Van Inwagen and the Possibility of Gunk

Analysis 53 (4):285 - 289 (1993)
Abstract
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)
DOI 10.1093/analys/53.4.285
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,189
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
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.

View all 24 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-12-22

Total downloads

224 ( #14,267 of 1,940,952 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

26 ( #19,807 of 1,940,952 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.