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  1. Robert Allen (2000). Identity and Becoming. Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):527-548.
    A material object is constituted by a sum of parts all of which are essential to the sum but some of which seem inessential to the object itself. Such object/sum of parts pairs include my body/its torso and appendages and my desk/its top, drawers, and legs. In these instances, we are dealing with objects and their components. But, fundamentally, we may also speak, as Locke does, of an object and its constitutive matter—a “mass of particles”—or even of that aggregate and (...)
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  2. Mahrad Almotahari (2014). The Identity of a Material Thing and its Matter. Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):387-406.
    I have both a smaller and a larger aim. The smaller aim is polemical. Kit Fine believes that a material thing—a Romanesque statue, for example, or an open door—can be distinguished from its constituent matter—a piece of alloy, say, or a hunk of plastic—without recourse to modal or temporal considerations. The statue is Romanesque; the piece of alloy is not Romanesque. The door is open; the hunk of plastic is not open. I argue that these considerations, when combined with a (...)
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  3. Theodore Andersson (1999). The Long Arm of Coincidence: The Frustrated Connection Between “Beowulf” and “Grettis Saga.”. [REVIEW] Speculum 74 (3):739-741.
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  4. Istvan Aranyosi (2007). Shadows of Constitution. The Monist 90 (3):415-431.
    The old puzzle of material constitution has benefited from a lot of thorough discussion from the part of metaphysicians in the last thirty-odd years. The available solution options and their problems are by now familiar. They involve particular views on mainstream entities and relations of metaphysical inquiry, like objects, properties, events, causation, identity, supervenience, and so on. However, one might want to hope, together with some contemporary ontologists, most notably Roberto Casati and Achille Varzi (1994), that dealing with more peripheral (...)
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  5. Lynne Rudder Baker, Amie Thomasson on Ordinary Objects.
    Amie Thomasson has won well-deserved praise for her book, Ordinary Objects. She defends a commonsense world view and gives us “reason to think that there are fundamental particles, plants and animals, sticks and stones, tables and chairs, and even marriages and mortgages.” (p. 181) Ordinary objects comprise a vast array of things—natural objects both scientific and commonsensical, artifacts, organisms, abstract social objects.
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  6. Lynne Rudder Baker (2003). Review of Objects and Persons, by Trenton Merricks. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):597 – 598.
    Book Information Objects and Persons. Objects and Persons Trenton Merricks . Oxford: Clarendon Press , 2001 , pp. xii + 203 , £30 ( cloth ), £14.99 ( paper ) . By Trenton Merricks. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Pp. xii + 203. £30 (cloth:), £14.99 (paper:).
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  7. Lynne Rudder Baker (1997). Why Constitution is Not Identity. Journal of Philosophy 94 (12):599-621.
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  8. Karen Bennett (2011). Koslicki on Formal Proper Parts. Analysis 71 (2):286-290.
    Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14850 kb383@cornell.eduWhat are motorcycles made of? Presumably the answer is something like ‘wheels, pistons, fuel lines …’ or perhaps ‘metal, leather, plastic …’. Whatever precisely the parts of a motorcycle are, surely they are all material. Kathrin Koslicki disagrees. She has recently argued that ordinary material objects like motorcycles not only have material proper parts, but also have formal proper parts . On her view, an accurate list of the proper parts of a motorcycle must include (...)
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  9. Karen Bennett (2009). Composition, Colocation, and Metaontology. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press
    The paper is an extended discussion of what I call the ‘dismissive attitude’ towards metaphysical questions. It has three parts. In the first part, I distinguish three quite different versions of dismissivism. I also argue that there is little reason to think that any of these positions is correct about the discipline of metaphysics as a whole; it is entirely possible that some metaphysical disputes should be dismissed and others should not be. Doing metametaphysics properly requires doing metaphysics first. I (...)
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  10. Francesco Berto (2013). Coincident Entities and Question-Begging Predicates: An Issue in Meta-Ontology. Metaphysica 14 (1):1-15.
    Meta-ontology (in van Inwagen's sense) concerns the methodology of ontology, and a controversial meta-ontological issue is to what extent ontology can rely on linguistic analysis while establishing the furniture of the world. This paper discusses an argument advanced by some ontologists (I call them unifiers) against supporters of or coincident entities (I call them multipliers) and its meta-ontological import. Multipliers resort to Leibniz's Law to establish that spatiotemporally coincident entities a and b are distinct, by pointing at a predicate F (...)
