Raymond Van Arragon considers my my suggestion that most of those who never have the opportunity to accept Christ during their earthly lives suffer from transworld damnation, and he offers four different interpretations of that notion. He argues that at least three of these interpretations are such that on them the suggestion becomes implausible. I maintain that once my suggestion is properly understood, then, despite Van Arragon’s misgivings, it ought not to be thought implausible even on the first two, boldest (...) interpretations he offers. (shrink)
In 1962, the philosopher Richard Taylor used six commonly accepted presuppositions to imply that human beings have no control over the future. David Foster Wallace not only took issue with Taylor's method, which, according to him, scrambled the relations of logic, language, and the physical world, but also noted a semantic trick at the heart of Taylor's argument. -/- Fate, Time, and Language presents Wallace's brilliant critique of Taylor's work. Written long before the publication of his fiction and (...) essays, Wallace's thesis reveals his great skepticism of abstract thinking made to function as a negation of something more genuine and real. He was especially suspicious of certain paradigms of thought-the cerebral aestheticism of modernism, the clever gimmickry of postmodernism-that abandoned "the very old traditional human verities that have to do with spirituality and emotion and community." As Wallace rises to meet the challenge to free will presented by Taylor, we witness the developing perspective of this major novelist, along with his struggle to establish solid logical ground for his convictions. This volume, edited by Steven M. Cahn and Maureen Eckert, reproduces Taylor's original article and other works on fatalism cited by Wallace. James Ryerson's introduction connects Wallace's early philosophical work to the themes and explorations of his later fiction, and Jay Garfield supplies a critical biographical epilogue. (shrink)
In this illuminating study Craig argues that the standard practice of analyzing the concept of knowledge has radical defects--arbitrary restriction of the subject matter and risky theoretical presuppositions. He proposes a new approach similar to the "state-of-nature" method found in political theory, building the concept up from a hypothesis about its social function and the needs it fulfills. Shedding light on much that philosophers have written about knowledge, its analysis and the obstacles to its analysis, and the debate over (...) skepticism, this compelling work will be of interest to students and scholars of epistemology and the philosophy of language. (shrink)
Craig and Moreland present a rigorous analysis and critique of the major varieties of contemporary philosophical naturalism and advocate that it should be abandoned in light of the serious difficulties raised against it. The contributors draw on a wide range of topics including: epistemology, philosophy of science, value theory to basic analytic ontology, philosophy of mind and agency, and natural theology.
I develop the decision-theoretic approach to quantum probability, originally proposed by David Deutsch, into a mathematically rigorous proof of the Born rule in (Everett-interpreted) quantum mechanics. I sketch the argument informally, then prove it formally, and lastly consider a number of proposed ``counter-examples'' to show exactly which premises of the argument they violate. (This is a preliminary version of a chapter to appear --- under the title ``How to prove the Born Rule'' --- in Saunders, Barrett, Kent and Wallace, (...) "Many worlds? Everett, quantum theory and reality", forthcoming from Oxford University Press.). (shrink)
R. Jay Wallace argues in this book that moral accountability hinges on questions of fairness: When is it fair to hold people morally responsible for what they do? Would it be fair to do so even in a deterministic world? To answer these questions, we need to understand what we are doing when we hold people morally responsible, a stance that Wallace connects with a central class of moral sentiments, those of resentment, indignation, and guilt. To hold someone (...) responsible, he argues, is to be subject to these reactive emotions in one's dealings with that person. Developing this theme with unusual sophistication, he offers a new interpretation of the reactive emotions and traces their role in our practices of blame and moral sanction. With this account in place, Wallace advances a powerful and sustained argument against the common view that accountability requires freedom of will. Instead, he maintains, the fairness of holding people responsible depends on their rational competence: the power to grasp moral reasons and to control their behavior accordingly. He shows how these forms of rational competence are compatible with determinism. At the same time, giving serious consideration to incompatibilist concerns, Wallace develops a compelling diagnosis of the common assumption that freedom is necessary for responsibility. Rigorously argued, eminently readable, this book touches on issues of broad concern to philosophers, legal theorists, political scientists, and anyone with an interest in the nature and limits of responsibility. (shrink)
