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Event: Conference: Ground in Philosophy of Science

Event date September 13, 2016 - September 14, 2016
Submission deadline April 01, 2016
Location Switzerland
Host(s) University of Geneva
Event website/information see

GROUND IN PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE – University of Geneva, 13-14 September 2016

An international conference in the SNF project Grounding – Metaphysics, Science, and Logic ( ) and a satellite event of the second annual conference of the Society for the Metaphysics of Science (SMS), University of Geneva, September 15-17, 2016 (


The last two decades have witnessed a burgeoning of literature on ground. Ground is usually interpreted as either a connective that connects propositions or as a predicate that relates facts. In the predicate interpretation, two facts are said to stand in a relation of ground when the grounding fact is ontologically prior to the grounded fact, or the grounded fact obtains in virtue of its ground. Grounding is typically understood as factive (grounds and groundees obtain), as a strict partial order (irreflexive, asymmetric, and transitive), and necessitating (grounds necessitate their groundees). Grounding relations are supposed to back explanations. In the predicate interpretation, they are supposed to back explanations of a distinctively `metaphysical’ kind. The aim of this conference is to bring together researchers working at the interface between logic, metaphysics and philosophy of science, to shed light on the role of ground in philosophy of science, which to date, remains largely unexplored. We invite submissions of abstracts that tackle questions such as:

– What kind of scientific realism (e.g., Aristotelian, structural) is compatible with, or demanded by, the view that reality is ordered in hierarchies of grounding relations?
– What room is left to questions of existence (of, e.g., theoretical entities), under the view that issues of fundamentality are prior to issues of existence?
– Is grounding more suitable than supervenience to account for the relation between levels of reality?
– To what extent are grounding claims analogous to scientific laws?
– Can one understand grounding claims in a counterfactual way?
– Is the identity or the essence of higher-level properties determined by its lower-level grounds?
– To what extent are grounding and causation analogous to one another?
– Are dispositions a kind of grounds?
– Is mechanistic constitution a kind of grounding?
– How, if at all, do metaphysical explanations differ from scientific explanations?
– Is so-called `mathematical explanation a kind of grounding explanation?
– Is mechanistic explanation a kind of grounding explanation?
– Is it possible to get evidence of grounding relations? More generally, on what basis may one infer to the existence of a grounding relation?


We are pleased to announce the participation of Marc Lange (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Michela Massimi (University of Edinburgh).


We welcome abstract submissions of maximum 1000 words, prepared for blind review, to be emailed to by April 1st, 2016. Papers should be suitable for a thirty-minute presentation. Decision will be made by May 15, 2016.


Pablo Carnino (Geneva), Lorenzo Casini (Geneva), Fabrice Correia (Neuchâtel), Benjamin Schnieder (Hamburg), Marcel Weber (Geneva), Christian Wüthrich (Geneva).


Attendance to Ground in Philosophy of Science is free of charge. Just come along!


A number of hotel rooms will be reserved for contributed speakers.


We aim to allocate a number of student bursaries for contributed speakers on the basis of need and merit, to cover the cost of accommodation for two nights and the conference dinner. If you wish to be considered for one such bursary, please indicate so in your submission email.


Ground in Philosophy of Science is organized by Lorenzo Casini (Geneva) and Marcel Weber (Geneva), with the generous support of the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant no. CRSII 1_147685/1).


For any query, please email

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