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  1. Persistence and Coincidence.Raul Saucedo - manuscript
    Four-dimensionalists claim that their take on the temporal versions of the puzzles of coincidence favors their view over three-dimensionalism. In this paper I argue otherwise. In particular, I argue that the four-dimensionalist’s treatment of such puzzles doesn’t give her an edge over so-called `standard theorists’, i.e. three-dimensionalists according to whom there are distinct material objects that coincide at some time. I look at two ways in which the dispute between four-dimensionalists and standard theorists might be construed. First, as an issue (...)
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  2. Common Sense and Relativistic Supercoincidence.Yuri Balashov - forthcoming - In Scientific Challenges to Common Sense Philosophy. London, UK:
    Debates about material coincidence tend to start with common-sense intuitions but quickly leave them behind and lead to highly problematic conclusions. Reconciling the latter with common sense is the next stage in the process, which often requires revision of some of the initial beliefs and has been used to adjudicate many rather abstract and technical proposals in the metaphysics of composition and persistence, ranging from natural (constitutionalism) to radical (nihilism). -/- I have no disagreement with this overall strategy: theories do (...)
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  3. Ontology and Arbitrariness.David Builes - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    In many different ontological debates, anti-arbitrariness considerations push one towards two opposing extremes. For example, in debates about mereology, one may be pushed towards a maximal ontology (mereological universalism) or a minimal ontology (mereological nihilism), because any intermediate view seems objectionably arbitrary. However, it is usually thought that anti-arbitrariness considerations on their own cannot decide between these maximal or minimal views. I will argue that this is a mistake. Anti-arbitrariness arguments may be used to motivate a certain popular thesis in (...)
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  4. Quasi-Supplementation, Plenitudinous Coincidentalism, and Gunk.Cody Gilmore - forthcoming - In Robert Garcia (ed.), Substance: New Essays. Philosophia Verlag.
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  5. The Lump and the Ledger: Material Coincidence at Little-to-No Cost.Jonah Goldwater - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    This paper aims to make headway on two related issues—one methodological, the other substantive. The former concerns cost–benefit analyses when applied to metaphysical theory choice. The latter concerns material coincidence, i.e., multiple objects occupying the same space at the same time, such as the statue and the clay from which it’s made. The issues are entwined as many reject coincidence on the grounds that it’s costly. I argue this judgment is unjustified. More generally, I set out and defend a framework (...)
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  6. Nominalism and Material Plenitude.Uriah Kriegel - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (1):89-112.
    The idea of “material plenitude” has been gaining traction in recent discussions of the metaphysics of material objects. My main goal here is to show that this idea may have important dialectical implications for the metaphysics of properties – more specifically, that it provides nominalists with new resources in their attempt to reject an ontology of universals. I will recapitulate one of the main arguments against nominalism – due to David Armstrong – and show how plenitude helps the nominalist overcome (...)
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  7. How to Solve the Puzzle of Dion and Theon Without Losing Your Head.Chad Carmichael - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):205-224.
    The ancient puzzle of Dion and Theon has given rise to a surprising array of apparently implausible views. For example, in order to solve the puzzle, several philosophers have been led to deny the existence of their own feet, others have denied that objects can gain and lose parts, and large numbers of philosophers have embraced the thesis that distinct objects can occupy the same space, having all their material parts in common. In this paper, I argue for an alternative (...)
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  8. Varieties of Plenitude.Maegan Fairchild - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (3).
    Material Plenitude is the view that there is an abundance of coincident objects wherever there is any material object. Although plenitude has garnered increased attention from metaphysicians in recent years, it has yet to be well‐understood beyond its slogan from. The goal of this article is to explore a few places for puzzlement about plenitude; in particular, how we ought to motivate and formulate the target view. I'll suggest along the way that an investigation of plenitude is not merely of (...)
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  9. Why compositional nihilism dissolves puzzles.Holly Kantin - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4319-4340.
