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  1. Michael Ayers (1997). Is Physical Object a Sortal Concept? A Reply to Xu. Mind and Language 12 (3&4):393–405.
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  2. 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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  3. Lynne Rudder Baker (2008). A Metaphysics of Ordinary Things and Why We Need It. Philosophy 83 (1):5-24.
    Metaphysics has enjoyed a vigorous revival in the last few decades. Even so, there has been little ontological interest in the things that we interact with everyday—trees, tables, other people.1 It is not that metaphysicians ignore ordinary things altogether. Indeed, they are happy to say that sentences like ‘The daffodils are out early this year’ or ‘My computer crashed again’ are true. But they take the truth of such sentences not to require that a full description of reality mention daffodils (...)
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  4. David Barnett, This Wooden Table Could Have Been Made From Plastic.
    In defense of de re necessity, Saul Kripke proposes that a material object could not have originated in a substance different in kind from the substance in which it actually originated. I give a counterexample to this proposal.
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  5. A. H. Basson (1946). The Existence of Material Objects. Mind 55 (220):308-318.
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  6. Jiri Benovsky (2009). The Self : A Humean Bundle and/or a Cartesian Substance ? European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 5 (1):7 - 19.
    Is the self a substance, as Descartes thought, or is it 'only' a bundle of perceptions, as Hume thought ? In this paper I will examine these two views, especially with respect to two central features that have played a central role in the discussion, both of which can be quickly and usefully explained if one puts them as an objection to the bundle view. First, friends of the substance view have insisted that only if one conceives of the self (...)
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  7. B. A. Brody (1971). On the Ontological Priority of Physical Objects. Noûs 5 (2):139-155.
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  8. Nino B. Cocchiarella (2008). Infinity in Ontology and Mind. Axiomathes 18 (1):1-24.
    Two fundamental categories of any ontology are the category of objects and the category of universals. We discuss the question whether either of these categories can be infinite or not. In the category of objects, the subcategory of physical objects is examined within the context of different cosmological theories regarding the different kinds of fundamental objects in the universe. Abstract objects are discussed in terms of sets and the intensional objects of conceptual realism. The category of universals is discussed in (...)
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  9. Mark Colyvan & Kenny Easwaran (2008). Mathematical and Physical Continuity. Australasian Journal of Logic 6:87-93.
    In his paper [2], Hud Hudson presents an interesting argument to the conclusion that two temporally–continuous, spatially–unextended material objects can travel together for all but the last moment of their existences and yet end up one metre apart. What is surprising about this is that Hudson argues that it can be achieved without either object changing in size or moving discontinuously. This would be quite a trick were it to work, but it is far from clear that it does. The (...)
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  10. Rafael De Clercq (2008). Lopes on the Ontology of Japanese Shrines. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 66 (2):193–194.
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  11. Mauro Dorato & Matteo Morganti (2013). Grades of Individuality. A Pluralistic View of Identity in Quantum Mechanics and in the Sciences. Philosophical Studies 163 (3):591-610.
    This paper offers a critical assessment of the current state of the debate about the identity and individuality of material objects. Its main aim, in particular, is to show that, in a sense to be carefully specified, the opposition between the Leibnizian ‘reductionist’ tradition, based on discernibility, and the sort of ‘primitivism’ that denies that facts of identity and individuality must be analysable has become outdated. In particular, it is argued that—contrary to a widespread consensus—‘naturalised’ metaphysics supports both the acceptability (...)
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  12. Brian Epstein (2013). Social Objects Without Intentions. In Anita Konzelmann Ziv & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), Institutions, Emotions, and Group Agents: Contributions to Social Ontology. 53-68.
    It is often seen as a truism that social objects and facts are the product of human intentions. I argue that the role of intentions in social ontology is commonly overestimated. I introduce a distinction that is implicit in much discussion of social ontology, but is often overlooked: between a social entity’s “grounds” and its “anchors.” For both, I argue that intentions, either individual or collective, are less essential than many theorists have assumed. Instead, I propose a more worldly – (...)