The question of whether or not God exists is endlessly fascinating and profoundly important. Now two articulate spokesmen--one a Christian, the other an atheist--duel over God's existence in a lively and illuminating battle of ideas. In God?, William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong bring to the printed page two debates they held before live audiences, preserving all the wit, clarity, and immediacy of their public exchanges. With none of the opaque discourse of academic logicians and divinity-school theologians, the authors (...) make claims and comebacks that cut with precision. Their arguments are sharp and humorous, as each philosopher strikes quickly to the heart of his opponent's case. For example, Craig claims that we must believe in God to explain objective moral values, such as why rape is wrong. Sinnott-Armstrong responds that what makes rape wrong is the harm to victims of rape, so rape is immoral even if there is no God. From arguments about the nature of infinity and the Big Bang, to religious experience and divine action, to the resurrection of Jesus and the problem of evil, the authors treat us to a remarkable display of intelligence and insight--a truly thought-provoking exploration of a classic issue that remains relevant to contemporary life. (shrink)
How should we live? What really exists? And how do we know for sure? In this lively and engaging study, Edward Craig argues that learning philosophy is merely a matter of broadening and deepening what most of us do already. But he also shows that philosophy is no mere intellectual pastime: thinkers such as Plato, the Buddhist sages, Descartes, Hobbes, Hume, Hegel, Darwin, Mill, and de Beauvoir responded to real needs and events—and many of their concerns shape our daily (...) lives. (shrink)
Normativity and the Will collects fourteen important papers on moral psychology and practical reason by R. Jay Wallace, one of the leading philosophers currently working in these areas. The papers explore the interpenetration of normative and psychological issues in a series of debates that lie at the heart of moral philosophy. Themes that are addressed include reason, desire, and the will; responsibility, identification, and emotion; and the relation between morality and other normative domains. Wallace's treatments of these topics (...) are at once sophisticated and engaging. Taken together, they constitute an advertisement for a distinctive way of pursuing issues in moral psychology and the theory of practical reason, and they articulate and defend a unified framework for thinking about those issues. The volume also features a helpful new introduction. (shrink)
Contemporary science presents us with the remarkable theory that the universe began to exist about fifteen billion years ago with a cataclysmic explosion called "the Big Bang." The question of whether Big Bang cosmology supports theism or atheism has long been a matter of discussion among the general public and in popular science books, but has received scant attention from philosophers. This book sets out to fill this gap by means of a sustained debate between two philosophers, William Lane (...) class='Hi'>Craig and Quentin Smith, who defend opposing positions. Craig argues that the Big Bang that began the universe was created by God, while Smith argues that the Big Bang has no cause. Alternating chapters by the two philosophers criticize and attempt to refute preceding arguments. Their arguments are based on Einstein's theory of relativity and include a discussion of the new quantum cosmology recently developed by Stephen Hawking and popularized in A Brief History of Time. (shrink)
What is the connection between philosophy as studied in universities and those general views of man and reality which are commonly considered "philosophy"? Through his attempt to rediscover this connection, Craig offers a view of philosophy and its history since the early 17th century. Craig discusses the two contrary visions of man's essential nature that dominated this period--one portraying man as made in the image of God and required to resemble him as closely as possible, the (...) other depicting man as the autonomous creator of his own environment and values--and uses this context to clarify previously opaque textual detail. Illustrating how general concepts embodied by philosophical thought can be embodied in other media--especially literary--the author brings together disparate disciplines; he also reveals striking similarities between Anglo-American and certain 20th-century continental European lines of thought. (shrink)
In this book and the companion volume The Tenseless Theory of Time: A Critical Examination, Craig undertakes the first thorough appraisal of the arguments for and against the tensed and tenseless theories of time.
