical metaphysics, an alternative has recently emerged, proposing metaphysical grounding. Under the inspiration of neo-Aristotelians, it seeks to overcome the Quinean constraints by reflecting on the relation of ontological dependence. However, the theorists of metaphysical grounding are currently at a stalemate among themselves: a current debate between grounding monists and grounding pluralists divides and dominates the community. The authors of this essay present the circumstances that has led to (...)
  8. Evidentialism, Circularity, and Grounding.Bob Beddor - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1847-1868.
    This paper explores what happens if we construe evidentialism as a thesis about the metaphysical grounds of justification. According to grounding evidentialism, facts about what a subject is justified in believing are grounded in facts about that subject’s evidence. At first blush, grounding evidentialism appears to enjoy advantages over a more traditional construal of evidentialism as a piece of conceptual analysis. However, appearances are deceiving. I argue that grounding evidentialists are unable to provide a satisfactory story about what grounds the (...)
  9. By Our Bootstraps.Karen Bennett - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):27-41.
    Recently much has been made of the grounding relation, and of the idea that it is intimately tied to fundamentality. If A grounds B, then A is more fundamental than B (though not vice versa ), and A is ungrounded if and only if it is fundamental full stop—absolutely fundamental. But here is a puzzle: is grounding itself absolutely fundamental?
  10. Construction Area (No Hard Hat Required).Karen Bennett - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):79-104.
    A variety of relations widely invoked by philosophers—composition, constitution, realization, micro-basing, emergence, and many others—are species of what I call ‘building relations’. I argue that they are conceptually intertwined, articulate what it takes for a relation to count as a building relation, and argue that—contra appearances—it is an open possibility that these relations are all determinates of a common determinable, or even that there is really only one building relation.
  11. Priority Monism and Essentiality of Fundamentality: A Reply to Steinberg.Matteo Benocci - 2016 - Philosophical Studies:1-8.
    Steinberg has recently proposed an argument against Schaffer’s priority monism. The argument assumes the principle of Necessity of Monism, which states that if priority monism is true, then it is necessarily true. In this paper, I argue that Steinberg’s objection can be eluded by giving up Necessity of Monism for an alternative principle, that I call Essentiality of Fundamentality, and that such a principle is to be preferred to Necessity of Monism on other grounds as well.
  12. Aesthetic Supervenience Vs. Aesthetic Grounding.Jiri Benovsky - 2012 - Estetika 49 (2):166–178.
    The claim that the having of aesthetic properties supervenes on the having of non-aesthetic properties has been widely discussed and, in various ways, defended. In this paper, I will show that even if it is sometimes true that a supervenience relation holds between aesthetic properties and the 'subvenient' non-aesthetic ones, it is not the interesting relation in the neighbourhood. As we shall see, a richer, asymmetric and irreflexive relation is required, and I shall defend the claim that the more-and-more-popular relation (...)
  13. The Unity of Grounding.Selim Berker - manuscript
    I argue that there is one and only one grounding/in-virtue-of relation, and that it is indispensable for normative theorizing.
  14. Grounding Is Not Causation.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):21-38.
    Proponents of grounding often describe the notion as "metaphysical causation" involving determination and production relations similar to causation. This paper argues that the similarities between grounding and causation are merely superficial. I show that there are several sorts of causation that have no analogue in grounding; that the type of "bringing into existence" that both involve is extremely different; and that the synchronicity of ground and the diachronicity of causation make them too different to be explanatorily intertwined.
  15. Fundamental Ontological Structure: An Argument Against Pluralism.Michael Bertrand - 2016 - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    In recent years, a hierarchical view of reality has become extremely influential. In order to understand the world as a whole, on this view, we need to understand the nature of the fundamental constituents of the world. We also need to understand the relations that build the world up from these fundamental constituents. Building pluralism is the view that there are at least two equally fundamental relations that together build the world. It has been widely, though tacitly, assumed in a (...)
  16. Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality.Ricki Bliss - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (3):410-415.
