Fundamentality and minimalist grounding laws

Joaquim Giannotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Downloads (Pure)


What grounds facts of ground? Some metaphysicians invoke fundamental
grounding laws to answer this question. These are general principles that link
grounded facts to their grounds. The main business of this paper is to advance the
debate about the metaphysics of grounding laws by exploring the prospects of a
plausible yet underexplored minimalist account, one which is structurally analogous
to a familiar Humean conception of natural laws. In the positive part of this paper, I
articulate such a novel view and argue for its merits. The minimalist account shuns
essences and takes laws to be unmysterious elite regularities. Therefore, it is a
promising alternative for theorists of ground who spurn the acceptance of essen-
tialism about the grounding laws but think that these are needed in our theorizing. In
the negative part, I argue that widely accepted principles of ground, coupled with
the tenets of minimalism, jeopardize the fundamentality of the grounding laws. I
discuss two immediately available and prima facie appealing strategies to evade this
threat. However, I show that both have undesirable theoretical costs. I conclude by
casting doubts on whether the benefits of a minimalist account of fundamental
grounding laws outweigh such costs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2993-3017
Number of pages25
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2022


  • Fundamentality
  • Grounding
  • Humeanism
  • Laws of ground


Dive into the research topics of 'Fundamentality and minimalist grounding laws'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this