Theory and History of Ontology ( Raul Corazzon | e-mail:

Annotated bibliography on metaphysical grounding. Fourth part: Los-Sav

Contents of this Section


  1. Loss, Roberto. 2015. "Grounds, Roots and Abysses." Thought: A Journal of Philosophy no. 4:41-52.

    Abstract: "The aim of this study is to address the “Grounding Grounding Problem,” that is, the question as to what, if anything, grounds facts about grounding. I aim to show that, if a seemingly plausible principle of modal recombination between fundamental facts and the principle customarily called “Entailment” are assumed, it is possible to prove not only that grounding facts featuring fundamental, contingent grounds are derivative but also that either they are (at least) partially grounded in the grounds they feature or they are “abysses” (i.e., derivative facts without fundamental grounds and lying at the top of an infinitely descending chain of ground)."

  2. ———. 2016. "Parts Ground the Whole and Are Identical to It." Australasian Journal of Philosophy no. 94:489-498.

    Abstract: "What is the relation between parts taken together and the whole that they compose?

    The recent literature appears to be dominated by two different answers to this question, which are normally thought of as being incompatible. According to the first, parts taken together are identical to the whole that they compose. According to the second, the whole is grounded in its parts. The aim of this paper is to make some theoretical room for the view according to which parts ground the whole they compose while being, at the same time, identical to it."

  3. ———. 2017. "Grounding, Contingency and Transitivity." Ratio no. 30:1-14.

    Abstract: "Grounding contingentism is the doctrine according to which grounds are not guaranteed to necessitate what they ground.

    In this paper I will argue that the most plausible version of contingentism (which I will label ‘serious contingentism’) is incompatible with the idea that the grounding relation is transitive, unless either ‘priority monism’ or ‘contrastivism’ are assumed."

  4. ———. 2019. "No Ground for Doomsday." Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy no. 62:1136-1156.

    Abstract: "The ability of providing an adequate supervenience base for tensed truths may seem to be one of the main theoretical advantages of both the growing-block and the moving-spotlight theory of time over presentism. However, in this paper I will argue that some propositions appear to be as problematic for growing-block theorists as past-directed propositions are for presentists, namely propositions stating that nothing will be the case in the future.

    Furthermore, I will show that the moving-spotlight theory can adequately address all the main supervenience challenges that can be levelled against A-theories of time. I will, thus, conclude that, at least as far as the supervenience principle is concerned, the moving-spotlight theory should be preferred over both presentism and the growing-block theory."

  5. Lovett, Adam. 2019. "A Simple Proof of Grounding Internality." Thought: A Journal of Philosophy no. 8:154-166.

    Abstract: "Some people think that grounding is a type of identity. And some people think that grounding connections hold necessarily. I show that, under plausible assumptions, if grounding is a type of identity, then grounding connections hold necessarily."

  6. ———. 2020. "The Puzzles of Ground." Philosophical Studies no. 177:2541-2564.

    Abstract: "I outline and provide a solution to some paradoxes of ground."

  7. Lowe, E. J. 1998. The Possibility of Metaphysics: Substance, Identity, and Time. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    "The arguments of Chapter 5 more or less take the concept of substance for granted and so part of the aim of Chapter 6 is to provide a rigorous definition of substance, in terms of the crucial notion of existential dependency. At the same time, I begin to build up a picture of the relationships between the category of substance and other categories of entities at the same ontological level—entities such as events, properties, places, and times. This picture is further developed in Chapter 7, where I go on to argue for quite general reasons that certain fundamental kinds of substance—what I call primitive substances—must exist in order to provide the ultimate existential grounding of all concrete existence. Such substances are distinctive in that their identity through time is itself primitive or ungrounded.

    However, identifying these substances is a more difficult matter than arguing in a general way for the necessity of their existence." (Preface, p. VI)

  8. ———. 2012. "Asymmetrical Dependence in Individuation." In Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality edited by Correia, Fabrice and Schnieder, Benjamin, 214-233. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    "Identity-dependence would appear to be an asymmetrical, or at least an antisymmetrical relation, with the implication that no two distinct entities can be each other’s individuators – even if we can allow, as I believe we should, that some entities are self-individuating.


    However, some so-called ‘structuralist’ ontologies seem to threaten the contention that two or more entities of a certain kind cannot all fix each other’s identities.


    If these suggestions are correct, then it would seem that, in principle, all facts about the identities of entities of any kind may ‘supervene’ upon relational facts about certain structures to which those entities belong. Hence, no identity fact would be metaphysically basic or foundational. In the present chapter, this line of thought will be challenged and thereby a case be made out for the claim that some entities in any coherent system of ontology must be self-individuating, with these entities ultimately explaining the identities of all other entities in the system." (p. 215)

  9. ———. 2013. "Some Varieties of Metaphysical Dependence." In Varieties of Dependence: Ontological Dependence, Grounding, Supervenience, Response-Dependence, edited by Hoeltje, Miguel, Schnieder, Benjamin and Steinberg, Alex, 193-210. Munich: Philosophia Verlag.

    "In this paper, I shall first of all (in section 1) define various kinds of ontological dependence, motivating these definitions by appeal to examples. My contention is that whenever we need, in metaphysics, to appeal to some notion of existential or identity-dependence, one or other of these definitions will serve our needs adequately, which one depending on the case in hand. Then (in section 2) I shall respond to some objections to one of these proposed definitions in particular, namely, my definition of (what I call) essential identity dependence.

    Finally (in section 3), I shall show how a similar approach can be applied in the theory of truthmaking, by offering an account of the truthmaking relation which defines it in terms of a type of essential dependence. I shall also say why I think that this approach is preferable to one which treats the truthmaking relation as primitive. More generally, my view is that accounts of dependence or 'grounding' which treat these notions as primitive are less satisfactory than my own position, which is that in all cases a suitable definition is forthcoming if we look hard enough." (p. 193)

  10. Lubrano, Michele. 2018. "The Emergence of Ground: Some Limitative Results." Synthese no. 198:1303-1315.

    Abstract: "In this paper I’m going to deal with the divide between foundationalism and infinitism about grounding. I will examine a thesis about the emergence of ground that has recently been proposed by Matteo Morganti. I will show that a generalized version of this thesis suffers from some serious limits and it cannot be accepted without a significant departure from the standard notion of grounding."


    Morganti, M. (2009). Ontological priority, fundamentality and monism. Dialectica, 63(3), 271–288.

    Morganti, M. (2015). Dependence, justification and explanation: Must reality be well-founded? Erkenntnis, 80, 555–572.

  11. Marshall, Daniel Graham. 2015. "Intrinsicality and Grounding." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research no. 90:1-19.

    Abstract: "A number of philosophers have recently claimed that intrinsicality can be analysed in terms of the metaphysical notion of grounding. Since grounding is a hyperintensional notion, accounts of intrinsicality in terms of grounding, unlike most other accounts, promise to be able to discriminate between necessarily coextensive properties that differ in whether they are intrinsic. They therefore promise to be compatible with popular metaphysical theories that posit necessary entities and necessary connections between wholly distinct entities, on which it is plausible that there are such properties. This paper argues that this promise is illusory. It is not possible to give an analysis of intrinsicality in terms of grounding that is consistent with these theories. Given an adequate analysis should be compatible with these theories, it follows

    that it is not possible to analyse intrinsicality in terms of grounding."

  12. Martínez, Sergio F., and Huang, Xiang. 2011. "Epistemic Groundings of Abstraction and Their Cognitive Dimension." Philosophy of Science no. 78:490-511.

    Abstract: "In the philosophy of science, abstraction has usually been analyzed in terms of the interface between our experience and the design of our concepts. The often implicit assumption here is that such interface has a definite identifiable and universalizable structure, determining the epistemic correctness of any abstraction. Our claim is that, on the contrary, the epistemic grounding of abstraction should not be reduced to the structural norms of such interface but is also related to the constraints on the cognitive processes of specific abstractions. This suggests that we should understand abstraction as embodied in different kinds of abstraction practices."

  13. Maurin, Anna-Sofia. 2019. "Grounding and Metaphysical Explanation: It’s Complicated." Philosophical Studies no. 176:1573-1594.

    Abstract: "Grounding theorists insist that grounding and explanation are intimately related. This claim could be understood as saying either that grounding ‘inherits’ its properties from (metaphysical) explanation (and that, therefore, contemplating the nature of explanation informs us about the nature of grounding) or it could be interpreted as saying that grounding plays an important—possibly an indispensable— role in metaphysical explanation (and that, therefore, that there are these explanations justifies positing grounding). Or both. I argue that saying that grounding ‘inherits’ its properties from explanation can only be justified if grounding is explanatory by nature (if so-called ‘unionism’ is true), but that this view is untenable. We ought therefore to be ‘separatists’ and view grounding and explanation as distinct. As it turns out, though, once grounding has been in this sense distinguished from the explanation it backs, the view that the role grounding plays in explanation justifies its introduction ends up in serious trouble. I conclude that the role grounding plays in explanation (if any) does not justify attributing to grounding whatever nature we think it has, and it most likely does not give us any special reason to think grounding exists."

  14. Mayer, Marta Cialdea, and Cerrito, Serenella. 2001. "Ground and Free-Variable Tableaux for Variants of Quantified Modal Logics." Studia Logica no. 69:97-131.

