Erkenntnis 83 (6):1157-1180 (2018)

Authors
David Mark Kovacs
Tel Aviv University
Abstract
Many philosophers embrace grounding, supposedly a central notion of metaphysics. Grounding is widely assumed to be irreflexive, but recently a number of authors have questioned this assumption: according to them, it is at least possible that some facts ground themselves. The primary purpose of this paper is to problematize the notion of self-grounding through the theoretical roles usually assigned to grounding. The literature typically characterizes grounding as at least playing two central theoretical roles: a structuring role and an explanatory role. Once we carefully spell out what playing these roles includes, however, we find that any notion of grounding that isn’t irreflexive fails to play these roles when they are interpreted narrowly, and is redundant for playing them when they are interpreted more broadly. The upshot is that no useful notion of grounding can allow a fact to ground itself.
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-017-9934-y
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References found in this work BETA

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-36.
No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.

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Citations of this work BETA

Debunking Logical Ground: Distinguishing Metaphysics From Semantics.Michaela Markham McSweeney - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (2):156-170.
Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.
The fundamental: Ungrounded or all-grounding?Stephan Leuenberger - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2647-2669.
The Myth of the Myth of Supervenience.David Kovacs - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):1967-1989.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

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