Results for 'metaphysical explanation'

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  1. Grounding and Metaphysical Explanation.Naomi Thompson - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (3):395-402.
    Attempts to elucidate grounding are often made by connecting grounding to metaphysical explanation, but the notion of metaphysical explanation is itself opaque, and has received little attention in the literature. We can appeal to theories of explanation in the philosophy of science to give us a characterization of metaphysical explanation, but this reveals a tension between three theses: that grounding relations are objective and mind-independent; that there are pragmatic elements to metaphysical (...); and that grounding and metaphysical explanation share a close connection. Holding fixed the mind-independence of grounding, I show that neither horn of the resultant dilemma can be blunted. Consequently, we should reject the assumption that grounding relations are mind-independent. (shrink)
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  2.  44
    Metaphysical Explanation by Constraint.Michael Bertrand - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-16.
    It is often thought that metaphysical grounding underwrites a distinctive sort of metaphysical explanation. However, it would be a mistake to think that all metaphysical explanations are underwritten by metaphysical grounding. In service of this claim, I offer a novel kind of metaphysical explanation called metaphysical explanation by constraint, examples of which have been neglected in the literature. I argue that metaphysical explanations by constraint are not well understood as grounding (...)
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  3. A Psychologistic Theory of Metaphysical Explanation.Kristie Miller & James Norton - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    Many think that sentences about what metaphysically explains what are true iff there exist grounding relations. This suggests that sceptics about grounding should be error theorists about metaphysical explanation. We think there is a better option: a theory of metaphysical explanation which offers truth conditions for claims about what metaphysically explains what that are not couched in terms of grounding relations, but are instead couched in terms of, inter alia, psychological facts. We do not argue that (...)
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  4.  72
    Impossible Worlds and Metaphysical Explanation: Comments on Kment’s Modality and Explanatory Reasoning.Nina Emery & Christopher S. Hill - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):134-148.
    In this critical notice of Kment's _Modality and Explanatory Reasoning_, we focus on Kment’s arguments for impossible worlds and on a key part of his discussion of the interactions between modality and explanation – the analogy that he draws between scientific and metaphysical explanation.
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  5. The Deductive-Nomological Account of Metaphysical Explanation.Tobias Wilsch - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):1-23.
    The paper explores a deductive-nomological account of metaphysical explanation: some truths metaphysically explain, or ground, another truth just in case the laws of metaphysics determine the latter truth on the basis of the former. I develop and motivate a specific conception of metaphysical laws, on which they are general rules that regulate the existence and features of derivative entities. I propose an analysis of the notion of ‘determination via the laws’, based on a restricted form of logical (...)
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  6.  29
    Plato on Metaphysical Explanation: Does 'Participating' Mean Nothing?Christine J. Thomas - 2014 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 7 (2):168.
    According to Aristotle, Plato's efforts at metaphysical explanation not only fail, they are nonsensical. In particular, Plato's appeals to Forms as metaphysically explanatory of the sensibles that participate in them is "empty talk" since "'participating' means nothing". I defend Plato against Aristotle's charge by identifying a particular, substantive model of metaphysical predication as the favored model of Plato's late ontology. The model posits two basic metaphysical predication relations: self-predication and participation. In order to understand the participation (...)
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  7.  67
    Grounding and Metaphysical Explanation: It’s Complicated.Anna-Sofia Maurin - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    Grounding theorists insist that grounding and explanation are intimately related. This claim could be understood as saying either that grounding ‘inherits’ its properties from explanation or it could be interpreted as saying that grounding plays an important—possibly an indispensable—role in metaphysical explanation. Or both. I argue that saying that grounding ‘inherits’ its properties from explanation can only be justified if grounding is explanatory by nature, but that this view is untenable. We ought therefore to be (...)
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  8.  99
    The Causal Metaphor Account of Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan L. Shaheen - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):553-578.
    This paper argues that the semantic facts about ‘because’ are best explained via a metaphorical treatment of metaphysical explanation that treats causal explanation as explanation par excellence. Along the way, it defends a commitment to a unified causal sense of ‘because’ and offers a proprietary explanation of grounding skepticism. With the causal metaphor account of metaphysical explanation on the table, an extended discussion of the relationship between conceptual structure and metaphysics ends with a (...)
