Grounding: Necessary or Contingent?

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):465-485 (2013)
Authors
Kelly Trogdon
Virginia Tech
Abstract
Recent interest in the nature of grounding is due in part to the idea that purely modal notions are too coarse‐grained to capture what we have in mind when we say that one thing is grounded in another. Grounding not being purely modal in character, however, is compatible with it having modal consequences. Is grounding a necessary relation? In this article I argue that the answer is ‘yes’ in the sense that propositions corresponding to full grounds modally entail propositions corresponding to what they ground. The argument proceeds upon two substantive principles: the first is that there is a broadly epistemic constraint on grounding, while the second links this constraint with Fine's Aristotelian notion of essence. Many think grounding is necessary in something like the sense specified above, but just why it's necessary is an issue that hasn't been carefully addressed. If my argument is successful, we now know why grounding is necessary.
Keywords grounding  metaphysical explanation
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DOI 10.1111/papq.2013.94.issue-4
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References found in this work BETA

Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - 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. 109-36.
Essence and Modality.Kit Fine - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:1-16.
Does Conceivability Entail Possibility?David J. Chalmers - 2002 - In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 145--200.

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Citations of this work BETA

Against Grounding Necessitarianism.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.
Grounding in the Image of Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
Ground.Michael J. Raven - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (5):322-333.
Grounding, Essence, and Identity.Fabrice Correia & Alexander Skiles - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
The Nomological Account of Ground.Tobias Wilsch - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3293-3312.

View all 36 citations / Add more citations

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Recent Work on Grounding.Michael J. Clark & David Liggins - 2012 - Analysis Reviews 72 (4):812-823.
Grounding, Transitivity, and Contrastivity.Jonathan Schaffer - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press. pp. 122-138.
From Grounding to Supervenience?Stephan Leuenberger - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (1):227-240.

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