This paper establishes a sound and complete semantics for the impure logic of ground. Fine (Review of Symbolic Logic, 5(1), 1–25, 2012a) sets out a system for the pure logic of ground, one in which the formulas between which ground-theoretic claims hold have no internal logical complexity; and it provides a sound and complete semantics for the system. Fine (2012b) [§§6-8] sets out a system for an impure logic of ground, one that extends the rules of the original pure system (...) with rules for the truth-functional connectives, the first-order quantifiers, and λ-abstraction. However, no semantics has yet been provided for this system. The present paper partly fills this lacuna by providing a sound and complete semantics for a system GG containing the truth-functional operators that is closely related to the truth-functional part of the system of Fine (2012b). (shrink)
Some propositions are true, and it is true that some propositions are true. Each of these facts looks like an impeccable ground of the other. But they cannot both ground each other, since grounding is asymmetric. This paper explores two new diagnoses of this much discussed puzzle. The tools of higher-order logic are used to show how both diagnoses can be fleshed out into strong and consistent theories of grounding. These theories of grounding in turn demand new theories of the (...) granularity of propositions, properties, and relations. Even those who are uninterested in grounding should take seriously these pictures of reality’s logical structure, which are in many ways reminiscent of Russell’s and Wittgenstein’s logical atomism. (shrink)
I show that the assumption of highly structured propositions can be leveraged to provide a unified semantics for various propositional logics of impure ground in a very expressive and flexible way. It is shown, in particular, that the induced models are capable of capturing an infinitude of grounding facts that follow from unrestricted logics of ground, but, due to certain artificial restrictions, are left unaccounted for by the existing semantics in the literature. It is also shown that our models, unlike (...) the ones in the literature, are easily extendable to capture certain distinct views about iterated as well as identity grounding. (shrink)
This paper evaluates the proof-theoretic definition of ground developed by Poggiolesi in a range of recent publications and argues that her proposed definition fails. The paper then outlines an alternative approach where logical consequence relations and the logical operations are defined in terms of ground.
In recent years, there have been surges of interest in constitutive explanation. This kind of explanation is distinct from a causal explanation. For example, “Jack is evil because he killed a lot of people” is a constitutive explanation. In this case, the explanans does not cause the explanandum, but instead, constitutes the explanandum. Metaphysicians refer to this kind of explanation as “ground” and study its logical features and connections with other notions. The purpose of this paper is to review the (...) recent studies on the logical features of ground. These studies typically aim to construct the logic of ground, and this paper surveys its proof theory. With this, the following questions will be explored. What logical features does ground have? What are logically complex propositions grounded in? What do logically complex propositions ground? Examining these three questions, we can distinguish between the pure logic and the impure logic of ground. The former concerns the first question, and the latter concerns the second and third questions. With few exceptions, philosophers agree with the pure logic of ground. However, controversies arise in the impure logic of ground, and many philosophers have proposed different systems. Moreover, these systems differ concerning the rules that determine the logical behavior of ground. It is important because such differences imply significant distinctions in philosophical conceptions of ground. Finally, the notion of “ground-theoretic equivalence, ” a central theme of this paper, has an important role in contouring the differences. (shrink)
Wilhelm has recently shown that widely accepted principles about immediate ground are inconsistent with some principles of propositional identity. This note responds to this inconsistency by developing two ground-theoretic accounts of propositional individuation. On one account some of the grounding principles are incorrect; on the other account, the principles of propositional individuation are incorrect.
Fine’s Paradox, an insider critique of philosophical grounding, suggests that everything is grounded in its own existence. If it obtained, the project of philosophical grounding would be both ideologically and technically problematic. Given previous attempts targeting either on Fine’s argumentation or logical features of grounding, I will argue for one proposal citing the notion of Grounding Pluralism, a once misunderstood or underestimated notion, to empty the paradox. Moreover, I will also illustrate why this proposal is theoretically more beneficial, compared to (...) other potential options, and why it is almost a cure. (shrink)
The notion of grounding is usually conceived as an objective and explanatory relation. It connects two relata if one—the ground—determines or explains the other—the consequence. In the contemporary literature on grounding, much effort has been devoted to logically characterize the formal aspects of grounding, but a major hard problem remains: defining suitable grounding principles for universal and existential formulae. Indeed, several grounding principles for quantified formulae have been proposed, but all of them are exposed to paradoxes in some very natural (...) contexts of application. We introduce in this paper a first-order formal system that captures the notion of grounding and avoids the paradoxes in a novel and non-trivial way. The system we present formally develops Bolzano’s ideas on grounding by employing Hilbert’s ε-terms and an adapted version of Fine’s theory of arbitrary objects. (shrink)
Existential claims are widely held to be grounded in their true instances. However, this principle is shown to be problematic by arguments due to Kit Fine. Stephan Krämer has given an especially simple form of such an argument using propositional quantifiers. This note shows that even if a schematic principle of existential grounds for propositional quantifiers has to be restricted, this does not immediately apply to a corresponding non-schematic principle in higher-order logic.