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  11. Jeffrey E. Brower (2014). Aquinas's Ontology of the Material World: Change, Hylomorphism, and Material Objects. Oxford University Press.
    Jeffrey E. Brower presents and explains the hylomorphic conception of the material world developed by Thomas Aquinas, according to which material objects are composed of both matter and form. In addition to presenting and explaining Aquinas's views, Brower seeks wherever possible to bring them into dialogue with the best recent literature on related topics. Along the way, he highlights the contribution that Aquinas's views make to a host of contemporary metaphysical debates, including the nature of change, composition, material constitution, the (...)
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  12. Douglas Browning (1988). Sameness Through Change and the Coincidence of Properties. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 49 (1):103-121.
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  13. Michael B. Burke (1997). Coinciding Objects: Reply to Lowe and Denkel. Analysis 57 (1):11–18.
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  14. Michael B. Burke (1996). Tibbles the Cat: A Modern Sophisma. Philosophical Studies 84 (1):63 - 74.
    In this paper, I offer a novel and conservative solution to the puzzle of Tibbles the cat. I do not criticize the existing solutions or the theories within which they are embedded. I am content to offer an alternative, one that relies on the recently resurgent doctrine of Aristotelian essentialism. My solution, unlike some of its competitors, is applicable to the full range of cases in which, as with Tib and Tibbles, there is the threat of coinciding objects. In section (...)
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  15. Michael B. Burke (1994). Dion and Theon: An Essentialist Solution to an Ancient Puzzle. Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):129-139.
    Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? Employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, I defend a surprising answer last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes.
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  16. Michael B. Burke (1994). Preserving the Principle of One Object to a Place: A Novel Account of the Relations Among Objects, Sorts, Sortals, and Persistence Conditions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (3):591-624.
    The article provides a novel, conservative account of material constitution, one that employs sortal essentialism and a theory of dominant sortals. It avoids coinciding objects, temporal parts, relativizations of identity, mereological essentialism, anti-essentialism, denials of the reality of the objects of our ordinary ontology, and other radical departures from the metaphysic implicit in ordinary ways of thinking. Defenses of the account against important objections are found in Burke 1997, 2003, and 2004, as well as in the often neglected six paragraphs (...)
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  17. Michael B. Burke (1992). Copper Statues and Pieces of Copper: A Challenge to the Standard Account. Analysis 52 (1):12 - 17.
    On the most popular account of material constitution, it is common for a material object to coincide precisely with one or more other material objects, ones that are composed of just the same matter but differ from it in sort. I argue that there is nothing that could ground the alleged difference in sort and that the account must be rejected.
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  18. Michael B. Burke (1980). Cohabitation, Stuff and Intermittent Existence. Mind 89 (355):391-405.
    I will try to establish that there are cases in which an ordinary material object exists intermittently. Afterwards there will be a few words about the consequences of acknowledging such cases, but what is of more interest, perhaps, is the route by which the conclusion is reached. When deciding among competing descriptions of the cases considered, I have tried to reduce to a minimum the role of intuitive judgement, and I have based several arguments on 'metaphysical principles'. These principles are (...)
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  19. Ben Caplan & Bob Bright (2005). Fusions and Ordinary Physical Objects. Philosophical Studies 125 (1):61-83.
    In “Tropes and Ordinary Physical Objects”, Kris McDaniel argues that ordinary physical objects are fusions of monadic and polyadic tropes. McDaniel calls his view “TOPO”—for “Theory of Ordinary Physical Objects”. He argues that we should accept TOPO because of the philosophical work that it allows us to do. Among other things, TOPO is supposed to allow endurantists to reply to Mark Heller’s argument for perdurantism. But, we argue in this paper, TOPO does not help endurantists do that; indeed, we argue (...)
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  20. W. R. Carter (1997). Dion's Left Foot (and the Price of Burkean Economy). Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (2):371-379.
