This paper argues that, if we believe both in works of music and sets, that the former are the latter. My argument is that such an ontology offers more explanatory power than the alternatives when it comes to explaining why works of music fall under the predicates that they do.
The Plenitude Principle is that for every filled spacetime region, there is an object that is exactly located at that region. Hawthorne motivates it on the grounds that it’s the only way to avoid cultural prejudice with regards to what material objects exist (the argument from cultural prejudice). There is a similar argument for a perdurantist-universalist theory, and the content of this paper applies mutatis mutandis to that argument as well.
It is a common view that if composition as identity is true, then so is mereological universalism (the thesis that all objects have a mereological fusion). Various arguments have been advanced in favour of this: (i) there has been a recent argument by Merricks, (ii) some claim that Universalism is entailed by the ontological innocence of the identity relation, (or that ontological innocence undermines objections to universalism) and (iii) it is entailed by the law of selfidentity. After a preliminary introduction (...) to the competing theories of persistence (necessary for a discussion of Merricks’ argument) I examine each in turn and demonstrate how they fail. I conclude that the prejudice that if composition as identity is true then Universalism is true, is unwarranted. Thus one motivation for believing Universalism is lost and those who believe composition as identity should now be receptive to some form of restricted composition. (shrink)
Universalism (the thesis that for any ys, those ys compose a further object) is an answer to the Special Composition Question. In the literature there are three arguments (the arguments from elegance) that are often relied upon, but rarely examined in-depth. I argue that these motivations cannot be had by the perdurantist, for to avoid a commitment to badly behaved superluminal objects perdurantists must answer the Proper Continuant Question. Any answer to that question necessarily ensures that there is a restricted (...) answer to the Special Composition Question that is just as elegant as universalism. Thus, if you are a perdurantist, the arguments from elegance fail to motivate universalism for there will always be a restricted composition that is just as good. (shrink)
Given realism about musical works, we must ask what to identify musical works with. I criticse two theories (that works are fusions of performances and that works are eternal types) before presenting my own theory identifying (that works are identical to sets). I then defend that theory against objections.
The Multiverse Thesis is a proposed solution to the Grandfather Paradox. It is popular and well promulgated, found in fiction, philosophy and (most importantly) physics. I first offer a short explanation on behalf of its advocates as to why it qualifies as a theory of time travel (as opposed to mere 'universe hopping'). Then I argue that the thesis nevertheless has an unwelcome consequence: that extended objects cannot travel in time. Whilst this does not demonstrate that the Multiverse Thesis is (...) false, the consequence should give pause for concern. Even if it does not lead one to reject the thesis, I briefly detail some reasons to think it is interesting nonetheless. (shrink)
The Vagueness Argument for universalism only works if you think there is a good reason not to endorse nihilism. Sider's argument from the possibility of gunk is one of the more popular reasons. Further, Hawley has given an argument for the necessity of everything being either gunky or composed of mereological simples. I argue that Hawley's argument rests on the same premise as Sider's argument for the possibility of gunk. Further, I argue that that premise can be used to demonstrate (...) the possibility of simples. Once you stick it all together, you get an absurd consequence. I then survey the possible lessons we could draw from this, arguing that whichever one you take yields an interesting result. (shrink)
This paper argues that, in light of certain scenarios involving time travel, Sider’s definition of ‘instantaneous temporal part’ cannot be accepted in conjunction with a semantic thesis that perdurantists often assume. I examine a rejoinder from Sider, as well as Thomson’s alternative definition of ‘instantaneous temporal part’, and show how neither helps. Given this, we should give up on the perdurantist semantic thesis. I end by recommending that, once we no longer accept such semantics, we should accept a new set (...) of definitions, which are superior in certain respects to Sider’s original set. (shrink)
Universalism (the thesis that distinct objects always compose a further object) has come under much scrutiny in recent years. What has been largely ignored is its role in the metaphysics of classes. Not only does universalism provide ways to deal with classes in a metaphysically pleasing fashion, its success on these grounds has been offered as a motivation for believing it. This paper argues that such treatments of classes can be achieved without universalism, examining theories from Goodman and Quine, Armstrong (...) and Lewis. In the case of each theory, universalism is drafted in to ensure that there are enough material objects to play a particular role. I argue that, for each theory, there's a better theory that ditches universalism and instead uses an alternative principle of composition demanding that the unrestricted composition of entities other than material objects (respectively: regions, states of affairs and singletons) play that role instead. I conclude that (1) non-universalists can consider accepting such theories of classes and (2) we should ignore any alleged motivation for universalism on the basis of dealing with classes. (shrink)
Universalism (the thesis that for any ys, those ys compose a further object) is an answer to the Special Composition Question. In the literature there are three arguments – what I call the arguments from elegance – that universalists often rely upon, but which are rarely examined in-depth. I argue that these motivations cannot be had by the perdurantist, for to avoid a commitment to badly behaved superluminal objects perdurantists must answer the ‘Proper Continuant Question’. Any answer to that question (...) necessarily ensures that there is a restricted answer to the Special Composition Question that is just as elegant as universalism. Thus, if you are a perdurantist, the arguments from elegance fail to motivate universalism for there will always be a restricted composition that is just as good. (shrink)
I have previously argued in a paper with Robson that a particular time travel scenario favours perdurantism over endurantism on the grounds that endurantists must give up on the Weak Supplementation Principle. Smith has responded, arguing that the reasons we provided are insufficient to warrant this conclusion. This paper agrees with that conclusion (for slightly different reasons: that even the perdurantist has to give up on the Weak Supplementation Principle) but argues that the old argument can be supplanted with a (...) new one. (shrink)
If you are a realist about groups (e.g. religious institutions, football teams, the Mafia etc.) there are three main theories of what to identify groups with. I offer reasons for thinking that two of those theories (groups as sui generis entities and groups as mereological fusions) fail to meet important desiderata. The third option is to identify groups with sets, which meets all of the desiderata if only we take care over which sets they are identified with. I then canvass (...) some possible objections to that third theory, and explain how to avoid them. (shrink)
Sider has a favourable view of supersubstantivalism (the thesis that all material objects are identical to the regions of spacetime that they occupy). This paper argues that given supersubstantivalism, Sider's argument from vagueness for (mereological) universalism fails. I present Sider's vagueness argument (§§II-III), and explain why - given supersubstantivalism - some but not all regions must be concrete in order for the argument to work (§IV). Given this restriction on what regions can be concrete, I give a reductio of Sider's (...) argument (§V). I conclude with some brief comments on why this is not simply an ad hominem against Sider, and why this incompatibility of supersubstantivalism with the argument from vagueness is of broader interest (§VI). (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that time travel is problematic for the endurantist. For it appears to be possible, given time travel, to construct a wall out of a single time travelling brick. This commits the endurantist to one of the following: (a) the wall is composed of the time travelling brick many times over; (b) the wall does not in fact exist at all; (c) the wall is identical to the brick. We argue that each of these options is (...) unsatisfactory. (shrink)