David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (2):317-331 (1998)
Common sense believes in objects which, if real, routinely lose component parts or particles. Statues get chipped, people undergo haircuts and amputations, and ships have planks replaced. Sometimes philosophers argue that in addition to these objects, there are others which could not possibly lose any of their parts or particles, nor have new ones added to them--objects which could not possibly have been bigger or smaller, at any time, than how they actually were.1 (Sometimes the restriction on size is argued independently of the restriction on switches of parts.2) If these other objects are real at all, they are alarmingly abundant. Exactly where the statue sits, there sits a parcel or piece of clay which would cease to be itself, and hence cease to exist, were even so small a part as the statue's nose removed.3 In exactly the place where the recently reconditioned ship is found, there is a mass of wood which never contained, and never could contain, any particles of wood--or bits of wood-stuff--other than those it now has.4 Moreover, since masses of matter (or "aggregates") can continue to exist even if divided into separate parts, while parcels cannot, the abundance is two-fold: where every parcel is found, there is also a mass.5 But how can there be room for all these additional objects if, at any time, two different objects cannot occupy exactly the same place? Or, worse, if even some of these additional objects are real, how can room remain for familiar objects? Recent treatments of this ancient puzzle have urged that we retain both "the principle of one object to a place" and the other ontological assumptions which make that principle seem to force a choice between affirming the reality of familiar objects, and that of the strangely brittle intruders.6 But all the recent treatments have left standing the reality of at least some of these brittle objects.7 By doing so they have passed up what is, perhaps, the simplest and safest response to the ancient puzzle..
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Crawford L. Elder (2003). Destruction, Alteration, Simples and World Stuff. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):24–38.
Similar books and articles
Ariel Meirav (2009). Properties That Four-Dimensional Objects Cannot Have. Metaphysica 10 (2):135-148.
Thomas Hofweber (2000). Quantification and Non-Existent Objects. In T. Hofweber & A. Everett (eds.), Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence. Csli Publications
Michael C. Rea (1998). Sameness Without Identity: An Aristotelian Solution to the Problem of Material Constitution. Ratio 11 (3):316–328.
Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam (2011). Ontic Structural Realism as a Metaphysics of Objects. In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media 143--159.
Crawford L. Elder (2011). Familiar Objects and Their Shadows. Cambridge University Press.
Kristie Miller (2008). Thing and Object. Acta Analytica 23 (1):69-89.
Dan Kaufman (2007). Locke on Individuation and the Corpuscular Basis of Kinds. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3):499-534.
By Crawford L. Elder (2006). Conventionalism and Realism-Imitating Counterfactuals. Philosophical Quarterly 56 (222):1–15.
Eric T. Olson (1996). Composition and Coincidence. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 77 (4):374-403.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads48 ( #53,895 of 1,700,233 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #50,123 of 1,700,233 )
How can I increase my downloads?