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  13. Brian Epstein (2012). Sortals and Criteria of Identity. Analysis 72 (3):474-478.
    In a recent article, Harold Noonan argues that application conditions and criteria of identity are not distinct from one another. This seems to threaten the standard approach to distinguishing sortals from adjectival terms. I propose that his observation, while correct, does not have this consequence. I present a simple scheme for distinguishing sortals from adjectival terms. I also propose an amended version of the standard canonical form of criteria of identity.
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  14. Montgomery Furth (1988). Substance, Form, and Psyche: An Aristotelean Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press.
    This book is a complete re-thinking of Aristotle's metaphysical theory of material substances. The view of the author is that the 'substances' are the living things, the organisms: chiefly, the animals. There are three main parts to the book: Part I, a treatment of the concepts of substance and nonsubstance in Aristotle's Categories; Part III, which discusses some important features of biological objects as Aristotelian substances, as analysed in Aristotle's biological treatises and the de Anima; and Part V, which attempts (...)
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  15. Cody Gilmore (2012). Keep in Touch. Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):85-111.
    I introduce a puzzle about contact and de re temporal predication in relativistic spacetime. In particular, I describe an apparent counterexample to the following principle, roughly stated: if B is never in a position to say ‘I was touching A, I am touching A, and I will be touching A’, then (time travel aside) A is never in a position to say ‘I was touching B, I am touching B, and I will be touching B’. In the case I present, (...)
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  16. P. Goggans (1999). How Not to Have an Ontology of Physical OBJECTS. Philosophical Studies 94 (3):295-308.
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  17. Aviv Hoffmann (2011). It's Not the End of the World: When a Subtraction Argument for Metaphysical Nihilism Fails. Analysis 71 (1):44-53.
    Metaphysical nihilism is the thesis that there could have been no concrete objects. Thomas Baldwin (1996) offers an argument for metaphysical nihilism. The premisses of the argument purport to provide a procedure of subtraction that can be iterated until we reach a world where no concrete objects exist. Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra (1997) finds fault with Baldwin’s argument, modifies it, and claims to have proved metaphysical nihilism. My primary aim is to show that Rodriguez-Pereyra’s alleged proof rests on a false assumption. The (...)
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  18. David Mark Kovacs (2010). Is There a Conservative Solution to the Many Thinkers Problem? Ratio 23 (3):275-290.
    On a widely shared assumption, our mental states supervene on our microphysical properties – that is, microphysical supervenience is true. When this thesis is combined with the apparent truism that human persons have proper parts, a grave difficulty arises: what prevents some of these proper parts from being themselves thinkers as well? How can I know that I am a human person and not a smaller thinker enclosed in a human person? Most solutions to this puzzle make radical, if not (...)
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  19. Matt Leonard (2014). Locating Gunky Water and Wine. Ratio 27 (3):306-315.
    Can material objects be weakly located at regions of spacetime and yet fail to be exactly located anywhere? In this paper, I discuss a case which, at least according to one interpretation, answers affirmatively: the case of blending gunky water and wine, in gunky space. Perhaps after such a blend, the water and wine aren't exactly located anywhere while being weakly located at the location of the blend and any region which overlaps it. I show that the case is interesting (...)
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  20. Penelope Mackie (2008). Material Objects and Metaphysics. Journal of Philosophy 105 (12):756-771.
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  21. Ned Markosian, Physical Object.
    Physical objects are the most familiar of all objects, and yet the concept of a physical object remains elusive. Any six-year-old can give you a dozen examples of physical objects, and most people with at least one undergraduate course in philosophy can also give examples of non-physical objects. But if asked to produce a definition of ‘physical object’ that adequately captures the distinction between the physical and the nonphysical, the average person can offer little more than hand-waving.
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  22. Ned Markosian (2000). What Are Physical Objects? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):375-395.
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  23. Mohan Matthen & R. J. Hankinson (1993). Aristotle's Universe: Its Form and Matter. Synthese 96 (3):417 - 435.
    It is argued that according to Aristotle the universe is a single substance with its own form and matter.
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  24. Kris McDaniel (2006). Gunky Objects in a Simple World. Philo 9 (1):39-46.
