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Debunking Logical Ground: Distinguishing Metaphysics from Semantics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 April 2020

MICHAELA M. MCSWEENEY*
Affiliation:
BOSTON UNIVERSITYmichaelamcs@gmail.com

Abstract

Many philosophers take purportedly logical cases of ground (such as a true disjunction being grounded in its true disjunct(s)) to be obvious cases, and indeed such cases have been used to motivate the existence of and importance of ground. I argue against this. I do so by motivating two kinds of semantic determination relations. Intuitions of logical ground track these semantic relations. Moreover, our knowledge of semantics for (e.g.) first order logic can explain why we have such intuitions. And, I argue, neither semantic relation can be a species of ground even on a quite broad conception of what ground is. Hence, without a positive argument for taking so-called ‘logical ground’ to be something distinct from a semantic determination relation, we should cease treating logical cases as cases of ground.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © American Philosophical Association 2020

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Footnotes

Thanks to Paul Audi, Mark Balaguer, Rebecca Chan, Shamik Dasgupta, Louis deRosset, Catharine Diehl, Ned Hall, Kathrin Koslicki, David Kovacs, Jon Erling Litland, Elizabeth Miller, Michael Raven, Gideon Rosen, Erica Shumener, Elanor Taylor, Jason Turner, an anonymous referee, and philosophers at the University of Colorado, Princeton, and the Humboldt University for helpful comments and suggestions.

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