Vagueness, multiplicity and parts

Noûs 40 (4):716–737 (2006)
There’s an argument around from so-called “linguistic theories of vagueness”, plus some relatively uncontroversial considerations, to powerful metaphysical conclusions. David Lewis employs this argument to support the mereological principle of unrestricted composition, and Theodore Sider employs a similar argument not just for unrestricted composition but also for the doctrine of temporal parts. This sort of argument could be generalised, to produce a lot of other less palatable metaphysical conclusions. However, arguments to Lewis’s and Sider’s conclusions on the basis of considerations about vagueness are uncompelling, even if we accept the crucial premises about vagueness. And a good thing too, since the generalised form of the argument would prove far too much.
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    References found in this work BETA
    André Gallois (2004). Comments on Ted Sider: Four Dimensionalism. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):648–657.

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    Citations of this work BETA
    Kris McDaniel (2010). Parts and Wholes. Philosophy Compass 5 (5):412-425.
    Ross P. Cameron (2007). The Contingency of Composition. Philosophical Studies 136 (1):99-121.

    View all 7 citations

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