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Louis DeRosset – What is the Grounding Problem?

September 5, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

The McGill Colloquium series will be commencing this year on Friday, September 14. Our speaker is Louis DeRosset of the University of Vermont, who will be speaking on, ‘What is the Grounding Problem?’ The talk, as usual, will take place in Leacock 927 from 3:00 to 5:00 with
drinks to follow.


Statue-and-lump metaphysics. Pluralists hold that a statue, Goliath, and a materially coincident lump, Lumpl, are distinct. Monists hold that they are identical. Monists have recently complained that pluralism falls to the Grounding Problem: the pluralist has trouble explaining certain features of Lumpl (or Goliath) that ought to be explicable in other terms. In this paper I argue: (i) that there is no evidently legitimate explanatory task which the pluralist has any difficulty meeting; (ii) the pluralist has overlooked explanatory resources that will help her even with explanatory tasks whose legitimacy is questionable; and (iii) ultimately there is some reason to think that the pluralist can meet every legitimate explanatory task she faces. In short, it’s not so obvious that there is a Grounding Problem, and, even if there is, it does not merit the rejection of pluralism.

Link to the paper:


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