The fundamental: ungrounded or all-grounding?

Leuenberger, S. (2019) The fundamental: ungrounded or all-grounding? Philosophical Studies, (doi: 10.1007/s11098-019-01332-x) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Fundamentality plays a pivotal role in discussions of ontology, supervenience, and possibility, and other key topics in metaphysics. However, there are two different ways of characterising the fundamental: as that which is not grounded, and as that which is the ground of everything else. I show that whether these two characterisations pick out the same property turns on a principle—which I call “Dichotomy”—that is of independent interest in the theory of ground: that everything is either fully grounded or not even partially grounded. I then argue that Dichotomy fails: some facts have partial grounds that cannot be complemented to a full ground. Rejecting Dichotomy opens the door to recognising a bifurcation in our notion of fundamentality. I sketch some of the far-reaching metaphysical consequences this might have, with reference to big-picture views such as Humeanism. Since Dichotomy is entailed by the standard account of partial ground, according to which partial grounds are subpluralities of full grounds, a non-standard account is needed. In a technical “Appendix”, I show that truthmaker semantics furnishes such an account, and identify a semantic condition that corresponds to Dichotomy.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Leuenberger, Dr Stephan
Authors: Leuenberger, S.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Philosophical Studies
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0031-8116
ISSN (Online):1573-0883
Published Online:14 August 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Author
First Published:First published in Philosophical Studies 2019
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
661041EmergenceFiona MacphersonJohn Templeton Foundation (TEMPLFOU)40485HU - PHILOSOPHY
572551The Contingency of ContingencyStephan LeuenbergerArts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/J004189/1HU - PHILOSOPHY
657701The Whole TruthStephan LeuenbergerArts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/M009610/1HU - PHILOSOPHY