    One of the main motivations for compositional nihilism, the view that there are no composite material objects, concerns the many puzzles and problems associated with them. Nihilists claim that eliminating composites provides a unified solution to a slew of varied, difficult problems. However, numerous philosophers have questioned whether this is really so. While nihilists clearly avoid the usual, composite-featuring formulations of the puzzles, the concern is that the commitments that generate the problems are not eliminated along with composites. If this (...)
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  10. Constitution and Dependence.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (3):150-177.
    Constitution is the relation that holds between an object and what it is made of: statues are constituted by the lumps of matter they coincide with; flags, one may think, are constituted by colored pieces of cloth; and perhaps human persons are constituted by biological organisms. Constitution is often thought to be a.
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  11. Strong Pluralism, Coincident Objects and Haecceitism.Karol Lenart & Artur Szachniewicz - 2020 - Axiomathes 30 (4):347-370.
    According to strong pluralism, objects distinct by virtue of their modal properties can coincide. The most common objection towards such view invokes the so-called Grounding Problem according to which the strong pluralist needs to explain what the grounds are for supposed modal differences between the coincidents. As recognized in the literature, the failure to provide an answer to the Grounding Problem critically undermines the plausibility of strong pluralism. Moreover, there are strong reasons to believe that strong pluralists cannot provide an (...)
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  12. Perdurantism, Fecklessness and the Veil of Ignorance.Michael Tze-Sung Longenecker - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2565-2576.
    There has been a growing charge that perdurantism—with its bloated ontology of very person-like objects that coincide persons—implies the repugnant conclusion that we are morally obliged to be feckless. I argue that this charge critically overlooks the epistemic situation—what I call the ‘veil of ignorance’—that perdurantists find themselves in. Though the veil of ignorance still requires an alteration of our commonsense understanding of the demands on action, I argue for two conclusions. The first is that the alteration that is required (...)
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  13. Some Highs and Lows of Hylomorphism: On a Paradox About Property Abstraction.Teresa Robertson Ishii & Nathan Salmón - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1549-1563.
    We defend hylomorphism against Maegan Fairchild’s purported proof of its inconsistency. We provide a deduction of a contradiction from SH+, which is the combination of “simple hylomorphism” and an innocuous premise. We show that the deduction, reminiscent of Russell’s Paradox, is proof-theoretically valid in classical higher-order logic and invokes an impredicatively defined property. We provide a proof that SH+ is nevertheless consistent in a free higher-order logic. It is shown that the unrestricted comprehension principle of property abstraction on which the (...)
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  14. The Limits of Neo‐Aristotelian Plenitude.Joshua Spencer - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (1):74-92.
    Neo‐Aristotelian Plenitude is the thesis that, necessarily, any property that could be had essentially by something or other is had essentially by something or other if and only if and because it is instantiated; any essentializable property is essentialized iff and because it is instantiated. In this paper, I develop a partial nonmodal characterization of ‘essentializable' and show it cannot be transformed into a full characterization. There are several seemingly insurmountable obstacles that any full characterization of essentializability must overcome. Moreover, (...)
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  15. Weak Location.Antony Eagle - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (1-2):149-181.
    Recently, many philosophers have been interested in using locative relations to clarify and pursue debates in the metaphysics of material objects. Most begin with the relation of exact location. But what if we begin instead with the relation known as weak location – the relation an object x bears to any region not completely bereft of x? I explore some of the consequences of pursuing this route for issues including coincidence, extended simples, and endurance, with an eye to evaluating the (...)
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  16. The Barest Flutter of the Smallest Leaf: Understanding Material Plenitude.Maegan Fairchild - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (2):143-178.
    According to material plenitude, every material object coincides with an abundance of other material objects that differ in the properties they have essentially and accidentally. Although this kind of plenitude is becoming increasingly popular, it isn't clear how to make sense of the view beyond its slogan form. As I argue, it turns out to be extraordinarily difficult to do so: straightforward attempts are either inconsistent or fail to capture the target idea. Making progress requires us to engage in more (...)