Wallace, Max On 20 June 2012 the High Court of Australia handed down their decision in Willliams v The Commonwealth. The case concerned the question of whether it was unconstitutional for the federal government to fund religious chaplains in public schools. The argument against the funding was on technical, financial grounds. The government had avoided making a law in the parliament to fund the chaplains. That way, they were able to avoid a legal complaint that the funding breached Australia's (...) s.116, the section in the constitution that mimics America's First Amendment. The funding therefore would avoid a major dispute over separation of church and state. (shrink)
Wallace, Meg London's National Theatre recently hosted a debate about freedom of speech, multiculturalism and Islam called Can we talk about this? The opening line was a question to the audience, 'Are you morally superior to the Taliban?' Anne Marie Waters, who was present, wrote in her blog that 'very few people in the audience raised their hand to say they were.' This response demonstrates a misconceived attempt to be seen as tolerant and 'multiculturalist'. People could not bring themselves (...) to say their views are morally superior to a group that, Waters points out, 'denies women medical treatment, imprisons them in their homes, allows domestic violence, and executes people by stoning for having a private life or the audacity to not believe in God.' They fear being labelled, racist, 'Islamophobic', or discriminating against religion. Rather, they adopt a stance that treats all moral views generated by culture or religion as equally valid ('cultural relativism'). They confuse the distinction between the right to think as you want, and the right to act as you want. (shrink)
Wallace, Max At the Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) Convention in Melbourne on 14 April this year Geoffrey Robertson QC turned his mind to the tax-exempt status of religion. He joked that, Atheist foundations could qualify for tax exemption by declaring their belief in Christopher Hitchens! Turn him into an L. Ron Hubbard figure to be worshipped through his sacred books! It got a good laugh. It never occurred to Robertson, or the Convention audience, that the AFA, like all (...) religions in Australia with a supernatural belief, might already be tax-exempt. (shrink)
Wallace, Max I respond here to David Nicholls November 2012 Facebook posting in response to my article 'Non-religious tax avoidance' in the Summer issue of AH, No. 108, 2012 where I reviewed how it was the Atheist Foundation of Australia came to have tax-exempt status and whether that was appropriate.
Presenting a striking new account of the 'many worlds' approach to quantum theory, aka the Everett interpretation, David Wallace offers a clear and up-to-date survey of work on this theory in physics and in philosophy of science.
Sacred Games, Death, and Renewal in the Ancient Eastern Woodlands Content Type Journal Article Category Review Pages 507-509 DOI 10.1558/jcr.v11i4.507 Authors Sandra Wallace, Artefact Heritage, Po Box 772 Rose Bay, NSW 2029 Journal Journal of Critical Realism Online ISSN 1572-5138 Print ISSN 1476-7430 Journal Volume Volume 11 Journal Issue Volume 11, Number 4 / 2012.
Rogers, C. R. and Skinner, B. F. Some issues concerning the control of human behavior.--Broudy, H. S. Didactics, heuristics, and philetics.--Craig, R. An analysis of the psychology of moral development of Lawrence Kohlberg.--Scudder, J. R., Jr. Freedom with authority: a Buber model for teaching.--Hook, S. Some educational attitudes and poses.--Strike, K. A. Freedom, autonomy, and teaching.--Elkind, D. Piaget and Montessori.--Raywid, M. A. Irrationalism and the new reformism.--Doll, W. E., Jr. A methodology of experience: the process of inquiry.--Neff, F. C. (...) Competency-based teaching and trained fleas.--Brown, A. "What could be bad?" Some reflections on the accountability movement. (shrink)
When Jennifer Wallace travelled round Greece as a student, hiking through olive groves to hunt out the stones of old temples and lost cities, she became fascinated by archaeology. It was magical. It was absurd. Give an archaeologist a few rocks and, like a master storyteller, he could bring another world to life. Give him a vague hunch about the past, and he was prepared to spend hours raking through the soil in search of proof. From the plain of (...) Troy to the Titanic, and from Britain's Stonehenge to Ground Zero in New York, Digging the Dirt explores the excavation sites that have exerted the strongest pull on the public imagination. Some sites, in which bones are indistinguishable from dust, have driven archaeologists to despair. Other sites haunt poets with memories of loss and romance. All reveal the relevance of archaeology to our deepest cultural anxieties. Passionate and intelligent, Digging the Dirt engages with the work of philosophers and writers who have been stirred by the life below the ground, while never losing sight of the pressing demands of archaeologists today. In a world of postmodern spin, Wallace calls for a renewed sense of the poetics of depth and shows how ex. (shrink)
Wallace, Max This paper poses a paradox: the post-Gonski situation appears uncertain for mainly low socio-economic status government schools as the apparent government- in-waiting, the Coalition, have made a number of ominous statements as to whether they will follow through on the Gillard government's embrace of the Gonski funding reform.
