Material Objects

Edited by Noel Saenz (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
About this topic
Summary Material objects (basketballs, planets, buildings, tables, chairs, electrons, organisms, etc.) have proved philosophically fascinating. Though they might, at first, appear to be those kinds of objects that pose the least amount of philosophical trouble, puzzles and questions concerning their nature have proved just as interesting, and intractable, as puzzles and questions over abstract and non-existent objects. In this section, papers dealing with questions having to do with their existence, persistence, mereology, location, constitution, origin, modal features, mind-independence, grounding status, causal role, place in a quantum world and perceptibility can be found.
Key works For some key works on the existence, mereology, and constitution of material objects, see van Inwagen 1990, Merricks 2001, Rea 1997, Thomasson 2007 and Koslicki 2008. For some key works on the persistence, location, and modal features of material objects, see Heller 1990, Sider 2001 and Hawley 2001.
Introductions For a nice introduction on the philosophical issues surrounding ordinary material objects, see Korman 2011.
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  1. Sympathy for the Scientist: Re-Calibrating a Heideggerian Critique of Metaphysics.Jonathan Morgan - manuscript
    This paper attempts to develop an ethico-aesthetic framework for enriching one's life and ethical outlook. Drawing primarily from Nietzsche, Foucault, and Heidegger, an argument is made that Heidegger's understanding of this issue was mistaken. The ontological crisis of modernity is not the overt influence of mathematics as a worldview over poetics and more traditionally aesthetic approaches. It is the rampant mis-and over-application of abstraction within one's view of the world while denying the material realities of life as we live it. (...)
  2. Frames and the Ontology of Particular Objects.David Hommen - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    The theory of frames has recently been proposed as a universal format for knowledge representation in language, cognition and science. Frames represent categories as well as individual objects and events in terms of recursive attribute-value structures. In this paper, we would like to explore the potential ontological commitments of frame-based knowledge representations, with particular emphasis on the ontological status of the possessors of quality attributes in individual object frames. While not strictly incompatible with nominalistic, bundle- or substratum-theoretic approaches to the (...)
  3. Easy Ontology, Application Conditions and Infinite Regress.Andrew Brenner - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):605-614.
    In a number of recent publications Thomasson has defended a deflationary approach to ontological disputes, according to which ontological disputes are relatively easy to settle, by either conceptual analysis, or conceptual analysis in conjunction with empirical investigation. Thomasson’s “easy” approach to ontology is intended to derail many prominent ontological disputes. In this paper I present an objection to Thomasson’s approach to ontology. Thomasson’s approach to existence assertions means that she is committed to the view that application conditions associated with any (...)
  4. Toward Companion Objects.Anna Mudde - 2018 - PhaenEx 12 (2):59-80.
    In this paper, I take up Graham Harman’s critique of the philosophy of access as well as his proposed non-anthropocentric ontology, and I ask what it would be like for human beings to live or practice such a proposal. Drawing on Harman’s thinking about prehension, but shifting focus towards work in critical phenomenology and feminist science studies, I argue for the importance of human prehensive self-awareness within non-anthropocentric ontological practices, an awareness that emerges phenomenologically and in practice. Extending both Donna (...)
  5. Structures as Relations.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2018 - Synthese:1-20.
    I shall explore in this article the hypothesis that structures are relations between the components of complex entities. After having introduced hylomorphism, its major advantages and the major views of the nature of structures, I shall introduce the distinctions between external and internal relations and the one between symmetrical and non-symmetrical relations. I shall also describe the theory of non-symmetrical relations that I accept, i.e., the O-Roles theory, as most structures seem to be external and non-symmetrical relations. Later on, I (...)
  6. The Paradox of Decrease and Dependent Parts.Alex Moran - 2018 - Ratio 31 (3):273-284.
    This paper is concerned with the paradox of decrease. Its aim is to defend the answer to this puzzle that was propounded by its originator, namely, the Stoic philosopher Chrysippus. The main trouble with this answer to the paradox is that it has the seemingly problematic implication that a material thing could perish due merely to extrinsic change. It follows that in order to defend Chrysippus’ answer to the paradox, one has to explain how it could be that Theon is (...)
  7. Macroscopic Objects: An Exercise in Duhemian Ontology.Paul Needham - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (2):205-224.
    Aristotelian ideas are presented in a favorable light in Duhem's historical works surveying the history of the notion of chemical combination (1902) and the development of mechanics (1903). The importance Duhem was later to ascribe to Aristotelian ideas as reflected in the weight he attached to medieval science is well known. But the Aristotelian influence on his own mature philosophical perspective, and more particularly on his concern for logical coherence and the development of his ontological views, is not generally acknowledged. (...)
  8. Ideas, Persons, and Objects in the History of Ideas.Bennett Gilbert - 2017 - Journal of the Philosophy of History.
    _ Source: _Page Count 22 The history of ideas is most prominently understood as a highly specialized group of methods for the study of abstract ideas, with both diachronic and synchronic aspects. While theorizing the field has focused on the methods of study, defining the object of study – ideas – has been neglected. But the development of the theories behind material culture studies poses a sharp challenge to this narrow approaches. It both challenges the integrity of the notion of (...)
