Minimalism and coincidence: Comments on Varzi

Dialectica 57 (3):323–329 (2003)
Abstract
Achille Varzi [2000] has suggested a nice response to the familiar argument purporting to establish the existence of perfectly coinciding objects – objects which, if they existed, would trouble mereological extensionality and the “Minimalist View” of ontology. The trick is to defend Minimalism without tarnishing its status as a meta-principle: that is, without making any firstorder ontological claims. Varzi’s response, though seeming to allow for a comfortable indifference about metaphysical matters peripheral to Minimalism, is not general enough to stave off attacks on extensionality from more sophisticated corners. However, Varzi’s argument bears a kinship with a more general argument against coincident objects. I consider how such an argument sits with the meta-doctrinal status of Minimalism.
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