David Lewis (1986) criticizes moderate views of composition on the grounds that a restriction on composition must be vague, and vague composition leads, via a precisificational theory of vagueness, to an absurd vagueness of existence. I show how to resist this argument. Unlike the usual resistance, however, I do not jettison precisificational views of vagueness. Instead, I blur the connection between composition and existence that Lewis assumes. On the resulting view, in troublesome cases of vague (...) class='Hi'>composition, there is an object, which definitely exists, about which it is vague whether the relevant borderline parts compose it. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
The special composition question asks, roughly, under what conditions composition occurs. The common sense view is that composition only occurs among some things and that all and only ‘ordinary objects’ exist. Peter van Inwagen has marshaled a devastating argument against this view. The common sense view appears to commit one to giving what van Inwagen calls a ‘series-style answer’ to the special composition question, but van Inwagen argues that series-style answers are impossible because they are inconsistent (...) with the transitivity of parthood. In what follows I answer this objection in addition to other, less troubling objections raised by van Inwagen. (shrink)
The General Composition Question asks “what are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions any xs and any y must satisfy in order for it to be true that those xs compose that y?” Although this question has received little attention, there is an interesting and theoretically fruitful answer. Namely, Strong Composition as Identity (SCAI): Necessarily, for any xs and any y, those xs compose y iff those xs are identical to y. SCAI is theoretically fruitful because if it (...) is true, then there is an answers to one of the most difficult and intractable questions of mereology (The Simple Question). In this paper, I introduce the Identity Account of Simplicity and argue that if SCAI is true then this Identity Account of Simplicity is as well. I consider an objection to The Identity Account of Simplicity. Ultimately, I find this objection unsuccessful. (shrink)
Most philosophical or scientific theories suppose that colour composition judgments refer to the way colours appear to us. The dominant view is therefore phenomenalist in the sense that colour composition is phenomenally given to perceivers. This paper argues that there is no evidence for a phenomenalist view of colour composition and that a conventionalist approach should be favoured.
A set of parameters for classifying composition operations is introduced. These parameters determine whether a composition operation is 1) universal, 2) determinate, 3) whether there is a difference between possible and actual compositions, 4) whether there can be singleton compositions, 5) whether they give rise to a hierarchy, and 6) whether components of compositions can be repeated. Philosophical implications of these parameters (in particular in relation to set theory) and mereology are discussed.
The idea that an utterance of a basic (nondeviant) declarative sentence expresses a single true-or-false proposition has dominated philosophical discussions of meaning in this century. Refinements aside, this idea is less of a substantive theses than it is a background assumption against which particular theories of meaning are evaluated. But there are phenomena (noted by Frege, Strawson, and Grice) that threaten at least the completeness of classical theories of meaning, which associate with an utterance of a simple sentence a truth-condition, (...) a Russellian proposition, or a Fregean thought. And it may well be the case that a framework within which utterances express sequences of propositions provides much of what is needed to account for the relevant phenomena, a better overall picture of the way language works, and an enticingly uniform perspective on a variety of semantic problems. I do not myself take to theories that multiply propositions by appealing to propositions “presupposed” or to pairs of Fregean and Russellian propositions, or theories that show no respect for a distinction between semantics and pragmatics— where the former is the study of propositions whose general form and character is determined by word meaning and syntax—or for theories that blithely abandon general principles of composition and semantic innocence. I would like to sketch a package based on four interconnected ideas: (i) the meaning of an individual word is a sequence of instructions for generating a sequence of propositions (in conjunction with compositional instructions (syntax) and elements of context); (ii) utterances themselves are not bearers of truth or falsity; (iii) judgements of truth, falsity, commitment, and conflict are shaped, in part, by the weights attached to individual 1 propositions that occur in sequences expressed by utterances, weights that may be set (and reset) by contextual considerations; (iv) Fregean senses are superfluous; propositions might as well be Russellian (Mont Blanc and all its snow fields will do as well as any mode of presentation).. (shrink)
Let’s begin with a simple example. Consider two quarks: one near the tip of your nose, the other near the center of Alpha Centauri. Here is a question about these two subatomic particles: Is there an object that has these two quarks as its parts and that has no other parts? According to one view of the matter (a view that is surprisingly endorsed by a great many contemporary philosophers), the answer to this question is Yes. But I think it (...) is fair to say that according to common sense, the answer to this question is really No, there is no object that has as its only two parts a quark near the tip of your nose and another quark near the center of Alpha Centauri. (shrink)
Many of those who accept the universalist thesis that mereological composition is unrestricted also maintain that the folk typically restrict their quantifiers in such a way as to exclude strange fusions when they say things that appear to conflict with universalism. Despite its prima facie implausibility, there are powerful arguments for universalism. By contrast, there is remarkably little evidence for the thesis that strange fusions are excluded from the ordinary domain of quantification. Furthermore, this reconciliatory strategy seems hopeless when (...) applied to the more fundamental conflict between universalism and the intuitions that tell against it. (shrink)
David Lewis famously argued against structural universals since they allegedly required what he called a composition “sui generis” that differed from standard mereological com¬position. In this paper it is shown that, although traditional Boolean mereology does not describe parthood and composition in its full generality, a better and more comprehensive theory is provided by the foundational theory of categories. In this category-theoretical framework a theory of structural universals can be formulated that overcomes the conceptual difficulties that Lewis and (...) his followers regarded as unsurmountable. As a concrete example of structural universals groups are considered in some detail. (shrink)
