Vague Composition Without Vague Existence

Noûs 45 (2):315-327 (2011)
David Lewis (1986) criticizes moderate views of composition on the grounds that a restriction on composition must be vague, and vague composition leads, via a precisificational theory of vagueness, to an absurd vagueness of existence. I show how to resist this argument. Unlike the usual resistance, however, I do not jettison precisificational views of vagueness. Instead, I blur the connection between composition and existence that Lewis assumes. On the resulting view, in troublesome cases of vague composition, there is an object, which definitely exists, about which it is vague whether the relevant borderline parts compose it.
Keywords composition  argument from vagueness  David Lewis  vagueness  universalism
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00807.x
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Theodore Sider (2007). Parthood. Philosophical Review 116 (1):51-91.

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