David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Analysis 69 (1):27-31 (2009)
Many metaphysicians accept the view that, necessarily, any collection of things composes some further thing. Necessarily, my arms, legs, head, and torso compose my body; necessarily, my arms, my heart, and the table compose something y; necessarily, my heart and the sun compose something z; and so on. 1 Though there have been a few recent attempts to argue against the necessity of this principle of unrestricted composition the consensus is that if it is true, it is necessarily true. 2In what follows I will join the few dissenters and argue that this principle of unrestricted composition is not necessarily true. If I am right, it follows that either some principle of restricted composition is necessarily true or the existence of composite objects is a contingent matter. I will end by indicating why the latter option seems the most plausible. 3I proceed by reductio. Assume the following: Unrestricted composition is necessarily true.That is, assume that necessarily, any collection of things composes something. Then, necessarily, the collection of everything composes something. That is, necessarily, there exists a universal object U having all things as parts, not itself being a proper part of anything. Hence, by our assumption, we get: There must be a universal object U.It is important to note that this is so whether the world is finite or infinite. Holding that in worlds of finite cardinality there is a universal object U while in worlds of infinite cardinality there is no universal object U amounts to accepting a restricted form of composition. 4Now consider the following scenario. Everything in this world is spatially extended and just one half of something else that is also spatially extended. That is, for any thing in this world, there is something else of which …
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Jonathan Schaffer (2003). Is There a Fundamental Level? Noûs 37 (3):498–517.
Ross P. Cameron (2007). The Contingency of Composition. Philosophical Studies 136 (1):99-121.
Theodore Sider (1993). Van Inwagen and the Possibility of Gunk. Analysis 53 (4):285 - 289.
Nelson Goodman & Henry Leonard (1940). The Calculus of Individuals and its Uses. Journal of Symbolic Logic 5 (2):45-55.
Henry S. Leonard & Nelson Goodman (1940). The Calculus of Individuals and its Uses. Journal of Symbolic Logic 5 (2):45-55.
Citations of this work BETA
Tuomas E. Tahko (2014). Boring Infinite Descent. Metaphilosophy 45 (2):257-269.
T. Scott Dixon (forthcoming). Grounding and Supplementation. Erkenntnis:1-15.
Matteo Morganti (2009). Ontological Priority, Fundamentality and Monism. Dialectica 63 (3):271-288.
A. J. Cotnoir (2016). Does Universalism Entail Extensionalism? Noûs 50 (1):121-132.
Karen Bennett (2013). Having a Part Twice Over. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):83 - 103.
Similar books and articles
Daniel Z. Korman (2007). The Naive Conception of Material Objects: A Defense. Dissertation, University of Texas at Austin
Daniel Z. Korman (2007). Unrestricted Composition and Restricted Quantification. Philosophical Studies 140 (3):319-334.
Duncan Watson (2010). An Argument Against an Argument Against the Necessity of Universal Mereological Composition. Analysis 70 (1):78-82.
H. W. Noonan (2010). A Flaw in Sider's Vagueness Argument for Unrestricted Mereological Composition. Analysis 70 (4):669-672.
Trenton Merricks (2007). Remarks on Vagueness and Arbitrariness. Mind 116 (461):115-119.
Elizabeth Barnes (2007). Vagueness and Arbitrariness: Merricks on Composition. Mind 116 (461):105-113.
By Kristie Miller (2008). Endurantism, Diachronic Vagueness and the Problem of the Many. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2):242–253.
Dan López de Sa (2006). Is 'Everything' Precise? Dialectica 60 (4):397–409.
Daniel Z. Korman (2010). The Argument From Vagueness. Philosophy Compass 5 (10):891-901.
Daniel Nolan (2006). Vagueness, Multiplicity and Parts. Noûs 40 (4):716–737.
Added to index2009-02-23
Total downloads109 ( #29,719 of 1,780,180 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #166,601 of 1,780,180 )
How can I increase my downloads?