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  9.  44
    Metaphysical Explanation and “Partcularization” in Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed.Owen Goldin - 1992 - Journal of Philosophical Research 17:189-213.
    Within The Guide of the Perplexed Maimonides presents an argument that is intended to render probable the temporal creation of the cosmos. In one of these arguments Maimonides adopts the Kalamic strategy of arguing for the necessity of there being a “particularizing” agent. Maimonides argues that even one who grants Aristotelian science can still ask why the heavenly realm is as it is, to which there is no reply forthcoming but “God so willed it.” The argument is effective against the (...)
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  10.  9
    Incommensurable Paradigms and Psycho-Metaphysical Explanation.J. Douglas Rabb - 1978 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 21 (1-4):201 – 212.
    The concept of ?psycho?metaphysical explanation? is explained in terms of the philosophy of the German idealist J. G. Fichte, who uses this mode of explanation to account for the fact that the dispute between Idealism and Realism is one which cannot be resolved by means of rational argument. This paper presents a similar account of the contemporary dispute between competing paradigms of persons, i.e. between materialist and non?reductivist theories. Some practical and frightening implications are illustrated by showing (...)
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    Metaphysical Explanation and “Partcularization” in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed.Owen Goldin - 1992 - Journal of Philosophical Research 17:189-213.
    Within The Guide of the Perplexed Maimonides presents an argument that is intended to render probable the temporal creation of the cosmos. In one of these arguments Maimonides adopts the Kalamic strategy of arguing for the necessity of there being a “particularizing” agent. Maimonides argues that even one who grants Aristotelian science can still ask why the heavenly realm is as it is, to which there is no reply forthcoming but “God so willed it.” The argument is effective against the (...)
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  12.  47
    Metaphysical Explanation and the Philosophy of Mathematics: Reflections on Jerrold Katz's Realistic Rationalism.Robert Kraut - 2001 - Philosophia Mathematica 9 (2):154-183.
    Mathematical practice prompts theories about aprioricity, necessity, abstracta, and non-causal epistemic connections. But it is not clear what to count as the data: mathematical necessity or the appearance of mathematical necessity, abstractness or apparent abstractness, a prioricity or apparent aprioricity. Nor is it clear whether traditional metaphysical theories provide explanation or idle redescription. This paper suggests that abstract objects, rather than doing explanatory work, provide codifications of the data to be explained. It also suggests that traditional rivals—conceptualism, nominalism, (...)
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  13.  44
    Laws for Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:1-22.
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    Laws for Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):302-321.
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  15.  78
    Metaphysical Explanation.Herbert Hochberg - 1970 - Metaphilosophy 1 (2):139–166.
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  16.  52
    Symposium: Metaphysical Explanation.Kenneth Barber - 1975 - Metaphilosophy 6 (3-4):259-260.
  17.  20
    Scientific Explanation and Metaphysical Explanation: Some Reflections on the Cosmological Argument.John L. Russell - 1986 - Heythrop Journal 27 (2):163–170.
  18.  4
    Metaphysical Explanation: An Introduction.Kenneth Barber - 1975 - Metaphilosophy 6:259.
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  19. On Scientific and Metaphysical Explanation of Reality (1926).Eino Kaila - 2003 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 80 (1):49-67.
    Finland is internationally known as one of the leading centers of twentieth century analytic philosophy. This volume offers for the first time an overall survey of the Finnish analytic school. The rise of this trend is illustrated by original articles of Edward Westermarck, Eino Kaila, Georg Henrik von Wright, and Jaakko Hintikka. Contributions of Finnish philosophers are then systematically discussed in the fields of logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, history of philosophy, ethics and social philosophy. Metaphilosophical reflections on (...)
     
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  20.  4
    The Problem of Metaphysics and the Meaning of Metaphysical Explanation: An Essay in Definitions.Hartley Burr Alexander - 1903 - Philosophical Review 12 (2):231-232.
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  21. The Problem of Metaphysics and the Meaning of Metaphysical Explanation. An Essay in Definitions.Hartley Burr Alexander - 1903 - The Monist 13:155.
