PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Beyond Fundamentality

What is it for an entity to be fundamental? Are the grounding facts fundamental? I propose a connected way of thinking about these two questions, which draws on the idea that explanation has a tripartite structure of basis (cause, ground, premise), link (law of nature, metaphysical principle, inference rule), and result (effect, grounded, conclusion). On the view I develop, the fundamental needs to be subdivided into the ultimate grounds and the root principles. When f grounds g, that grounding fact is itself grounded in f but explained by f via the principles linking f to g.

Author Information:

Jonathan Schaffer    
Rutgers University


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