Dewey Wallace tells the story of several prominent English Calvinist actors and thinkers in the first generations after the beginning of the Restoration. In the midst of conflicts between Church and Dissent and the intellectual challenges of the dawning age of Enlightenment, these five individuals and groups dealt with deism, anti-Trinitarianism, and scoffing atheism - usually understood as godlessness - by choosing different emphases in their defense and promotion of Calvinist piety and theology. In each case there was not (...) only persistence in an earlier Calvinist trajectory, but also a transformation of the Calvinist heritage into a new mode of thinking and acting. The different paths taken illustrate the rich variety of English Calvinism in the period. This study offers description and analysis of the mystical Calvinism of Peter Sterry, the hermeticist Calvinism of Theophilus Gale, the evangelical Calvinism of Joseph Alleine and the circle that promoted his legacy, the natural theology of the moderate Calvinist Presbyterians Richard Baxter, William Bates, and John Howe, and the Church of England Calvinism of John Edwards. Wallace seeks to overturn conventional clichés about Calvinism: that it was anti-mystical, that it allowed no scope for the ''ancient theology'' that characterized much of Renaissance learning, that its piety was harshly predestinarian, that it was uninterested in natural theology, and that it had been purged from the established church by the end of the seventeenth century. Shapers of English Calvinism, 1660-1714 illuminates the religious and intellectual history of the era between the Reformation and modernity, offering fascinating insight into the development of Calvinism and also into English Puritanism as it transitioned into Dissent. (shrink)
John Taylor complains that the "Kalam" cosmological argument gives the appearance of being a swift and simple demonstration of the existence of a Creator of the universe, whereas in fact a convincing argument involving the premiss that the universe began to exist is very difficult to achieve. But Taylor's proffered defeaters of the premisses of the philosophical arguments for the beginning of the universe are themselves typically undercut due to Taylor's inadvertence to alternatives open to the defender of the "Kalam" (...) arguments. With respect to empirical confirmation of the universe's beginning Taylor is forced into an anti-realist position on the Big Bang theory, but without sufficient warrant for singling out the theory as non-realistic. Therefore, despite the virtue of simplicity of form, the "Kalam" cosmological argument has not been defeated by Taylor's all too swift refutation. (shrink)
T. M. Scanlon's magisterial book What We Owe to Each Other is surely one of the most sophisticated and important works of moral philosophy to have appeared for many years. It raises fundamental questions about all the main aspects of the subject, and I hope and expect that it will have a decisive influence on the shape and direction of moral philosophy in the years to come. In this essay I shall focus on four sets of issues raised by Scanlon's (...) systematic argument, with the aim of clarifying some of Scanlon's central assumptions and presenting alternatives at several key points. The perspective from which I offer these comments is that of a reader who is sympathetic to Scanlon's general approach but not yet convinced on various points of detail. (shrink)
Rational agency may be thought of as intentional activity that is guided by the agent's conception of what they have reason to do. The paper identifies and assesses three approaches to this phenomenon, which I call internalism, meta-internalism, and volitionalism. Internalism accounts for rational motivation by appeal to substantive desires of the agent's that are conceived as merely given; I argue that it fails to do full justice to the phenomenon of guidance by one's conception of one's reasons. Meta-internalism explains (...) this phenomenon by postulating higher-order dispositions, consitutive of (rational) agency itself, which causally interact with the agent's normative beliefs to produce corresponding motivations to action. I show that meta-internalism comes to grief over cases of akrasia, insofar as it leaves no room for the capacity for rational guidance when agents voluntarily act at variance with their judgments about what they have reason to do. Volitionalism, I contend, improves on both internalism and meta-internalism. Its distinctive feature is the postulation of a kind of motivation that is directly subject to the agent's control, and independent of the dispositions and desires to which the agent is passively subject. (shrink)
It is both common and natural to think of addiction as a kind of defect of the will. Addicts, we tend to suppose, are subject to impulses or cravings that are peculiarly unresponsive to their evaluative reflection about what there is reason for them to do. As a result of this unresponsiveness, we further suppose, addicts are typically impaired in their ability to act in accordance with their own deliberative conclusions. My question in this paper is whether we can make (...) adequate sense of this conception of addiction as a volitional defect. In particular, I want to focus on some philosophical assumptions, from the theory of action, that bear directly on the very idea that addiction might impair the agent’s volitional capacities. Understanding this idea, I shall argue, requires that we start out with an adequate conception of the human will. Only if we appreciate the kinds of volitional capacities characteristic of normal agents can we conceptualize properly the impairment of those capacities represented by addiction, and assess the implications of such impairment for questions of responsibility. (shrink)