Seemingly natural principles about the logic of ground generate cycles of ground; how can this be if ground is asymmetric? The goal of the theory of decycling is to find systematic and principled ways of getting rid of such cycles of ground. In this paper—drawing on graph-theoretic and topological ideas—I develop a general framework in which various theories of decycling can be compared. This allows us to improve on proposals made earlier by Fine and Litland. However, it turns out that (...) there is no unique method of decycling. An important upshot is that the notion of asymmetric ground may be indeterminate. (shrink)
I explore the logic of ground. I first develop a logic of weak ground. This logic strengthens the logic of weak ground presented by Fine in his ‘Guide to Ground.’ This logic, I argue, generates many plausible principles which Fine’s system leaves out. I then derive from this a logic of strict ground. I argue that there is a strong abductive case for adopting this logic. It’s elegant, parsimonious and explanatorily powerful. Yet, so I suggest, adopting it has important consequences. (...) First, it means we should think of ground as a type of identity. Second, it means we should reject much of Fine’s logic of strict ground. I also show how the logic I develop connects to other systems in the literature. It is definitionally equivalent both to Angell’s logic of analytic containment and to Correia’s system G. (shrink)
Many philosophers have been attracted to the idea of using the logical form of a true sentence as a guide to the metaphysical grounds of the fact stated by that sentence. This paper looks at a particular instance of that idea: the widely accepted principle that disjunctions are grounded in their true disjuncts. I will argue that an unrestricted version of this principle has several problematic consequences and that it’s not obvious how the principle might be restricted in order to (...) avoid them. My suggestion is that, instead of trying to restrict the principle, we should distinguish between metaphysical and conceptual grounds and take the principle to apply exclusively to the latter. This suggestion, if correct, carries over to other prominent attempts at using logical form as a guide to ground. (shrink)
I introduce a proof system for the logic of relative fundamentality, as well as a natural semantics with respect to which the system is both sound and complete. I then “modalise” the logic, and finally I discuss the properties of grounding given a suggested account of this notion in terms of necessity and relative fundamentality.
This is part one of a two-part paper, in which we develop an axiomatic theory of the relation of partial ground. The main novelty of the paper is the of use of a binary ground predicate rather than an operator to formalize ground. This allows us to connect theories of partial ground with axiomatic theories of truth. In this part of the paper, we develop an axiomatization of the relation of partial ground over the truths of arithmetic and show that (...) the theory is a proof-theoretically conservative extension of the theory PT of positive truth. We construct models for the theory and draw some conclusions for the semantics of conceptualist ground. (shrink)
Could φ’s partially grounding ψ itself be a partial ground for ψ? I show that it follows from commonly accepted principles in the logic of ground that this sometimes happens. It also follows from commonly accepted principles that this never happens. I show that this inconsistency turns on different principles than the puzzles of ground already discussed in the literature, and I propose a way of resolving the inconsistency.
I give a semantic characterisation 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 characterisation of a variant of that system which excludes the possibility of what Fine calls ‘zero-grounding’.
The Problem of Iterated Ground is to explain what grounds truths about ground: if Γ grounds φ, what grounds that Γ grounds φ? This paper develops a novel solution to this problem. The basic idea is to connect ground to explanatory arguments. By developing a rigorous account of explanatory arguments we can equip operators for factive and non-factive ground with natural introduction and elimination rules. A satisfactory account of iterated ground falls directly out of the resulting logic: non- factive grounding (...) claims, if true, are zero-grounded in the sense of Fine. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to provide a definition of the the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding through the concepts of derivability and complexity. It will be shown that this definition yields a subtle and precise analysis of the concept of grounding in several paradigmatic cases.