Orthodoxy says that the thesis that composition is identity (CAI) entails universalism: the claim that any collection of entities has a sum. If this is true it counts in favour of CAI, since a thesis about the nature of composition that settles the otherwise intractable special composition question (SCQ) is desirable. But I argue that it is false: CAI is compatible with the many forms of restricted composition, and SCQ is no easier to answer given CAI (...) than otherwise. Furthermore, in seeing why this is the case we reveal an objection to CAI: that it allows for the facts concerning what there is to be settled whilst leaving open the question about what is identical to what. (shrink)
The claim that composition is identity is an intuition in search of a formulation. The farmer’s field is made of six plots, and in some sense is nothing more than those six plots. According to the friend of composition as identity, the six plots are identical with the farmer’s field.1 Some philosophers, such as Peter van Inwagen (1994), have claimed that the view that composition is identity is incoherent. Van Inwagen cites the apparent ungrammaticality of sentences like (...) ‘the six plots are the farmer’s field’ as evidence for his view. Perhaps van Inwagen is right, but I needn’t settle this question here. I will argue against the view that composition is identity, whatever that view amounts to, in the following way. First, I will elucidate a principle called ‘the Plural Duplication Principle’ [PDP]. Any acceptable way of making sense of the slogan that composition is identity— i.e., any way that properly conforms to the intuitions that lead one to utter this slogan— must validate PDP. Second, I argue that PDP is false. So any acceptable way of making sense of the slogan that composition is identity is false. The slogan that composition is identity will be refuted prior to being properly formulated. Following David Lewis (1986: 59-63), let us say that x and y are duplicates just in case there is a 1-1 correspondence between their parts that preserves perfectly natural properties and relations. Suppose that A is identical with B. Then any duplicate of A must also be a duplicate of B. This follows via Leibniz’s Law: if some duplicate of A were not.. (shrink)
There is widespread disagreement as to what the facts are concerning just when a collection of objects composes some further object; but there is widespread agreement that, whatever those facts are, they are necessary. I am unhappy to simply assume this, and in this paper I ask whether there is reason to think that the facts concerning composition hold necessarily. I consider various reasons to think so, but find fault with each of them. I examine the theory of (...) class='Hi'>composition as identity, but argue that the version of this doctrine that entails universalism is implausible. I consider the claim that the a priority of such facts leads to their necessity, but give a defence of substantial contingent a priori truths. I ask whether the contingency of such facts would lead to unwelcome possibilities, but argue that the worrying looking possibilities can be blocked if it is desired. Next, I argue against the thought that the Lewis-Sider argument against restricted composition might give us reason to accept the necessity of universalism. Lastly, I respond to two objections from the 2006 BSPC. I conclude in favour of the contingency of the facts concerning when some things compose some thing. (shrink)
Composition as Identity is the view that, in some sense, a whole is numerically identical with its parts. Compositional universalism is the view that, whenever there are some things, there is a whole composed of those things. Despite the claims of many philosophers, these views are logically independent. Here, I will show that composition as identity does not entail compositional universalism.
I argue that, despite van Inwagen's pessimism about the task, it is worth looking for answers to his General Composition Question. Such answers or 'principles of composition' tell us about the relationship between an object and its parts. I compare principles of composition with criteria of identity, arguing that, just as different sorts of thing satisfy different criteria of identity, they may satisfy different principles of composition. Variety in criteria of identity is not taken to reflect (...) ontological variety in the identity relation; I discuss whether variety in principles of composition should be taken to reflect ontological variety in the composition relation. (shrink)
says that there are some composite objects. And it says that some objects jointly compose nothing at all. The main threat to restricted composition is the in.uential and widely defended Vagueness Argument. We shall see that the Vagueness Argument fails. In seeing how this argument fails, we shall discover a new focus for the debate over composition's extent.
I defend coincidentalism (the view that some pluralities have more than one mereological fusion) and restricted composition (the view that some pluralities lack mereological fusions) against recent arguments due to Theodore Sider.
Atomistic metaphysics motivated an explanatory strategy which science has pursued with great success since the scientific revolution. By decomposing matter into its atomic and subatomic parts physics gave us powerful explanations and accurate predictions as well as providing a unifying framework for the rest of science. The success of the decompositional strategy has encouraged a widespread conviction that the physical world forms a compositional hierarchy that physics and other sciences are progressively articulating. But this conviction does not stand up to (...) a closer examination of how physics has treated composition, as a variety of case studies will show. (shrink)
Lewis has objected to Armstrong's notion of a structural universal on the grounds that it violates the Principle of Uniqueness of Composition (PUC), which says that given some parts, there is only one whole that they compose. This paper reviews Armstrong's case for structural universals, and then attempts to reconcile structural universals with PUC by arguing for the existence of arrangement universals. The latter are not only a key to defending structural universals against Lewis' objection, but are in fact (...) essential to Armstrong's conception of structural universals in general. Three objections to my proposal are deflected, and two alternative proposals are shown to be inferior to it. (shrink)
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)
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)
Composition as identity is the strange and strangely compelling doctrine that the whole is in some sense identical to its parts. Kris McDaniel (2008) argues that composition as identity rules out strongly emergent properties. I will argue that one version of the doctrine—namely, the most straightforward, albeit strangest, version—is resistant to the argument in an instructive way. What could it mean to say that one thing (such as a whole) is identical to many things (its parts)? That is (...) indeed the $64,000 question. But however we answer it, McDaniel says, composition as identity had better be taken to imply the following principle. (shrink)
“Under what circumstances do things add up to or compose something?” This is what Peter van Inwagen (1990, p. 31) calls the Special Composition Question. Everyone, it seems, has a different answer. Van Inwagen’s, famously, is “when the activities of those things constitute a life”. Other people — nihilists about composition — say “never!” Other people — universalists about composition — say “always!”. Yet other people — brutalists about composition — say that there is no answer.
