My research is in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind. In metaphysics, one of my central interests is the notion of grounding, otherwise known as the “in virtue of” relation. While controversy about grounding abounds, one way to think about it is via a comparison to causation: while causation links aspects of the world together horizontally across time, grounding does so vertically across levels of reality. In the philosophy of mind, a central interest is the problem of consciousness, specifically the problem of finding a place for conscious experiences in a world that is fundamentally physical in nature.
Transparency and the Explanatory Gap. For G. Rabin (ed.), Grounding and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
▷ Characterization of transparency relevant to the explanatory gap between the physical and experiential.
Should Explanation Be a Guide to Ground? with A. Skiles, Philosophical Studies 178/12 (2021): 4043–4089.
▷ Discussion of whether reflection on explanation should guide theorizing about grounding
Full and Partial Grounding, with D. G. Witmer, Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7/2 (2021): 252–271.
▷ Discussion of partial grounds that aren't parts of full grounds; definition of full in terms of partial grounding
Grounding, with A. Skiles. In R. Bliss & J. Miller (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics (2020): 199–210.
▷ Discussion of the relevance of grounding to substantiveness, theory-choice, and "location problems" in metaphysics
Truthmaking. In M. Raven (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding (2020): 396–407.
▷ Discussion of grounding-theoretic accounts of truthmaking in terms of the theoretical role of “catching cheaters”
Review of K. McDaniel, The Fragmentation of Being (OUP, 2017), Philosophical Review 129/1 (2020): 149–153.
Prioritizing Platonism, with S. Cowling, Philosophical Studies 176/8 (2019): 2029–2042.
▷ Discussion of atomistic and monistic theses about abstract reality
Maurin on Grounding and Explanation, with A. Skiles. In T. Wahlberg & R. Stenwall (eds.), Maurinian Truths. Lund University (2019): 159–172.
Inheritance Arguments for Fundamentality. In R. Bliss and G. Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press (2018): 182–198.
▷ Discussion of a metaphysical sense of "inheritance" and cognate notions relevant to fundamentality
Grounding-Mechanical Explanation, Philosophical Studies 175/6 (2018): 1289–1309.
▷ Characterization of a form of explanation involving grounding on the model of mechanistic causal explanation
Revelation and Physicalism, Synthese 194 (2017): 2345–2366.
▷ Discussion of the challenge that acquaintance with the nature of experience poses to physicalism
Priority Monism, Philosophy Compass 12 (2017): 1–10.
▷ Argument that priority monism is best understood as being a contingent thesis
Placement, Grounding, and Mental Content. In C. Daly (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook on Philosophical Methods. (2015): 481–496.
▷ Grounding-theoretic reformulation of Fodor's theory of content that addresses recalcitrant Quinean concerns
Artwork Completion: A Response to Gover, with P. Livingston, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73/4 (2015): 460–462.
The Complete Work, with P. Livingston, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 72/3 (2014): 225–233.
▷ Defense of a psychological account of what it is for an artwork to be complete
Metaphysical Grounding, with R. Bliss. In E. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2014; revised 2021).
An Introduction to Grounding. In M. Hoeltje et al (eds.), Varieties of Dependence. Philosophia Verlag (2013): 97–122.
▷ General discussions of grounding, including its formal features, relations to other notions, and applications
Grounding: Necessary or Contingent? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94/4 (2013): 465–485.
▷ Argument that full grounds modally entail what they ground
Review of G. Coggins, Could There Have Been Nothing? (Palgrave, 2010), Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews (2011).
Intrinsicality for Monists (and Pluralists), Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88/3 (2010): 555–558.
The Modal Status of Materialism, with J. Levine, Philosophical Studies 145/3 (2009): 351–362.
▷ Argument that Lewis and others are wrong that physicalism is if true then contingently true
Physicalism and Sparse Ontology, Philosophical Studies 143/2 (2009): 147–165.
▷ Discussion of reductive and non-reductive physicalism formulated in a priority monist framework
Review of D. Stoljar, Ignorance and Imagination (OUP, 2006), Philosophical Review 118/2 (2009): 269–272.
Monism and Intrinsicality, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87/1 (2009): 127–148.
▷ Amendment of the below account with the aim of neutrality between competing theories of what is fundamental
Intrinsicality without Naturalness, with D. G. Witmer and B. Butchard, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70/2 (2005): 326–350.
▷ Defense of an account of intrinsic properties in terms of (what is now called) grounding rather than naturalness
▷ I am an Associate Professor & the Department Chair in the Philosophy Department at Virginia Tech.
▷ trogdon [at] vt [dot] edu