•  334
    Vagueness & Modality—An Ecumenical Approach
    Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1): 229-269. 2016.
    How does vagueness interact with metaphysical modality and with restrictions of it, such as nomological modality? In particular, how do definiteness, necessity (understood as restricted in some way or not), and actuality interact? This paper proposes a model-theoretic framework for investigating the logic and semantics of that interaction. The framework is put forward in an ecumenical spirit: it is intended to be applicable to all theories of vagueness that express vagueness using a definiteness…Read more
  •  227
    Topics in Philosophical Logic
    Dissertation, Harvard. 2012.
    In “Proof-Theoretic Justification of Logic”, building on work by Dummett and Prawitz, I show how to construct use-based meaning-theories for the logical constants. The assertability-conditional meaning-theory takes the meaning of the logical constants to be given by their introduction rules; the consequence-conditional meaning-theory takes the meaning of the logical constants to be given by their elimination rules. I then consider the question: given a set of introduction rules \, what are the st…Read more
  •  179
    On Some Counterexamples to the Transitivity of Grounding
    Essays in Philosophy 14 (1): 3. 2013.
    I discuss three recent counterexamples to the transitivity of grounding due to Jonathan Schaffer. I argue that the counterexamples don’t work and draw some conclusions about the relationship between grounding and explanation
  •  174
    Could φ’s partially grounding ψ itself be a partial ground for ψ? I show that it follows from commonly accepted principles in the logic of ground that this sometimes happens. It also follows from commonly accepted principles that this never happens. I show that this inconsistency turns on different principles than the puzzles of ground already discussed in the literature, and I propose a way of resolving the inconsistency.
  •  171
    Grounding, Explanation, and the Limit of Internality
    Philosophical Review 124 (4): 481-532. 2015.
    Most authors on metaphysical grounding have taken full grounding to be an internal relation in the sense that it's necessary that if the grounds and the grounded both obtain, then the grounds ground the grounded. The negative part of this essay exploits empirical and provably nonparadoxical self-reference to prove conclusively that even immediate full grounding isn't an internal relation in this sense. The positive, second part of this essay uses the notion of a “completely satisfactory explanat…Read more
  •  111
    An infinitely descending chain of ground without a lower bound
    Philosophical Studies 173 (5): 1361-1369. 2016.
    Using only uncontentious principles from the logic of ground I construct an infinitely descending chain of ground without a lower bound. I then compare the construction to the constructions due to Dixon and Rabin and Rabern
  •  93
    In Defense of the Disunity of Grounding
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (2): 97-108. 2018.
    Fine (2012) is a pluralist about grounding. He holds that there are three fundamentally distinct notions of grounding: metaphysical, normative, and natural. Berker (2017) argues for monism on the grounds that the pluralist cannot account for certain principles describing how the distinct notions of grounding interact. This paper defends pluralism. By building on work by Fine (2010) and Litland (2015) I show how the pluralist can systematically account for Berker's interaction principles.
  •  71
    Pure Logic of Many-Many Ground
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (5): 531-577. 2016.
    A logic of grounding where what is grounded can be a collection of truths is a “many-many” logic of ground. The idea that grounding might be irreducibly many-many has recently been suggested by Dasgupta. In this paper I present a range of novel philosophical and logical reasons for being interested in many-many logics of ground. I then show how Fine’s State-Space semantics for the Pure Logic of Ground can be extended to the many-many case, giving rise to the Pure Logic of Many-Many Ground. In th…Read more
  •  55
    Pure logic of iterated full ground
    Review of Symbolic Logic 11 (3): 411-435. 2018.
    This article develops the Pure Logic of Iterated Full Ground (PLIFG), a logic of ground that can deal with claims of the form “ϕ grounds that (ψ grounds θ)”—what we call iterated grounding claims. The core idea is that some truths Γ ground a truth ϕ when there is an explanatory argument (of a certain sort) from premisses Γ to conclusion ϕ. By developing a deductive system that distinguishes between explanatory and nonexplanatory arguments we can give introduction rules for operators for factive …Read more
  •  1
    Grounding Grounding
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 10. 2017.
    The Problem of Iterated Ground is to explain what grounds truths about ground: if Γ grounds φ, what grounds that Γ grounds φ? This paper develops a novel solution to this problem. The basic idea is to connect ground to explanatory arguments. By developing a rigorous account of explanatory arguments we can equip operators for factive and non-factive ground with natural introduction and elimination rules. A satisfactory account of iterated ground falls directly out of the resulting logic: non- fac…Read more