Can a sum change its parts?

Analysis 71 (2):235-239 (2011)
Abstract
I consider two logically independent definitions of (mereological) sum identity when x is a sum of the ys and w is a sum of the zs. Def 1 x=y: every part of every y shares a part with some z, and every part of every z shares a part with some y. Def 2 x = y: all the ys are zs, and all the zs are ys. Neither allows a sum to change its parts. Peter van Inwagen tells a story about a brick house that persists through the loss of a brick (The Journal of Philosophy 2006: 614–30). His claim that this story illustrates the persistence of a sum through the loss of a part conflicts with other unassailable assumptions. An understanding of sum identity that does not allow a sum to change its parts if helpful in thinking about material composition.
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Robert Allen (2000). Identity and Becoming. Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):527-548.
Robert Spaemann (1987). Das "sum" im "Cogito sum". Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 41 (3):373 - 382.
D. H. Mellor (2006). Wholes and Parts: The Limits of Composition. South African Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):138-145.
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