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  17. How Groups Persist.August Faller - 2019 - Synthese:1-15.
    How do groups of people persist through time? Groups can change their members, locations, and structure. In this paper, I present puzzles of persistence applied to social groups. I first argue that four-dimensional theories better explain the context sensitivity of how groups persist. I then exploit two unique features of the social to argue for the stage theory of group persistence in particular. First, fusion and fission cases actually happen to social groups, and so cannot be marginalized as “pathological.” Second, (...)
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  18. Material Objects and Essential Bundle Theory.Stephen Barker & Mark Jago - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):2969-2986.
    In this paper we present a new metaphysical theory of material objects. On our theory, objects are bundles of property instances, where those properties give the nature or essence of that object. We call the theory essential bundle theory. Property possession is not analysed as bundle-membership, as in traditional bundle theories, since accidental properties are not included in the object’s bundle. We have a different story to tell about accidental property possession. This move reaps many benefits. Essential bundle theory delivers (...)
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  19. Physicalism and the Sortalist Conception of Objects.Jonah Goldwater - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5497-5519.
    The central claim of this paper is that the Aristotelian metaphysics of objects is incompatible with physicalism. This includes the contemporary variant of Aristotelianism I call ‘sortalism’. The core reason is that an object’s identity as an instance of a (natural) kind, as well as its consequent persistence conditions, is neither physically fundamental nor determined by what is physically fundamental. The argument for the latter appeals to what is commonly known as ‘the grounding problem’; in particular I argue that the (...)
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  20. Towards a Hylomorphic Solution to the Grounding Problem.Kathrin Koslicki - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements to Philosophy 82:333-364.
    Concrete particular objects (e.g., living organisms) figure saliently in our everyday experience as well as our in our scientific theorizing about the world. A hylomorphic analysis of concrete particular objects holds that these entities are, in some sense, compounds of matter (hūlē) and form (morphē or eidos). The Grounding Problem asks why an object and its matter (e.g., a statue and the clay that constitutes it) can apparently differ with respect to certain of their properties (e.g., the clay’s ability to (...)
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  21. Form, Matter, Substance.Kathrin Koslicki - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    In _Form, Matter, Substance_, Kathrin Koslicki defends a hylomorphic analysis of concrete particular objects (e.g., living organisms). The Aristotelian doctrine of hylomorphism holds that those entities that fall under it are compounds of matter (hulē) and form (morphē or eidos). Koslicki argues that a hylomorphic analysis of concrete particular objects is well-equipped to compete with alternative approaches when measured against a wide range of criteria of success. A successful application of the doctrine of hylomorphism to the special case of concrete (...)
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  22. Non-Concrete Parts of Material Objects.Michael Longenecker - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):5091-5111.
    This article offers a novel solution to the problem of material constitution: by including non-concrete objects among the parts of material objects, we can avoid having a statue and its constituent piece of clay composed of all the same proper parts. Non-concrete objects—objects that aren’t concrete, but possibly are—have been used in defense of the claim that everything necessarily exists. But the account offered shows that non-concreta are independently useful in other domains as well. The resulting view falls under a (...)
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  23. Kind‐Dependent Grounding.Alex Moran - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):359-390.
    Are grounding claims fully general in character? If an object a is F in virtue of being G, does it follow that anything that’s G is F for that reason? According to the thesis of Weak Formality, the answer here is ‘yes’. In this paper, however, I argue that there is philosophical utility in rejecting this thesis. More exactly, I argue that two currently unresolved problems in contemporary metaphysics can be dealt with if we hold that there can be cases (...)
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  24. The Double Lives of Objects: An Essay in the Metaphysics of the Ordinary World. [REVIEW]Michael J. Raven - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (1):140-144.
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  25. Mereological Nihilism and Puzzles About Material Objects.Bradley Rettler - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):842-868.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that no objects have proper parts. Despite how counter‐intuitive it is, it is taken quite seriously, largely because it solves a number of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects – or so its proponents claim. In this article, I show that for every puzzle that mereological nihilism solves, there is a similar puzzle that (a) it doesn’t solve, and (b) every other solution to the original puzzle does solve. Since the solutions to the new (...)
