Irrealism about Grounding

Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:23-44 (2018)
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Abstract

Grounding talk has become increasingly familiar in contemporary philosophical discussion. Most discussants of grounding think that grounding talk is useful, intelligible, and accurately describes metaphysical reality. Call themrealistsabout grounding. Some dissenters reject grounding talk on the grounds that it is unintelligible, or unmotivated. They would prefer to eliminate grounding talk from philosophy, so we can call themeliminitivistsabout grounding. This paper outlines a new position in the debate about grounding, defending the view that grounding talk is intelligible and useful. Grounding talk does not, however, provide a literal and veridical description of mind-independent metaphysical reality. This irrealismabout grounding treads a path between realism and eliminativism.

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Naomi Thompson
University of Southampton

Citations of this work

Metaphysical Grounding.Ricki Bliss & Kelly Trogdon - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Grounding Pluralism: Why and How.Kevin Richardson - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1399-1415.
Questions and Answers: Metaphysical Explanation and the Structure of Reality.Naomi Thompson - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (1):98-116.
Counterpossible Reasoning in Physics.Alastair Wilson - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1113-1124.

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References found in this work

No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
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.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
Grounding: Toward a Theory of the I N-Virtue-Of Relation.Paul Audi - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (12):685-711.
The Question of Realism.Kit Fine - 2001 - Philosophers' Imprint 1:1-30.

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