David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 136 (1):99-121 (2007)
There is widespread disagreement as to what the facts are concerning just when a collection of objects composes some further object; but there is widespread agreement that, whatever those facts are, they are necessary. I am unhappy to simply assume this, and in this paper I ask whether there is reason to think that the facts concerning composition hold necessarily. I consider various reasons to think so, but find fault with each of them. I examine the theory of composition as identity, but argue that the version of this doctrine that entails universalism is implausible. I consider the claim that the a priority of such facts leads to their necessity, but give a defence of substantial contingent a priori truths. I ask whether the contingency of such facts would lead to unwelcome possibilities, but argue that the worrying looking possibilities can be blocked if it is desired. Next, I argue against the thought that the Lewis-Sider argument against restricted composition might give us reason to accept the necessity of universalism. Lastly, I respond to two objections from the 2006 BSPC. I conclude in favour of the contingency of the facts concerning when some things compose some thing.
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References found in this work BETA
David K. Lewis (1986/2001). On the Plurality of Worlds. Blackwell Publishers.
Theodore Sider (2001). Four Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time. Oxford University Press.
David K. Lewis (1973). Counterfactuals. Blackwell Publishers.
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D. M. Armstrong (1997). A World of States of Affairs. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Alexander Skiles (2015). Against Grounding Necessitarianism. Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.
L. A. Paul (2012). Metaphysics as Modeling: The Handmaiden's Tale. Philosophical Studies 160 (1):1-29.
Ross P. Cameron (2008). Truthmakers and Ontological Commitment: Or How to Deal with Complex Objects and Mathematical Ontology Without Getting Into Trouble. Philosophical Studies 140 (1):1 - 18.
Stephan Leuenberger (2014). Grounding and Necessity. Inquiry 57 (2):151-174.
Elizabeth Barnes (2010). Ontic Vagueness: A Guide for the Perplexed. Noûs 44 (4):601-627.
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