  17. Viciousness and Circles of Ground.Ricki Bliss - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (2):245-256.
    Metaphysicians of a certain stripe are almost unanimously of the view that grounding is necessarily irreflexive, asymmetric, transitive, and well-founded. They deny the possibility of circles of ground and, therewith, the possibility of species of metaphysical coherentism. But what's so bad about circles of ground? One problem for coherentism might be that it ushers in anti-foundationalism: grounding loops give rise to infinite regresses. And this is bad because infinite grounding regresses are vicious. This article argues that circles of ground do (...)
  18. Viciousness and the Structure of Reality.Ricki Bliss - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (2):399-418.
    Given the centrality of arguments from vicious infinite regress to our philosophical reasoning, it is little wonder that they should also appear on the catalogue of arguments offered in defense of theses that pertain to the fundamental structure of reality. In particular, the metaphysical foundationalist will argue that, on pain of vicious infinite regress, there must be something fundamental. But why think that infinite regresses of grounds are vicious? I explore existing proposed accounts of viciousness cast in terms of contradictions, (...)
  19. Reality and its Structure.Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.) - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
  20. Metaphysical Grounding.Ricki Bliss & Kelly Trogdon - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: N/A.
  21. Indefinitely Descending Ground.Einar Duenger Bohn - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press.
    In this paper I argue against grounding being necessarily well-founded, and provide some reasons to think it's actually not well-founded.
  22. The Relation Between General and Particular: Entailment Vs. Supervenience.Phillip Bricker - 2006 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Papers in Metaphysics, vol. 3. Oxford University Press. pp. 251-287.
    Some argue, following Bertrand Russell, that because general truths are not entailed by particular truths, general facts must be posited to exist in addition to particular facts. I argue on the contrary that because general truths (globally) supervene on particular truths, general facts are not needed in addition to particular facts; indeed, if one accepts the Humean denial of necessary connections between distinct existents, one can further conclude that there are no general facts. When entailment and supervenience do not coincide (...)
  23. Monism and Gunk.Jacek Brzozowski - 2016 - In Mark Jago (ed.), Reality Making. Oxford University Press. pp. 57-74.
  24. Is Ground Said-in-Many-Ways?Margaret Anne Cameron - 2015 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 7 (2):29.
    Proponents of ground, which is used to indicate relations of ontological fundamentality, insist that ground is a unified phenomenon, but this thesis has recently been criticized. I will first review the proponents' claims for ground's unicity, as well as the criticisms that ground is too heterogeneous to do the philosophical work it is supposed to do. By drawing on Aristotle's notion of homonymy, I explore whether ground's metaphysical heterogeneity can be theoretically accommodated while at the same time preserving its proponents' (...)
  25. Do We Need Grounding?Ross P. Cameron - 2016 - Inquiry 59 (4):382-397.
    Many have been tempted to invoke a primitive notion of grounding to describe the way in which some features of reality give rise to others. Jessica Wilson argues that such a notion is unnecessary to describe the structure of the world: that we can make do with specific dependence relations such as the part–whole relation or the determinate–determinable relation, together with a notion of absolute fundamentality. In this paper I argue that such resources are inadequate to describe the particular ways (...)
  26. From Humean Truthmaker Theory to Priority Monism.Ross P. Cameron - 2010 - Noûs 44 (1):178 - 198.
    I argue that the truthmaker theorist should be a priority monist if she wants to avoid commitment to mysterious necessary connections. In section 1 I briefly discuss the ontological options available to the truthmaker theorist. In section 2 I develop the argument against truthmaker theory from the Humean denial of necessary connections. In section 3 I offer an account of when necessary connections are objectionable. In section 4 I use this criterion to narrow down the options from section 1. In (...)
  27. Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground.Carl Gillett Ken Aizawa (ed.) - forthcoming - Palgrave.
