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Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 9$
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Karen Bennett and Dean W. Zimmerman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198729242

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198729242.001.0001

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The coarse-grainedness of grounding

The coarse-grainedness of grounding

(p.306) 11. The coarse-grainedness of grounding
Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 9

Kathrin Koslicki

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses why the grounding idiom does not perform as well as we have been led to believe in providing a plausible approach to relative fundamentality. Grounding suffers from some of same deficiencies as supervenience: most prominently, grounding also fails to be sufficiently fine-grained to do its intended explanatory work. In addition, there is doubt as to whether the phenomena collected together under the rubric of grounding are really unified by the presence of a single relation. Grounding turns out not to be helpful in capturing and illuminating what is philosophically important about the traditional substance/non-substance distinction. Although grounding performs better than supervenience in some ways, it does not solve all of the problems to which a supervenience-based approach to relative fundamentality falls prey.

Keywords:   fundamentality, ground, grounding, non-substance, philosophy, substance, supervenience

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