In conclusion, then, the notion of temporal necessity is certainly queer and perhaps a misnomer. It really has little to do with temporality per se and everything to do with counterfactual openness or closedness. We have seen that the future is as unalterable as the past, but that this purely logical truth is not antithetical to freedom or contingency. Moreover, we have found certain past facts are counterfactually open in that were future events or actualities to be other than they (...) will be, these past facts would have been different as a consequence. God's beliefs about the future are such past facts. Moreover, the effects of actions which God would have taken had He believed differently are also such past facts. Oddly enough, then, virtually any past fact is potentially counterfactually open, and the only necessity that remains is purely de facto. We, of course, do not in general know which events of the past depend counterfactually on present actions, and those cases we do know about seem rather trivial. Our intuitions of the necessity, unalterability, and unpreventability of the past as opposed to the future stem from the impossibility of backward causation, which is precluded by the dynamic nature of time and becoming. But the counterfactual dependence of God's beliefs on future events or actualities is not a case of backward causation: rather future-tense propositions are true in virtue of what will happen, given a view of truth as correspondence, and God simply has the essential property of knowing all and only true propositions. With regard to the future, virtually all facts are counterfactually open, and therefore future-tense propositions are not temporally necessary. Propositions thus move from being temporally contingent to being temporally necessary when all the opportunities to affect things counterfactually have slipped by. Hence, the mere fact that an event is past is no indication that it is counterfactually closed. This is especially evident in the case of God's foreknowledge. If we say that God foreknows that I shall do x and therefore I cannot refrain from doing x, lest I change God's past foreknowledge, we are being deceived by a modality which has nothing to do with my power or freedom. All that is impossible is the conjunction of God's foreknowledge that p and of ~ p; but this modality in sensu composito has no bearing on my ability to act such that ~ p would be true and God would have foreknown differently. Temporal necessity, then, turns out to be only obliquely temporal and modally weak, certainly no threat to freedom or divine foreknowledge. (shrink)
An investigation is made into how the foundations of statistical mechanics are affected once we treat classical mechanics as an approximation to quantum mechanics in certain domains rather than as a theory in its own right; this is necessary if we are to understand statistical-mechanical systems in our own world. Relevant structural and dynamical differences are identified between classical and quantum mechanics (partly through analysis of technical work on quantum chaos by other authors). These imply that quantum mechanics significantly affects (...) a number of foundational questions, including the nature of statistical probability and the direction of time. (shrink)
What are the comparative roles of reason and the passions in explaining human motivation and behaviour? Accounts of practical reason divide on this central question, with proponents of different views falling into rationalist and Humean camps. By 'rationalist' accounts of practical reason, I mean accounts which make the characteristically Kantian claim that pure reason can be practical in its issue. To reject this view is to take the Humean position that reasoning or ratiocination is not by itself capable of giving (...) rise to a motivation to act. My own view is that the rationalist position can, in the end, be sustained against the challenge of these Humean arguments. To see why, however, it will be necessary to get clear about what is really at stake in the debate about practical reason. A further aim of my discussion will accordingly be to sharpen our understanding of the issue that divides Humeans and rationalists. (shrink)
Abstract: Suppose you are somewhat persuaded by the arguments for Eliminative Materialism, but are put off by the view itself. For instance, you might be sympathetic to one or more of the following considerations: (1) that folk psychology is a bad theory and will be soon replaced by cognitive science or neuroscience, (2) that folk psychology will never be vindicated by cognitive science, (3) that folk psychology makes ontological commitments to weird or spooky things that no proper science will admit (...) the existence of, (4) that folk psychology seems to lead to a sort of epiphenomenalism (which is yet another thing that’s weird and spooky), and (5) that folk psychology seems to lead to the conclusion that mental content is either determined by things outside the head or is completely indeterminate, neither of which is appealing. Yet in spite of your sympathy for any one of (1)-(5), you may nonetheless cringe at the consequence of them—that is, you may be unwilling to accept the Eliminative Materialist’s radical claim that (i) there are no beliefs, desires, etc., and (ii) we should stop all talk to that quantifies to the contrary. To relieve the conflict, I propose Mental Fictionalism: the view that we are fictionalists about mental states. (shrink)
Barrow and Tipler’s contention that the Anthropic Principle is obviously true and removes the need for an explanation of fine-tuning fails because the Principle is trivially true, and only within the context of a World Ensemble, whose existence is not obvious, does a selection effect become significant. Their objections to divine design as an explanation of fine-tuning are seen to be misconceived.
