David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 92 (3):211 - 249 (1998)
According to standard, pre-philosophical intuitions, there are many composite objects in the physical universe. There is, for example, my bicycle, which is composed of various parts - wheels, handlebars, molecules, atoms, etc. Recently, a growing body of philosophical literature has concerned itself with questions about the nature of composition.1 The main question that has been raised about composition is, roughly, this: Under what circumstances do some things compose, or add up to, or form, a single object? It turns out that it is surprisingly difficult to give a satisfactory answer to this question that accords with standard, pre-philosophical intuitions about the universe's composite objects. In fact, the three rival views in response to this question that have received the most support in the literature are (i) that there are no objects composed of two or more parts (which means that there are no stars, chairs, humans, or bicycles);2 (ii) that the only objects composed of two or more parts are living organisms (which still means no stars.
|Keywords||Special Composition Question Brutal compositoin restricted composition Universalism Nihilism|
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Citations of this work BETA
Chad Carmichael (2015). Toward a Commonsense Answer to the Special Composition Question. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):475-490.
Daniel Z. Korman (2015). Fundamental Quantification and the Language of the Ontology Room. Noûs 49 (2):298-321.
Andrew Brenner (2015). Mereological Nihilism and Theoretical Unification. Analytic Philosophy 56 (4):318-337.
Joshua D. K. Brown (forthcoming). Natural Objects. Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-18.
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