  9. Object.Bradley Rettler & Andrew M. Bailey - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  10. Epistemicism, Distribution, and the Argument From Vagueness.Ofra Magidor - 2018 - Noûs 52 (1):144-170.
    This paper consists of two parts. The first concerns the logic of vagueness. The second concerns a prominent debate in metaphysics. One of the most widely accepted principles governing the ‘definitely’ operator is the principle of Distribution: if ‘p’ and ‘if p then q’ are both definite, then so is ‘q’. I argue however, that epistemicists about vagueness should reject this principle. The discussion also helps to shed light on the elusive question of what, on this framework, it takes for (...)
  11. What Is the Essence of a Natural Object? Comparing Western-Individualist and Afro-Relational Ontologies.Thaddeus Metz - forthcoming - Synthesis Philosophica 33 (2).
    The dominant view amongst contemporary Anglo-American philosophers about the essence of a natural object is that it is constituted by its intrinsic properties. The ontological approach salient in the African philosophical tradition, in contrast, accounts for a thing's essence by appeal to its relational properties. The African ontology is under-developed, with the primary aim of this article being to help rectify that weakness. Specifically, this article's aims are: to articulate an African approach to understanding the essence of a concrete, natural (...)
  12. Henri Poincaré, ciência e materialismo: o papel das hipóteses na oscilação entre atomismo e continuísmo.Andre Carli Philot & Antonio A. P. Videira - 2013 - Kairos: Revista de Filosofia and Ciência 7:167-186.
    This article was produced as an introduction to a Portuguese translation of an article by Henri Poincaré titled "The new conceptions of matter". The aim of this introduction was to shortly summarize Poincaré's scientific and philosophical production, to approach the circumstances on which the text was originally presented and, finally, to analyze the relationship - or the lack of it - that Poincaré establishes between science and materialism.
  13. Debunking Arguments in Metaethics and Metaphysics.Daniel Z. Korman - forthcoming - In Alvin Goldman & Brian McLaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments abound, but it is widely assumed that they do not arise for our perceptual beliefs about midsized objects, insofar as the adaptive value of our object beliefs cannot be explained without reference to the objects themselves. I argue that this is a mistake. Just as with moral beliefs, the adaptive value of our object beliefs can be explained without assuming that the beliefs are accurate. I then explore the prospects for other sorts of vindications of our object (...)
  14. Aquinas on the Essential Composition of Objects.Meixner Uwe - unknown
  15. Peter Unger: Science and the Possibility of Philosophy.Alexander A. Guerrero - 2001 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 9 (1):46-56.
  16. Part Three: Issues Common to Parts One and Two.Ulrich Drobnig & Christian von Bar - 2009 - In Ulrich Drobnig & Christian von Bar (eds.), The Interaction of Contract Law and Tort and Property Law in Europe: A Comparative Study. Sellier de Gruyter.
  17. 3. Material Und Methoden.Pia Bergmann - 2008 - In Regionalspezifische Intonationsverläufe Im Kölnischenspecific Regional Intonation Patterns in the German of Cologne. Formal and Functional Analyses of Rise-Fall Contours: Formale Und Funktionale Analysen Steigend-Fallender Konturen. Walter de Gruyter – Max Niemeyer Verlag.
  18. The Composition and Redaction of the Book of Amos.Tchavdar S. Hadjiev - unknown
  19. Placement Permissivism and Logics of Location.Shieva Kleinschmidt - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (3):117-136.
    All of the current leading theories of location are parsimonious: they have at most one locative primitive, and the definitions of all of the other locative relations appeal to nothing beyond that primitive, mereological properties and relations, and basic logic. I argue that if we believe there can be extended, mereologically simple regions, we can construct cases that are incompatible with every possible parsimonious theory of location. In these cases, an object is contained within a simple region that is larger (...)
  20. The Non-Physicalness of Material Objects.Benedikt Schick, Edmund Runggaldier & Ludger Honnefelder - 2009 - In Benedikt Schick, Edmund Runggaldier & Ludger Honnefelder (eds.), Unity and Time in Metaphysics. Walter de Gruyter.
  21. Material Beings.Michael Tye - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (4):881.
  22. Material Objects.David Keyt & W. D. Joske - 1969 - Philosophical Review 78 (1):110.
  23. The Constitution of Selves.Christopher Williams & Marya Schechtman - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (4):641.
  24. Dharmakośa. Rājanītikāṇḍa. Vol. IV, Parts V-VIDharmakosa. Rajanitikanda. Vol. IV, Parts V-VI.Ludwik Sternbach & Laxmanshastri Joshi - 1981 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 101 (4):482.
  25. The Composition of the Book of Proverbs.Tova Forti & R. N. Whybray - 1996 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 116 (3):544.
  26. The Composition of Mutanabbī's Panegyrics to Sayf Al-DawlaThe Composition of Mutanabbi's Panegyrics to Sayf Al-Dawla.Renate Jacobi, Andras Hamori, Mutanabbī & Mutanabbi - 1994 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 114 (4):685.