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  22. The Problem of Metaphysics and the Meaning of Metaphysical Explanation. An Essay in Definitions. [REVIEW]Hartley Burr Alexander - 1903 - Ancient Philosophy 13:155.
     
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  23. Scientific Explanation and Metaphysical Explanation: Some Reflections on the Cosmological Argument.John L. Russell - 1986 - Heythrop Journal 27 (2):163-170.
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  24.  58
    Functional Explanation and Metaphysical Individualism.Justin Schwartz - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (2):278-301.
    G. A. Cohen defends and Jon Elster criticizes Marxist use of functional explanation. But Elster's mechanical conception of explanation is, contrary to Elster's claims, a better basis for vindication of functional explanation than Cohen's nomological conception, which cannot provide an adequate account of functional explanation. Elster also objects that functional explanation commits us to metaphysically bizarre collective subjects, but his argument requires an implausible reading of methodological individualism which involves an unattractive eliminativism about social phenomena.
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  25.  57
    Humean Laws, Explanatory Circularity, and the Aim of Scientific Explanation.Chris Dorst - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    One of the main challenges confronting Humean accounts of natural law is that Humean laws appear to be unable to play the explanatory role of laws in scientific practice. The worry is roughly that if the laws are just regularities in the particular matters of fact (as the Humean would have it), then they cannot also explain the particular matters of fact, on pain of circularity. Loewer (2012) has defended Humeanism, arguing that this worry only arises if we fail to (...)
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  26.  41
    Explanation and Metaphysical Controversy.Peter Railton - 1989 - In Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon (eds.), Scientific Explanation. Univ of Minnesota Pr. pp. 13--220.
  27.  89
    Does the Counterfactual Theory of Explanation Apply to Non-Causal Explanations in Metaphysics?Alexander Reutlinger - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-18.
    In the recent philosophy of explanation, a growing attention to and discussion of non-causal explanations has emerged, as there seem to be compelling examples of non-causal explanations in the sciences, in pure mathematics, and in metaphysics. I defend the claim that the counterfactual theory of explanation (CTE) captures the explanatory character of both non-causal scientific and metaphysical explanations. According to the CTE, scientific and metaphysical explanations are explanatory by virtue of revealing counterfactual dependencies between the explanandum (...)
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  28. Explanation in Metaphysics?Johannes Persson - 2011 - Metaphysica 12 (2):165-181.
    Arguments from explanation, i.e. arguments in which the explanatory value of a hypothesis or premise is appealed to, are common in science, and explanatory considerations are becoming more popular in metaphysics. The paper begins by arguing that explanatory arguments in science—even when these are metaphysical explanations— may fail to be explanatory in metaphysics; there is a distinction to be drawn between metaphysical explanation and explanation in metaphysics. This makes it potentially problematic to deploy arguments from (...)
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  29.  23
    Railton, explanation, and metaphysical debates.Seyed Mohammad Hosseini & Majid Akbari - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 24 (5):69-92.
  30.  18
    Introspection, Explanation, and Perceptual Experience: Resisting Metaphysical.Aaron Zimmerman - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford University Press. pp. 353.
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  31.  9
    Metaphysical Quietism and Functional Explanation in the Law.Charles L. Barzun - 2015 - Law and Philosophy 34 (1):89-109.
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  32. Metaphysical Interdependence.Naomi Thompson - 2016 - In Mark Jago (ed.), Reality Making. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 38-56.
    It is commonly assumed that grounding relations are asymmetric. Here I develop and argue for a theory of metaphysical structure that takes grounding to be nonsymmetric rather than asymmetric. Even without infinite descending chains of dependence, it might be that every entity is grounded in some other entity. Having first addressed an immediate objection to the position under discussion, I introduce two examples of symmetric grounding. I give three arguments for the view that grounding is nonsymmetric (I call this (...)
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  33.  88
    Modality is Not Explainable by Essence.Carlos Romero - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Some metaphysicians believe that metaphysical modality is explainable by the essences of objects. In §II, I spell out the definitional view of essence, and in §III, a working notion of metaphysical explanation. Then, in §IV, I consider and reject five natural ways to explain necessity by essence: in terms of the principle that essential properties can't change, in terms of the supposed obviousness of the necessity of essential truth, in terms of the logical necessity of definitions, in (...)
