Grounding-Based Formulations of Physicalism

Topoi (3):1-18 (2016)
Authors
Jessica Wilson
University of Toronto, St. George
Abstract
I problematize Grounding-based formulations of physicalism. More specifically, I argue, first, that motivations for adopting a Grounding-based formulation of physicalism are unsound; second, that a Grounding-based formulation lacks illuminating content, and that attempts to imbue Grounding with content by taking it to be a strict partial order are unuseful and problematic ; third, that conceptions of Grounding as constitutively connected to metaphysical explanation conflate metaphysics and epistemology, are ultimately either circular or self-undermining, and controversially assume that physical dependence is incompatible with explanatory gaps; fourth, that in order to appropriately distinguish physicalism from strong emergentism, a Grounding-based formulation must introduce one and likely two primitives in addition to Grounding (NOTE: I should have credited Stephan Leuenberger's unpublished work on weak supplementation concerns about grounding-based treatments of strong emergence here; I am seeking a corrigendum); and fifth, that understanding physical dependence in terms of Grounding gives rise to ‘spandrel’ questions, including, e.g., “What Grounds Grounding?”, which arise only due to the overly abstract nature of Grounding.
Keywords physicalism  grounding  non-reductive physicalism
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-016-9435-7
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References found in this work BETA

Grounding: Toward a Theory of the In-Virtue-Of Relation.Paul Audi - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (12):685-711.
New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
The Possibility of Physicalism.Shamik Dasgupta - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (9-10):557-592.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.

View all 60 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Constitutive Explanation.Shamik Dasgupta - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):74-97.
In Defense of the Disunity of Grounding.Jon Erling Litland - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):97-108.
Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):537-551.
Pure Logic of Iterated Full Ground.Jon Erling Litland - 2018 - Review of Symbolic Logic 11 (3):411-435.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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