    Abstract: "In this paper we study proof procedures for some variants of first-order modal logics, where domains may be either cumulative or freely varying and terms may be either rigid or non-rigid, local or non-local. We define both ground and free variable tableau methods, parametric with respect to the variants of the considered logics. The treatment of each variant is equally simple and is based on the annotation of functional symbols by natural numbers, conveying some semantical information on the worlds where they are meant to be interpreted.

    This paper is an extended version of a previous work where full proofs were not included. Proofs are in some points rather tricky and may help in understanding the reasons for some details in basic definitions."

  15. Mazurkiewicz, Szymon. 2019. "Legal Positivism Social Source Thesis and Metaphysical Grounding: Employing Metaphysical Grounding Based on Metaphysical Laws." Archiwum Filozofii Prawa i Filozofii Spolecznej:5-21.

    "In this paper, I would like to examine the grounding account of the determination of the relation between social facts and legal facts, as well as try to resolve some problems that this account involves. The first one is its unintelligibility: if one claims that legal facts are metaphysically grounded in social facts without explaining why this relation holds, such a claim does not seem to be explanatory sufficient. The second one

    is insufficient explanation of how normative legal facts can be grounded in descriptive social facts." (p. 6)

  16. McDaniel, Brannon. 2017. "Grounding and the Objection from Accidental Generalizations." Thought: A Journal of Philosophy no. 6:178-184.

    Abstract: "Monistic grounding says that there is one fundamental ground, while pluralistic grounding says that there are many such grounds. Grounding necessitarianism says that grounding entails, but is not reducible to, necessitation, while grounding contingentism says that there are at least some cases where grounding does not entail necessitation. Pluralistic grounding necessitarianism is a very popular position, but accidental generalizations, such as ‘all solid gold spheres are less than one mile in diameter’, pose well-known problems for this view: the many fundamental grounds of such generalizations do not necessitate them. Though there is a straightforward response to this objection, I argue that it fails.Thus the objection from accidental generalizations stands, and proponents of pluralistic grounding necessitarianism face the following dilemma: either give up pluralistic grounding, or give up necessitarianism."

  17. ———. 2022. "Grounding as Minimal Necessitation." Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy no. 65:154-175.

    Abstract: Let NNG be the claim that necessitation is necessary for grounding, and let NSG be the claim that necessitation is sufficient for grounding. The consensus view is that grounding cannot be reduced to necessitation, and this is due to the (approximately) universally-accepted claim that NSG is false. Among deniers of NSG: grounding contingentists think NNG is also false, but they are in the minority compared to grounding necessitarians who uphold NNG. For one who would defend the claim that grounding is reducible to necessitation, the task is formidable: she must defend NSG and NNG. I consider two prominent objections against NSG, and two more against NNG before developing a reductive account of grounding as minimal necessitation that avoids not only all four of the previously mentioned objections, but also an additional objection that targets minimal necessitation accounts in particular. If my arguments are compelling, then, insofar as we thereby have a strong prima facie case for thinking that grounding can be reduced to (minimal) necessitation, we have a strong prima facie case for thinking the consensus view is mistaken."

  18. McDaniel, Kris. 2017. The Fragmentation of Being. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Contents: Acknowledgments IX; Introduction 1; 1. Ways of Being 12; 2. A Return to the Analogy of Being 48; 3. Ways of Being and Time 78; 4. Categories of Being 109; 5. Being and Almost Nothingness 140; 6. Persons and Value 170; 7. Degrees of Being 195; 8. Being and Ground 223; 9. Being and Essence 256; Concluding Unsystematic Postscript 290; Bibliography 293; Index 317-320.

    "One of the oldest questions in metaphysics concerns not the various natures of beings but rather the nature of being itself: is being unitary or does being fragment? The primary aims of this book are to explicate the idea that being fragments, to show how the fragmentation of being impacts various other extant philosophical disputes, and to defend the tenability and fruitfulness of the idea that being fragments.

    These aims are interdependent. An inexplicable idea is neither tenable nor fruitful.

    And an idea is fruitful only if it sheds light on extant disputes or provides new paths for interesting research. If the claim that being fragments has no philosophical payoff elsewhere, one must forgive those who neglect or dismiss the question of the fragmentation of being. My hope is that I will convince you of the importance of the claim that being fragments by extensively exploring the connections between the various ways being might fragment and philosophical issues pertaining to metaphysical fundamentality, substances and accidents, time, modality, ontological categories, absences and presences, persons, value, ground, and essence. This book is devoted to these explorations." (p. 1)

  19. ———. 2019. "The Principle of Sufficient Reason and Necessitarianism." Analysis no. 79:230-236.

    "1. Introduction: Peter van Inwagen (1983: 202–4) presented a powerful argument against the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which I henceforth abbreviate as ‘PSR’. (See also Bennett 1984: 115 for a similar argument. I will elide the differences between them in what follows.) For decades, the consensus was that this argument successfully refuted PSR. However, now a growing consensus holds that van Inwagen’s argument is fatally flawed, at least when ‘sufficient reason’ is understood in terms of ground, for on this understanding, an ineliminable premiss of van Inwagen’s argument is demonstrably false and cannot be repaired. I will argue that this growing consensus is mistaken and that a powerful argument relevantly similar to van Inwagen’s should still concern us, even when we understand ‘sufficient reason’ in terms of ground.

    Here is the plan for the paper. In §2, I briefly state a version of van Inwagen’s argument. In §3, I briefly discuss the recent criticism of it van Inwagen’s argument and then formulate an updated version of it that is more plausible than its predecessor but which avoids the recent criticism."


    Bennett, J. 1984. A Study of Spinoza’s ‘‘Ethics’’, Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Press.

    van Inwagen, P. 1983. An Essay on Free Will. Oxford: Oxford University Press

  20. McKenzie, Kerry. 2022. Fundamentality and Grounding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract: "A suite of questions concerning fundamentality lies at the heart of contemporary metaphysics. The relation of grounding, thought to connect the more to the less fundamental, sits at the heart of those

    debates in turn. Since most contemporary metaphysicians embrace the doctrine of physical ism and thus hold that reality is fundamentally physical, a natural question is how physics can inform the current debates over fundamentality and grounding. This Element introduces the reader to the concept of grounding and some of the key issues that animate contemporary debates around it, such as the question of whether grounding is 'unified' or 'plural' and whether there exists a fundamental level of reality. It moves on to show how resources from physics can help point the way towards their answers - thus furthering the case for a naturalistic approach to even the most fundamental of questions in metaphysics."

  21. McSweeney, Michaela M. 2020. "Debunking Logical Ground: Distinguishing Metaphysics from Semantics." Journal of the American Philosophical Association no. 6:156-170.

    Abstract: "Many philosophers take purportedly logical cases of ground (such as a true disjunction being grounded in its true disjunct(s)) to be obvious cases, and indeed such cases have been used to motivate the existence of and importance of ground. I argue against this. I do so by motivating two kinds of semantic determination relations. Intuitions of logical ground track these semantic relations. Moreover, our knowledge of semantics for (e.g.) first order logic can explain why we have such intuitions. And, I argue, neither semantic relation can be a species of ground even on a quite broad conception of what ground is.

    Hence, without a positive argument for taking so-called ‘logical ground’ to be something distinct from a semantic determination relation, we should cease treating logical cases as cases of ground."

  22. ———. 2020. "Logic." In The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding, edited by Raven, Michael J., 449-459. New York: Routledge.

    "Some of the paradigmatic examples of grounding (that are often used to motivate, or help us latch onto, the notion of grounding itself) are relations between logically complex facts and the logically simpler facts that entail them. For example:

    [The grass is green] grounds [Either the grass is green or the moon is made of cheese].

    [The grass is green], [The sky is blue] ground [The grass is green and the sky is blue].

    [The chair is orange] grounds [Something is orange].

    Either implicitly or explicitly, these are usually (but not always) taken as instances of variations of the following principles:

    Conjunctive grounding (‘CG’): If each of p, q is true, then [p], [q] together ground [p & q].

    Disjunctive grounding (‘DG’): If p is true, then [p] grounds [p v q].

    Existential grounding (‘EG’): If Fa is true, then [Fa] grounds [∃x Fx].

    This entry surveys some things that have been said in favor of these principles (and about logical grounding in general) and raises (but does not resolve) some questions about why we should accept these principles, and, if we should, what it means to accept these principles." (p. 449)

  23. Melamedoff, Damian. 2018. "Against Existential Grounding." Thought. A Journal of Philosophy no. 7:3-11.

    Abstract: "Existential grounding is the thesis that all existential generalizations are grounded in their particular instances.This paper argues that existential grounding is false.This is because it is inconsistent with two plausible claims about existence: (1) the claim that singular existence facts are generalizations and (2) the claim that no object can be involved in a fact that grounds that same object’s existence. Not only are these claims intuitively plausible, but there are also strong arguments in favour of each of them."

  24. Melnyk, Andrew. 2016. "Grounding and the Formulation of Physicalism." In Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground, edited by Aizawa, Ken and Gillett, Carl, 249-270. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    "Because I aspire to be a naturalistic metaphysician, I ask in this chapter whether an appeal to the relation of grounding posited recently by certain philosophers might be useful in one kind of approach to the problem of the many sciences—a physicalist approach." (p. 250)

  25. Merlo, Giovanni. 2022. "Disjunction and the Logic of Grounding." Erkenntnis no. 87:567-587.

    Abstract: "Many philosophers have been attracted to the idea of using the logical form of a true sentence as a guide to the metaphysical grounds of the fact stated by that sentence.

