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Synthese

, Volume 195, Issue 2, pp 785–814 | Cite as

Towards a theory of ground-theoretic content

  • Stephan KrämerEmail author
Article

Abstract

A lot of research has recently been done on the topic of ground, and in particular on the logic of ground. According to a broad consensus in that debate, ground is hyperintensional in the sense that even logically equivalent truths may differ with respect to what grounds them, and what they ground. This renders pressing the question of what we may take to be the ground-theoretic content of a true statement, i.e. that aspect of the statement’s overall content to which ground is sensitive. I propose a novel answer to this question, namely that ground tracks how, rather than just by what, a statement is made true. I develop that answer in the form of a formal theory of ground-theoretic content and show how the resulting framework may be used to articulate plausible theories of ground, including in particular a popular account of the grounds of truth-functionally complex truths that has proved difficult to accommodate on alternative views of content.

Keywords

Ground Content Logic of ground Truthmaking 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research for this paper was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Grant KR 4516/1-1). I gratefully acknowledge the support. Earlier versions of the material were presented at a research colloquium at the University of Hamburg, at a Senior Seminar at the Université Aix-Marseille, at the Workshop On Ground and Consequence in Gothenburg, at the conference Truth and Grounds in Ascona, and at the Mathematical Logic seminar of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Hamburg. I thank all members of the audiences for their comments and criticisms, and in particular Jon Litland as well as my fellow phlox members Stefan Roski and Benjamin Schnieder for their extensive and especially useful feedback. Special thanks are also due to Nick Haverkamp for very valuable comments on some of the more technical material, to Louis deRosset for a helpful email exchange on the topic, and to my wife for advice on presentational matters, as well as for a great deal of patience. The biggest debt of gratitude I owe to Kit Fine for many comments, suggestions, and discussions of the topic and of the material on which this paper is based. Finally, two anonymous referees for this journal have provided comments that have led to a number of improvements, and I am very grateful for their efforts.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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