Ground

Philosophy Compass 10 (5):322-333 (2015)
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Abstract

This essay focuses on a recently prominent notion of ground which is distinctive for how it links metaphysics to explanation. Ground is supposed to serve both as the common factor in diverse in virtue of questions as well as the structuring relation in the project of explaining how some phenomena are “built” from more fundamental phenomena. My aim is to provide an opinionated synopsis of this notion of ground without engaging with others. Ground, so understood, generally resists illumination by appeal to more familiar models of explanation. Nevertheless, its distinctive explanatory and metaphysical aspects guide us on characterizing its explanatory logic and its metaphysical features. Some issues concerning the meta-question of what grounds ground are explored, as well as some recent skeptical challenges to ground.

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Michael J. Raven
University of Victoria

Citations of this work

Metaphysical grounding.Ricki Bliss & Kelly Trogdon - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Grounding and metametaphysics.Alexander Skiles & Kelly Trogdon - 2020 - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York, NY: Routledge.
Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.
Fundamentality without Foundations.Michael J. Raven - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):607-626.

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References found in this work

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
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.
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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