    Suppose that a material object is gunky: all of its parts are located in space, and each of its parts has a proper part. Does it follow from this hypothesis that the space in which that object resides must itself be gunky? I argue that it does not. There is room for gunky objects in a space that decomposes without remainder into mereological simples.
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  25. Stephen K. McLeod (2009). Ordinary Objects • by Amie L.Thomasson. Analysis 69 (1):173-174.
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  26. Stephen K. McLeod (2008). Words Without Objects: Semantics, Ontology, and Logic for Non-Singularity - by Henry Laycock. Philosophical Books 49 (3):270-272.
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  27. David L. Miller (1947). The Nature of the Physical Object. Journal of Philosophy 44 (13):352-359.
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  28. Brian O'Shaughnessy (1965). Material Objects and Perceptual Standpoint. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 65:77-98.
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  29. L. A. Paul (2012). Building the World From its Fundamental Constituents. Philosophical Studies 158 (2):221-256.
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  30. Beth Preston (2009). Biological and Cultural Proper Functions in Comparative Perspective. In Ulrich Krohs & Peter Kroes (eds.), Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives. Mit Press.
    Both biological traits and artifacts have proper functions. But accounts of proper function are typically based on the biological case. So adapting these accounts to the artifact case requires finding cultural analogues of biological concepts. This can go wrong in two ways. The biological concepts may not pick out either biological or cultural proper functions correctly; or they may have no cultural analogues. I argue that things have gone wrong in the first way with regard to selection and in the (...)
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  31. Beth Preston (1998). Why is a Wing Like a Spoon? A Pluralist Theory of Function. Journal of Philosophy 95 (5):215-254.
    Function theorists routinely speculate that a viable function theory will be equally applicable to biological traits and artifacts. However, artifact function has received only the most cursory scrutiny in its own right. Closer scrutiny reveals that only a pluralist theory comprising two distinct notions of function--proper function and system function--will serve as an adequate general theory. The first section describes these two notions of function. The second section shows why both notions are necessary, by showing that attempts to do away (...)
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  32. W. V. Quine (1981). Theories and Things. Harvard University Press.
    Things and Their Place in Theories Our talk of external things, our very notion of things, is just a conceptual apparatus that helps us to foresee and ...
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  33. Michael Rea (2001). How to Be an Eleatic Monist. Noûs 35 (s15):129-151.
    There is a tradition according to which Parmenides of Elea endorsed the following set of counterintuitive doctrines: (a) There exists exactly one material thing. (b) What exists does not change. (g) Nothing is generated or destroyed. (d) What exists is undivided. For convenience, I will use the label ‘Eleatic monism’ to refer to the conjunction of a–d.
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  34. Michael C. Rea (2002). World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism. Oxford University Press.
    Philosophical naturalism, according to which philosophy is continuous with the natural sciences, has dominated the Western academy for well over a century, but Michael Rea claims that it is without rational foundation. Rea argues compellingly to the surprising conclusion that naturalists are committed to rejecting realism about material objects, materialism, and perhaps realism about other minds.
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  35. Thomas Sattig, Ordinary Objects in the Relativistic World.
    Can our ordinary conception of macroscopic objects be transposed to the framework of relativity theory? According to common sense, ordinary objects cannot undergo radical variation in shape, whereas according to a compelling and widely accepted metaphysical picture of ordinary objects’ shapes in Minkowski spacetime, they do undergo such radical variation. This problem raises doubts about the compatibility of the ordinary conception and the relativistic conception of the world. I shall propose to reconcile common sense with relativistic metaphysics by viewing ordinary (...)
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  36. Thomas Sattig (2012). The Paradox of Fission and the Ontology of Ordinary Objects. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):594-623.
    What happens to a person in a case of fission? Does it survive? Does it go out of existence? Or is the outcome indeterminate? Since each description of fission based on the persistence conditions associated with our ordinary concept of a person seems to clash with one or more platitudes of common sense about the spatiotemporal profile of macroscopic objects, fission threatens the common-sense conception of persons with inconsistency. Standard responses to this paradox agree that the common-sense conception of persons (...)
