Inductive Metaphysics: Laws and Explanations in Metaphysics and Science

This combined online event of a spring school introductory course and a workshop took place on March 24–25, 2021, via Zoom. On the first day, speakers provided an instructive introduction to laws and explanations in metaphysics and science. On the subsequent day, there were workshop talks on topics outlined and discussed during the introductory part.

Spring School & Workshop, Repository

University of Duesseldorf


Invited Speakers

  • Anna-Sofia Maurin (University of Gothenburg)
  • Kristie Miller (University of Sydney)
  • Jonathan Schaffer (Rutgers University)
  • Naomi Thompson (University of Southampton)

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 introductory course and workshop focussed on the relation between metaphysical grounding on the one hand and scientific explanation on the other.

In particular, we asked 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 aimed at an inclusive spring school. For this purpose, we invited as many female as male instructors, and we aimed at a diverse pool of participants.


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