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  34. Essentialism: Metaphysical or Psychological?Moti Mizrahi - 2014 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):65-72.
    In this paper, I argue that Psychological Essentialism (PE), the view that essences are a heuristic or mental shortcut, is a better explanation for modal intuitions than Metaphysical Essentialism (ME), the view that objects have essences, or more precisely, that (at least some) objects have (at least some) essential properties. If this is correct, then the mere fact that we have modal intuitions is not a strong reason to believe that objects have essential properties.
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  35. Introduction: Scientific Explanation Beyond Causation.Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi - 2017 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This is an introduction to the volume "Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations", edited by A. Reutlinger and J. Saatsi (OUP, forthcoming in 2017). -/- Explanations are very important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of explanation, there is long-standing, influential tradition that links explanation intimately to causation: we often explain by providing accurate information about (...)
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  36. Essence Facts and Explanation.Chris Tillman - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):190-195.
    Some essence facts have metaphysical explanations. Some metaphysical explanations for essence facts consist in nonessential facts.
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  37. The Nomological Account of Ground.Tobias Wilsch - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3293-3312.
    The article introduces and defends the Nomological Account of ground, a reductive account of the notion of metaphysical explanation in terms of the laws of metaphysics. The paper presents three desiderata that a theory of ground should meet: it should explain the modal force of ground, the generality of ground, and the interplay between ground and certain mereological notions. The bulk of the paper develops the Nomological Account and argues that it meets the three desiderata. The Nomological Account (...)
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  38. Grounding: It’s All in the Head.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3059-3081.
    In this paper we provide a psychological explanation for ‘grounding observations’—observations that are thought to provide evidence that there exists a relation of ground. Our explanation does not appeal to the presence of any such relation. Instead, it appeals to certain evolved cognitive mechanisms, along with the traditional modal relations of supervenience, necessitation and entailment. We then consider what, if any, metaphysical conclusions we can draw from the obtaining of such an explanation, and, in particular, if (...)
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  39. Carnap, the Necessary a Priori, and Metaphysical Anti-Realism.Stephen Biggs & Jessica M. Wilson - 2016 - In Stephen Blatti & Sandra Lapointe (eds.), Ontology after Carnap. Oxford: pp. 81-104.
    In Meaning and Necessity (1947/1950), Carnap advances an intensional semantic framework on which modal claims are true in virtue of semantical rules alone, and so are a priori. In 'Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology' (1950), Carnap advances an epistemic-ontological framework on which metaphysical claims are either trivial or meaningless, since lacking any means of substantive confirmation. Carnap carried out these projects two decades before Kripke influentially argued, in Naming and Necessity (1972/1980), that some modal claims are true a posteriori. How (...)
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  40.  57
    Reasons Why in Normative Explanation.Pekka Väyrynen - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Normative explanations, which specify why things have the normative features they do, are ubiquitous in normative theory and ordinary thought. But there is much less work on normative explanation than on scientific or metaphysical explanation. Skow (2016) argues that a complete answer to the question why some fact Q occurs consist of all of the reasons why Q occurs. This paper explores this theory as a case study of a general theory that promises to offer us a (...)
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  41. The Ground of Ground, Essence, and Explanation.Michael Wallner - forthcoming - Synthese.
    This paper is about the so-called meta-grounding question, i.e. the question of what grounds grounding facts of the sort 'φ is grounded in Γ '. An answer to this question is pressing since some plausible assumptions about grounding and fundamentality entail that grounding facts must be grounded. There are three different accounts on the market which each answer the meta-grounding question differently: Bennett's and deRosset's "Straight Forward Account" (SFA), Litland's "Zero-Grounding Account" (ZGA), and "Grounding Essentialism" (GE). I argue that if (...)
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  42. Grounding, Scientific Explanation, and Humean Laws.Marc Lange - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):255-261.
    It has often been argued that Humean accounts of natural law cannot account for the role played by laws in scientific explanations. Loewer (Philosophical Studies 2012) has offered a new reply to this argument on behalf of Humean accounts—a reply that distinguishes between grounding (which Loewer portrays as underwriting a kind of metaphysical explanation) and scientific explanation. I will argue that Loewer’s reply fails because it cannot accommodate the relation between metaphysical and scientific explanation. This (...)
