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Aaron Griffith
William & Mary
  1. Social Construction and Grounding.Aaron M. Griffith - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (2):393-409.
    The aim of this paper is to bring recent work on metaphysical grounding to bear on the phenomenon of social construction. It is argued that grounding can be used to analyze social construction and that the grounding framework is helpful for articulating various claims and commitments of social constructionists, especially about social identities, e.g., gender and race. The paper also responds to a number of objections that have been leveled against the application of grounding to social construction from Elizabeth Barnes, (...)
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  2. Perception and the Categories: A Conceptualist Reading of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.Aaron M. Griffith - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (2):193-222.
    Abstract: Philosophers interested in Kant's relevance to contemporary debates over the nature of mental content—notably Robert Hanna and Lucy Allais—have argued that Kant ought to be credited with being the original proponent of the existence of ‘nonconceptual content’. However, I think the ‘nonconceptualist’ interpretations that Hanna and Allais give do not show that Kant allowed for nonconceptual content as they construe it. I argue, on the basis of an analysis of certain sections of the A and B editions of the (...)
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  3. Truthmaking and Grounding.Aaron M. Griffith - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (2):196-215.
    This paper is concerned with the relation between two important metaphysical notions, ‘truthmaking’ and ‘grounding’. I begin by considering various ways in which truthmaking could be explicated in terms of grounding, noting both strengths and weaknesses of these analyses. I go on to articulate a problem for any attempt to analyze truthmaking in terms of a generic and primitive notion of grounding based on differences we find among examples of grounding. Finally, I outline a more complex view of how truthmaking (...)
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  4. Towards a Pluralist Theory of Truthmaking.Aaron M. Griffith - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (6):1157-1173.
    This paper introduces a new approach to the theory of truthmaking. According to this approach, there are multiple forms of truthmaking. Here, I characterize and motivate a specific version of this approach, which I call a ‘Pluralist Theory of Truthmaking.’ It is suggested that truthmaking is a plural, variegated phenomenon wherein different kinds of truths, e.g., positive truths, negative truths, counterfactual truths, etc., are made true in different ways. While the paper only aims to lay the groundwork for a Pluralist (...)
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  5.  97
    How Negative Truths Are Made True.Aaron M. Griffith - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):317-335.
    Identifying plausible truthmakers for negative truths has been a serious and perennial problem for truthmaker theory. I argue here that negative truths are indeed made true but not in the way that positive truths are. I rely on a distinction between “existence-independence” and “variation-independence” drawn by Hoffman and Horvath to characterize the unique form of dependence negative truths exhibit on reality. The notion of variation-independence is then used to motivate a principle of truthmaking for contingent negative truths.
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  6.  63
    Realizing Race.Aaron M. Griffith - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1919-1934.
    A prominent way of explaining how race is socially constructed appeals to social positions and social structures. On this view, the construction of a person’s race is understood in terms of the person occupying a certain social position in a social structure. The aim of this paper is to give a metaphysically perspicuous account of this form of race construction. Analogous to functionalism about mental states, I develop an account of a ‘race structure’ in which various races (Black, White, Asian, (...)
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  7. On Some Alleged Truthmakers for Negatives.Aaron M. Griffith - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (4):301-308.
    This article considers three recent attempts by David Armstrong, Ross Cameron, and Jonathan Schaffer to provide truthmakers for negative existential truths. It is argued that none of the proposed truthmakers are up to the task of making any negative existential truth true and, it will turn out, for the same reason.
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  8.  70
    The Rights of Future Persons and the Ontology of Time.Aaron M. Griffith - 2017 - Journal of Social Philosophy 48 (1):58-70.
    Many are committed to the idea that the present generation has obligations to future generations, for example, obligations to preserve the environment and certain natural resources for those generations. However, some philosophers want to explain why we have these obligations in terms of correlative rights that future persons have against persons in the present. Attributing such rights to future persons is controversial, for there seem to be compelling arguments against the position. According to the “nonexistence” argument, future persons cannot have (...)
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  9.  66
    Do Ontological Categories Exist?Aaron M. Griffith - 2015 - Metaphysica 16 (1).
    This paper concerns the ontological status of ontological categories (e.g., universal, particular, substance, property, relation, kind, object, etc.). I consider E.J. Lowe’s argument for the view that ontological categories do not exist and point out that it has some undesirable consequences for his realist ontology. I go on to argue that the main premise in Lowe’s argument—that ontological categories cannot be categorized—is false and then develop a conception of ontological categories as formal ontological kinds.
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  10.  41
    Erratum To: How Negative Truths Are Made True.Aaron M. Griffith - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):3051-3051.
    Erratum to: Synthese 192:317–335 DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0570-7The second sentence on page 317 reads “The challenge is that, prima facie, it is hard to see how a negative truth, e.g., \ of something could be made true by the existence of some entity”.This sentence should read “The challenge is that, prima facie, it is hard to see how a negative truth, e.g., \ that is concerned with the non-existence of something could be made true by the existence of some entity”.
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    Individualistic and Structural Explanations in Ásta’s Categories We Live By.Aaron M. Griffith - 2019 - Journal of Social Ontology 5 (2):251-260.
    Ásta’s Categories We Live By is a superb addition to the literature on social metaphysics. In it she offers a powerful framework for understanding the creation and maintenance of social categories. In this commentary piece, I want to draw attention to Ásta’s reliance on explanatory individualism – the view that the social world is best explained by the actions and attitudes of individuals. I argue that this reliance makes it difficult for Ásta to explain how many social categories are maintained (...)
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  12.  85
    Metaphysics and Social Justice.Aaron M. Griffith - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (6).
    Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that aims to give a theoretical account of what there is and what it is like. Social justice movements seek to bring about justice in a society by changing policy, law, practice, and culture. Evidently, these activities are very different from one another. The goal of this article is to identify some positive connections between recent work in metaphysics and social justice movements. I outline three ways in which metaphysical work on social reality can (...)
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  13.  38
    Presentism, Truthmaking, and the Nature of Truth.Aaron M. Griffith - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
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  14.  29
    The Metaphysics of Truth By Douglas Edwards.Aaron M. Griffith - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):805-809.
    _ The Metaphysics of Truth _By EdwardsDouglasOxford University Press, 2018. x + 198 pp.
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