  28. Deep Platonism.Chad Carmichael - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):307-328.
    According to the traditional bundle theory, particulars are bundles of compresent universals. I think we should reject the bundle theory for a variety of reasons. But I will argue for the thesis at the core of the bundle theory: that all the facts about particulars are grounded in facts about universals. I begin by showing how to meet the main objection to this thesis (which is also the main objection to the bundle theory): that it is inconsistent with the possibility (...)
  29. Grounding is Not Superinternal.Pablo Carnino - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (4).
    Whenever a fact P grounds another fact Q, one may ask why that is so. Karen Bennett and Louis deRosset independently argue that grounding facts—such as the fact that P grounds Q—are always grounded in their grounds-part. Bennett calls this the view that grounding is superinternal. My aim in this paper is to argue that grounding is not superinternal. I will do so by showing that superinternality, together with some widely accepted formal features of grounding—namely, transitivity and necessitation—yield implausible claims (...)
  30. On the Reduction of Grounding to Essence.Pablo Carnino - 2015 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 7 (2):56-71.
    In a recent article, Fabrice Correia explores the project of reducing the notion of grounding to that of essence. He then goes on to provide several candidate definitions and test each of them against a number of objections. His final take on the situation is, roughly, that two of the definitions can handle all of the considered objections. The aim of this paper is to re-evaluate Correia's conclusions in the light of two sources of insights: Firstly, I will argue that (...)
  31. Ontologically Dependent Entities.Roderick M. Chisholm - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (3):499-507.
  32. A Puzzle About Partial Grounding.Michael J. Clark - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (3):189-197.
    I argue that plausible claims in the logic of partial grounding, when combined with a plausible analysis of that concept, entail the falsity of plausible grounding claims. As our account of the concept of partial grounding and its logic should be consistent with plausible grounding claims, this is problematic. The argument hinges on the idea that some facts about what grounds what are grounded in others, which is an idea the paper aims to motivate.
  33. Recent Work on Grounding.Michael J. Clark & David Liggins - 2012 - Analysis 72 (4):812-823.
    There is currently an explosion of interest in grounding. In this article we provide an overview of the debate so far. We begin by introducing the concept of grounding, before discussing several kinds of scepticism about the topic. We then identify a range of central questions in the theory of grounding and discuss competing answers to them that have emerged in the debate. We close by raising some questions that have been relatively neglected but which warrant further attention.
  34. Logical Grounding and First-Degree Entailments.Correia Fabrice - unknown
  35. Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality.Correia Fabrice & Schnieder Benjamin (eds.) - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
    Some of the most eminent and enduring philosophical questions concern matters of priority: what is prior to what? What 'grounds' what? Is, for instance, matter prior to mind? Recently, a vivid debate has arisen about how such questions have to be understood. Can the relevant notion or notions of priority be spelled out? And how do they relate to other metaphysical notions, such as modality, truth-making or essence? This volume of new essays, by leading figures in contemporary metaphysics, is the (...)
  36. An Impure Logic of Representational Grounding.Fabrice Correia - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-32.
    I give a semantic characterization of a system for the logic of grounding similar to the system introduced by Kit Fine in his “Guide to Ground”, as well as a semantic characterization of a variant of that system which excludes the possibility of what Fine calls ‘zero-grounding’.
  37. On the Logic of Factual Equivalence.Fabrice Correia - 2016 - Review of Symbolic Logic 9 (1):103-122.
    Say that two sentences are factually equivalent when they describe the same facts or situations, understood as worldly items, i.e. as bits of reality rather than as representations of reality. The notion of factual equivalence is certainly of central interest to philosophical semantics, but it plays a role in a much wider range of philosophical areas. What is the logic of factual equivalence? This paper attempts to give a partial answer to this question, by providing an answer the following, more (...)
  38. Logical Grounds.Fabrice Correia - 2013 - Review of Symbolic Logic (1):1-29.
    I identify a notion of logical grounding, clarify it, and show how it can be used (i) to characterise various consequence relations, and (ii) to give a precise syntactic account of the notion of “groundedness” at work in the literature on the paradoxes of truth.
  39. From Grounding to Truth-Making: Some Thoughts.Fabrice Correia - 2011 - Philosophical Papers Dedicated to Kevin Mulligan.
