Composition as Identity Doesn't Settle the Special Composition Question1

Orthodoxy says that the thesis that composition is identity (CAI) entails universalism: the claim that any collection of entities has a sum. If this is true it counts in favour of CAI, since a thesis about the nature of composition that settles the otherwise intractable special composition question (SCQ) is desirable. But I argue that it is false: CAI is compatible with the many forms of restricted composition, and SCQ is no easier to answer given CAI than otherwise. Furthermore, in seeing why this is the case we reveal an objection to CAI: that it allows for the facts concerning what there is to be settled whilst leaving open the question about what is identical to what.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2010.00433.x
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References found in this work BETA
Theodore Sider (2007). Parthood. Philosophical Review 116 (1):51-91.
Ross P. Cameron (2007). The Contingency of Composition. Philosophical Studies 136 (1):99-121.

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Meg Wallace (2011). Composition as Identity: Part 1. Philosophy Compass 6 (11):804-816.

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