Just as we may ask whether, and under what conditions, a collection of objects composes a single object, we may ask whether, and under what conditions, a collection of actions composes a single action. In the material objects literature, this question is known as the "special composition question," and I take it that there is a similar question to be asked of collections of actions. I will call that question the "special composition question in action," and argue that (...) the correct answer to this question depends on a particular kind of consequence produced by the individual constituent actions. (shrink)
Cognitive functions associated with the frontal lobes of the brain may be specifi cally involved in hypnosis. Thus, the frontal area of the brain has recently been of great interest when searching for neural changes associated with hypnosis. We tested the hypothesis that EEG during pure hypnosis would differ from the normal non-hypnotic EEG especially above the frontal area of the brain. The composition of brain oscillations was examined in a broad frequency band (130 Hz) in the electroencephalogram (EEG) (...) of a single virtuoso subject. Data was collected in two independent data collection periods separated by one year. The hypnotic and non-hypnotic conditions were repeated multiple times during each data acquisition session. We found that pure hypnosis induced reorganization in the composition of brain oscillations especially in prefrontal and right occipital EEG channels. Additionally, hypnosis was characterized by consistent rightside-dominance asymmetry. In the prefrontal EEG channels the composition of brain oscillations included spectral patterns during hypnosis that were completely different from those observed during non-hypnosis. Furthermore, the EEG spectral patterns observed overall during the hypnotic condition did not return to the pre-hypnotic baseline EEG immediately when hypnosis was terminated. This suggests that for the brain, the return to a normal neurophysiological baseline condition after hypnosis is a time-consuming process. The present results suggest that pure hypnosis is characterized by an increase in alertness and heightened attention, refl ected as cognitive and neuronal activation. Taken together, the present data provide support for the hypothesis that in a very highly hypnotizable person (a hypnotic virtuoso) hypnosis as such may be accompanied by a changed pattern of neural activity in the brain. (shrink)
This paper opposes universal mereological composition (UMC). Sider defends it: unless UMC were true, he says, it could be indeterminate how many objects there are in the world. I argue that there is no general connection between how widely composition occurs and how many objects there are in the world. Sider fails to support UMC. I further argue that we should disbelieve in UMC objects. Existing objections against them say that they are radically unlike Aristotelian substances. True, but (...) there is a stronger objection. This is that they are characterized by no properties, and so fail to be like anything – even themselves. (shrink)
This article has two goals: a historical and a speculative one. The historical goal is to offer a coherent account of Spinoza’s view on mereological composition. The speculative goal is to show that Spinoza’s substance monism is distinct from versions of monism that are currently defended in metaphysics and that it deserves the attention of contemporary metaphysicians. Regarding the second goal, two versions of monism are currently defended and discussed in contemporary metaphysics: existence monism according to which there actually (...) exists exactly one concrete entity; and priority monism that is famously defended by Jonathan Schaffer and according to which there exists exactly one fundamental concrete being, the cosmos, and several derivative concrete beings that are the parts of the cosmos. In this article, I argue that substance monism is neither an existence nor a priority monism because, while Spinoza’s monist is committed to the existence of a unique fundamental individual—the substance—and to the existence of several derivative individuals—the bodies or modes of extension—, Spinoza denies that the substance is mereologically complex. Regarding the first goal, the paper solves several interpretative puzzles by arguing that Spinoza distinguishes between three kinds of composition and that his talk of composition between the substance and its modes is by his own light not to be interpreted as literally true. (shrink)
In this paper I respond to Trenton Merricks's (2005) paper ‘Composition and Vagueness’. I argue that Merricks's paper faces the following difficulty: he claims to provide independent motivation for denying one of the premisses of the Lewis-Sider vagueness argument for unrestricted composition, but the alleged motivation he provides begs the question.
This article explores how the diversity of board resources and the number of women on boards affect firms’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) ratings, and how, in turn, CSR influences corporate reputation. In addition, this article examines whether CSR ratings mediate the relationships among board resource diversity, gender composition, and corporate reputation. The OLS regression results using lagged data for independent and control variables were statistically significant for the gender composition hypotheses, but not for the resource diversity-based hypotheses. CSR (...) ratings had a positive impact on reputation and mediated the relationship between the number of women on the board and corporate reputation. (shrink)
The paper argues that very different part-whole relations hold between different kinds of entities. While these relations share most of their formal properties, they need not share all of them. Nor need other mereological principles be true of all kinds of part–whole pairs. In particular, it is argued that the principle of unrestricted composition, that any two or more entities have a mereological sum, while true of sets and propositions, is false of things and events.
