The ground of ground, essence, and explanation

Synthese 198 (Suppl 6):1257-1277 (2021)
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Abstract

This paper is about the so-called meta-grounding question, i.e. the question of what grounds grounding facts of the sort ‘φ is grounded in Γ ’. An answer to this question is pressing since some plausible assumptions about grounding and fundamentality entail that grounding facts must be grounded. There are three different accounts on the market which each answer the meta-grounding question differently: Bennett’s and deRosset’s “Straight Forward Account” (SFA), Litland’s “Zero-Grounding Account” (ZGA), and “Grounding Essentialism” (GE). I argue that if grounding is to be regarded as metaphysical explanation (i.e. if unionism is true), (GE) is to be preferred over (ZGA) and (SFA) as only (GE) is compatible with a crucial consequence of the thought that grounding is metaphysical explanation. In this manner the paper contributes not only to discussions about the ground of ground but also to the ongoing debate concerning the relationship between ground, essence, and explanation.

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Michael Wallner
University of Graz

Citations of this work

Fundamental Yet Grounded.Joaquim Giannotti - 2021 - Theoria 87 (3):578-599.
Backing as Truthmaking.Alexios Stamatiadis-Bréhier - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (5):367–383.
Absolute Idealist Powers.Jesse M. Mulder - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):471-484.
Grounding Functionalism and Explanatory Unificationism.Alexios Stamatiadis-Bréhier - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.

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References found in this work

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.
No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535-579.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.

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