The idea that reality is not constituted by a mere juxtaposition of facts, but is rather a complex network of interconnected facts of various degrees of ‘fundamentality’ or ‘basicness’ is probably as old as philosophical and scientific thinking about reality. What determines these degrees of fundamentality is most naturally thought of as the relation of one fact holding in virtue of other facts – or, as philosophers currently like to say, the relation of one fact being grounded in other facts.
Yet grounding has only really become a proper object of serious philosophical inquiry in the last decade or so. And because this renaissance of grounding research is a recent phenomenon, the contemporary debate about a number of central issues concerning the notion – e.g., how it is exactly to be understood, what its connections with other important notions are, what role it can be taken to play in various debates and areas of inquiry – is only in an inchoate state, with many issues still to be addressed.
This project purports to further this debate, by addressing some of the most important of these issues. Our general goal is to further the efforts made by philosophers to understand grounding in its various species, to critically examine its connections to other central notions, and to detail some of its major applications in various areas of inquiry. Accordingly, our project is divided into three corresponding subprojects, in metaphysics, philosophy of science, and logic:
- Subproject A – Grounds of Being. This subproject focuses on metaphysical grounding and its relation to a selection of other central metaphysical notions.
- Subproject B – Grounding and Causality. This subproject explores the extent to which the concept of metaphysical grounding as it is being developed in the other subprojects provides a useful and novel way to think about causation.
- Subproject C – Logical Grounds and the Logic of Grounding. This subproject focuses on the logic of grounding in its different varieties.
For more information on each of the subprojects, click the relevant hyperlink!