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Volume 53 • Number 4

October 2015



On the Grounding-Reduction Link

by Jonathan Eric Dorsey


The claim that reduction entails grounding (but not vice versa)—called "the grounding-reduction link"—is potentially very important but not clearly correct. After working through a fruitful debate between Gideon Rosen (who maintains the link) and Paul Audi (who maintains its impossibility), I distinguish between what I call "strict" and "broad" reduction. Strict reduction is incompatible with grounding, but broad reduction is not. Thus the link is possible, at least for broad reduction. However, neither strict nor broad reduction entails grounding. Ultimately, there may be a link between grounding and some highly qualified form of reduction. However, the philosophical traction that one might hope to gain for grounding via such a link is considerably diminished if not outright lost.

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ISSN: 2152-1123