Laws and Explanations in Metaphysics and Science

This event takes place March 22–26, 2021. During the first four days (March 22–25) there will be a spring school on laws and explanations in metaphysics and science. On the final day (March 26) there will be a workshop on topics discussed during the spring school.

Spring School & Workshop, March 22-26, 2021

University of Duesseldorf



  • Anna-Sofia Maurin (University of Gothenburg)
  • Kristie Miller (University of Sydney)
  • Jonathan Schaffer (Rutgers University)
  • Benjamin Schnieder (University of Hamburg)

Aims & Scope

In recent metaphysics, there has been a great interest in the metaphysical notion of grounding, which links metaphysics and explanation in a novel way. Grounding is claimed to be the common element in various “in-virtue-of” claims such as “I am in pain in virtue of certain activation-patterns of my nervous system (c-fibre firing).”

In philosophy of science, scientific, i.e., causal and nomological explanation has long been the focus of reflection.

This spring school focusses on the relation between metaphysical grounding on the one hand and scientific explanation on the other.

In particular, we want to ask questions such as what the characteristic features of these two notions of explanation are, whether grounding explanations in metaphysics can play an analogous role to causal or nomological explanations in the sciences, and whether metaphysical grounding and scientific explanations can be treated in a unified framework.


We recognise that philosophical practice requires an inclusive philosophical community. Accessibility is a necessary condition for good philosophical work. It is also a matter of justice within the organisation and the profession.

We are an inclusive spring school. For this purpose, we invited as many female as male instructors, and we aim at a diverse pool of participants.

We also do our best to help with childcare and to lower the barrier of participation for philosophers with disabilities.

Sponsors & Supporters