Naive mereology studies ordinary, common-sense beliefs about part and whole. Some of the speculations in this article on naive mereology do not bear directly on Peter van Inwagen's "Material Beings". The other topics, (1) and (2), both do. (1) Here is an example of Peter Unger's "Problem of the Many". How can a table be a collection of atoms when many collections of atoms have equally strong claims to be that table? Van Inwagen invokes fuzzy sets to solve this problem. (...) I claim that an alternative treatment of vagueness, supervaluations over many-value valuations, provides a better solution. (2) The Special Composition Question asks how parts compose a whole. One who rejects van Inwagen's answer in terms of constituting a life need not provide some alternative answer. Even if all answers to the Special Question fail, there are a multitude of less general composition questions that are not so difficult. (shrink)
Pace Benovsky's ‘Presentism and Persistence,’ presentism is compatible with perdurantism, tropes and bundle-of-universals theories of persisting objects. I demonstrate how the resemblance, causation and precedence relations that tie stages together can be accommodated within an ersatzer presentist framework. The presentist account of these relations is then used to delineate a presentist-friendly account of the inter-temporal composition required for making worms out of stages. The defense of presentist trope theory shows how properties with indexes other than t may be said (...) to exist at t. This involves an account of how times other than t exist at t, and how times may be multiply located at any given time. Benovsky's objection to bundles of universals is shown to assume that a bundle of properties must have the properties of its element properties. (shrink)
Vector-based models of word meaning have become increasingly popular in cognitive science. The appeal of these models lies in their ability to represent meaning simply by using distributional information under the assumption that words occurring within similar contexts are semantically similar. Despite their widespread use, vector-based models are typically directed at representing words in isolation, and methods for constructing representations for phrases or sentences have received little attention in the literature. This is in marked contrast to experimental evidence (e.g., in (...) sentential priming) suggesting that semantic similarity is more complex than simply a relation between isolated words. This article proposes a framework for representing the meaning of word combinations in vector space. Central to our approach is vector composition, which we operationalize in terms of additive and multiplicative functions. Under this framework, we introduce a wide range of composition models that we evaluate empirically on a phrase similarity task. (shrink)
Our ordinary view of material things1 has two aspects. One the one hand such things typically have parts. This desk has its legs, its top, and so forth. On the other hand such things typically have locations. This desk is located at some particular region of spacetime in the office. The composition and the location of the desk are, on this view, two quite separable aspects of it. One may therefore change its composition without changing its location, for (...) instance by swapping in a new leg, or change its location without changing its composition, for instance by moving it to the other side of the office. This view of material things remains largely intact in metaphysical inquiries into their natures. On the one hand we have the theory of composition, mereology, which considers what it is for some bits of wood to compose a desk. On the other hand we have the theory of location,2 which considers what it is for the desk to occupy a region of spacetime. (shrink)
Abstract: The 'special composition question' is this: given objects O1, . . . , On, under what conditions is there an object O, such that O1, . . . , On compose O? This paper explores a heterodox answer to this question, one that casts composition as a secondary quality. According to the approach I want to consider, there is an O that O1, . . . , On compose (roughly) just in case a normal intuiter would, under (...) normal conditions, intuit that there is. (shrink)
Composition, persistence, vagueness, and more constitute an interconnected network of problems. My criticism of Hud Hudson's provocative claims made in a recent paper (Hudson 2002) was focused almost exclusively on the issue of diachronic composition (Balashov 2003). Hudson's response (2003) has highlighted the dangers of such isolationism. But I want to hold to my strategy to the end. Part of the reason is to evade the appalling responsibility of presenting a full-blown theory of all the above phenomena; I (...) must confess that I do not have such a theory. At the same time, I contend that diachronic composition can be profitably carved out from the medley of the surrounding issues more or less at the joints provided by nature itself. And I do subscribe to some sort of realism about the joints of nature. (shrink)
The interpretation of Lewis?s doctrine of natural properties is difficult and controversial, especially when it comes to the bearers of natural properties. According to the prevailing reading ? the minimalist view ? perfectly natural properties pertain to the micro-physical realm and are instantiated by entities without proper parts or point-like. This paper argues that there are reasons internal to a broadly Lewisian kind of metaphysics to think that the minimalist view is fundamentally flawed and that a liberal view, according to (...) which natural properties are instantiated at several or even at all levels of reality, should be preferred. Our argument proceeds by reviewing those core principles of Lewis?s metaphysics that are most likely to constrain the size of the bearers of natural properties: the principle of Humean supervenience, the principle of recombination in modal realism, the hypothesis of gunk, and the thesis of composition as identity. (shrink)
Our world is full of composite objects that persist through time: dogs, persons, chairs and rocks. But in virtue of what do a bunch of little objects get to compose some bigger object, and how does that bigger object persist through time? This book aims to answer these questions, but it does so by looking at accounts of composition and persistence through a new methodological lens. It asks the question: what does it take for two theories to be genuinely (...) different, and how can we know whether what seems like metaphysical disagreement is really just semantic disagreement? By offering a framework within which to explore issues of theoretical diversity, this book provides a novel way of thinking about the inter-relationship between composition and persistence. Ultimately, it argues for a new way of thinking about these issues, a way that does not preserve the standard theoretical dichotomies between four-dimensionalist theories on the one hand, and three-dimensionalist theories on the other. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore whether elementary classical mechanics adheres to the Principle of Composition of Causes as Mill claimed and as certain contemporary authors still seem to believe. Among other things, I provide a proof that if one reads Mill’s description of the principle literally (as I think many do), it does not hold in any general sense. In addition, I explore a separate notion of Composition of Causes and note that it too does not hold in (...) elementary classical mechanics. Among the major morals is that there is no utility to describing classical mechanics in terms of Composition of Causes. This is both because the stated principles do not hold and because when one describes what actually does hold in classical mechanics in terms of the Composition of Causes, one introduces misleading associations that can generate errors just as claimed by Russell (Mysticism and logic, 1981). (shrink)
Cartwright attempts to argue from an analysis of the composition of forces, and more generally the composition of laws, to the conclusion that laws must be regarded as false. A response to Cartwright is developed which contends that properly understood composition poses no threat to the truth of laws, even though agreeing with Cartwright that laws do not satisfy the "facticity" requirement. My analysis draws especially on the work of Creary, Bhaskar, Mill, and points towards a general (...) rejection of Cartwright's view that laws, especially fundamental laws, should be seen as false. (shrink)
In this work I first develop, motivate, and defend the view that mereological composition, the relation between an object and all its parts collectively, is a relation of identity. I argue that this view implies and hence can explain the logical necessity of classical mereology, the formal study of the part-whole relation. I then critically discuss four contemporary views of the same kind. Finally, I employ my thesis in a recent discussion of whether the world is fundamentally one in (...) number. (shrink)
Orthodoxy has it that mereological composition can never be a vague matter, for if it were, then existence would sometimes be a vague matter too, and that's impossible. I accept that vague composition implies vague existence, but deny that either is impossible. In this paper I develop degree-theoretic versions of quantified modal logic and of mereology, and combine them in a framework that allows us to make clear sense of vague composition and vague existence, and the relationships (...) between them. (shrink)
Wittgenstein's 'Prototractatus' raises difficult textual questions concerning both its structure and the date of its composition. I provide an account of the structure of the 'Prototractatus' by investigating the hitherto unexplored connections between it and other early Wittgenstein manuscripts. I then consider the two most influential proposals on its date of composition, made by von Wright and McGuinness, and argue that neither of them stands up to scrutiny. I make an alternative suggestion, and discuss its implications for the (...) significance of the 'Prototractatus' in the study of Wittgenstein's early philosophy. -/- . (shrink)
Whether certain objects compose a whole at a given time does not seem to depend on anything other than the character of those objects and the relations between them. This observation suggests a far-reaching constraint on theories of composition. One version of the constraint has been explicitly adopted by van Inwagen and rules out his own answer to the composition question. The constraint also rules out the other well-known moderate answers that have so far been proposed.
