Grounding : necessary or contingent?

Kelly TROGDON

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent interest in the nature of grounding is due in part to the idea that purely modal notions are too coarse‐grained to capture what we have in mind when we say that one thing is grounded in another. Grounding not being purely modal in character, however, is compatible with it having modal consequences. Is grounding a necessary relation? In this article I argue that the answer is ‘yes’ in the sense that propositions corresponding to full grounds modally entail propositions corresponding to what they ground. The argument proceeds upon two substantive principles: the first is that there is a broadly epistemic constraint on grounding, while the second links this constraint with Fine's Aristotelian notion of essence. Many think grounding is necessary in something like the sense specified above, but just why it's necessary is an issue that hasn't been carefully addressed. If my argument is successful, we now know why grounding is necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-485
Number of pages21
JournalPacific Philosophical Quarterly
Volume94
Issue number4
Early online date4 Nov 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

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