Disjunction and the Logic of Grounding

Erkenntnis 87 (2):567-587 (2020)
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Abstract

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.

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Author's Profile

Giovanni Merlo
University of Geneva

References found in this work

New work for a theory of universals.David K. Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
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.

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