We examine the key elements of board diversity (or heterogeneity) amongst listed companies operating in an emerging economy (Mauritius) and the extent to which these influence financial performance. Specifically, we ask whether there is evidence of tangible benefits in pursuing a strategy of board diversity in terms of gender-, age-, educational background and independence in a corporate context which has long been dominated by family-led and ‘closed’ boardrooms. In light of recent corporate governance developments which appear to foster greater diversity, (...) we examine data from the 2007 annual reports of all 42 companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius. We find that (i) women remain poorly represented on boards (ii) there is a relatively satisfactory level of heterogeneity in terms of educational background, age and independence in relation to developed countries. We also find significant regression coefficients for all four variables in terms of their impact on short-term performance. However, these relationships are characterised by both negative and positive impacts thereby leading to discussions on the validity of a strict heterogeneous or homogeneous board composition in the context of a developing economy. (shrink)
Whether certain objects compose a whole at a given time does not seem to depend on anything other than the character of those objects and the relations between them. This observation suggests a far-reaching constraint on theories of composition. One version of the constraint has been explicitly adopted by van Inwagen and rules out his own answer to the composition question. The constraint also rules out the other well-known moderate answers that have so far been proposed.
John Stuart Mill proposed that all policy precepts, be they in the areas of morality or prudence or aesthetics, are all subordinate to the precepts of the Art of Life. The value which he assumes in defining the Art of Life is the Principle of Utility. This principle, being normative rather than fact, can admit of no proof based solely on deductive inference. Yet Mill proposed considerations that he believed capable of rationally persuading one to accept his principle as the (...) basic principle for the Art of Life. This paper aims to evaluate this argument. In particular, it tries to show that a crucial step, often thought to be a logical howler, is not to be so simply dismissed. It is shown that if one accepts certain theses from Mill's philosophy of science and of social science, concerning the composition of causes, then the crucial step is fully justified. It is also suggested that these theses of Mill's philosophy of science are mistaken. So Mill's proof of utility is, after all, unsound, but the reconstruction proposed shows it to be much more plausible and much more philosophically interesting than is often thought. (shrink)
Non Arbitrariness Of Composition delivers a general and principled answer to the Special Composition Question. Horgan also embraces the extension of particularism into the domain of ontology.But particularism as meta-ontological guideline denies applicability of any general principles. So Horgan'soverall meta-ontological project both invites and rejects generality. The resulting tension may be aufgehoben however if the distinction is made between ontological commitments and their accompanying principles at the levels of ultimate and regional ontology.
The development of explicit theories of dynamic context change has led to a fundamentally new perspective on the interpretation of discourse. In this paper I show that this development also opens up the possibility of approaching subclausal composition along similar lines. More specifically, I argue that a dynamic theory where type-driven rules apply directly to overt surface structures and fill in missing information by building anaphoric bridges is more faithful to natural language semantics than the classical Montagovian approach.
Although they might not express themselves in quite this way, non-philosophers tend to think that mereological composition is a vague matter : sometimes it occurs, sometimes it does not, and sometimes it sort of occurs. For example, when I am building a boat, at ﬁrst the timbers that I have acquired for the job do not jointly compose an entity; in the end they do—they compose the boat that I have built; and in between they sort of or more (...) or less or to some extent compose an entity, which in turn sort of or more or less or to some extent exists—this entity being the boat I am building. This idea seems innocuous enough. However, the orthodox view amongst philosophers is that composition can never be a vague matter, because vague composition entails vague existence (the common-sense view agrees with this step), and vague existence is impossible if not nonsensical. Let us call the following the ‘orthodox argument’. (shrink)
Using agency theory, this study empirically examined the relationship between board composition and corporate philanthropy. Generally, the ratio of insiders to outsiders, the percentage of insider stock ownership, and the proportion of female and minority board members were found to be positively and significantly associated with firms'' charitable contributions.