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 (...) problems. In this paper, I review the problems and offer an alternative that avoids them. I offer a semantics for the pure logic of ground that is motivated by ideas already present in the grounding literature, and for which a natural axiomatization capturing central formal features of grounding is sound and complete. I also show how the semantics I offer avoids the problems faced by Fine’s semantics. (shrink)
In his 2010 paper ‘Grounding and Truth-Functions’, Fabrice Correia has developed the first and so far only proposal for a logic of ground based on a worldly conception of facts. In this paper, we show that the logic allows the derivation of implausible grounding claims. We then generalize these results and draw some conclusions concerning the structural features of ground and its associated notion of relevance, which has so far not received the attention it deserves.
A problem is raised for the introduction rules proposed in Benjamin Schnieder’s ‘A logic for “because”’, arising in connection with (a) inferences that the rules should not, but do, validate and (b) inferences that the rules should, but do not, validate.
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 (...) with its centrality in Fine’s system, threatens to undermine the extent to which this formalization offers clarity and precision. In this paper, I show how to overcome this problem. I describe a system, the logic of strict ground (LSG) and demonstrate its adequacy; I specify a translation scheme for interpreting Fine’s weak grounding claims; I show that the interpretation verifies all of the principles of Fine’s system; and I show that derivability in Fine’s system can be exactly characterized in terms of derivability in LSG. I conclude that Fine’s system is reducible to LSG. (shrink)
Metaphysical grounding is standardly taken to be irreflexive: nothing grounds itself. Kit Fine has presented some puzzles that appear to contradict this principle. I construct a particularly simple variant of those puzzles that is independent of several of the assumptions required by Fine, instead employing quantification into sentence position. Various possible responses to Fine's puzzles thus turn out to apply only in a restricted range of cases.
In this paper, I provide a thorough discussion and reconstruction of Bernard Bolzano’s theory of grounding and a detailed investigation into the parallels between his concept of grounding and current notions of normal proofs. Grounding (Abfolge) is an objective ground-consequence relation among true propositions that is explanatory in nature. The grounding relation plays a crucial role in Bolzano’s proof-theory, and it is essential for his views on the ideal buildup of scientific theories. Occasionally, similarities have been pointed out between Bolzano’s (...) ideas on grounding and cut-free proofs in Gentzen’s sequent calculus. My thesis is, however, that they bear an even stronger resemblance to the normal natural deduction proofs employed in proof-theoretic semantics in the tradition of Dummett and Prawitz. (shrink)
A number of philosophers have recently become receptive to the idea that, in addition to scientific or causal explanation, there may be a distinctive kind of metaphysical explanation, in which explanans and explanandum are connected, not through some sort of causal mechanism, but through some constitutive form of determination. I myself have long been sympathetic to this idea of constitutive determination or ‘ontological ground’; and it is the aim of the present paper to help put the idea on a firmer (...) footing - to explain how it is to be understood, how it relates to other ideas, and how it might be of use in philosophy. (shrink)
In “Proof-Theoretic Justiﬁcation of Logic”, building on work by Dummett and Prawitz, I show how to construct use-based meaning-theories for the logical constants. The assertability-conditional meaning-theory takes the meaning of the logical constants to be given by their introduction rules; the consequence-conditional meaning-theory takes the meaning of the logical constants to be given by their elimination rules. I then consider the question: given a set of introduction rules \, what are the strongest elimination rules that are validated by an assertability (...) conditional meaning-theory based on \? I prove that the intuitionistic introduction rules are the strongest rules that are validated by the intuitionistic elimination rules. I then prove that intuitionistic logic is the strongest logic that can be given either an assertability-conditional or consequence-conditional meaning-theory. In “Grounding Grounding” I discuss the notion of grounding. My discussion revolves around the problem of iterated grounding-claims. Suppose that \ grounds \; what grounds that \ grounds that \? I argue that unless we can get a satisfactory answer to this question the notion of grounding will be useless. I discuss and reject some proposed accounts of iterated grounding claims. I then develop a new way of expressing grounding, propose an account of iterated grounding-claims and show how we can develop logics for grounding. In “Is the Vagueness Argument Valid?” I argue that the Vagueness Argument in favor of unrestricted composition isn’t valid. However, if the premisses of the argument are true and the conclusion false, mereological facts fail to supervene on non-mereological facts. I argue that this failure of supervenience is an artifact of the interplay between the necessity and determinacy operators and that it does not mean that mereological facts fail to depend on non-mereological facts. I sketch a deﬂationary view of ontology to establish this. (shrink)
In spite of its significance for everyday and philosophical discourse, the explanatory connective has not received much treatment in the philosophy of logic. The present paper develops a logic for based on systematic connections between and the truth-functional connectives.
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.