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  26. Contrast and Constitution.Peter van Elswyk - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):158-174.
    The pluralist about material constitution maintains that a lump of clay is not identical with the statue it constitutes. Although pluralism strikes many as extravagant by requiring distinct things to coincide, it can be defended with a simple argument. The monist is less well off. Typically, she has to argue indirectly for her view by finding problems with the pluralist's extravagance. This paper offers a direct argument for monism that illustrates how monism about material constitution is rooted in commonsense as (...)
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  27. A Paradox of Matter and Form.Maegan Fairchild - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):33-42.
    In the face of the puzzles of material constitution, some philosophers have been moved to posit a distinction between an object's matter and its form. A familiar difficulty for contemporary hylomorphism is to say which properties are eligible as forms: for example, it seems that it would be intolerably arbitrary to say that being statue shaped is embodied by some material object, but that other complex shape properties aren't. Anti-arbitrariness concerns lead quickly to a plenitudinous ontology. The usual complaint is (...)
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  28. Causes and Counterparts.Alex Kaiserman - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):17-28.
    It follows from David Lewis's counterpart-theoretic analysis of modality and his counterfactual theory of causation that causal claims are relativized to a set of counterpart relations. Call this Shlewis's view. I show how Shlewis's view can provide attractively unified solutions to similar modal and causal puzzles. I then argue that Shlewis's view is better motivated, by his own lights, than the view Lewis actually held, and also better motivated than a similar approach which relativizes causal claims to sets of ‘contrast (...)
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  29. Material Constitution is Ad Hoc.Jeroen Smid - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (2):305-325.
    The idea that two objects can coincide—by sharing all their proper parts, or matter—yet be non-identical, results in the “Problem of Coincident Objects”: in what relation do objects stand if they are not identical but share all their proper parts? One solution is to introduce material constitution. In this paper, I argue that this is ad hoc since, first, this solution cannot be generalized to solve similar problems, and, second, there are pseudo cases of coincidence that should not trigger the (...)
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  30. Are The Statue and The Clay Mutual Parts?Lee Walters - 2017 - Noûs:23-50.
    Are a material object, such as a statue, and its constituting matter, the clay, parts of one another? One wouldn't have thought so, and yet a number of philosophers have argued that they are. I review the arguments for this surprising claim showing how they all fail. I then consider two arguments against the view concluding that there are both pre-theoretical and theoretical considerations for denying that the statue and the clay are mutual parts.
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  31. Essence and the Grounding Problem.Mark Jago - 2016 - In Reality Making. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 99-120.
    Pluralists about coincident entities say that distinct entities may be spatially coincident throughout their entire existence. The most pressing issue they face is the grounding problem. They say that coincident entities may differ in their persistence conditions and in the sortals they fall under. But how can they differ in these ways, given that they share all their microphysical properties? What grounds those differences, if not their microphysical properties? Do those differences depend only on the way we conceptualise those objects? (...)
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  32. Composition.Daniel Z. Korman & Chad Carmichael - 2016 - Oxford Handbooks Online.
    When some objects are the parts of another object, they compose that object and that object is composite. This article is intended as an introduction to the central questions about composition and a highly selective overview of various answers to those questions. In §1, we review some formal features of parthood that are important for understanding the nature of composition. In §2, we consider some answers to the question: which pluralities of objects together compose something? As we will see, the (...)
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  33. A Situationalist Solution to the Ship of Theseus Puzzle.Martin Pickup - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (5):973-992.
    This paper outlines a novel solution to the Ship of Theseus puzzle. The solution relies on situations, a philosophical tool used in natural language semantics among other places. The core idea is that what is true is always relative to the situation under consideration. I begin by outlining the problem before briefly introducing situations. I then present the solution: in smaller situations the candidate is identical to Theseus’s ship. But in larger situations containing both candidates these identities are neither true (...)
