Jon Litland (University of Texas, Austin) has won the 2015 Sanders Prize in Metaphysics for his paper, “Grounding Ground.” The prize is given to the winner of an annual essay competition open to scholars who are within fifteen years of having received their Ph.D., or students who are currently enrolled in a graduate program (independent scholars may also be eligible). The award for the prizewinning essay is $10,000 and publication in Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. The award is given by the Marc Sanders Foundation, which “aims to stimulate renewed appreciation for traditional philosophy by encouraging, identifying and rewarding excellent research in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, metaethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of religion.”
Here’s the abstract of Litland’s paper:
The Problem of Iterated Ground is to explain what grounds truths about ground: if Γ grounds φ, what grounds that Γ grounds φ? This paper develops a novel solution to this problem. The basic idea is to connect ground to explanatory arguments. By developing a rigorous account of explanatory arguments we can equip operators for factive and non-factive ground with natural introduction and elimination rules. A satisfactory account of iterated ground falls directly out of the resulting logic: non- factive grounding claims, if true, are zero-grounded in the sense of Fine.