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Louis deRosset
University of Vermont
  1. Grounding Explanations.Louis deRosset - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
    A compelling idea holds that reality has a layered structure. We often disagree about what inhabits the bottom layer, but we agree that higher up we find chemical, biological, geological, psychological, sociological, economic, /etc./, entities: molecules, human beings, diamonds, mental states, cities, interest rates, and so on. How is this intuitive talk of a layered structure of entities to be understood? Traditionally, philosophers have proposed to understand layered structure in terms of either reduction or supervenience. But these traditional views face (...)
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    Are Skeptical Doubts About Ground Warranted?Louis deRosset - manuscript
    No. More carefully: apparently not. [This piece was commissioned for the Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Ground. Depending on the decisions of the editor, Michael J. Raven, it may be published there.].
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  3. Getting Priority Straight.Louis deRosset - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (1):73-97.
    Consider the kinds of macroscopic concrete objects that common sense and the sciences allege to exist: tables, raindrops, tectonic plates, galaxies, and the rest. Are there any such things? Opinions differ. Ontological liberals say they do; ontological radicals say they don't. Liberalism seems favored by its plausible acquiescence to the dictates of common sense abetted by science; radicalism by its ontological parsimony. Priority theorists claim we can have the virtues of both views. They hold that tables, raindrops, etc., exist, but (...)
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  4. Better Semantics for the Pure Logic of Ground.Louis deRosset - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (3):229-252.
    Philosophers have spilled a lot of ink over the past few years exploring the nature and significance of grounding. Kit Fine has made several seminal contributions to this discussion, including an exact treatment of the formal features of grounding [Fine, 2012a]. He has specified a language in which grounding claims may be expressed, proposed a system of axioms which capture the relevant formal features, and offered a semantics which interprets the language. Unfortunately, the semantics Fine offers faces a number of (...)
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    Review of Karen Bennett's Making Things Up. [REVIEW]Louis deRosset - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2018.
    A review of Karen Bennett's /Making Things Up/.
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  6. On Weak Ground.Louis Derosset - 2014 - Review of Symbolic Logic 7 (4):713-744.
    Though the study of grounding is still in the early stages, Kit Fine, in ”The Pure Logic of Ground”, has made a seminal attempt at formalization. Formalization of this sort is supposed to bring clarity and precision to our theorizing, as it has to the study of other metaphysically important phenomena, like modality and vagueness. Unfortunately, as I will argue, Fine ties the formal treatment of grounding to the obscure notion of a weak ground. The obscurity of weak ground, together (...)
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  7. What is the Grounding Problem?Louis deRosset - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (2):173-197.
    A philosophical standard in the debates concerning material constitution is the case of a statue and a lump of clay, Goliath and Lumpl, respectively. According to the story, Lumpl and Goliath are coincident throughout their respective careers. Monists hold that they are identical; pluralists that they are distinct. This paper is concerned with a particular objection to pluralism, the Grounding Problem. The objection is roughly that the pluralist faces a legitimate explanatory demand to explain various differences she alleges between Lumpl (...)
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    Stipulations and Requirements: Reply to Horden.Louis deRosset - 2017 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 10:74-84.
    In "Analyticity and Ontology," I argued that there are counterexamples to the claim that the sentences analytically entailed by a claim $\phi$ require nothing more of the world for their truth than does $\phi$. The counterexamples involve sentences which, I argued, are analytically entailed by certain truths, but which nevertheless require more of the world for their truth. John Horden has offered two interesting criticisms of this argument. First, he contends that its conclusion is inconsistent. Second, he contends that the (...)
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  9. Production and Necessity.Louis DeRosset - 2009 - Philosophical Review 118 (2):153-181.
    A major source of latter-day skepticism about necessity is the work of David Hume. Hume is widely taken to have endorsed the Humean claim: there are no necessary connections between distinct existences. The Humean claim is defended on the grounds that necessary connections between wholly distinct things would be mysterious and inexplicable. Philosophers deploy this claim in the service of a wide variety of philosophical projects. But Saul Kripke has argued that it is false. According to Kripke, there are necessary (...)
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    What is Weak Ground?Louis deRosset - 2013 - Essays in Philosophy 14 (1):2.
    Kit Fine, in "The Pure Logic of Ground", has made a seminal attempt at formalizing the notion of ground. Fine ties the formal treatment of grounding to the notion of a weak ground. Formalization of this sort is supposed to bring clarity and precision to our theorizing. Unfortunately, as I will argue, it's not clear what weak ground is. I review five alternative explanations of the idea, and argue that none of them are ultimately satisfactory. I close by outlining a (...)
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  11. Analyticity and Ontology.Louis deRosset - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9.
    /Analyticity theorists/, as I will call them, endorse the /doctrine of analyticity in ontology/: if some truth P analytically entails the existence of certain things, then a theory that contains P but does not claim that those things exist is no more ontologically parsimonious than a theory that also claims that they exist. Suppose, for instance, that the existence of a table in a certain location is analytically entailed by the existence and features of certain particles in that location. The (...)