    Two recent papers by Michael Burke bearing upon the persistence of people and commonplace things illustrate the fact that the quest for synchronic ontological economy is likely to encourage a disturbing diachronic proliferation of entities. This discussion argues that Burke's promise of ontological economy is seriously compromised by the fact that his proposed metaphysic does violence to standard intuitions concerning the persistence of people and commonplace things. In effect, Burke would have us achieve synchronic economy (rejection of coincident entities) by (...)
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  21. Judith Crane (2012). Biological-Mereological Coincidence. Philosophical Studies 161 (2):309-325.
    This paper presents and defends an account of the coincidence of biological organisms with mereological sums of their material components. That is, an organism and the sum of its material components are distinct material objects existing in the same place at the same time. Instead of relying on historical or modal differences to show how such coincident entities are distinct, this paper argues that there is a class of physiological properties of biological organisms that their coincident mereological sums do not (...)
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  22. Rafael De Clercq (2013). Locke's Principle is an Applicable Criterion of Identity. Noûs 47 (4):697-705.
    According to Locke’s Principle, material objects are identical if and only if they are of the same kind and once occupy the same place at the same time. There is disagreement about whether this principle is true, but what is seldom disputed is that, even if true, the principle fails to constitute an applicable criterion of identity. In this paper, I take issue with two arguments that have been offered in support of this claim by arguing (i) that we can (...)
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  23. Rafael De Clercq (2005). A Criterion of Diachronic Identity Based on Locke's Principle. Metaphysica 6 (1):23-38.
    The aim of this paper is to derive a perfectly general criterion of identity through time from Locke’s Principle, which says that two things of the same kind cannot occupy the same space at the same time. In this way, the paper pursues a suggestion made by Peter F. Strawson almost thirty years ago in an article called ‘Entity and Identity’. The reason why the potential of this suggestion has so far remained unrealized is twofold: firstly, the suggestion was never (...)
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  24. Louis deRosset (2011). What is the Grounding Problem? Philosophical Studies 156 (2):173-197.
    A philosophical standard in the debates concerning material constitution is the case of a statue and a lump of clay, Goliath and Lumpl, respectively. According to the story, Lumpl and Goliath are coincident throughout their respective careers. Monists hold that they are identical; pluralists that they are distinct. This paper is concerned with a particular objection to pluralism, the Grounding Problem. The objection is roughly that the pluralist faces a legitimate explanatory demand to explain various differences she alleges between Lumpl (...)
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  25. Antony Eagle (2010). Location and Perdurance. In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 5. Oxford Univerity Press 53-94.
    Recently, Cody Gilmore has deployed an ingenious case involving backwards time travel to highlight an apparent conflict between the theory that objects persist by perduring, and the thesis that wholly coincident objects are impossible. However, careful attention to the concepts of location and parthood that Gilmore’s cases involve shows that the perdurantist faces no genuine objection from these cases, and that the perdurantist has a number of plausible and dialectically appropriate ways to avoid the supposed conflict.
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  26. M. Eddon (2010). Why Four-Dimensionalism Explains Coincidence. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):721-728.
    In ?Does Four-Dimensionalism Explain Coincidence?? Mark Moyer argues that there is no reason to prefer the four-dimensionalist (or perdurantist) explanation of coincidence to the three-dimensionalist (or endurantist) explanation. I argue that Moyer's formulations of perdurantism and endurantism lead him to overlook the perdurantist's advantage. A more satisfactory formulation of these views reveals a puzzle of coincidence that Moyer does not consider, and the perdurantist's treatment of this puzzle is clearly preferable.
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  27. Nikk Effingham, Cultural Prejudice and the Plenitude Principle.
    The Plenitude Principle is that for every filled spacetime region, there is an object that is exactly located at that region. Hawthorne motivates it on the grounds that it’s the only way to avoid cultural prejudice with regards to what material objects exist (the argument from cultural prejudice). There is a similar argument for a perdurantist-universalist theory, and the content of this paper applies mutatis mutandis to that argument as well.
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  28. Iris Einheuser (2011). Toward a Conceptualist Solution of the Grounding Problem. Noûs 45 (2):300-314.
    This paper defends a conceptualist answer to the question how objects come by their modal properties. It isolates the controversial metaphysical assumptions that are needed to get ontological conceptualism off the ground, outlines the conceptualist answer to the question and shows that conceptualism is not in as bad a shape as some critics have maintained.