    I assume that truth-making is to be understood in terms of grounding, and I show how, on that assumption, various general properties of truth-making follow from certain features of grounding.
  40. Grounding and Truth-Functions.Fabrice Correia - 2010 - Logique Et Analyse 53 (211):251-279.
    How does metaphysical grounding interact with the truth-functions? I argue that the answer varies according to whether one has a worldly conception or a conceptual conception of grounding. I then put forward a logic of worldly grounding and give it an adequate semantic characterisation.
  41. Existential Dependence and Cognate Notions.Fabrice Correia - 2005 - Philosophia Verlag.
    The purpose of the book is to clarify the notion of existential dependence and cognate notions, such as supervenience and the notion of an internal relation. I defend the view that such notions are best understood in terms of the concept of metaphysical grounding, i.e. the concept of one fact obtaining in virtue of other facts, where ‘in virtue of’ has a distinctively metaphysical meaning.
  42. Grounding: An Opinionated Introduction.Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1.
  43. The Unique Groundability of Temporal Facts.John Cusbert & Kristie Miller - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (1).
    The A-theory and the B-theory advance competing claims about how time is grounded. The A-theory says that A-facts are more fundamental in grounding time than are B-facts, and the B-theory says the reverse. We argue that whichever theory is true of the actual world is also true of all possible worlds containing time. We do this by arguing that time is uniquely groundable: however time is actually grounded, it is necessarily grounded in that way. It follows that if either the (...)
  44. Scepticism About Grounding.Chris Daly - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press. pp. 81.
  45. Metaphysical Rationalism.Shamik Dasgupta - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):379-418.
    The Principle of Sufficient Reason states that everything has an explanation. But different notions of explanation yield different versions of this principle. Here a version is formulated in terms of the notion of a “grounding” explanation. Its consequences are then explored, with particular emphasis on the fact that it implies necessitarianism, the view that every truth is necessarily true. Finally, the principle is defended from a number of objections, including objections to necessitarianism. The result is a defense of a “rationalist” (...)
  46. On the Plurality of Grounds.Shamik Dasgupta - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14 (20).
    This paper argues that ground is irreducibly plural: a group of facts can be grounded together, as a collective, even though no member of the group has a ground on its own. This kind of plural grounding is applied to the metaphysics of individuals and quantities, yielding a “structuralist” view in each case. Some more general implications of plural grounding are also discussed.
  47. The Possibility of Physicalism.Shamik Dasgupta - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (9/10):557-592.
    It has been suggested that many philosophical theses—physicalism, normative naturalism, phenomenalism, and so on—should be understood in terms of ground. Against this, Ted Sider (2011) has argued that ground is ill-suited for this purpose. Here I develop Sider’s objection and offer a response. In doing so I develop a view about the role of ground in philosophy, and about the content of these distinctively philosophical theses.
  48. Razing Structures to the Ground.Michael Della Rocca - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (3):276-294.
  49. Better Semantics for the Pure Logic of Ground.Louis deRosset - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (3):229-252.
    Philosophers have spilled a lot of ink over the past few years exploring the nature and significance of grounding. Kit Fine has made several seminal contributions to this discussion, including an exact treatment of the formal features of grounding [Fine, 2012a]. He has specified a language in which grounding claims may be expressed, proposed a system of axioms which capture the relevant formal features, and offered a semantics which interprets the language. Unfortunately, the semantics Fine offers faces a number of (...)
  50. On Weak Ground.Louis Derosset - 2014 - Review of Symbolic Logic 7 (4):713-744.
    Though the study of grounding is still in the early stages, Kit Fine, in ”The Pure Logic of Ground”, has made a seminal attempt at formalization. Formalization of this sort is supposed to bring clarity and precision to our theorizing, as it has to the study of other metaphysically important phenomena, like modality and vagueness. Unfortunately, as I will argue, Fine ties the formal treatment of grounding to the obscure notion of a weak ground. The obscurity of weak ground, together (...)
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