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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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2006.00630.x
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References found in this work BETA
David K. Lewis (1999). Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology. Cambridge, Uk ;Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Ross P. Cameron (2007). The Contingency of Composition. Philosophical Studies 136 (1):99-121.
Kris McDaniel (2009). Structure-Making. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):251-274.
Kris McDaniel (2010). Parts and Wholes. Philosophy Compass 5 (5):412-425.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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