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  34. Coincidence: The Grounding Problem, Object-Specifying Principles, and Some Consequences.Alan Sidelle - 2016 - Philosophical Papers 45 (3):497-528.
    This paper lays out the basic structure of any view involving coincident entities, in the light of the grounding problem. While the account is not novel, I highlight fundamental features, to which attention is not usually properly drawn. With this in place, I argue for a number of further claims: The basic differences between coincident objects are modal differences, and any other differences between them need to be explained in terms of these differences. More specifically, the basic difference is not (...)
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  35. Asherah and Aphrodite: A Coincidence?Howard Jacobson - 2015 - Classical Quarterly 65 (1):355-356.
    It has long been known that there is a significant connection between Aphrodite and Semitic goddesses. In Walter Burkert's recent words, ‘Behind the figure of Aphrodite there clearly stands the ancient Semitic goddess of love, Ishtar-Astarte.’ This was already recognized by Herodotus and Philo of Byblos. I want here to note a curious and striking item of connection that has not been noticed.
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  36. Multiple Constitution.Nicholas K. Jones - 2015 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmer (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9. Oxford: OUP. pp. 217-261.
    This paper outlines a novel solution to the problem of the many and a conception of ordinary objects that implies it. The solution is that many collections of particles can simultaneously constitute a single object. The proposed conception of ordinary objects maintains that they are fundamentally subjects of change: the changes an object is able to survive explain its constitution.
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  37. A Grounding Solution to the Grounding Problem.Noël B. Saenz - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2193-2214.
    The statue and the lump of clay that constitutes it fail to share all of their kind and modal properties. Therefore, by Leibniz’s Law, the statue is not the lump. Question: What grounds the kind and modal differences between the statue and the lump? In virtue of what is it that the lump of clay, but not the statue, can survive being smashed? This is the grounding problem. Now a number of solutions to the grounding problem require that we substantially (...)
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  38. The Identity of a Material Thing and its Matter.Mahrad Almotahari - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):387-406.
    I have both a smaller and a larger aim. The smaller aim is polemical. Kit Fine believes that a material thing—a Romanesque statue, for example, or an open door—can be distinguished from its constituent matter—a piece of alloy, say, or a hunk of plastic—without recourse to modal or temporal considerations. The statue is Romanesque; the piece of alloy is not Romanesque. The door is open; the hunk of plastic is not open. I argue that these considerations, when combined with a (...)
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  39. Aquinas's Ontology of the Material World: Change, Hylomorphism, and Material Objects.Jeffrey E. Brower - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Jeffrey E. Brower presents and explains the hylomorphic conception of the material world developed by Thomas Aquinas, according to which material objects are composed of both matter and form. In addition to presenting and explaining Aquinas's views, Brower seeks wherever possible to bring them into dialogue with the best recent literature on related topics. Along the way, he highlights the contribution that Aquinas's views make to a host of contemporary metaphysical debates, including the nature of change, composition, material constitution, the (...)
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  40. Building Enduring Objects Out of Spacetime.Cody Gilmore - 2014 - In Claudio Calosi & Pierluigi Graziani (eds.), Mereology and the Sciences: Parts and Wholes in the Contemporary Scientific Context. Springer. pp. 5-34.
    Endurantism, the view that material objects are wholly present at each moment of their careers, is under threat from supersubstantivalism, the view that material objects are identical to spacetime regions. I discuss three compromise positions. They are alike in that they all take material objects to be composed of spacetime points or regions without being identical to any such point or region. They differ in whether they permit multilocation and in whether they generate cases of mereologically coincident entities.
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  41. Does Hylomorphism Offer a Distinctive Solution to the Grounding Problem?Alan Sidelle - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):397-404.
    The Aristotelian doctrine of hylomorphism has seen a recent resurgence of popularity, due to the work of a number of well-known and impressive philosophers. One of the recently motivating virtues claimed for the doctrine is its ability to solve the grounding problem for philosophers who believe in coinciding entities. In this brief article, I will argue that when fully spelled out, hylomorphism does not, in fact, contribute a distinctive solution to this problem. It is not that it offers no solution (...)
