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Jon Litland
University of Texas at Austin
  1. On Some Counterexamples to the Transitivity of Grounding.Jon Erling Litland - 2013 - Essays in Philosophy 14 (1):3.
    I discuss three recent counterexamples to the transitivity of grounding due to Jonathan Schaffer. I argue that the counterexamples don’t work and draw some conclusions about the relationship between grounding and explanation.
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  2. Grounding, Explanation, and the Limit of Internality.Jon Erling Litland - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (4):481-532.
    Most authors on metaphysical grounding have taken full grounding to be an internal relation in the sense that it's necessary that if the grounds and the grounded both obtain, then the grounds ground the grounded. The negative part of this essay exploits empirical and provably nonparadoxical self-reference to prove conclusively that even immediate full grounding isn't an internal relation in this sense. The positive, second part of this essay uses the notion of a “completely satisfactory explanation” to shed light on (...)
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  3. In Defense of the Disunity of Grounding.Jon Erling Litland - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (2):97-108.
    Fine (2012) is a pluralist about grounding. He holds that there are three fundamentally distinct notions of grounding: metaphysical, normative, and natural. Berker (2017) argues for monism on the grounds that the pluralist cannot account for certain principles describing how the distinct notions of grounding interact. This paper defends pluralism. By building on work by Fine (2010) and Litland (2015) I show how the pluralist can systematically account for Berker's interaction principles.
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  4. Could the Grounds’s Grounding the Grounded Ground the Grounded?Jon Erling Litland - 2018 - Analysis 78 (1):56-65.
    Could φ’s partially grounding ψ itself be a partial ground for ψ? I show that it follows from commonly accepted principles in the logic of ground that this sometimes happens. It also follows from commonly accepted principles that this never happens. I show that this inconsistency turns on different principles than the puzzles of ground already discussed in the literature, and I propose a way of resolving the inconsistency.
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  5. An Infinitely Descending Chain of Ground Without a Lower Bound.Jon Erling Litland - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1361-1369.
    Using only uncontentious principles from the logic of ground I construct an infinitely descending chain of ground without a lower bound. I then compare the construction to the constructions due to Dixon and Rabin and Rabern.
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  6. Vagueness & Modality—An Ecumenical Approach.Jon Erling Litland & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):229-269.
    How does vagueness interact with metaphysical modality and with restrictions of it, such as nomological modality? In particular, how do definiteness, necessity (understood as restricted in some way or not), and actuality interact? This paper proposes a model-theoretic framework for investigating the logic and semantics of that interaction. The framework is put forward in an ecumenical spirit: it is intended to be applicable to all theories of vagueness that express vagueness using a definiteness (or: determinacy) operator. We will show how (...)
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    Prospects for a Theory of Decycling.Jon Erling Litland - 2020 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 61 (3):467-499.
    Seemingly natural principles about the logic of ground generate cycles of ground; how can this be if ground is asymmetric? The goal of the theory of decycling is to find systematic and principled ways of getting rid of such cycles of ground. In this paper—drawing on graph-theoretic and topological ideas—I develop a general framework in which various theories of decycling can be compared. This allows us to improve on proposals made earlier by Fine and Litland. However, it turns out that (...)
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    A Note on the Wilhelmine Inconsistency.Jon Erling Litland - 2022 - Analysis 81 (4):639-647.
    Wilhelm has recently shown that widely accepted principles about immediate ground are inconsistent with some principles of propositional identity. This note responds to this inconsistency by developing two ground-theoretic accounts of propositional individuation. On one account some of the grounding principles are incorrect; on the other account, the principles of propositional individuation are incorrect.
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    Pure Logic of Iterated Full Ground.Jon Erling Litland - 2018 - Review of Symbolic Logic 11 (3):411-435.
    This article develops the Pure Logic of Iterated Full Ground (PLIFG), a logic of ground that can deal with claims of the form “ϕ grounds that (ψ grounds θ)”—what we call iterated grounding claims. The core idea is that some truths Γ ground a truth ϕ when there is an explanatory argument (of a certain sort) from premisses Γ to conclusion ϕ. By developing a deductive system that distinguishes between explanatory and nonexplanatory arguments we can give introduction rules for operators (...)
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  10. Topics in Philosophical Logic.Jon Erling Litland - 2012 - Dissertation, Harvard
    In “Proof-Theoretic Justification of Logic”, building on work by Dummett and Prawitz, I show how to construct use-based meaning-theories for the logical constants. The assertability-conditional meaning-theory takes the meaning of the logical constants to be given by their introduction rules; the consequence-conditional meaning-theory takes the meaning of the logical constants to be given by their elimination rules. I then consider the question: given a set of introduction rules \, what are the strongest elimination rules that are validated by an assertability (...)
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