Topoi 37 (3):495-512 (2016)

Authors
Jessica M. Wilson
University of Toronto at Scarborough
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; 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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Reprint years 2018
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-016-9435-7
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References found in this work BETA

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
New Work for a Theory of Universals.David Lewis - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4):343-377.
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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Citations of this work BETA

Constitutive Explanation.Shamik Dasgupta - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):74-97.
The fundamental: Ungrounded or all-grounding?Stephan Leuenberger - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2647-2669.
Four Questions of Iterated Grounding.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):341-364.
Explaining Contingent Facts.Fatema Amijee - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1163-1181.
Physicalism.Amanda Bryant - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York: Routledge. pp. 484-500.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

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