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  42. The Supervenience Solution to the Too-Many-Thinkers Problem.C. S. Sutton - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (257):619-639.
    Persons think. Bodies, time-slices of persons, and brains might also think. They have the necessary neural equipment. Thus, there seems to be more than one thinker in your chair. Critics assert that this is too many thinkers and that we should reject ontologies that allow more than one thinker in your chair. I argue that cases of multiple thinkers are innocuous and that there is not too much thinking. Rather, the thinking shared between, for example, persons and their bodies is (...)
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  43. Coincident Entities and Question-Begging Predicates: An Issue in Meta-Ontology.Francesco Berto - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (1):1-15.
    Meta-ontology (in van Inwagen's sense) concerns the methodology of ontology, and a controversial meta-ontological issue is to what extent ontology can rely on linguistic analysis while establishing the furniture of the world. This paper discusses an argument advanced by some ontologists (I call them unifiers) against supporters of or coincident entities (I call them multipliers) and its meta-ontological import. Multipliers resort to Leibniz's Law to establish that spatiotemporally coincident entities a and b are distinct, by pointing at a predicate F (...)
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  44. Locke's Principle is an Applicable Criterion of Identity.Rafael De Clercq - 2013 - Noûs 47 (4):697-705.
    According to Locke’s Principle, material objects are identical if and only if they are of the same kind and once occupy the same place at the same time. There is disagreement about whether this principle is true, but what is seldom disputed is that, even if true, the principle fails to constitute an applicable criterion of identity. In this paper, I take issue with two arguments that have been offered in support of this claim by arguing (i) that we can (...)
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  45. Heidegger's Metaphysics of Material Beings.Kris McDaniel - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):332-357.
    Heidegger distinguishes between things that are present-at-hand and things that are ready-to-hand. I argue that, in Heidegger, this distinction is between two sets of entities rather than between two ways of considering one and the same set of entities. I argue that Heidegger ascribes distinct temporal, essential, and phenomenological properties to these two different kinds of entities.
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  46. Biological-Mereological Coincidence.Judith K. Crane - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (2):309-325.
    This paper presents and defends an account of the coincidence of biological organisms with mereological sums of their material components. That is, an organism and the sum of its material components are distinct material objects existing in the same place at the same time. Instead of relying on historical or modal differences to show how such coincident entities are distinct, this paper argues that there is a class of physiological properties of biological organisms that their coincident mereological sums do not (...)
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  47. 8. Coincidence Through Thick and Thin.Sydney Shoemaker - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 7:227.
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  48. Colocated Objects, Tally-Ho: A Solution to the Grounding Problem.C. S. Sutton - 2012 - Mind 121 (483):703-730.
    Are a statue and the lump of clay that constitutes it one object or two? Many philosophers have answered ‘two’ because the lump seems to have properties, such as the property of being able to survive flattening, that the statue lacks. This answer faces a serious problem : it seems that nothing grounds the difference in properties between colocated objects. The statue and lump are in the same environment and inherit properties from the same composing parts. But it seems that (...)
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  49. Musical Materialism and the Inheritance Problem.Chris Tillman & J. Spencer - 2012 - Analysis 72 (2):252-259.
    Some hold that musical works are fusions of, or coincide with, their performances. But if performances contain wrong notes, won't works inherit that property? We say ‘no’.
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  50. Koslicki on Formal Proper Parts.K. Bennett - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):286-290.
    Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14850 kb383@cornell.eduWhat are motorcycles made of? Presumably the answer is something like ‘wheels, pistons, fuel lines …’ or perhaps ‘metal, leather, plastic …’. Whatever precisely the parts of a motorcycle are, surely they are all material. Kathrin Koslicki disagrees. She has recently argued that ordinary material objects like motorcycles not only have material proper parts, but also have formal proper parts . On her view, an accurate list of the proper parts of a motorcycle must include (...)
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