Metaphysical Overdetermination

Philosophical Quarterly 73 (1):1-23 (2022)
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Abstract

It is widely recognized by proponents of the notion that grounding can be, indeed is, overdetermined. Moreover, it seems safe to suppose that something of a consensus has emerged: grounding is overdetermined and there is nothing about it that we ought to find concerning. Not only is the overdetermination apparently not problematic, metaphysically speaking, but that grounding is overdetermined is not problematic, conceptually speaking, either. From a small sampling of alleged cases, however, no such conclusions can responsibly be drawn. And without an account of when a fact is technically overdetermined, we are unable to reasonably answer questions about the acceptability of that overdetermination either. In this paper, I attempt to understand when a fact is technically metaphysically overdetermined. I argue that such an exploration reveals that nothing as regards the overdetermination of grounding is straightforward, and that the phenomenon is deserving of much more philosophical attention.

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Ricki Bliss
Lehigh University

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References found in this work

Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-135.
Metaphysical grounding.Ricki Bliss & Kelly Trogdon - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.

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