The Extensionality of Parthood and Composition

Philosophical Quarterly 58 (1):108–133 (2008)
Abstract
I focus on three mereological principles: the Extensionality of Parthood (EP), the Uniqueness of Composition (UC), and the Extensionality of Composition (EC). These principles are not equivalent. Nonetheless, they are closely related (and often equated) as they all reflect the basic nominalistic dictum, No difference without a difference maker. And each one of them—individually or collectively—has been challenged on philosophical grounds. In the first part I argue that such challenges do not quite threaten EP insofar as they are either self-defeating or unsupported. In the second part I argue that they hardly undermine the tenability of EC and UC as well.
Keywords Mereology  Extensionality  Composition
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