Some of philosophy’s biggest questions, both historically and today, are in-virtue-of questions: In virtue of what is an action right or wrong? In virtue of what am I the same person my mother bore? In virtue of what is an artwork beautiful? Philosophers attempt to answer many of these types of in-virtue-of questions, but philosophers are also increasingly focusing on what an in-virtue-of question is in the first place. Many assume, at least as a working hypothesis, that in-virtue-of questions involve a distinctively metaphysical kind of determinative explanation called “ground.” This Handbook surveys the state of the art on ground as well as its connections and applications to other topics. The central issues of ground are discussed in 37 chapters, all written exclusively for this volume by a wide range of leading experts. The chapters are organized into the following sections:
II. Explanation and Determination
III. Logic and Structure
Introductions at the start of each section provide an overview of the section’s contents, and a list of Related Topics at the end of each chapter points readers to other germane areas throughout the volume. The resulting volume is accessible enough for advanced students and informative enough for researchers. It is essential reading for anyone hoping to get clearer on what the biggest questions of philosophy are really asking.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Ancient 2. Aristotelian Demonstration 3. Medieval and Modern 4. Principle of Sufficient Reason 5. Bolzano 6. Austro-German Phenomenologists 7. Dependence 8. Explanation 9. Meta-ground 10. Necessity 11. Skeptical Doubts 12. Anti-skeptical Rejoinders 13. Varieties 14. Logics 15. Granularity 16. Infinite Descent 17. Strict Partial Order 18. Puzzles 19. Analyticity 20. Cause 21. Emergence 22. Essence 23. Fundamentality 24. Modality 25. Ontology 26. Realism 27. Structure 28. Truthmaking 29. Identity 30. Laws of Metaphysics 31. Laws of Nature 32. Logic 33. Mind 34. Normativity 35. Physicalism 36. Semantics 37. Social Entities
Michael J. Raven is Associate Professor of philosophy at the University of Victoria and Affiliate Associate Professor of philosophy at the University of Washington, Co-Chief Editor of Metaphysics , and a founding member of the Canadian Metaphysics Collaborative. His research focuses on metaphysics, philosophy of language and mind, and epistemology.
"Grounding is one of the central topics in contemporary metaphysics. This collection represents the cutting edge of work in this fast-developing area, and is a must have both for veterans of debates about grounding and philosophers wanting to explore how thinking about grounding interacts with their favourite philosophical problems."
--Daniel Nolan, University of Notre Dame