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  29. Crawford L. Elder (1998). Essential Properties and Coinciding Objects. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (2):317-331.
    Common sense believes in objects which, if real, routinely lose component parts or particles. Statues get chipped, people undergo haircuts and amputations, and ships have planks replaced. Sometimes philosophers argue that in addition to these objects, there are others which could not possibly lose any of their parts or particles, nor have new ones added to them--objects which could not possibly have been bigger or smaller, at any time, than how they actually were.1 (Sometimes the restriction on size is argued (...)
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  30. Kit Fine (2008). Coincidence and Form. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 82 (1):101-118.
    How can a statue and a piece of alloy be coincident at any time at which they exist and yet differ in their modal properties? I argue that this question demands an answer and that the only plausible answer is one that posits a difference in the form of the two objects.
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  31. Kit Fine (2003). The Non-Identity of a Material Thing and its Matter. Mind 112 (446):195-234.
    There is a well-known argument from Leibniz's Law for the view that coincident material things may be distinct. For given that they differ in their properties, then how can they be the same? However, many philosophers have suggested that this apparent difference in properties is the product of a linguistic illusion; there is just one thing out there, but different sorts or guises under which it may be described. I attempt to show that this ‘opacity’ defence has intolerable consequences for (...)
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  32. Bryan Frances, The Material Composition Problem.
    This is an essay for undergraduates. I set out the statue/clay problem and Tibbles/Tib in rich detail. I also present, with less detail, some other puzzles about material composition.
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  33. Bryan Frances (2006). The New Leibniz's Law Arguments for Pluralism. Mind 115 (460):1007-1022.
    For years philosophers argued for the existence of distinct yet materially coincident things by appealing to modal and temporal properties. For instance, the statue was made on Monday and could not survive being flattened; the lump of clay was made months before and can survive flattening. Such arguments have been thoroughly examined. Kit Fine has proposed a new set of arguments using the same template. I offer a critical evaluation of what I take to be his central lines of reasoning.
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  34. Cody Gilmore (forthcoming). Quasi-Supplementation, Plenitudinous Coincidentalism, and Gunk. In Robert Garcia (ed.), Substance: New Essays. Philosophia Verlag
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  35. Cody Gilmore (2014). Building Enduring Objects Out of Spacetime. In Claudio Calosi & Pierluigi Graziani (eds.), Mereology and the Sciences. Springer 5-34.
    Endurantism, the view that material objects are wholly present at each moment of their careers, is under threat from supersubstantivalism, the view that material objects are identical to spacetime regions. I discuss three compromise positions. They are alike in that they all take material objects to be composed of spacetime points or regions without being identical to any such point or region. They differ in whether they permit multilocation and in whether they generate cases of mereologically coincident entities.
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  36. Cody Gilmore (2010). Coinciding Objects and Duration Properties: Reply to Eagle. In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, vol. 5. Oxford University Press 95-111.
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  37. Cody Gilmore (2010). Sider, The Inheritance of Intrinsicality, and Theories of Composition. Philosophical Studies 151 (2):177-197.
    I defend coincidentalism (the view that some pluralities have more than one mereological fusion) and restricted composition (the view that some pluralities lack mereological fusions) against recent arguments due to Theodore Sider.
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  38. Cody Gilmore (2007). Time Travel, Coinciding Objects, and Persistence. In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Vol. 3. Clarendon Press 177-198.
    Existing puzzles about coinciding objects can be divided into two types, corresponding to the manner in which they bear upon the endurantism v. perdurantism debate. Puzzles of the first type, which involve temporary spatial co-location, can be solved simply by abandoning endurantism in favor of perdurantism, whereas those of the second type, which involve career-long spatial co-location, remain equally puzzling on both views. I show that the possibility of backward time travel would give rise to a new type of puzzle. (...)
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  39. Katherine Hawley (2008). Persistence and Determination. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62 (62):197-212.
    Roughly speaking, perdurantism is the view that ordinary objects persist through time by having temporal parts, whilst endurantism is the view that they persist by being wholly present at different times. (Speaking less roughly will be important later.) It is often thought that perdurantists have an advantage over endurantists when dealing with objects which appear to coincide temporarily: lumps, statues, cats, tail-complements, bisected brains, repaired ships, and the like. Some cases – personal fission, for example – seem to involve temporary (...)
