Synthese (forthcoming)

Authors
Henrik Rydéhn
University Tübingen
Abstract
Recent metaphysics has seen a surge of interest in grounding—a relation of non-causal determination underlying a distinctive kind of explanation common in philosophy. In this article, I investigate the connection between grounding and another phenomenon of great interest to metaphysics: ontological dependence. There are interesting parallels between the two phenomena: for example, both are commonly invoked through the use of “dependence” terminology, and there is a great deal of overlap in the motivations typically appealed to when introducing them. I approach the question of the relationship between grounding and ontological dependence through an investigation of their modal connections (or lack thereof). I argue, firstly, that on the common assumption that grounding is factive, it can be shown that no known variety of rigid ontological dependence is either necessary or sufficient for grounding. I also offer some suggestions in support of the claim that this generalizes to every possible form of rigid ontological dependence. I then broaden the discussion by considering a non-factive conception of grounding, as well as by looking at forms of generic (rather than rigid) ontological dependence. I argue that there is at least one form of rigid ontological dependence that is sufficient for non-factive grounding, and that a form of generic dependence may be necessary (but not sufficient) both for factive and non-factive grounding. However, justifying even these fairly weak modal connections between grounding and ontological dependence turns out to require some quite specific and substantive assumptions about the two phenomena that have only rarely been discussed.
Keywords Grounding  Dependence  Ontological dependence  Essence  Modality  Fundamentality
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References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:1-16.
Guide to Ground.Kit Fine - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37--80.
Against Grounding Necessitarianism.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Atomism and Fundamentality.Benjamin Schnieder - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (3):551-574.

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