Is Ground a Strict Partial Order?
by Michael J. Raven
Interest surges in a distinctively metaphysical
notion of ground, as witnessed by a recent
anthology dedicated to it (Correia and
Schnieder 2012). Devotees of ground (e.g.,
Fine 2001; Rosen 2010; and Raven, 2012)
say it belongs in the metaphysician's toolbox,
whereas Infidels (e.g., Hofweber 2009; and
Wilson, unpublished manuscript) demur.
A Schism has formed among Devotees.
Orthodoxy says ground induces a strict partial
order structure on reality, from the more
derivative to the more fundamental. Heresy denies that ground is a strict partial order:
ground is either not irreflexive (Jenkins 2011)
or not transitive (Schaffer 2012).
What's at stake? The structure of reality, answer
Devotees. Even Infidels have a stake: they
might take Devotees' infighting as evidence
against ground's coherence (cf. Wilson).