David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Erkenntnis 74 (1):17-35 (2011)
Unrestricted Composition (UC) is, roughly, the claim that given any objects at all, there is something which those objects compose. (UC) conflicts in an obvious way with common sense. It has as a consequence, for instance, that there is something which has as parts my nose and the moon. One of the more influential arguments for (UC) is Theodore Sider’s version of the Argument from Vagueness. (A version of the Argument from Vagueness was first presented by David Lewis (1986), pp. 212–213). That argument purports to show that some plausible claims concerning the nature of vagueness entail (UC). In this paper I will suggest a response to this argument. I will show that the proponent of Supersubstantivalism (SS)—the view that material objects are identical to regions of spacetime—can reject a premise of Sider’s argument without denying the plausible claims concerning vagueness. Doing so requires only rejecting a certain view concerning the relationship between the proper sub-region relation and the proper parthood relation. So, proponents of (SS) are in a better position than many of us to side with common sense regarding composition. In the first section of the paper, I will present Sider’s argument. In the second section, I will introduce (SS) and briefly discuss some reasons one might have to believe that it is true. In the third section, I will show how the proponent of (SS) can avoid commitment to (UC) and reject a premise of Sider’s argument. Last, I’ll briefly consider and respond to some objections
|Keywords||Philosophy Logic Ethics Ontology Epistemology Philosophy|
|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
Gareth Evans (1978). Can There Be Vague Objects? Analysis 38 (4):208.
Kit Fine (1975). Vagueness, Truth and Logic. Synthese 30 (3-4):265-300.
P. T. Geach (1980). Reference and Generality: An Examination of Some Medieval and Modern Theories. Cornell University Press.
Mark Heller (1990). The Ontology of Physical Objects: Four-Dimensional Hunks of Matter. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Nikk Effingham (2009). Universalism, Vagueness and Supersubstantivalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):35 – 42.
Cody Gilmore (2014). Building Enduring Objects Out of Spacetime. In Claudio Calosi & Pierluigi Graziani (eds.), Mereology and the Sciences. Springer. 5-34.
Daniel Nolan (2006). Vagueness, Multiplicity and Parts. Noûs 40 (4):716–737.
Yuri Balashov (2005). On Vagueness, 4d and Diachronic Universalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):523 – 531.
Daniel Z. Korman (2010). The Argument From Vagueness. Philosophy Compass 5 (10):891-901.
Nikk Effingham (2011). Sider, Hawley, Sider and the Vagueness Argument. Philosophical Studies 154 (2):241 - 250.
Marta Campdelacreu (2010). Naturalness, Vagueness, and Sortals. Metaphysica 11 (1):79-91.
Achille C. Varzi (2005). Change, Temporal Parts, and the Argument From Vagueness. Dialectica 59 (4):485–498.
Elizabeth Barnes (2007). Vagueness and Arbitrariness: Merricks on Composition. Mind 116 (461):105-113.
Chad Carmichael (2011). Vague Composition Without Vague Existence. Noûs 45 (2):315-327.
Theodore Sider (1996). Naturalness and Arbitrariness. Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):283 - 301.
Trenton Merricks (2005). Composition and Vagueness. Mind 114 (455):615-637.
Arvid Båve (2011). How To Precisify Quantifiers. Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (1):103-111.
Added to index2010-11-22
Total downloads94 ( #15,914 of 1,410,135 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #107,954 of 1,410,135 )
How can I increase my downloads?