Apoptosis proteins play an essential role in regulating a balance between cell proliferation and death. The successful prediction of subcellular localization of apoptosis proteins directly from primary sequence is much benefited to understand programmed cell death and drug discovery. In this paper, by use of Chou’s pseudo amino acid composition (PseAAC), a total of 317 apoptosis proteins are predicted by support vector machine (SVM). The jackknife cross-validation is applied to test predictive capability (...) of proposed method. The predictive results show that overall prediction accuracy is 91.1% which is higher than previous methods. Furthermore, another dataset containing 98 apoptosis proteins is examined by proposed method. The overall predicted successful rate is 92.9%. (shrink)
We consider algebras on binary relations with two main operators: relational composition and dynamic negation. Relational composition has its standard interpretation, while dynamic negation is an operator familiar to students of Dynamic Predicate Logic (DPL) (Groenendijk and Stokhof, 1991): given a relation R its dynamic negation R is a test that contains precisely those pairs (s,s) for which s is not in the domain of R. These two operators comprise precisely the propositional part of DPL.This paper contains a (...) finite equational axiomatization for these dynamic relation algebras. The completenessresult uses techniques from modal logic. We also lookat the variety generated by the class of dynamic relation algebras and note that there exist nonrepresentable algebras in this variety, ones which cannot be construedas spaces of relations. These results are also proved for an extension to a signature containing atomic tests and union. (shrink)
The paper presents a way to transform pregroup grammars into contextfree grammars using functional composition. The same technique can also be used for the proof-nets of multiplicative cyclic linear logic and for Lambek calculus allowing empty premises.
van der Velde's &de Kamps's neural blackboard architecture is similar to “activation trace diagrams” (Clancey 1999), which represent how categories are temporally related as neural activations in parallel-hierarchical compositions. Examination of other comprehension examples suggests that a given syntactic categorization (structure assembly) can be incorporated in different ways within an open composition by different kinds of anchoring relations (delay assemblies). Anchors are categorizations, too, so they cannot be reused until their containing construction is completed (bindings are resolved).
In this paper we introduced various classes of weakly associative relation algebras with polyadic composition operations. Among them is the class RWA of representable weakly associative relation algebras with polyadic composition operations. Algebras of this class are relativized representable relation algebras augmented with an infinite set of operations of increasing arity which are generalizations of the binary relative composition. We show that RWA is a canonical variety whose equational theory is decidable.
In this paper we investigate composition models of incarnation, according to which Christ is a compound of qualitatively and numerically different constituents. We focus on three-part models, according to which Christ is composed of a divine mind, a human mind, and a human body. We consider four possible relational structures that the three components could form. We argue that a ’hierarchy of natures’ model, in which the human mind and body are united to each other in the normal way, (...) and in which they are jointly related to the divine mind by the relation of coaction, is the most metaphysically plausible model. Finally, we consider the problem of how Christ can be a single person even when his components may be considered persons. We argue that an Aristotelian metaphysics, according to which identity is a matter of function, offers a plausible solution: Christ’s components may acquire a radically new identity through being parts of the whole, which enables them to be reidentified as p. (shrink)
Are Fregean thoughts compositionally complex and composed of senses? We argue that, in Begriffsschrift, Frege took 'conceptual contents' to be unstructured, but that he quickly moved away from this position, holding just two years later that conceptual contents divide of themselves into 'function' and 'argument'. This second position is shown to be unstable, however, by Frege's famous substitution puzzle. For Frege, the crucial question the puzzle raises is why "The Morning Star is a planet" and "The Evening Star is a (...) planet" have different contents, but his second position predicts that they should have the same content. Frege's response to this antinomy is of course to distinguish sense from reference, but what has not previously been noticed is that this response also requires thoughts to be compositionally complex, composed of senses. That, however, raises the question just how thoughts are composed from senses. We reconstruct a Fregean answer, one that turns on an insistence that this question must be understood as semantic rather than metaphysical. It is not a question about the intrinsic nature of residents of the third realm but a question about how thoughts are expressed by sentences. (shrink)
Mereological Nihilism is the thesis that no material object has proper parts; every material object is a simple. Recent developments in plural semantics have made it possible to develop and motivate this position. In particular, some have argued that the tools of plural reference and quantification enable us to systematically paraphrase true statements apparently about composites into statements that only concern simples. Are composites really surplus to philosophical requirements? Given the resources of plural semantics, what must the world be like (...) if composites are to be theoretically indispensable? I will describe and defend the possibility of scenario in which mention of composites cannot be paraphrased. We will therefore come to appreciate one way in which the world would have to be in order for composites to be required and for Nihilism to fail. (shrink)
The paper is an extended discussion of what I call the ‘dismissive attitude’ towards metaphysical questions. It has three parts. In the first part, I distinguish three quite different versions of dismissivism. I also argue that there is little reason to think that any of these positions is correct about the discipline of metaphysics as a whole; it is entirely possible that some metaphysical disputes should be dismissed and others should not be. Doing metametaphysics properly requires doing metaphysics first. I (...) then put two particular disputes on the table to be examined in the rest of the paper: the dispute over whether composite objects exist, and the dispute about whether distinct objects can be colocated. In the second part of the paper, I argue against the claim that these disputes are purely verbal disputes. In the third part of the paper, I present a new version of dismissivism, and argue that it is probably the correct view about the two disputes in question. They are not verbal disputes, and the discussion about them to date has not remotely been a waste of time. At this stage, however, our evidence has run out. I argue that neither side of either dispute is simpler than the other, and that the same objections in fact arise against both sides. (For example, the compositional nihilist does not in fact escape the problem of the many, and the one-thinger does not in fact escape the grounding problem.). (shrink)