    This paper looks at a particular instance of that idea: the widely accepted principle that disjunctions are grounded in their true disjuncts. I will argue that an unrestricted version of this principle has several problematic consequences and that it’s not obvious how the principle might be restricted in order to avoid them. My suggestion is that, instead of trying to restrict the principle, we should distinguish between metaphysical and conceptual grounds and take the principle to apply exclusively to the latter. This suggestion, if correct, carries over to other prominent attempts at using logical form as a guide to ground."

  26. Mikkola, Mari. 2015. "Doing Ontology and Doing Justice: What Feminist Philosophy Can Teach Us About Meta-Metaphysics." Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy no. 58:780-805.

    Abstract: "Feminist philosophy has recently become recognised as a self-standing philosophical sub-discipline. Still, metaphysics has remained largely dismissive of feminist insights. Here I make the case for the value of feminist insights in metaphysics: taking them seriously makes a difference to our ontological theory choice and feminist philosophy can provide helpful methodological tools to regiment ontological theories.

    My examination goes as follows. Contemporary ontology is not done via conceptual analysis, but via quasi-scientific means. This takes different ontological positions to be competing hypotheses about reality’s fundamental structure that are then assessed with a loose battery of criteria for theory choice. Such criteria make up the constitutive values of ontology (e.g. providing a unified, coherent, non-circular, simple, parsimonious total theory). These values are distinguished from contextual values of a practice: the political and moral values embedded in the social context of inquiry. Although we may be frank about some meta-metaphysical value commitments, bringing in feminist contextual values is viewed as an unacceptable move when thinking about ontological theory choice. This paper then asks: is this move unacceptable? I think not and I aim to motivate this methodological insight here by examining recent work on grounding."

  27. ———. 2019. "Grounding and Anchoring: On the Structure of Epstein’s Social Ontology." Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy no. 62:198-216.

    Abstract: "Brian Epstein’s The Ant Trap is a praiseworthy addition to literature on social ontology and the philosophy of social sciences. Its central aim is to challenge received views about the social world – views with which social scientists and philosophers have aimed to answer questions about the nature of social science and about those things that social sciences aim to model and explain, like social facts, objects and phenomena. The received views that Epstein critiques deal with these issues in an overly people-centered manner. After all, even though social facts and phenomena clearly involve individual people arranged in certain ways, we must still spell out how people are involved in social facts and phenomena. There are many metaphysical questions about social properties, relations, dependence, constitution, causation, and facts that cannot be answered (for instance) just be looking at individual people alone. In order to answer questions about (e.g.) how one social entity depends for its existence on another, we need different metaphysical tools. Epstein thus holds that social ontological explanations would greatly benefit from making use of the theoretical toolkit that contemporary analytical metaphysics has to offer. He focuses specifically on two metaphysical instruments: grounding and anchoring. This paper examines Epstein’s understanding and use of these tools. I contend that Epstein is exactly right to say that contemporary metaphysics contains many theoretical instruments that can be fruitfully applied to social ontological analyses. However, I am unconvinced that Epstein’s tools achieve what they set out to do. In particular, I will address two issues: (1) How is grounding for Epstein meant to work? (2) Is anchoring distinct from grounding, and a relation that we need in social ontology?"

  28. Miller, Elizabeth. 2015. "Humean Scientific Explanation." Philosophical Studies:1311–1332.

    Abstract: "In a recent paper, Barry Loewer attempts to defend Humeanism about laws of nature from a charge that Humean laws are not adequately explanatory.

    Central to his defense is a distinction between metaphysical and scientific explanations: even if Humeans cannot offer further metaphysical explanations of particular features of their ‘‘mosaic,’’ that does not preclude them from offering scientific explanations of these features. According to Marc Lange, however, Loewer’s distinction is of no avail. Defending a transitivity principle linking scientific explanantia to their metaphysical grounds, Lange argues that a charge of explanatory inadequacy resurfaces once this intuitive principle is in place. This paper surveys, on behalf of the Humean, three strategies for responding to Lange’s criticism. The ready availability of these strategies suggests that Lange’s argument may not bolster anti-Humean convictions, since the argument rests on premises that those not antecedently sharing these convictions may well reject. The three strategies also correspond to three interesting ways of thinking about relations of grounding linking Humean laws and their instances, all of which are consistent with theses of Humean supervenience, and some of which have been heretofore overlooked."


    Lange, M. (2013). Grounding, scientific explanation, and Humean laws. Philosophical Studies, 164, 255–261.

    Loewer, B. (2012). Two accounts of laws and time. Philosophical Studies, 160, 115–137.

  29. Miller, Kristie, and Norton, James. 2017. "Grounding: It’s (Probably) All in the Head." Philosophical Studies no. 174:3059-3081.

    Abstract: "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 it tells us anything about whether we ought to posit a relation of ground."

  30. Moran, Alex. 2018. "Kind‐Dependent Grounding." Analytic Philosophy no. 59:359-390.

    "I begin by saying something more about the notion of grounding itself (Section 2). Then, I set out the aforementioned passage from Rosen (2015), discussion of which will help us work towards the key notion of kind-dependent grounding that this paper appeals to (Section 3). Along the way, we will encounter the idea that each object instantiates a fundamental kind, which can determine the properties it may have, plus the idea that grounding claims can hold conditionally. The following two sections then put the notion of kinddependent grounding to work in connection with two important metaphysical problems (Sections 4–5). The final section concludes (Section 6)." (p. 361)

  31. Morganti, Matteo. 2014. "Metaphysical Infinitism and the Regress of Being." Metaphilosophy no. 45:232-244.

    Abstract: "This article offers a limited defense of metaphysical “infinitism,” the view that there are, or might be, infinite chains of ontological dependence. According to a widespread presupposition, there must be an ultimate ground of being—most likely, a plurality of fundamental atoms. Contrary to this view, this article shows that metaphysical infinitism is internally coherent. In particular, a parallel with the debate concerning infinitism about epistemic justification is suggested, and an “emergence model” of being is put forward. According to the emergence model, the being of any given entity gradually arises out of an infinite series of progressively less dependent entities—it is not wholly transmitted, as it were, from a basic, ungrounded level to all the dependent ones in a step-by-step fashion. Some objections are considered and rebutted."

  32. ———. 2018. "The Structure of Physical Reality. Beyond Foundationalism." In Reality and its Structure: Essays in Fundamentality, edited by Bliss, Ricki and Priest, Graham, 254-272. New York: Oxford University Press.

    "The plan of the paper is as follows. Section 2 briefly discusses the traditional view, based on grounding relations as determining strict partial orders and well-founded structures—so-called ‘metaphysical foundationalism’.The discussion then focuses on the prospects of non-standard models of the metaphysical structure of (parts of) physical reality. Section 3 looks at ‘infinitist’ models, where the well-foundedness assumption is dropped. Section 4 discusses ‘coherentist’ models, in which grounding relations fail to be irreflexive and symmetric and grounding structures give rise to ‘loops’ and/or ‘webs’. Section 5 concludes the paper by considering the plausibility of what one may call ‘hybrid’ models and, more generally, of pluralism with respect to the metaphysical structure of reality." (p. 257)

  33. Morton, Justin. 2019. "Grounding Thick Normative Facts." Pacific Philosophical Quarterly no. 100:408-431.

    Abstract: "Many philosophers have been concerned with the nature of thick normative concepts. In this paper, I try to motivate a different project: understanding the nature of thick normative properties and facts. I propose a ground-theoretic approach to this project. I then argue that some of the simplest andmost initially plausible ways of understanding thick facts fail and that we are forced to accept some initially implausible views. I try to show how these views are not so implausible after all."

  34. Muñoz, Daniel. 2020. "Grounding Nonexistence." Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy no. 63:209-229.

    Abstract: "Contingent negative existentials give rise to a notorious paradox. I formulate a version in terms of metaphysical grounding: nonexistence can’t be fundamental, but nothing can ground it. I then argue for a new kind of solution, expanding on work by Kit Fine. The key idea is that negative existentials are contingently zero-grounded – that is to say, they are grounded, but not by anything, and only in the right conditions. If this is correct, it follows that grounding cannot be an internal relation, and that no complete account of reality can be purely fundamental."

  35. Ney, Alyssa. 2016. "Grounding in the Philosophy of Mind: A Defense." In Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground, edited by Gillett, Carl and Aizawa, Ken, 271-300. London: Palgrave-Macmillan.

    "One of the major trends in metaphysics in recent years has been in the development and application of novel conceptual frameworks for representing facts about realism, fundamentality, and metaphysical priority." (p. 271)


    "I will argue that Fine’s framework has distinctive advantages but to see this it needs to be carefully teased apart from the others.

    As I hope to show, Fine’s framework may be useful as a foundation for developing an approach to the mind–body problem that can resolve and clarify debates. I hope to show that by utilizing Fine’s distinctions, we are able to offer novel, conciliatory positions allowing us to move past some debates that have been carrying on in the philosophy of mind for decades." (p. 274)

  36. ———. 2020. "Mind." In The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding, edited by Raven, Michael J., 460-471. New York: Routledge.

    "The concept of grounding is typically introduced in order to formulate and address questions about metaphysical relationships.


    This chapter will (i) describe how some metaphysicians have proposed the introduction of grounding concepts in order to formulate and provide answers to the mind–body problem and (ii) survey concerns about the appropriateness, adequacy, and indispensability of grounding concepts for addressing questions about the status of mental phenomena in a physical world. Finally, this chapter will (iii) consider replies to these concerns.A central lesson will be that any adequate assessment of the usefulness of grounding frameworks for formulating issues and positions in the philosophy of mind must be sensitive to distinctions between the different grounding concepts that have been introduced." (p. 460)

  37. Nolan, Daniel. 2018. "Cosmic Loops." In Reality and its Structure: Essays in Fundamentality, edited by Bliss, Ricki and Priest, Graham, 91-106. New York: Oxford University Press.

