Philosophical Studies 166 (2):399-418 (2013)
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, dependence, failed reductive theories and parsimony. I argue that no one of these accounts adequately captures the conditions under which an infinite regress—any infinite regress—is vicious as opposed to benign. In their place, I suggest an account of viciousness in terms of explanatory failure. If this account is correct, infinite grounding regresses are not necessarily vicious; and we must be much more careful employing such arguments to the conclusion that there has to be something fundamental
|Keywords||Vicious infinite regress Metaphysical foundationalism Grounding Metaphysical explanation|
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References found in this work BETA
Turtles All the Way Down: Regress, Priority and Fundamentality.Ross P. Cameron - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):1-14.
Citations of this work BETA
Grounding in the Image of Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
Fundamentality and Ontological Minimality.Tuomas E. Tahko - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press.
What Do We Mean When We Ask “Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?".Andrew Brenner - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1305-1322.
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