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  12. Prevention, Independence, and Origin.Guy Rohrbaugh & Louis deRosset - 2006 - Mind 115 (458):375-386.
    A New Route to the Necessity of Origin’ (2004, henceforth ‘NR’), we offered an argument for the thesis that there are necessary connections between material things and their material origins. Much of the philosophical interest lay in our claim that the argument did not depend on so-called sufficiency principles for crossworld identity. It has been the verdict of much recent work on the necessity of origin that valid arguments for the thesis require some such sufficiency principle as a premise but (...)
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  13. Possible Worlds I: Modal Realism.Louis deRosset - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (6):998-1008.
    It is difficult to wander far in contemporary metaphysics without bumping into talk of possible worlds. And reference to possible worlds is not confined to metaphysics. It can be found in contemporary epistemology and ethics, and has even made its way into linguistics and decision theory. What are those possible worlds, the entities to which theorists in these disciplines all appeal? This paper sets out and evaluates a leading contemporary theory of possible worlds, David Lewis's Modal Realism. I note two (...)
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  14. On the Plurality of Worlds: David Lewis. [REVIEW]Louis Derosset - 2011 - Humana Mente 19.
    A commentary on David Lewis's /On the Plurality of Worlds/.
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  15. Grounding the Unreal.Louis DeRosset - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):535-563.
    The scientific successes of the last 400 years strongly suggest a picture on which our scientific theories exhibit a layered structure of dependence and determination. Economics is dependent on and determined by psychology; psychology in its turn is, plausibly, dependent on and determined by biology; and so it goes. It is tempting to explain this layered structure of dependence and determination among our theories by appeal to a corresponding layered structure of dependence and determination among the entities putatively treated by (...)
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  16. Possible Worlds for Modal Primitivists.Louis deRosset - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (1):109-131.
    Among the most remarkable developments in metaphysics since the 1950’s is the explosion of philosophical interest in possible worlds. This paper proposes an explanation of what possible worlds are, and argues that this proposal, the interpreted models conception, should be attractive to anyone who thinks that modal facts are primitive, and so not to be explained in terms of some non-modal notion of “possible world.” I articulate three constraints on any acceptable primitivist explanation of the nature of possible worlds, and (...)
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  17. A New Route to the Necessity of Origin.Guy Rohrbaugh & Louis deRosset - 2004 - Mind 113 (452):705-725.
    Saul Kripke has claimed that there are necessary connections between material things and their material origins. The usual defences of such necessity of origin theses appeal to either a sufficiency of origin principle or a branching-times model of necessity. In this paper we offer a different defence. Our argument proceeds from more modest ‘independence principles’, which govern the processes by which material objects are produced. Independence principles are motivated, in turn, by appeal to a plausible metaphysical principle governing such processes, (...)
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  18. Constructing the World.Louis deRosset - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (3):430-437.
    This is a review of David Chalmers's /Constructing the World/. The short, short version: there are issues, but you should definitely read the book.
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    Modal Logic and Contingentism: A Comment on Timothy Williamsons Modal Logic as Metaphysics.Louis deRosset - 2016 - Analysis 76 (2):155-172.
    Necessitists hold that, necessarily, everything is such that, necessarily, something is identical to it. Timothy Williamson has posed a number of challenges to contingentism, the negation of necessitism. One such challenge is an argument that necessitists can more wholeheartedly embrace possible worlds semantics than can contingentists. If this charge is correct, then necessitists, but not contingentists, can unproblematically exploit the technical successes of possible worlds semantics. I will argue, however, that the charge is incorrect: contingentists can embrace possible worlds semantics (...)
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  20. Possible Worlds II: Non-Reductive Theories of Possible Worlds.Louis deRosset - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (6):1009-1021.
    It is difficult to wander far in contemporary metaphysics without bumping into talk of possible worlds. And, reference to possible worlds is not confined to metaphysics. It can be found in contemporary epistemology and ethics, and has even made its way into linguistics and decision theory. What are those possible worlds, the entities to which theorists in these disciplines all appeal? Some have hoped that a theory of possible worlds can be used to reduce modality to non-modal terms. This paper (...)
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  21. Reference and Response.Louis deRosset - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99999 (1):1-18.
    A standard view of reference holds that a speaker's use of a name refers to a certain thing in virtue of the speaker's associating a condition with that use that singles the referent out. This view has been criticized by Saul Kripke as empirically inadequate. Recently, however, it has been argued that a version of the standard view, a _response-based theory of reference_, survives the charge of empirical inadequacy by allowing that associated conditions may be largely or even entirely implicit. (...)
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    Reference and Response.Louis Derosset - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (1):19-36.
    A standard view of reference holds that a speaker's use of a name refers to a certain thing in virtue of the speaker's associating a condition with that use that singles the referent out. This view has been criticized by Saul Kripke as empirically inadequate. Recently, however, it has been argued that a version of the standard view, a /response-based theory of reference/, survives the charge of empirical inadequacy by allowing that associated conditions may be largely or even entirely implicit. (...)
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