    "Conclusion: Cosmic loops are of intrinsic interest: thinking about them can satisfy the same urges to grapple with the unfamiliar which are satisfied by various sorts of speculative fiction, from science fiction to the stories of Borges. Metaphysical fiction is a genre in its infancy, but a promising one for all that.

    I have argued that thinking about cosmic loops serves several more academic purposes, however. They demonstrate, that we can make sense of loops of ground in a different way from the usual examples of loops achieved through only a few steps, and the conceivability and perhaps possibility of them are supported in ways different from other arguments I know of to support failures of asymmetry and transitivity. ." (p.104)

  38. Norton, James. 2017. On the Dispensability of Grounding: Ground-breaking Work on Metaphysical Explanation, The University ofd Sidney.

    Unpublished PhD thesis available at

    Abstract: "Primitive, unanalysable grounding relations are considered by many to be indispensable constituents of the metaphysician’s toolkit. Yet, as a primitive ontological posit, grounding must earn its keep by explaining features of the world not explained by other tools already at our disposal. Those who defend grounding contend that grounding is required to play two interconnected roles: accounting for widespread intuitions regarding what is ontologically prior to what, and forming the backbone of a theory of metaphysical explanation, in much the same way that causal relations have been thought to underpin theories of scientific explanation. This thesis undermines the need to posit grounding relations to perform either of these jobs. With regard to the first, it is argued that a pair of human psychological mechanisms—for which there is substantial empirical support—can provide a more theoretically virtuous explanation of why we have the intuitions that we do. With regard to the second, I begin by considering what we want from a theory of explanation, and go on to develop three attractive (yet grounding-free) theories of metaphysical explanation. I offer: i) a psychologistic theory that calls upon the aforementioned psychological mechanisms, as well as the modal relations of necessitation and supervenience, ii) a metaphysical variant of the deductive-nomological theory of scientific explanation, and iii) a metaphysical variant of the unificationist theory of scientific explanation. Furthermore, these theories draw upon mechanisms and relations (both logical and ontological) to which we are already committed. Thus, to posit grounding relations in order to explain our priority intuitions, or in order to develop a theory of metaphysical explanation, is ontologically profligate. I conclude that we should not posit relations of ground."

  39. Nutting, Eileen S., Caplan, Ben, and Tillman, Chris. 2018. "Constitutive Essence and Partial Grounding." Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy no. 61:137-161.

    Abstract: "Kit Fine and Gideon Rosen propose to define constitutive essence in terms of ground-theoretic notions and some form of consequential essence. But we think that the Fine–Rosen proposal is a mistake. On the Fine–Rosen proposal, constitutive essence ends up including properties that, on the central notion of essence (what Fine calls ‘the notion of essence which is of central importance to the metaphysics of identity’), are necessary but not essential. This is because consequential essence is (roughly) closed under logical consequence, and the ability of logical consequence to add properties to an object’s consequential essence outstrips the ability of ground-theoretic notions, as used in the Fine–Rosen proposal, to take those properties out. The necessary-but-not-essential properties that, on the Fine–Rosen proposal, end up in constitutive essence include the sorts of necessary-but-not-essential properties that, others have noted, end up in consequential essence."

  40. O'Conaill, Donnchadh. 2018. "Grounding, Physicalism and Necessity." Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy no. 61:713-730.

    Abstract: "Recent work on metaphysical grounding has suggested that physicalism can be characterised in terms of the mental facts being grounded in physical facts. It is often assumed that the full grounds of a fact metaphysically necessitate that fact. Therefore, it seems that if the physical grounds the mental, then the physical facts metaphysically necessitate the mental facts. Stefan Leuenberger argues that such a version of physicalism would be vulnerable to counterexamples. I shall outline a characterisation of grounding which appeals to a relation between grounding and the essences of properties instantiated in the grounded facts or in their grounds. If a grounded fact is such that its constituent property is essentially related to the properties instantiated in its grounds, or vice versa, then the grounded fact will be metaphysically necessitated by its full grounds. This characterisation of grounding not only avoids Leuenberger’s counterexamples, but has broader implications for characterising physicalism in terms of grounding."

  41. O'Conaill, Donnchadh, and Tahko, Tuomas E. 2021. "New Frontiers in Ground, Essence, and Modality: Introduction." Synthese no. 198:1219-1230.

    "Ground, essence, and modality seem to have something to do with each other. Can we provide unified foundations for ground and essence, or should we treat each as primitives? Can modality be grounded in essence, or should essence be expressed in terms of modality? Does grounding entail necessitation? Are the notions of ground and essence univocal? This volume focuses on the links—or lack thereof—between these three notions, as well as the foundations of ground, essence, and modality more generally, bringing together work on the metaphysics, epistemology, and logic of these three notions by some of the leading figures in the field as well as emerging young scholars.


    After providing a brief historical summary of the (re)emergence of modality, essence and ground as central notions in metaphysics (Sect. 1), we shall outline some of the main themes in recent work on these notions and on the links between them (Sect. 2). In Sect. 3 we briefly introduce the papers in this volume." (p. 1219)

  42. Oderberg, David S. 2021. "Formal Causation: Accidental and Substantial." In Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation, edited by Jansen, Ludger and Sandstad, Petter, 40-61. New York: Routledge.

    "Of Aristotle's famous four causes, the 'formal cause' has been arguably the most neglected, if not eliminated outright from philosophy. This paper is an attempt to contribute to the rehabilitation of formal causality.

    First, I outline the Aristotelian-Scholastic understanding of form as the principle of actuality, explaining the overlap between forms and universals.

    I then begin, unconventionally, with an explanation of formal causation by accidents. There is a kind of causation by accidental forms that cannot be equated with efficient causation: I distinguish between the efficient causal trigger of actualisation and the continued actualisation of an object's potentiality, which latter is accounted for by formal causality. The discussion then moves to substantial forms and formal causation by them-where accounts of formal causality traditionally begin.

    I argue that the causality whereby there exists a hylemorphic compound of matter and form cannot be efficient but must be formal. This requires an analysis of some aspects of matter as pure potentiality Aristotelian prime matter. I conclude by discussing the role of form as the unifier of matter into a single substance. This activity of unification is a central element in substantial formal causality. By contrast, Travis Dumsday's attempt to solve the unity problem without appealing to form is found wanting. I conclude that formal causation, far from being the relic of an outdated metaphysic, is both coherent and necessary to a proper understanding of fundamental being."


    Dumsday, T. (2010) 'Natural Kinds and the Problem of Complex Essences'. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88(4), 619-34.

  43. Orilia, Francesco. 2009. "Bradley's Regress and Ungrounded Dependence Chains: A Reply to Cameron." Dialectica no. 63:333-341.

    Abstract: "A version of Bradley’s regress can be endorsed in an effort to address the problem of the unity of states of affairs or facts, thereby arriving at a doctrine that I have called fact infinitism. A consequence of it is the denial of the thesis, WF, that all chains of ontological dependence are well-founded or grounded. Cameron has recently rejected fact infinitism by arguing that WF, albeit not necessarily true, is however contingently true. Here fact infinitism is supported by showing that Cameron’s argument for the contingent truth of WF is unsuccessful."

    WF = Ontological Well-Foundedness


    Cameron, R. 2008, ‘Turtles all the Way Down: Regress, Priority and Fundamentality’, Philosophical Quarterly 58, pp. 1–14.

  44. Paolini Paoletti, Michele. 2021. "Functional Powers." In Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation, edited by Jansen, Ludger and Sandstad, Petter, 124-148. New York: Routledge.

    "Functions constitute a debated issue at the intersection between ontology and philosophy of science. Indeed, functions have given rise to several philosophical theories about their features, their presence or absence within specific kinds of entities, and their origins. Nevertheless, before delving into these aspects of functions, it is necessary to clarify what functions are from an ontological viewpoint. Namely, it is necessary to single out the nature of functions.

    In this contribution, I shall suggest that functions should be taken as powers. More precisely, I shall argue that there is a certain category of powers-that of functional powers-and that functional powers can be legitimately taken to play the role of functions." (p. 124)

  45. Passinsky, Asya. 2020. "Social Entities." In The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding, edited by Raven, Michael J., 510-520. New York: Routledge.

    "In recent years,there has been an increased interest in applying the tools and methods of analytic metaphysics to the study of social phenomena.This chapter examines how one such tool—the notion of metaphysical ground—may be used to elucidate some central notions, debates, and positions in the philosophy of race and gender, social ontology, and the philosophy of social science. Three main applications are examined: how the notion of social construction may be analyzed in ground-theoretic terms (§1); how debates over the nature of social facts may be recast as grounding debates (§2); and how the doctrine of ontological individualism may be formulated using the notion of ground (§3).The chapter concludes by considering a skeptical challenge concerning the usefulness of the grounding framework for social metaphysics (§4)." (p. 510)

  46. Perebom, Derk. 2016. "Anti-Reductionism, Anti-Rationalism, and the Material Constitution of the Mental." In Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground, edited by Carl Gillett, Ken Aizawa, 123-140. London: Palgrave-Macmillan.