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  43. Grounding-Mechanical Explanation.Kelly Trogdon - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1289-1309.
    I argue that there is an important similarity between causation and grounding. In particular I argue that, just as there is a type of scientific explanation that appeals to causal mechanisms—causal-mechanical explanation—there is a type of metaphysical explanation that appeals to grounding mechanisms—grounding-mechanical explanation. The upshot is that the role that grounding mechanisms play in certain metaphysical explanations mirrors the role that causal mechanisms play in certain scientific explanations. In this light, it becomes clear (...)
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  44. Humean Laws and Circular Explanation.Michael Townsen Hicks & Peter van Elswyk - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):433-443.
    Humeans are often accused of accounting for natural laws in such a way that the fundamental entities that are supposed to explain the laws circle back and explain themselves. Loewer (Philos Stud 160(1):115–137, 2012) contends this is only the appearance of circularity. When it comes to the laws of nature, the Humean posits two kinds of explanation: metaphysical and scientific. The circle is then cut because the kind of explanation the laws provide for the fundamental entities is (...)
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  45. Humean Laws and Explanation.Daniel Graham Marshall - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3145-3165.
    A common objection to Humeanism about natural laws is that, given Humeanism, laws cannot help explain their instances, since, given the best Humean account of laws, facts about laws are explained by facts about their instances rather than vice versa. After rejecting a recent influential reply to this objection that appeals to the distinction between scientific and metaphysical explanation, I will argue that the objection fails by failing to distinguish between two types of facts, only one of which (...)
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  46.  57
    Nomothetic Explanation and Humeanism About Laws of Nature.Harjit Bhogal - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics.
    Humeanism about laws of nature — the view that the laws reduce to the Humean mosaic — is a popular view, but currently existing versions face powerful objections. The non-supervenience objection, the non-fundamentality objection and the explanatory circularity objection have all been thought to cause problems for the Humean. However, these objections share a guiding thought — they are all based on the idea that there is a certain kind of divergence between the practice of science and the metaphysical (...)
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  47. Viciousness and the Structure of Reality.Ricki Bliss - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (2):399-418.
    Given the centrality of arguments from vicious infinite regress to our philosophical reasoning, it is little wonder that they should also appear on the catalogue of arguments offered in defense of theses that pertain to the fundamental structure of reality. In particular, the metaphysical foundationalist will argue that, on pain of vicious infinite regress, there must be something fundamental. But why think that infinite regresses of grounds are vicious? I explore existing proposed accounts of viciousness cast in terms of (...)
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  48.  84
    Exemplification as Explanation.Anna-Sofia Maurin - 2013 - Axiomathes 23 (2):401-417.
    In this paper I critically investigate an unorthodox attempt to metaphysically explain in virtue of what there are states of affairs. This is a suggestion according to which states of affairs exist thanks to, rather than, as is the common view, in spite of, the infinite regress their metaphysical explanation seems to engender. I argue that, no matter in which form it is defended, or in which theoretical framework it is set, this suggestion cannot provide us with the (...)
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  49. Grounding: Necessary or Contingent?Kelly Trogdon - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (4):465-485.
    Recent interest in the nature of grounding is due in part to the idea that purely modal notions are too coarse‐grained to capture what we have in mind when we say that one thing is grounded in another. Grounding not being purely modal in character, however, is compatible with it having modal consequences. Is grounding a necessary relation? In this article I argue that the answer is ‘yes’ in the sense that propositions corresponding to full grounds modally entail propositions corresponding (...)
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  50. Viciousness and Circles of Ground.Ricki Bliss - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (2):245-256.
    Metaphysicians of a certain stripe are almost unanimously of the view that grounding is necessarily irreflexive, asymmetric, transitive, and well-founded. They deny the possibility of circles of ground and, therewith, the possibility of species of metaphysical coherentism. But what's so bad about circles of ground? One problem for coherentism might be that it ushers in anti-foundationalism: grounding loops give rise to infinite regresses. And this is bad because infinite grounding regresses are vicious. This article argues that circles of ground (...)
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