Against universal mereological composition

Dialectica 62 (4):433-454 (2008)
This paper opposes universal mereological composition (UMC). Sider defends it: unless UMC were true, he says, it could be indeterminate how many objects there are in the world. I argue that there is no general connection between how widely composition occurs and how many objects there are in the world. Sider fails to support UMC. I further argue that we should disbelieve in UMC objects. Existing objections against them say that they are radically unlike Aristotelian substances. True, but there is a stronger objection. This is that they are characterized by no properties, and so fail to be like anything – even themselves.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1746-8361.2008.01164.x
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D. M. Armstrong (1993). A World of States of Affairs. Philosophical Perspectives 7 (3):429-440.

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