Traditionally, the structure of a language is revealed by constructing an appropriate theory of meaning for that language, which exhibits how – and whether – the meaning of sentences in the language depends upon the meaning of their parts. In this paper, I argue that whether – and how – what pictures represent depends on what their parts represent should likewise by revealed by the construction of appropriate theories of representation for the symbol system of those pictures. This generalisation, I (...) argue, reveals a much cited disanalogy between depiction and description is illusory: the structure of pictures, like language, is compositional. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to offer a compositional semantics for subjunctive and indicative will conditionals, and to derive the projection properties of the types of conditionals we consider and in particular those of counterfactual conditionals. It is argued that subjunctive conditionals are "bare" conditional embedded under temporal and aspectural operators, which constrain the interpretation of the modal operators in the embedded conditional. Furthermore, it is argued that a theory of presupposition projection à la Heim together with the present (...) proposal about their logical form explains the projection facts. (shrink)
This paper argues that multiple coordinations like tall, thin and happy are interpreted in a “ﬂat” iterative process, but using “nested” recursive application of binary coordination operators in the compositional meaning derivation. Ample motivation for ﬂat interpretation is shown by contrasting such coordinations with nested, syntactically ambiguous, coordinate structures like tall and thin and happy. However, new evidence coming from type shifting and predicate distribution with verb phrases show motivation for an independent hierarchical ingredient in the compositional semantics of multiple (...) coordination with no parallel hierarchy in the syntax. This establishes a contrast between operations at the syntax-semantics interface and compositional semantic mechanisms. At the same time, such evidence motivate the treatment of operations like type shifting and distributivity as purely semantic. (shrink)
Key ingredients in discourse meaning are reference markers: objects in the formal representation that the discourse is about. It is well-known that reference markers are not like ﬁrst order variables. Indeed, it is the received view that reference markers are like the variables in imperative programming languages. However, in a computational semantics of discourse that treats reference markers as ‘dynamically bound’ variables, every noun phrase will get linked to a dynamic variable, so it will give rise to a marker index. (...) Where do these indices come from? How do we handle them when combining (or ‘merging’) pieces of discourse? We will argue that reference markers are better treated as indices into context, and we will present a theory of context and context extension based on this view. In context semantics, noun phrases do not come with ﬁxed indices, so the merge problem does not arise. This solves a vexing issue with coordination that causes trouble for all current versions of compositional discourse representation theory. (shrink)
Day 3 of advanced course on "Crosslinguistic compositional semantics" at 2009 LSA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. Plan for the day: (a) Introduction: Toward sun-sem typology (b) CCG+UC1 fragment of Kalaallisut, (c) Kalaallisut BA.TO.L-traits explained.
This article presents the findings from an exploratory empirical research investigation that assessed the content of selected Board Charters for 118 publicly traded companies listed on the TSX/S&P Composite Index. The Board Charter is considered to be the starting point in a Board's quest for creating a state of good governance within its organisation. However, the specific content of what a Board Charter actually contains has largely remained a mystery. The current study, therefore, was designed to identify what a typical (...) Board Charter looks like as well as determine the frequency with which various Board Charter elements are contained in them. Interestingly, this is the first study of its kind to shed light on the nature and content of this often confidential document which has only recently come into greater use. (shrink)
Recently, some mechanists have embraced reductionism and some reductionists have endorsed mechanism. However, the two camps disagree sharply about the extent to which mechanistic explanation is a reductionistic enterprise. Reductionists maintain that cellular and molecular mechanisms can explain mental phenomena without necessary appeal to higher-level mechanisms. Mechanists deny this claim. I argue that this dispute turns on whether reduction is a transitive relation. I show that it is. Therefore, mechanistic explanations at the cellular and molecular level explain mental phenomena. I (...) make my case in part by noting that mechanisms at higher levels are composed of mechanisms at lower levels. Compositional relations are transitive. In addition, they are explanatory. I conclude that there are explanatory linkages from cellular and molecular mechanisms to mental phenomena within a hierarchy of nested mechanisms. (shrink)
Region R Question: How many objects — entities, things — are contained in R? Ignore the empty space. Our question might better be put, 'How many material objects does R contain?' Let's stipulate that A, B and C are metaphysical atoms: absolutely simple entities with no parts whatsoever besides themselves. So you don't have to worry about counting a particle's top half and bottom half as different objects. Perhaps they are 'point-particles', with no length, width or breadth. Perhaps they are (...) extended in space without possessing spatial parts (if that is possible). Never mind. We stipulate that A, B and C are perfectly simple. We also stipulate that they are connected as follows. A and B are stuck together in such a way that when a force is applied to one of them, they move together 'as a unit'. Moreover, the two of them together exhibit behavior that neither would exhibit on its own — Perhaps they emit a certain sound, or glow in the dark — whereas C is.. (shrink)
Some have it that wholes are, somehow, identical to their parts. This doctrine is as alluring as it is puzzling. But in this paper, I show that the doctrine is inconsistent with two widely accepted theses. Something has to go.
ABSTRACT. In this paper I propose a defense of a posteriori materialism. Prob- lems with a posteriori identity materialism are identi?ed, and a materialism based on composition, not identity, is proposed. The main task for such a proposal is to account for the relation between physical and phenomenal properties. Compos- ition does not seem to be ?t as a relation between properties, but I offer a peculiar way to understand property-composition, based on some recent ideas in the literature (...) on ontology. Finally, I propose a materialist model for the mind-body relation that is able to resist the attack from conceivability arguments. (shrink)
SURVEYS (a) David Lewis, Parts of Classes (Blackwell, Oxford, 1991), §§3.4–3.6 (pp. 72–87) (b) Achille Varzi, ‘Mereology’, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http:// plato.stanford.edu/entries/mereology/. (c) Michael C. Rea (ed.), Material Constitu- tion (Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD, 1997), esp. the introduction. (d) van Cleve and Markosian, ‘Mereology’, Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne, and Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics (Blackwell, Oxford, 2007), ch. 8, pp. 319–63. (e) Peter M. Simons, Parts: A Study in Ontology (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1987).