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  37. Raul Saucedo (2011). Parthood and Location. In Dean Zimmerman & Karen Bennett (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Vol. 6. Oxford University Press.
    I argue that from a very weak recombination principle and plausible assumptions about the nature of parthood and location it follows that it's possible that the mereological structure of the material world and that of spacetime fail to correspond to one another in very radical ways. I defend, moreover, that rejecting the possibility of such failures of correspondence leaves us with a choice of equally radical alternatives. I also discuss a few ways in which their possibility is relevant to various (...)
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  38. Alan Sidelle (2010). Modality and Objects. Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238):109-125.
    A not-unpopular position in the metaphysics of material objects (Ted Sider's, for instance) combines realism about what objects there are and the conditions of objecthood with conventionalism about de re modality. I argue that this is not a coherent combination of views: one must go fully conventionalist, or fully realist. The central argument displays the difficulty for the modal conventionalist/object realist in specifying the object that satisfies de re modal predicates. I argue that if this is a mind-independent object, contradictions (...)
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  39. Alan Sidelle (2008). Ordinary Objects – Amie Thomasson. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):172–176.
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  40. Paul Silva Jr (2013). Ordinary Objects and Series-Style Answers to the Special Composition Question. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):69-88.
    The special composition question asks, roughly, under what conditions composition occurs. The common sense view is that composition only occurs among some things and that all and only ‘ordinary objects’ exist. Peter van Inwagen has marshaled a devastating argument against this view. The common sense view appears to commit one to giving what van Inwagen calls a ‘series-style answer’ to the special composition question, but van Inwagen argues that series-style answers are impossible because they are inconsistent with the transitivity of (...)
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  41. Alexander Skiles (forthcoming). Against Grounding Necessitarianism. Erkenntnis.
    Can there be grounding without necessitation? That is, can a fact obtain wholly in virtue of metaphysically more fundamental facts even though there are possible worlds at which the latter facts obtain but not the former? It is an orthodoxy in recent literature about the nature of grounding, and in first-order philosophical disputes about what grounds what, that the answer is no. I will argue that the correct answer is yes. I present two novel arguments against grounding necessitarianism, and then (...)
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  42. Zoltán Gendler Szabó (2003). On Qualification. Philosophical Perspectives 17 (1):385–414.
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  43. Achille Varzi, La Natura E l'Identità Degli Oggetti Materiali [the Nature and Identity of Material Objects].
    to appear in A. Coliva (ed.), Manuale di filosofia analitica, Roma: Carocci.
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  44. Achille Varzi, Holes. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Holes are an interesting case-study for ontologists and epistemologists. Naive, untutored descriptions of the world treat holes as objects of reference, on a par with ordinary material objects. (‘There are as many holes in the cheese as there are cookies in the tin.’) And we often appeal to holes to account for causal interactions, or to explain the occurrence of certain events. (‘The water ran out because of the hole in the bucket.’) Hence there is..
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  45. Hao Wang (1948). The Existence of Material Objects. Mind 57 (228):488-490.
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  46. Brandon Warmke (2010). Artifact and Essence. Philosophia 38 (3):595-614.
    An essential property is a property that an object possesses in every possible world in which that object exists. An individual essence is a property (or set of properties) that an object possesses in every world in which that object exists, and that no other object possesses in any possible world. Call the claim that some artifacts possess an individual essence ‘artifactual essentialism’. I will argue that artifactual essentialism is true.
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  47. Ryan Wasserman (2003). A Materialist Metaphysics of the Human Person by Hud Hudson. Philo 6 (2):320-330.
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  48. Dean Zimmerman (ed.) (2010). Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 5. OUP Oxford.
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysics is the forum for the best new work in this flourishing field. Much of the most interesting work in philosophy today is metaphysical in character: this series is a much-needed focus for it. OSM offers a broad view of the subject, featuring not only the traditionally central topics such as existence, identity, modality, time, and causation, but also the rich clusters of metaphysical questions in neighbouring fields, such as philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. Besides (...)
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