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  40. Katherine Hawley (2006). Principles of Composition and Criteria of Identity. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):481 – 493.
    I argue that, despite van Inwagen’s pessimism about the task, it is worth looking for answers to his General Composition Question. Such answers or ‘principles of composition’ tell us about the relationship between an object and its parts. I compare principles of composition with criteria of identity, arguing that, just as different sorts of thing satisfy different criteria of identity, they may satisfy different principles of composition. Variety in criteria of identity is not taken to reflect ontological variety in the (...)
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  41. Mark Heller (2008). The Donkey Problem. Philosophical Studies 140 (1):83 - 101.
    The Donkey Problem (as I am calling it) concerns the relationship between more and less fundamental ontologies. I will claim that the moral to draw from the Donkey Problem is that the less fundamental objects are merely conventional. This conventionalism has consequences for the 3D/4D debate. Four-dimensionalism is motivated by a desire to avoid coinciding objects, but once we accept that the non-fundamental ontology is conventional there is no longer any reason to reject coincidence. I therefore encourage 4Dists to become (...)
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  42. Mark Heller (1990). The Ontology of Physical Objects: Four-Dimensional Hunks of Matter. Cambridge University Press.
    This provocative new book attempts to resolve traditional problems of identity over time. It seeks to answer such questions as "How is it that an object can survive change?" and "How much change can an object undergo without being destroyed?" To answer these questions Professor Heller presents a completely new theory about the nature of physical objects and about the relationship between our language and the physical world. According to his theory, the only actually existing physical entities are what the (...)
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  43. Mark Heller (1984). Hunks: An Ontology of Physical Objects. Dissertation, Syracuse University
    This text is devoted to arguing for the thesis that our standard ontology of physical objects is not correct, and to offering a replacement for that ontology. None of the things that we normally take to exist really do exist. There are no animals, vegetables, or minerals. Nothing that I say against the specific physical objects of our standard ontology counts against the general claim that there are physical objects. In fact, I propose an ontology of physical objects that does (...)
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  44. David B. Hershenov (2003). Can There Be Spatially Coincident Entities of the Same Kind? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):1 - 22.
    Many of the reasons that lead Locke and others to maintain that there exist spatially coincident entities of different kinds would also suggest that there are spatially coincident entities of the same kind. After rejecting an attempt by Christopher Hughes to modify _The Ship of Theseus in order to show the existence of spatially coincident entities, I present a scenario of spatially coincident roads. Readers can avoid the conclusion of spatial coincidence only at the expense of denying the reality of (...)
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  45. Eli Hirsch (2010). Quantifier Variance and Realism: Essays in Metaontology. Oxford University Press.
    A sense of unity -- Basic objects : a reply to Xu -- Objectivity without objects -- The vagueness of identity -- Quantifier variance and realism -- Against revisionary ontology -- Comments on Theodore Sider's four dimensionalism -- Sosa's existential relativism -- Physical-object ontology, verbal disputes, and common sense -- Ontological arguments : interpretive charity and quantifier variance -- Language, ontology, and structure -- Ontology and alternative languages.
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  46. Christopher Hughes (2011). Conspecific Coincidence and Mutual Incorporation. Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):241-252.
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  47. Howard Jacobson (2015). Asherah and Aphrodite: A Coincidence? Classical Quarterly 65 (1):355-356.
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  48. Mark Jago (forthcoming). Essence and the Grounding Problem. In Reality Making. Oxford University Press
    Pluralists about coincident entities say that distinct entities may be spatially coincident throughout their entire existence. The most pressing issue they face is the grounding problem. They say that coincident entities may differ in their persistence conditions and in the sortals they fall under. But how can they differ in these ways, given that they share all their microphysical properties? What grounds those differences, if not their microphysical properties? Do those differences depend only on the way we conceptualise those objects? (...)
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  49. Jens Johansson (2009). Constituted Simples? Philosophia 37 (1):87-89.
    Many philosophers maintain that artworks, such as statues, are constituted by other material objects, such as lumps of marble. I give an argument against this view, an argument which appeals to mereological simples.
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  50. Mark Johnston (2006). Hylomorphism. Journal of Philosophy 103 (12):652-698.
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