Bolzano's Philosophy of Grounding: Translations and Studies

ISBN : 9780192847973

Stefan Roski; Benjamin Schnieder
432 ページ
156 x 234 mm

One of the liveliest debates in contemporary philosophy concerns the notions of grounding and metaphysical explanation. Many consider these notions to be of prime importance for metaphysics and the philosophy of explanation, or even for philosophy in general, and lament that they had been neglected for far too long. Although the current debate about grounding is of recent origin, its central ideas have a long and rich history in Western philosophy, going back at least to the works of Plato and Aristotle. Bernard Bolzano's theory of grounding, developed in the first half of the nineteenth century, is a peak in the history of these ideas. On Bolzano's account, grounding lies at the heart of a broad conception of explanation encompassing both causal and non-causal cases. Not only does his theory exceed most earlier theories in scope, depth, and rigour, it also anticipates a range of ideas that take a prominent place in the contemporary debate. But despite the richness and modernity of his theory, it is known only by a comparatively small circle of philosophers predominantly consisting of Bolzano scholars. Bolzano's Philosophy of Grounding is meant to make Bolzano's ideas on grounding accessible to a broader audience. The book gathers translations of Bolzano's most important writings on these issues, including material that has hitherto not been available in English. Additionally, it contains a survey article on Bolzano's conception and nine research papers critically assessing elements of the theory and/or exploring its broad range of applications in Bolzano's philosophy and beyond.


Part I: Introduction
1 Preamble
2 A survey of Bolzano's theory of grounding
3 On the contents of this volume
Part II: Bolzano's writings on grounding (in English translations)
4 Early period: scientific method and the foundations of mathematics
5 Middle period: theology and metaphysics
6 Mature period: A theory of grounding
Part III: Research papers on Bolzano's theory
7 Marko Malink: Aristotle and Bolzano on grounding
8 Kevin Mulligan: Logic, logical norms, and normative grounding
9 Kit Fine: Some remarks on Bolzano on ground
10 Mark Textor: Grounding, simplicity, and repetition
11 Francesca Poggiolesi: Bolzano, the (appropriate) relevant logic and grounding rules for implication
12 Edgar Morscher: The grounds of moral truths''
13 Paul Rusnock: Grounding in practice: Bolzano's Purely Analytic Proof in the light of the Contributions
14 Marc Lange: Bolzano, the parallelogram of forces, and scientific explanation
15 Benjamin Schnieder: A fundamental being-Bolzano's cosmological argument and its Leibnizian roots


Stefan Roski studied Philosophy at Universitat Duisburg-Essen, Germany. He received a PhD in Philosophy from VU University Amsterdam in 2014. Since 2015 he has been working as Research Associate at Hamburg University. ; Benjamin Schnieder specializes in Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Language and Logic. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Geneva in 2002, under the supervision of Kevin Mulligan and Wolfgang Kunne. Subsequently he taught as an Assistant Professor at the University of Hamburg (2003-2007) and then became the Director of the junior research group Phlox at the Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin (2008-2011, funded by the German Research Foundation). In 2011 he accepted a Professorship for Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Hamburg. In 2021 he started as a Professor for Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Vienna.