How do reasons combine? How is it that several reasons taken together can have a combined weight which exceeds the weight of any one alone? I propose an answer in mereological terms: reasons combine by composing a further, complex reason of which they are parts. Their combined weight is the weight of their combination. I develop a mereological framework, and use this to investigate some structural views about reasons, the main two being "Atomism" and "Holism". Atomism is the view that (...) atomic reasons are fundamental: all reasons reduce to atomic reasons. Holism is the view that whole reasons are fundamental. I argue for Holism, and against Atomism. I also consider whether reasons might be "context-sensitive". (shrink)
In this paper I offer a counterexample to the so called vagueness argument against restricted composition. This will be done in the lines of a recent suggestion by Trenton Merricks, namely by challenging the claim that there cannot be a sharp cut-off point in a composition sequence. It will be suggested that causal powers which emerge when composition occurs can serve as an indicator of such sharp cut-off points. The main example will be the case of a (...) heap. It seems that heaps might provide a very plausible counterexample to the vagueness argument if we accept the idea that four grains of sand is the least number required to compose a heap—the case has been supported by W. D. Hart. My purpose here is not to put forward a new theory of composition, I only wish to refute the vagueness argument and point out that we should be wary of arguments of its form. (shrink)
Suppose we take a pound of gold and mold it into the shape of Hermes. Then, it would seem, we shall have a golden statue of Hermes, beautiful to behold. We shall also have a lump of gold. And we have the makings of a well-known philosophical puzzle. Many people find it obvious that if we crushed the statue or melted it down, we should destroy the statue but not the lump of gold. The lump can be deformed and still (...) continue to exist, but the statue cannot; that is the nature of lumps and statues. So the lump can outlive the statue. Since nothing can outlive itself, it is natural to conclude that the one-pound gold statue and the one-pound lump of gold in our example are numerically different. And as statues are to lumps, they say, so are brick houses to heaps of bricks, living organisms to masses of matter, and people to their bodies. More generally, certain atoms (or elementary particles or what have you) often compose two numerically different material objects at once. To put it another way, two different material objects may have all the same proper parts (the same parts except themselves) at once.  Because of its many defenders and its intuitive attraction, I will call this the Popular View about lumps and statues and other familiar material objects. (shrink)
In the recent debate on the semantic/pragmatic divide, Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore (2005) on the one hand, and Fran¸ cois Recanati (2004) on the other, occupy almost diametrically opposed positions as regards the role of semantics for communication, while largely agreeing on important features of pragmatics. According to Cappelen and Lepore (CL), semantic context sensitivity of natural language sentences is restricted to what is determined by a particular minimal set of canonically context sensitive expressions. If you try to go (...) beyond that set, as has often been done in recent semantic theories, to reach a position of moderate contextualism, your reasons will force you to the much more extreme position of radical contextualism. That is CL’s instability thesis. They argue for it by means of a number of examples intended to illustrate how you are off on a slippery slope if you admit any context sensitivity beyond the basic one. If radical contextualism is true, systematic semantics is not possible, since, according to CL, there cannot be any systematic theory of speech act content. The one exception is that whatever is said by the utterance of a sentence, its minimally context dependent content is part of it. (shrink)
Trinitarians claim there are three Divine persons each of which is God, and yet there is only one God. It seems they want three to equal one. It just so happens, some metaphysicians claim exactly that. They accept Composition as Identity: each fusion is identical to the plurality of its parts. I evaluate Composition as Identity's application to the doctrine of the Trinity, and argue that it fails to give the Trinitairan any options he or she didn't already (...) have. Further, while Composition as Identity does give us a new way to assert polytheism, its help requires us to endorse a claim that undercuts any Trinitarian motivation for the view. (shrink)
In the recent debate on the semantic/pragmatic divide, Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore (2005) on the one hand, and Fran¸cois Recanati (2004) on the other, occupy almost diametrically opposed positions as regards the role of semantics for communication, while largely agreeing on important features of pragmatics. According to Cappelen and Lepore (CL), semantic context sensitivity of natural language sentences is restricted to what is determined by a particular minimal set of canonically context sensitive expressions. If you try to go beyond (...) that set, as has often been done in recent semantic theories, to reach a position of moderate contextualism, your reasons will force you to the much more extreme position of radical contextualism. That is CL’s instability thesis. They argue for it by means of a number of examples intended to illustrate how you are off on a slippery slope if you admit any context sensitivity beyond the basic one. If radical contextualism is true, systematic semantics is not possible, since, according to CL, there cannot be any systematic theory of speech act content. The one exception is that whatever is said by the utterance of a sentence, its minimally context dependent content is part of it. Precisely this is denied by Recanati. Not only is this “minimal proposition” not part of speech act content. The minimal proposition plays no.. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to defend the causal homogeneity of functional, mental properties against Kim’s attack. It is argued that (a) token identity is sufficient for mental causation, that (b) token identity implies a sort of functional reduction, but that (c) nonetheless functional, mental properties can be causally homogeneous despite being multiply realizable: multiple composition is sufficient for multiple realizability, but multiple composition does not prevent the realizers from having their pertinent effects in common. Thus, the (...) causal exclusion problem provides no argument for abandoning the position that there are functional, mental properties that are natural kind properties. (shrink)