Truth, Grounding & Dependence
Abstract: The subjects of this thesis are (as indicated by the title) truth, grounding and dependence. The thesis consists of an introduction and five free-standing essays. The purpose of the introduction is not merely to summarize the papers, but to provide a general background to the discussions in the essays. The introduction is divided into four chapters, each of which splits into a number of sections and/or subsections. Chapter 1. concerns the notion of ontological dependence. I start by making a distinction between two different types of ontological dependence and discuss how well these notions deal with a number of philosophical issues. I then go on to consider the role that ontological dependence plays in hierarchies of natural kinds. In Chapter 2., I discuss a related notion, namely that of grounding. I sketch the theoretical framework by specifying the logical form of grounding statements and a set of structural principles that govern grounding. The chapter ends with a brief discussion on some philosophical applications of grounding. Chapter 3. deals with the notion of truthmaking and how it squares with the grounding framework developed in the previous chapter. I present the reader with the so-called Truthmaker Principle, and provide answers to a number of questions that it raises. The fourth and final chapter summarizes the five papers. The six essays are divided into three categories. Paper I deals with the notion of ontological dependence in hierarchies of natural kinds. Paper II concerns the notion of grounding and resemblance orderings among powers. Papers III, IV and V discuss various aspects of truthmaker theory.
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