    "Physicalism about the mental requires that all mental entities be appropriately founded in microphysical entities. Supposing the truth of physicalism, it remains an open question whether the relation between the microphysical and the mental is reductive or nonreductive. By contrast with the mid-twentieth century, currently, most nonreductivists maintain that the main reason for accepting the nonreductive option is not methodological but metaphysical. On the position I endorse, mental natural kinds are not identical to natural kinds in microphysics because mental causal powers are not identical to microphysical causal powers." (p. 124)

  47. Petersen, Thorben. 2016. "The Grounding Problem for Eternalism." Philosophical Studies no. 173:1819-1852.

    Abstract: "In this paper, I develop an argument against eternalism, which is similar to the widely discussed grounding problem for presentism. It has recently been argued by many that presentism should be rejected on grounds that its sparse ontology is not suited to underwrite the healthy dose of realism we all share about the past. My aim basically is to add a new twist to the debate, by showing that actually eternalists are no better off than their rivals. In particular, I argue that the eternalist’s ontology does not have the appropriate shape to ground true propositions about the past."

  48. Piccolomini D’Aragona, Antonio. 2021. "Proofs, Grounds and Empty Functions: Epistemic Compulsion in Prawitz’s Semantics." Journal of Philosophical Logic.

    First Online 8 November 2021.

    Abstract: "Prawitz has recently developed a theory of epistemic grounding that differs in many respects from his earlier semantics of arguments and proofs. An innovative approach to (valid) inferences yields a new conception of the intertwinement of the notions of valid inference and proof. We aim at singling out three reasons that may have led Prawitz to the ground-theoretic turn, i.e.: a better order in the explanation of the relation between valid inferences and proofs; a notion of valid inference based on which valid inferences and proofs are recognisable as such; a reconstruction of the deductive activity that makes inferences capable of yielding justification per se. These topics are discussed by Prawitz with reference to a very general and ancient question: why and how correct deduction has the epistemic power to compel us to accept its conclusions, provided its premises are justified? We conclude by remarking that, in spite of some improvements, the ground-theoretic approach shares with the previous one a problem of vacuous validity which, as Prawitz himself points out, blocks in both cases a satisfactory explanation of epistemic compulsion."

  49. Plebani, Matteo. 2018. "The Indispensability Argument and the Nature of Mathematical Objects." Theoria: An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science no. 33:249-263.

    Abstract: "Two conceptions of the nature of mathematical objects are contrasted: the conception of mathematical objects as preconceived objects (Yablo 2010), and heavy duty platonism (Knowles 2015). It is argued that some theses defended by friends of the indispensability argument are in harmony with heavy duty platonism and in tension with the conception of mathematical objects as preconceived objects."


    Knowles, Robert. 2015. Heavy duty platonism. Erkenntnis 80/6: 1255-1270.

    Yablo, Stephen. 2010. Things: Papers on objects, events, and properties. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  50. Poggiolesi, Francesca. 2016. "On Defining the Notion of Complete and Immediate Formal Grounding." Synthese no. 193:3147-3167.

    Abstract: "The aim of this paper is to provide a definition of the the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding through the concepts of derivability and complexity.

    It will be shown that this definition yields a subtle and precise analysis of the concept of grounding in several paradigmatic cases."

  51. ———. 2016. "A Critical Overview of the Most Recent Logics of Grounding." In Objectivity, Realism, and Proof: FilMat Studies in the Philosophy of Mathematics edited by Boccuni, Francesca and Sereni, Andrea, 291-309. Dordrecht: Springer.

    Abstract: "In this paper our aim is twofold: on the one hand, to present in a clear and faithful way two recent contributions to the logic of grounding, namely Correia (2014), and Fine (2012a); on the other hand, to argue that some of the formal principles describing the notion of grounding proposed by these logics need to be changed and improved."


    Correia, F. (2014). Logical grounds. Review of Symbolic Logic, 7(1), 31–59.

    Fine, K. (2012a). Guide to ground. In F. Correia & B. Schnieder (Eds.), Metaphysical grounding (pp. 37–80). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Fine, K. (2012b). The pure logic of ground. Review of Symbolic Logic, 25(1), 1–25.

  52. ———. 2018. "On Constructing a Logic for the Notion of Complete and Immediate Formal Grounding." Synthese no. 195:1231-1254.

    Abstract: "In Poggiolesi (2016b) we have introduced a rigorous definition of the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding; in the present paper our aim is to construct a logic for the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding based on that definition. Our logic will have the form of a calculus of natural deduction, will be proved to be sound and complete and will allow us to have fine-grained grounding principles."


    Poggiolesi, F. (2016b). On defining the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding. Synthese, 193:


  53. ———. 2020. "Grounding Rules and (Hyper-)Isomorphic Formulas." Australasian Journal of Logic no. 17:70-80.

    Abstract: "An oft-defended claim of a close relationship between Gentzen inference rules and the meaning of the connectives they introduce and eliminate has given rise to a whole domain called proof-theoretic semantics, see Schroeder-Heister (1991); Prawitz (2006). A branch of proof-theoretic semantics, mainly developed by Došen (2019); Došen and Petríc (2011), isolates in a precise mathematical manner formulas (of a logic L) that have the same meaning. These isomorphic formulas are defined to be those that behave identically in inferences. The aim of this paper is to investigate another type of recently discussed rules in the literature, namely grounding rules, and their link to the meaning of the connectives they provide the grounds for. In particular, by using grounding rules, we will refine the notion of isomorphic formulas through the notion of hyper-isomorphic formulas. We will argue that it is actually the notion of hyper-isomorphic formulas that identify those formulas that have the same meaning."


    Došen, K. (2019). Identity of proofs based on normalization and generality. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, 9:477–503.

    Došen, K. and Petríc (2011). Isomorphica formulas in classical propositional logic. Mathematical Logic Quarterly, 58:1–17.

    Prawitz, D. (2006). Meaning approached via proofs. Synthese, 148:507–524.

    Schroeder-Heister, P. (1991). Uniform proof-theoretic semantics for logical constants (abstract). Journal of Symbolic Logic, 56:11–42.

  54. ———. 2020. "Grounding Rules for (Relevant) Implication." Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics no. 31:26-55.

    Abstract: "In Poggiolesi (2020a) a definition of the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding in the background of a relevant framework has been introduced; this definition generates some intuitively acceptable grounding principles for relevant implication. In the present paper our aim is to construct a logic for the notion of complete and immediate formal grounding in a relevant framework based on that definition. Our logic will have the form of a calculus of natural deduction and will formalize the relation of grounding both as a meta-linguistic relation and as a connective. The calculus will contain grounding rules for relevant implication and will be proved to be sound and complete with respect to the original definition. Finally we will prove the deduction theorem at the grounding level, i.e. we will show that grounding formalized as a metalinguistic relation is equivalent to grounding formalized as a connective."


    Poggiolesi, F. (2020a). Grounding principles for (relevant) implication. Synthese, pages 1-28.

  55. ———. 2020. "Logics." In The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding, edited by Raven, Michael J., 213-227. New York: Routledge.

    "The concept of grounding has been long neglected or forgotten in the history of logic (exceptions can be found in this book, as in Chapter 5 by Roski).This fact is all the more astonishing once we realize that grounding seems to cover the same special logical role as the kindred notions of truth and provability: like its cousin concepts, grounding can be fruitfully formalized into two different ways, namely as (i) a predicate or sentential operator or as (ii) a metalinguistic relation.This double formalization,which testifies to the importance of grounding as a logical notion, will structure this chapter.The next section will be dedicated to studies of grounding under the perspective of (i), which is the most developed in the contemporary literature; while Section 3 will focus on approaches adopting perspective (ii)." (p. 214)

  56. ———. 2021. "Grounding Principles for (Relevant) Implication." Synthese no. 198:7351–7376.

    Abstract: "Most of the logics of grounding that have so far been proposed contain grounding axioms, or grounding rules, for the connectives of conjunction, disjunction and negation, but little attention has been dedicated to the implication connective. The present paper aims at repairing this situation by proposing adequate grounding principles for relevant implication. Because of the interaction between negation and implication, new grounding principles concerning negation will also arise."

  57. Prasada, Sandeep. 2021. "Formal Explanation and Mechanisms of Conceptual Representation." In Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation, edited by Jansen, Ludger and Sandstad, Petter, 269-286. New York: Routledge.

    "The plan for the paper is as follows. Section 2 provides a sketch of the empirical research that suggests that children and adults routinely make use of formal explanations. Section 3 defends the interpretation of those data as revealing the use of Aristotle's formal aitia in generating those explanations. I leave the Greek term aitia untranslated as common translations tend to be problematic. Section 4 describes the formal characteristics of the mechanisms that have been proposed to underlie the representation and acquisition of the type of generic knowledge for which formal explanation is intrinsic. Section 5 discusses some of the key characteristics of the mechanisms and the manner in which the mechanisms represent the type of generic knowledge for which formal explanations are crucial. Finally, Section 6 suggests some ways in which the work described may provide a new way to look at some Aristotelian claims regarding the acquisition of first principles and the role of formal explanation in that process." (p. 269)

  58. Rabin, Gabriel Oak. 2018. "Grounding Orthodoxy and the Layered Conception." In Reality and its Structure: Essays in Fundamentality, edited by Bliss, Ricki Leigh and Priest, Graham, 37-49. New York: Oxford University Press.