I consider exactly what is involved in a solution to the probability problem of the Everett interpretation, in the light of recent work on applying considerations from decision theory to that problem. I suggest an overall framework for understanding probability in a physical theory, and conclude that this framework, when applied to the Everett interpretation, yields the result that that interpretation satisfactorily solves the measurement problem. Introduction What is probability? 2.1 Objective probability and the Principal Principle 2.2 Three ways of (...) satisfying the functional definition 2.3 Cautious functionalism 2.4 Is the functional definition complete? The Everett interpretation and subjective uncertainty 3.1 Interpreting quantum mechanics 3.2 The need for subjective uncertainty 3.3 Saunders' argument for subjective uncertainty 3.4 Objections to Saunders' argument 3.5 Subjective uncertainty again: arguments from interpretative charity 3.6 Quantum weights and the functional definition of probability Rejecting subjective uncertainty 4.1 The fission program 4.2 Against the fission program Justifying the axioms of decision theory 5.1 The primitive status of the decision-theoretic axioms 5.2 Holistic scepticism 5.3 The role of an explanation of decision theory Conclusion. (shrink)
This paper addresses some connections between conceptions of the will and the theory of practical reason. The first two sections argue against the idea that volitional commitments should be understood along the lines of endorsement of normative principles. A normative account of volition cannot make sense of akrasia, and it obscures an important difference between belief and intention. Sections three and four draw on the non-normative conception of the will in an account of instrumental rationality. The central problem is to (...) explain the grip of instrumental requirements even in cases in which agents do not fully endorse the ends they are pursuing. The solution I propose appeals to coherence constraints on the beliefs that condition the distinctive volitional stance of intention. (shrink)
Practical reason is the general human capacity for resolving, through reflection, the question of what one is to do. Deliberation of this kind is practical in at least two senses. First, it is practical in its subject matter, insofar as it is concerned with action. But it is also practical in its consequences or its issue, insofar as reflection about action itself directly moves people to act. Our capacity for deliberative self-determination raises two sets of philosophical problems. First, there are (...) questions about how deliberation can succeed in being practical in its issue. What do we need to assume — both about agents and about the processes of reasoning they engage in — to make sense of the fact that deliberative reflection can directly give rise to action? Can we do justice to this dimension of practical reason while preserving the idea that practical deliberation is genuinely a form of reasoning? Second, there are large issues concerning the content of the standards that are brought to bear in practical reasoning. Which norms for the assessment of action are binding on us as agents? Do these norms provide resources for critical reflection about our ends, or are they exclusively instrumental? Under what conditions do moral norms yield valid standards for reasoning about action? The first set of issues is addressed in sections 1-3 of the present article, while sections 4-5 cover the second set of issues. (shrink)
This is a preliminary version of an article to appear in the forthcoming Ashgate Companion to the New Philosophy of Physics.In it, I aim to review, in a way accessible to foundationally interested physicists as well as physics-informed philosophers, just where we have got to in the quest for a solution to the measurement problem. I don't advocate any particular approach to the measurement problem (not here, at any rate!) but I do focus on the importance of decoherence theory to (...) modern attempts to solve the measurement problem, and I am fairly sharply critical of some aspects of the "traditional" formulation of the problem. (shrink)
An analysis is made of Deutsch's recent claim to have derived the Born rule from decision-theoretic assumptions. It is argued that Deutsch's proof must be understood in the explicit context of the Everett interpretation, and that in this context, it essentially succeeds. Some comments are made about the criticism of Deutsch's proof by Barnum, Caves, Finkelstein, Fuchs, and Schack; it is argued that the flaw which they point out in the proof does not apply if the Everett interpretation is assumed.
I present a proof of the quantum probability rule from decision-theoretic assumptions, in the context of the Everett interpretation. The basic ideas behind the proof are those presented in Deutsch's recent proof of the probability rule, but the proof is simpler and proceeds from weaker decision-theoretic assumptions. This makes it easier to discuss the conceptual ideas involved in the proof, and to show that they are defensible.
Some mereologists boast that their view of parts and wholes is ontologically innocent.[Lewis 1991: 72-87] They claim that a fusion is nothing over and above its parts; once you’ve committed to the parts, you get the fusion for free. In other words, fusions are not a further ontological commitment beyond the commitment to the parts. There are various proposals to explain how it is that fusions can come about so cheap. Perhaps the most straightforward of these explanations, and the one (...) I will be concerned with in this paper, is to accept the Strong Composition Thesis:2, 3.. (shrink)