Journal of Philosophical Logic

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 349–379 | Cite as

Well Founding Grounding Grounding

  • Gabriel Oak Rabin
  • Brian Rabern


Those who wish to claim that all facts about grounding are themselves grounded (“the meta-grounding thesis”) must defend against the charge that such a claim leads to infinite regress and violates the well-foundedness of ground. In this paper, we defend. First, we explore three distinct but related notions of “well-founded”, which are often conflated, and three corresponding notions of infinite regress. We explore the entailment relations between these notions. We conclude that the meta-grounding thesis need not lead to tension with any of the three notions of “well-founded”. Finally, we explore the details of and motivations for further conditions on ground that one might add to generate a conflict between the meta-grounding thesis and a well-founded constraint. We explore these topics by developing and utilizing a formal framework based on the notion of a grounding structure.


Ground Metaphysical dependence Well-founded Infinite regress Foundationalism Grounding grounding 



Thanks for helpful comments and discussion to Karen Bennett, Jonathan Cusbert, Louis deRosset, Kit Fine, Holger Thiel, Daniel Nolan and participants in Karen Bennett’s metaphysics seminar at NYU in autumn 2010. Thanks also to audiences at the Conference on the Philosophy of Kit Fine, Sinaia, Romania, May 2012, the 2012 meeting of the Australasian Association of Philosophy in Dunedin, New Zealand, and the “Fundamentality and Metaphysical Infinitism” Workshop at the University of Helsinki, June 2014.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York University Abu DhabiAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.School of PhilosophyThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language SciencesThe University of EdinburghEdinburghScotland

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