    "Here's a roadmap for the remainder of the paper. In the next section (2: "Ground as the Generator as Layers"), we put some flesh on the bones of the idea of the layered conception and how ground interacts with it. Each of Sections 3-6 explores how ground fares in its ability to vindicate the layered conception under the relaxation of some element of the orthodoxy. We consider abandoning foundationalism, antisymmetry,

    irreflexivity, and transitivity (in that order). The conclusory Section 7 steps back to consider the resulting overall picture." (p.39)

  59. ———. 2019. "Grounding the Gaps or Bumping the Rug? On Explanatory Gaps and Metaphysical Methodology." Journal of Consciousness Studies no. 26:191-203.

    Abstract: In a series of recent papers, Jonathan Schaffer (2017a,b) presents a novel framework for understanding grounding. Metaphysical laws play a central role. In addition, Schaffer argues that, contrary to what many have thought, there is no special ‘explanatory gap’ between consciousness and the physical world. Instead, explanatory gaps are everywhere. I draw out and criticize the methodology for metaphysics implicit in Schaffer’s presentation. In addition, I argue that even if we accept Schaffer’s picture, there remains a residual explanatory gap between consciousness and the physical. The residual gap does most of the same philosophical work as the original (e.g. in conceivability arguments). Schaffer has introduced a troublesome metaphysical methodology that fails to follow through on its biggest promise: to deflate the explanatory gap."


    Schaffer, J. (2017a) Functionalism as a grounding principle, presented at Grounding and Consciousness, NYU Florence, August 2017.

    Schaffer, J. (2017b) The ground between the gaps, Philosopher’s Imprint, 17 (11).

  60. Rabin, Gabriel Oak, and Rabern, Brian. 2016. "Well Founding Grounding Grounding." Journal of Philosophical Logic no. 45:349-379.

    Abstract: "Those who wish to claim that all facts about grounding are themselves grounded (“the meta-grounding thesis”) must defend against the charge that such a claim leads to infinite regress and violates the well-foundedness of ground. In this paper, we defend. First, we explore three distinct but related notions of “well-founded”, which are often conflated, and three corresponding notions of infinite regress. We explore the entailment relations between these notions. We conclude that the meta-grounding thesis need not lead to tension with any of the three notions of “well-founded”. Finally, we explore the details of and motivations for further conditions on ground that one might add to generate a conflict between the meta-grounding thesis and a well-founded constraint. We explore these topics by developing and utilizing a formal framework based on the notion of a grounding structure."

  61. Rauti, Antonio. 2012. "Multiple Groundings and Deference." The Philosophical Quarterly no. 62:317-336.

    Abstract: "The idea that reference is multiply grounded allows causal-historical theories of reference to account for reference change. It also threatens the stability of reference in light of widespread error and confusion. I describe the problem, so far unrecognised, and provide a solution based on the phenomenon of semantic deference, which I differentiate from reference-borrowing. I conclude that deference has an authentic foundational semantic role to play."

  62. Raven, Michael J. 2012. "In Defence of Ground." Australasian Journal of Philosophy no. 90:684-701.

    Abstract: "I defend (metaphysical) ground against recent, unanswered objections aiming to dismiss it from serious philosophical inquiry. Interest in ground stems from its role in the venerable metaphysical project of identifying which facts hold in virtue of others. Recent work on ground focuses on regimenting it.

    But many reject ground itself, seeing regimentation as yet another misguided attempt to regiment a bad idea (like phlogiston or astrology). I defend ground directly against objections that it is confused, incoherent, or fruitless. This vindicates the very attempt to regiment ground. It also refocuses our attention on the genuine open questions about ground and away from the distracting, unpersuasive reasons for dismissing them."

  63. ———. 2013. "Is Ground a Strict Partial Order?" American Philosophical Quarterly no. 50:193-201.

    "A Schism has formed among Devotees.

    Orthodoxy says ground induces a strict partial order structure on reality, from the more derivative to the more fundamental. Heresy denies that ground is a strict partial order: ground is either not irreflexive (Jenkins 2011) or not transitive (Schaffer 2012).

    What's at stake? The structure of reality, answer Devotees. Even Infidels have a stake: they might take Devotees' infighting as evidence against ground's coherence (cf. Wilson). My aim is to defend Orthodoxy against Heresy. I first characterize Orthodoxy (§ 2) and then the Heresy against it (§ 3). Next, I argue against the Heresy that ground is not irreflexive (§ 4) and then argue against the Heresy that ground is not transitive (§ 5). My defense of Orthodoxy vindicates ground's Orthodox deployment "in the wild" and weakens Infidels's attempts to leverage the Schism into an argument for ground's incoherence (§ 6)." (p. 193)


    Jenkins, Carrie S. 2011. "Is Metaphysical Grounding Irreflexive?," Monist, vol. 94, no. 2, pp. 267-276.

    Schaffer, Jonathan. 2012. "Grounding, Transitivity, and Contrastivity," in Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality, ed. Fabrice Correia and Benjamin Schnieder (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 122-138.

    Wilson, Jessica. Unpublished manuscript. "No Work for a Theory of Grounding." [Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, 57, 2014, pp. 535-579]

  64. ———. 2015. "Ground." Philosophy Compass no. 10:322-333.

    Abstract: "This essay focuses on a recently prominent notion of (metaphysical) ground which is distinctive for how it links metaphysics to explanation. Ground is supposed to serve both as the common factor in diverse in virtue of questions as well as the structuring relation in the project of explaining how some phenomena are “built” from more fundamental phenomena. My aim is to provide an opinionated synopsis of this notion of ground without engaging with others. Ground, so understood, generally resists illumination by appeal to more familiar models of explanation. Nevertheless, its distinctive explanatory and metaphysical aspects guide us on characterizing its explanatory logic and its metaphysical features. Some issues concerning the meta-question of what (if anything) grounds ground are explored, as well as some recent skeptical challenges to ground."

  65. ———. 2017. "New Work for a Theory of Ground." Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy no. 60:625-655.

    Abstract: "There has been much recent interest in a distinctively metaphysical kind of determinative explanation: ground. This paper concerns various skeptical challenges to ground’s relevance to metaphysics, such as that it is an empty posit, that the work it is supposed to do is appropriated by other notions, and that it is inapt for specific issues it should serve. I argue against these challenges. My strategy is both critical and constructive. Critical because I argue that versions of these challenges raised by Elizabeth Barnes, Kathrin Koslicki, Mari Mikkola, and Jessica Wilson are not persuasive. Constructive because we may nevertheless learn from them new work for ground."

  66. ———, ed. 2021. The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York: Routledge.

    Contents: Notes on Contributors XIII, Acknowledgments XVII; 1. Michael J. Raven Introduction 1;

    Part I: History 15;

    Michael J. Raven: Introduction 17; 1. Phil Corkum: Ancient 20; 2. Marko Malink: Aristotelian Demonstration 33; 3. Margaret Cameron: Medieval and Early Modern 49; 4. Fatema Amijee: Principle of Sufficient Reason 63; 5. Stefan Roski: Bolzano 76; 6. Kevin Mulligan: Austro-German Phenomenologists 90;

    PART II: Explanation and Determination 103;

    Michael J. Raven: Introduction 105; 7. Benjamin Schnieder: Dependence 107; 8. Martin Glazier: Explanation 121; 9. Jon Erling Litland: Meta-Ground 133; 10. Alexander Skiles: Necessity 148;

    11. Kathrin Koslicki: Skeptical Doubts 164; 12. Louis deRosset: Anti-Skeptical Rejoinders 180; 13. Kevin Richardson: Varieties 194;

    PART III: Logic and Structure 209;

    Michael J. Raven: Introduction 211; 14. Francesca Poggiolesi: Logics 213; 15. Fabrice Correia: Granularity 228; 16. T. Scott Dixon: Infinite Descent 244; 17. Naomi Thompson: Strict Partial Order 259; 18. Stephan Krämer: Puzzles 271;

    Part IV: Connections

    Michael J. Raven: Introduction 285; 19. Tom Donaldson: Analyticity 288; 20. Jennifer Wang: Cause 300; 21. Stephan Leuenberger: Emergence 312; 22. Justin Zylstra: Essence 324; 23. Ricki Bliss: Fundamentality 336; 24. David Mark Kovacs: Modality 348; 25. Noël B. Saenz: Ontology 361; 26. Olla Solomyak: Realism 375; 27. Tuomas E. Tahko:L Structure 387; 28. Kelly Trogdon: Truthmaking 396;

    Part V: Applications 409;

    Michael J. Raven: Introduction 411; 29. Erica Shumener: Identity 413; 30. Tobias Wilsch: Laws of Metaphysics 425; 31. Nina Emery: Laws of Nature 437; 32. Michaela M. McSweeney Logic 449; 33. Alyssa Ney: mIND 460; 34. Stephanie Leary: Normativity 472; 35. Amanda Bryant: Physicalism 484; 36. Kit Fine: Semantics 501; 37. Asya Passinsky: Social Entities 510;

    The Essential Glossary of Ground 521; Index 523-530.

  67. Rettler, Bradley. 2017. "Grounds and ‘Grounds’." Canadian Journal of Philosophy no. 47:631-655.

    Abstract: "In this paper, I offer a new theory of grounding. The theory has is that grounding is a job description that is realized by different properties in different contexts.

    Those properties play the grounding role contingently, and grounding is the property that plays the grounding role essentially. On this theory, grounding is monistic, but ‘grounding’ refers to different relations in different contexts. First, I argue against Kit Fine’s monist univocalism. Next, I argue against Jessica Wilson’s pluralist multivocalism. Finally, I introduce monist multivocalism, explicate three versions of it, and show its advantages."

