Meeting 10: Grounding and Causation

PhD candidate Tommy Kivatinos will facilitate this discussion about Grounding and Causation.


From Tommy:


The past decade or so has witnessed an explosion of literature concerning the topic of 'grounding' - roughly, the relation by which the fundamental relates to the non-fundamental. Seemingly everyone agrees that whatever grounding is, it is something distinct from causation; though, this claim is rarely defended or even discussed in any detail. I would like to focus on this issue: I will raise a variety of arguments that would serve to specify what marks the distinction between grounding and causation, in order to see which argument(s) holds up best against scrutiny and thus to pin down exactly how grounding and causation are to be thought of as distinct phenomena. Why should we give a damn? Well, due to hostile arguments posed by the likes of David Hume and company, causation has been a deeply troubled phenomenon that appears subject to potential reductive or deflationary analysis. If we can not firmly mark the distinction between causation and grounding, perhaps grounding may be doomed to inherit the same troubles that causation famously can not shake off.


Please note: this is first meeting for which background in philosophy is recommended.  You won't get much out of this meeting if you've never taken a philosophy class.  Former college philosophy majors, philosophy grad students and grad students in related disciplines, and academics are the target audience here.


For this meeting, I'll be charging only $5, instead of the usual $10.


Please read Schaffer's "On What Grounds What" in preparation for the meeting.  You can find the article at


You can also find the article on the Philosophy-in-Manhattan meetup page.  On the top of the page, click More -> Files.  The article is 37 pages, but the last four pages are just a bibliography, and the pages are short.


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  • Randall

    Interesting discussion about an area of philosophy not typically encountered by those outside contemporary academia.

    December 21, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi: I'm new-
    if there's still room I'll pay you when I get there...OK?

    December 18, 2012

    • Justine

      Miriam: all attendees must pay online by the deadline. Thanks!

      December 19, 2012

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