Synthese 196 (7):2971-2999 (2019)

Stefan Roski
Universität Hamburg
It is sometimes mentioned that Bernard Bolzano’s work on grounding anticipates many insights of the current debate on metaphysical grounding. The present paper discusses a certain part of Bolzano’s theory of grounding that has thus far not been discussed in the literature. This part does not so much anticipate what are nowadays common assumptions about grounding, but rather goes beyond them. Central to the discussion will be a thesis of Bolzano’s by which he tries to establish a connection between grounding and unification. The paper spells out this thesis in detail and discusses the assumptions on which it rests. Next to this mainly historical aim, the paper also presents reasons why philosophers who are not interested in the historical Bolzano should find the thesis interesting by relating it to a certain view on unification and explanation that has been put forward by Kim. A final part of the paper provides a critical evaluation of the thesis against the background of current accounts of grounding.
Keywords Grounding  Unification  Bolzano  Explanation
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1593-7
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References found in this work BETA

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
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.
Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.

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Citations of this work BETA

Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.

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