  68. Richardson, Kevin. 2020. "Grounding Pluralism: Why and How." Erkenntnis no. 85:1399-1415.

    Abstract: "Grounding pluralism is the view that there are multiple kinds of grounding. In this essay, I motivate and defend an explanation-theoretic view of grounding pluralism.

    Specifically, I argue that there are two kinds of grounding: why-grounding—which tells us why things are the case—and how-grounding—which tells us how things are the case."

  69. ———. 2020. "Varieties." In The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding, edited by Raven, Michael J., 194-208. New York: Routledge.

    "In this chapter,I describe the state of the art for pluralist theories of grounding.Every pluralist must answer four questions:

    • Why should one be a pluralist rather than a monist? (§2)

    • What are the varieties of grounding? (§3)

    • What is the sense (if any) in which grounding is unified? (§4)

    • What is the meaning of “grounds”? (§5)

    In what follows, I give various representative pluralist answers to these questions."

  70. ———. 2021. "Grounding Is Necessary and Contingent." Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy no. 64:453-480.

    Abstract: "Grounding is necessary just in case: if P grounds Q, then necessarily: if P, then Q. Many accept this principle. Others propose counterexamples. Instead of straightforwardly arguing for, or against, necessity, I explain the sense in which grounding is necessary and contingent. I argue that there are two kinds of grounding: what-grounding (which tells us what it is for things to be the case) and why-grounding (which tells us why things are the case), where the former kind is necessary while the latter is contingent."

  71. Roca-Royes, Sonia. 2016. "Rethinking Origin Essentialism (for Artefacts)." In Reality Making, edited by Jago, Mark, 152-176. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Contents: List of Figures VII; List of Contributors VIII; Mark Jago: Reality-Making: Introduction 1; Martin Glazier: Laws and the Completeness of the Fundamental 11; Naomi Thompson: Metaphysical Interdependence 38; Jacek Brzozowski: Monism and Gunk 57; Matthew Tugby: What are Dispositional Properties? 75; Mark Jago: Essence and the Grounding Problem 99; Nicholas K. Jones: Object as a Determinable 121; Sonia Roca-Royes: Rethinking Origin Essentialism (for Artefacts) 152; Nathan Wildman: How (not) to be a Modalist About Essence 177; Index 197-200.

  72. Rodriguez-Pereyra, Gonzalo. 2005. "Why Truthmakers." In Truthmakers: The Contemporary Debate, edited by Beebee, Helen and Dodd, Julian, 17-31. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

    "Thus the insight behind the idea of truthmakers is that truth is grounded.

    In other words, truth is not primitive. If a certain proposition is true, then it owes its truth to something else: its truth is not a primitive, brute, ultimate fact. The truth of a proposition thus depends on what reality, and in particular its subject matter, is like. What reality is like is anterior to the truth of the proposition, it gives rise to the truth of the proposition and thereby accounts for it." (p. 21, a note omitted)

  73. ———. 2015. "Grounding Is Not a Strict Order." Journal of the American Philosophical Association no. 1:517-534.

    Abstract: "The paper argues that grounding is neither irreflexive nor asymmetric nor transitive. In arguing for that conclusion the paper also argues thattruthmaking is neither irreflexive nor asymmetric nor transitive."

  74. Roland, Jeffrey W. 2010. "Concept Grounding and Knowledge of Set Theory." Philosophia no. 38:179-193.

    Abstract: "Abstract C. S. Jenkins has recently proposed an account of arithmetical knowledge designed to be realist, empiricist, and apriorist: realist in that what’s the case in arithmetic doesn’t rely on us being any particular way; empiricist in that arithmetic knowledge crucially depends on the senses; and apriorist in that it accommodates the time-honored judgment that there is something special about arithmetical knowledge, something we have historically labeled with ‘a priori’. I’m here concerned with the prospects for extending Jenkins’s account beyond arithmetic—in particular, to set theory. After setting out the central elements of Jenkins’s account and entertaining challenges to extending it to set theory, I conclude that a satisfactory such extension is unlikely."


    Jenkins, C. S. (2008). Grounding concepts: An empirical basis for arithmetic knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  75. Rooney, James Dominic. 2019. "Grounding Relations Are Not Unified: Aquinas and Heil versus Schaffer." International Philosophical Quarterly no. 59:57-64.

    Abstract: "Jonathan Schaffer, among others, has argued that metaphysics should deal primarily with relations of “grounding.” I will follow John Heil in arguing that this view of metaphysics is problematic, for it draws on ambiguous notions of grounding and fundamentality that are unilluminating as metaphysical explanations. I take Heil’s objections to presuppose that “grounding” relations do not form a natural class, where a natural class is one where some member of that class has (analytic or contingent a posteriori) priority among others and explains order among other members in the class. To strengthen Heil’s criticism that “grounding” is a non-natural class of relations, I will draw on an unlikely ally. Thomas Aquinas’s “analogy of being” doctrine, if accurate, offers reasons that no categorical relations (like grounding relations) form a natural class."

  76. Rosa, Luis. 2019. "Knowledge Grounded on Pure Reasoning." Pacific Philosophical Quarterly no. 100:156-173.

    Abstract: "In this paper, I deal with epistemological issues that stem from the hypothesis that reasoning is not only a means of transmitting knowledge from premise-beliefs to conclusion-beliefs but also a primary source of knowledge in its own right. The idea is that one can gain new knowledge on the basis of suppositional reasoning. After making some preliminary distinctions, I argue that there are no good reasons to think that purported examples of knowledge grounded on pure reasoning are just examples of premise-based inferences in disguise. Next, I establish what kinds of true propositions can to a first approximation be known on the basis of pure reasoning. Finally, I argue that beliefs that are competently formed on the basis of suppositional reasoning satisfy both externalist and internalist criteria of justification."

  77. Rosen, Gideon. 2010. "Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction." In Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology, edited by Hale, Bob and Hoffmann, Aviv, 109-135. New York: Oxford University Press.

    "Introduction: This essay is a plea for ideological toleration. Philosophers are right to be fussy about the words they use, especially in metaphysics where bad vocabulary has been a source of grief down through the ages. But they can sometimes be too fussy, dismissing as ‘unintelligible’ or ‘obscure’ certain forms of language that are perfectly meaningful by ordinary standards and which may be of some real use.

    So it is, I suggest, with certain idioms of metaphysical determination and dependence. We say that one class of facts depends upon or is grounded in another.

    We say that a thing possesses one property in virtue of possessing another, or that one proposition makes another true. These idioms are common, as we shall see, but they are not part of anyone’s official vocabulary. The general tendency is to admit them for heuristic purposes, where the aim is to point the reader’s nose in the direction of some philosophical thesis, but then to suppress them in favor of other, allegedly more hygienic formulations when the time comes to say exactly what we mean. The thought is apparently widespread that while these ubiquitous idioms are sometimes convenient, they are ultimately too unclear or too confused, or perhaps simply too exotic to figure in our first-class philosophical vocabulary.

    Against this tendency, I suggest that with a minimum of regimentation these metaphysical notions can be rendered clear enough, and that much is to be gained by incorporating them into our analytic tool kit. I make this proposal in an experimental spirit. Let us see how things look if we relax our antiseptic scruples for a moment and admit the idioms of metaphysical dependence into our official lexicon alongside the modal notions (metaphysical necessity and possibility, the various forms of supervenience) with which they are often said to contrast unfavorably. If this only muddies the waters, nothing is lost; we can always retrench. If something is gained, however, as I believe it is, we may find ourselves in a position to make some progress. (pp. 109-110)

  78. ———. 2015. "Real Definition." Analytic Philosophy no. 56:189-209.

    "The case can be made that contemporary analytic philosophy is up to its ears in idioms of definition, analysis, reduction and constitution that are best understood in a similarly metaphysical key—as demands for real definition rather than linguistic or conceptual analysis.


    The main argument for this view is that when we try to answer these questions, we are happy to entertain analyses cast in terms that fully competent masters of the analysandum need not grasp.


    In my travels I have encountered some resistance to this idea, even among philosophers who are otherwise sanguine about the recrudescence of premodern metaphysics in postmodern philosophy.


    The best way to overcome this skepticism would be to explain, in clear and independently intelligible terms, what it is to define a thing, or in other words, to provide a (real) definition of (real) definition. The

    aim of the present note is to do just that." (p. 189)

  79. ———. 2017. "Ground by Law." Philosophical Issues no. 27:279-301.

    "It is a commonplace, or anyway it used to be, that one way to explain a fact is to subsume it, together with its conditions, under a general law.


    Metaphysical grounding is an explanatory relation. When a set of facts grounds a fact A, the grounded fact obtains because its grounds obtain.

    And so we might want to know whether laws play a similar role in the grounding explanation of particular facts, and if so, what that implies about the nature of those laws. This paper explores these questions." (p. 279, a note omitted)

  80. ———. 2017. "What Is a Moral Law?" Oxford Studies in Metaethics no. 12:135-159.

    "The main metaphysical challenge for realists abut the normative is to characterize this explanatory connection between the particular normative facts and the non-normative facts that ‘underlie’ them. The most straightforward answer is ethical naturalism, which I take to be the view that every particular normative fact [Fa] is metaphysically grounded without remainder in facts whose constituents are 100 percent non-normative." (p. 135 notes omitted)


    Naturalist and non-naturalist agree that particular moral facts [Fa] always stand in some explanatory relation to the non-normative facts in the vicinity. The non-naturalist’s distinctive claim is that this relation is not the much-studied relation of metaphysical grounding; nor is it causation or any other familiar explanatory relation. The challenge for the non-naturalist is to give a positive account of this connection." (pp. 136-137)

  81. ———. 2017. "Metaphysical Relations in Metaethics." In The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics, edited by McPherson, Tristam and Plunkett, David, 151-169. New York: Routledge.

