Scientific article
Open access

Grounding, Necessity, and Relevance

ContributorsHireche, Salim
Publication date2023

Grounding necessitarianism (GN) is the view that full grounds necessitate what they ground. Although GN has been rather popular among philosophers, it faces important counterexamples: For instance, A=[Socrates died] fully grounds C=[Xanthippe became a widow]. However, A fails to necessitate C: A could have obtained together with B=[Socrates and Xanthippe were never married], without C obtaining. In many cases, the debate essentially reduces to whether A indeed fully grounds C – as the contingentist claims – or if instead C is fully grounded in A+, namely A plus some supplementary fact S (e.g. [Xanthippe was married to Socrates]) – as the necessitarian claims. Both sides typically agree that A+ necessitates C, while A does not; they disagree on whether A or A+ fully grounds C.

This paper offers a novel defence of the claim that, in these typical cases, unlike A+, A fails to fully ground C – thereby bringing further support to GN. First and foremost, unlike A+, A fails to fully ground C because it fails to contain just what is relevant to do so, in two distinct senses – explanatory and generative relevance. Second, going for A, rather than A+, as a full ground undermines not just grounding necessitarianism, but modally weaker views which even contingentists may want to preserve.

  • Grounding
  • Explanation
  • Determination
  • Necessity
  • Relevance
  • Totality Facts
Citation (ISO format)
HIRECHE, Salim. Grounding, Necessity, and Relevance. In: Philosophical studies, 2023. doi: 10.1007/s11098-023-01968-w
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Article (Published version)
Article (Accepted version)
ISSN of the journal0031-8116

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