David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Analysis 53 (4):285 - 289 (1993)
We often speak of an object being composed of various other objects. We say that the deck is composed of the cards, that a road is the sum total of its sections, that a house is composed of its walls, ceilings, floors, doors, etc. Suppose we have some material objects. Here is a philosophical question: what conditions must obtain for those objects to compose something? In his recent book Material Beings, Peter van Inwagen addresses this question, which he calls the ‘special composition question’; his answer is:1 (1) For any material objects X , the X s compose something iff the activity of the X s constitutes a life, or there is only one of the Xs. Additionally, he accepts a simpler thesis that follows from (1):2 (2) Every material object is either a mereological atom or a living thing, where a mereological atom is an object lacking proper parts. (2) may seem radical. If it is true then there are no tables, chairs, planets, protons, galaxies, gas stations, etc. But van Inwagen does not hold it lightly— there are serious difficulties with alternate views. Moreover, he claims that..
|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
Jonathan Schaffer (2003). Is There a Fundamental Level? Noûs 37 (3):498–517.
Baptiste Le Bihan (forthcoming). Super-Relationism: Combining Eliminativism About Objects and Relationism About Spacetime. Philosophical Studies:1-22.
Tuomas E. Tahko (2014). Boring Infinite Descent. Metaphilosophy 45 (2):257-269.
Ross P. Cameron (2007). The Contingency of Composition. Philosophical Studies 136 (1):99-121.
Theodore Sider (1996). All the World's a Stage. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (3):433 – 453.
Similar books and articles
Ned Markosian (1998). Simples. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (2):213 – 228.
Michael C. Rea (1999). McGrath on Universalism. Analysis 59 (263):200–203.
Paul Silva Jr (2013). Ordinary Objects and Series-Style Answers to the Special Composition Question. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):69-88.
David H. Sanford (1993). The Problem of the Many, Many Composition Questions, and Naive Mereology. Noûs 27 (2):219-228.
Peter van Inwagen (1990). Material Beings. Cornell University Press.
Theodore Sider (2009). Ontological Realism. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press
Josh Parsons (2013). Conceptual Conservatism and Contingent Composition. Inquiry 56 (4):327-339.
Daniel Giberman (2012). T-Gunk and Exact Occupation. American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (2):165-174.
Jack Copeland, Heather Dyke & Diane Proudfoot (2001). Temporal Parts and Their Individuation. Analysis 61 (4):289–293.
David Liggins (2008). Nihilism Without Self-Contradiction. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62 (62):177-196.
Jacek Brzozowski (2008). 9. On Locating Composite Objects. In Dean W. Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press 4--193.
Peter Hawke (2011). Van Inwagen's Modal Skepticism. Philosophical Studies 153 (3):351-364.
Ned Markosian (1998). Brutal Composition. Philosophical Studies 92 (3):211 - 249.
Added to index2010-12-22
Total downloads200 ( #14,742 of 1,796,171 )
Recent downloads (6 months)27 ( #28,666 of 1,796,171 )
How can I increase my downloads?