    "This chapter aims to clarify a question that can be vaguely put as follows: How are the normative facts related to the natural facts?


    Our discussion assumes that there are normative facts—facts about the normative properties of things and the normative relations in which they stand. It also assumes that some facts are clearly “natural,” e.g., the fact that the fish will die if they are not fed.

    The challenge is to say how facts of the first sort are related to facts of the second sort.

    But it must be conceded at the outset that this question is not exactly clear. When we ask how the normative is “related” to the natural, what sort of information are we seeking?

    The best way to clarify a question that is unclear in this way is to say what would count as an answer to it, so the plan for what follows is to do just that. Recent work in general metaphysics provides a vocabulary in which hypotheses about the relation between the normative and the natural can be stated with some precision. This chapter explains that vocabulary by putting it to work for the purpose of providing a taxonomy of answers to our target question." (p. 151)

  82. Roski, Stefan. 2018. "Grounding and the Explanatory Role of Generalizations." Philosophical Studies no. 175:1985-2003.

    Abstract: "According to Hempel’s (Aspects of scientific explanation and other essays. The Free Press, New York, 1965) influential theory of explanation, explaining why some a is G consists in showing that the truth that a is G follows from a law-like generalization to the effect that all Fs are G together with the initial condition that a is F. While Hempel’s overall account is now widely considered to be deeply flawed, the idea that some generalizations play the explanatory role that the account predicts is still often endorsed by contemporary philosophers of science.

    This idea, however, conflicts with widely shared views in metaphysics according to which the generalization that all Fs are G is partially explained by the fact that a is G. I discuss two solutions to this conflict that have been proposed recently, argue that they are unsatisfactory, and offer an alternative."

  83. Russell, Jeffrey Sanford. 2016. "Qualitative Grounds." Philosophical Perspectives no. 30:309-348.

    "Ground and Necessity: Shamik Dasgupta argues that we shouldn’t think there are any fundamental facts about particular individuals: these would be undetectable danglers, redundant to our scientific explanations (2009; 2014; forthcoming; see also 2011; 2013).

    Rather, we should hold that all facts about particular individuals are grounded in what the world is like qualitatively.(1) All non-qualitative facts hold in virtue of qualitative facts. He calls this “qualitativism”. (Other names for the view are “generalism”, “structuralism”, or “metaphysical anti-haecceitism”.) I’ll call it the Qualitative Grounds thesis. I find this thesis intriguing, but I don’t entirely understand it. In this paper I strive to get a clearer view of what it really involves." (p. 309)


    Dasgupta, Shamik. (2009). “Individuals: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics.” Philosophical Studies 145(1): 35–67.

    ———. (2011). “The Bare Necessities.” Philosophical Perspectives 25(1): 115–60.

    ———. (2013). “Absolutism Vs Comparativism About Quantity.” Oxford Studies in Metaphysics

    ———. (2014). “On the Plurality of Grounds.” Philosopher's Imprint 14(20): 1–28.

    ———. (forthcoming [2017]). “Quality and Structure.” In Elizabeth Barnes (ed.), Current Controversies in Metaphysics, Routledge, [with the title Can We Do Without Fundamental Individuals? Yes pp. 7-23]

  84. Rydéhn, Henrik. 2018. "Grounding and Ontological dependence." Synthese no. 198:1231-1256.

    Abstract: "Recent metaphysics has seen a surge of interest in grounding—a relation of non-causal determination underlying a distinctive kind of explanation common in philosophy. In this article, I investigate the connection between grounding and another phenomenon of great interest to metaphysics: ontological dependence. There are interesting parallels between the two phenomena: for example, both are commonly invoked through the use of “dependence” terminology, and there is a great deal of overlap in the motivations typically appealed to when introducing them. I approach the question of the relationship between grounding and ontological dependence through an investigation of their modal connections (or lack thereof). I argue, firstly, that on the common assumption that grounding is factive, it can be shown that no known variety of rigid ontological dependence is either necessary or sufficient for grounding. I also offer some suggestions in support of the claim that this generalizes to every possible form of rigid ontological dependence. I then broaden the discussion by considering a non-factive conception of grounding, as well as by looking at forms of generic (rather than rigid) ontological dependence. I argue that there is at least one form of rigid ontological dependence that is sufficient for non-factive grounding, and that a form of generic dependence may be necessary (but not sufficient) both for factive and non-factive grounding. However, justifying even these fairly weak modal connections between grounding and ontological dependence turns out to require some quite specific and substantive assumptions about the two phenomena that have only rarely been discussed."

  85. Saenz, Noël B. 2015. "A Grounding Solution to the Grounding Problem." Philosophical Studies no. 172:2193-2214.

    Abstract: "The statue and the lump of clay that constitutes it fail to share all of their kind and modal properties. Therefore, by Leibniz’s Law, the statue is not the lump.

    Question: What grounds the kind and modal differences between the statue and the lump? In virtue of what is it that the lump of clay, but not the statue, can survive being smashed? This is the grounding problem. Now a number of solutions to the grounding problem require that we substantially revise our view of reality. In this paper, I provide a solution to this problem that does not require such a revision. I then show how my solution to the grounding problem can solve a related problem and answer a related question. The upshot is that the solution I offer is not only nonrevisionary, but also fruitful."

  86. ———. 2020. "Ontology." In The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding, edited by Raven, Michael J., 361-374. New York: Routledge.

    "In this chapter, I will explore a number of ways the literature has said that grounding and ontology relate. To summarize: §2 concerns itself with grounding’s ability to save the ontology: to provide a safe and sane way of quantifying over certain kinds of things in our theories. §3 with its ability to price the ontology: to show how we should measure ontological simplicity. And §4 with its ability to restrict derivative ontology: to restrict what can be grounded from what.(7)" (pp. 361-362)

    (7) Notice that we can also ask what ontology has to “say” about grounding.This can be divided into two. We can ask about the ontology of grounding: does grounding exist? But we can also ask about what an ontology has to say about grounding: given a preferred ontology, how should we think about grounding? Since we need to assume that grounding exists in order to discuss its import on ontology, and since this chapter is devoted to applying grounding to ontology and not ontologies to grounding, I will not address these questions here.

  87. Sandstad, Petter, and Jansen, Ludger. 2021. "A Non-hylomorphic Account of Formal Causation." In Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation, edited by Jansen, Ludger and Sandstad, Petter, 65-86. New York: Routledge.

    "In this paper, we develop our own account of formal causation, which is basically inspired by Aristotle's views and might, in a way, be seen as a development of Lowe's. In Section 2, we present the basic framework of our own account of formal causation. In Section 3, we make clear that our view of formal causation is not committed to, though consistent with, (i) any specific view on universals, (ii) hylomorphism, (iii) individual forms, and (iv) biological kinds, social entities, artefacts, etc. as real kinds. Our view thus has fewer ontological commitments than many rival accounts of formal causation, and may therefore be of more general interest. In Section 4, we contrast our variant of formal causation with a more traditional hylomorphic account. In Section 5, we argue that formal causation is indispensable in explanation, and, more controversially, that it is a type of causation. To back up this position, we explore in Section 6 the dependence relations involved in cases of formal causation, such that formal causes are difference-makers. The seventh section concerns epistemological issues." (p. 66)


    Lowe, E. J. (2006) The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science. Oxford: Oxford University Pres

  88. Sattler, Wolfgang. 2021. "Finean Feature Dependence and the Aristotelian Alternative." In Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation, edited by Jansen, Ludger and Sandstad, Petter, 175-200. New York: Routledge.

    "In his seminal paper 'Essence and Modality' Kit Fine argues that traditionally there have been two distinct approaches to essentialism."


    In this paper I discuss the application first of Fine's and then of Aristotle's account of 'ontological dependence' to cases where an attribute that is accidental to its subject(s), depends ontologically on its subject(s). I start with a short exposition of Fine's account of ontological dependence and then apply it to cases concerning accidental attributes, first conceived as 'Aristotelian universals' (in the modern sense of that term), and then conceived as tropes of a sort (Section 2). I then do the same with respect to Aristotle's account (Section 3). I argue, for one, that there are clear differences between the results of applying Fine's account and of applying Aristotle's account. Moreover, some of the results following from Fine's account are prima facie implausible.


    In the last section (4) I argue that the difference in results between applying Fine's account and applying Aristotle's account reflects a difference in method and in commitment between these accounts. I then suggest, and argue in outline for an explanation of these differences, namely, that Fine's essentialism and Aristotle's essentialism aim to explain somewhat different things. And this entails that the notions of what something is and of essence are conceived differently within these two theories." (pp. 175-176, a note omitted)

  89. Savu, Bianca-Alexandra. 2017. "Grounds and Structural Realism: A Possible Metaphysical Framework." Symposion. Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences:97-106.

    Abstract: "This article discusses the proposal of accommodating grounding theories and structural realism, with the aim to provide a metaphysical framework for structural realism (ST). Ontic structural realism (OSR), one of the most accepted metaphysical versions for structural realism, is taken into account here, with the intention of analyzing the framework in which GT and OSR are compatible, and to what extent."