  27. The Nāradasmṛti, Parts I and IIThe Naradasmrti, Parts I and II.Barend van Nooten & Richard W. Lariviere - 1992 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 112 (1):150.
  28. La Statue de Tell Fekherye Et Son Inscription Bilingue assyroaraméenneLa Statue de Tell Fekherye Et Son Inscription Bilingue Assyroarameenne.Stephen A. Kaufman, A. Abou-Assaf, P. Bordreuil & A. Millard - 1984 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 104 (3):571.
  29. On the Composition of the NāṭyaśāstraOn the Composition of the Natyasastra.Edwin Gerow & Srinivasa Ayya Srinivasan - 1983 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 103 (4):781.
  30. An Elegant Composition Concerning Relief After Adversity.Roy P. Mottahedeh, Nissim ben Jacob ibn Shāhīn, William M. Brinner & Nissim ben Jacob ibn Shahin - 1983 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 103 (4):771.
  31. Smṛti Material in the Mahābhārata. Vol. I Smrti Material in the Mahabharata. Vol. I.Ludwik Sternbach & S. C. Banerji - 1974 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 94 (2):252.
  32. Smṛti Material in the Mahābhārata. Vol. I Smrti Material in the Mahabharata. Vol. I.Wilhelm Halbfass & Sures Chandra Banerji - 1973 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 93 (3):385.
  33. Dharmakośa. Upaniṣatkāṇḍa. Vol. II, Parts 1 to 4Dharmakosa. Upanisatkanda. Vol. II, Parts 1 to 4.Ludwik Sternbach, Lakṣmaṇa Śāstri Jośī & Laksmana Sastri Josi - 1965 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 85 (4):595.
  34. The Mahābhārata: Drona-Parvan, Parts I, 2, 3A, 3BThe Mahabharata: Drona-Parvan, Parts I, 2, 3A, 3B.V. S. Agrawala & S. K. De - 1962 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 82 (2):231.
  35. The Statue of Idrimi.E. A. Speiser & Sidney Smith - 1951 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 71 (2):151.
  36. The Parts of a VīṇāThe Parts of a Vina.Ananda K. Coomaraswamy - 1937 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 57 (1):101.
  37. The Parts of a VīnāThe Parts of a Vina.Ananda K. Coomaraswamy - 1930 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 50:244.
  38. Nietzsche's Constructivism: A Metaphysics of Material Objects.Justin Remhof - 2017 - New York: Routledge.
    Like Kant, the German Idealists, and many neo-Kantian philosophers before him, Nietzsche was persistently concerned with metaphysical questions about the nature of objects. His texts often address questions concerning the existence and non-existence of objects, the relation of objects to human minds, and how different views of objects significantly impact various commitments in many areas of philosophy—not just metaphysics, but also semantics, epistemology, science, logic and mathematics, and even ethics. This book presents a systematic and comprehensive analysis of Nietzsche’s material (...)
  39. Duplication and Collapse.Amir Arturo Javier‐Castellanos - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):196-202.
    Kris McDaniel has argued that strong composition as identity entails a principle he calls the Plural Duplication Principle, and that is inconsistent with the possibility of strongly emergent properties. Theodore Sider has objected that this possibility is only inconsistent with a closely analogous principle he calls the Set Duplication Principle. According to Sider, however, the friend of strong composition as identity is under no pressure to accept. In this paper, I argue that she has strong reason to accept either or (...)
  40. ‘Not’ Again! Another Essay on the Metaphysics of Material Objects.Mahrad Almotahari - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):711-737.
  41. Temporal Entities in Space.Roberto Casati - unknown
  42. Matter, Place, and Being From a Scotistic Point of View: A Bypass to the Psycho-Physical Problem?Liran Shia Gordon - 2016 - Philosophy and Theology 28 (1):101-140.
    The aim of this paper is to apply the metaphysics of John Duns Scotus in constructing a new conception of matter which does not stand in opposition to the mental realm, but is rather composed of both physical and mental elements. The paper is divided into four parts. Section one addresses Scotus’ claim that matter is intelligible and actual in itself. Section two aims to show that matter can be seen as a deprived thinking being. Section three analyzes Scotus’ conception (...)
  43. Jōkei's Monju Kōshiki in Five Parts.David Quinter - 2016 - Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 43 (1):1-17.
  44. Confining Composition.Hud Hudson - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (12):631-651.
  45. The Composition of Baronial Assemblies in France, 1315-1320.Charles H. Taylor - 1954 - Speculum 29 (2, Part 2):433-459.
  46. The Lapidaire Chrétien, Its Composition, Its Influence, Its Sources. Léon Baisier.Helen Bobbins Bittermann - 1937 - Speculum 12 (1):111-114.
  47. Plastic Deformation of Single Crystals of Pt3Al with the L12structure Having a Far Al-Rich Off-Stoichiometric Composition of Pt-29at.%Al. [REVIEW]Norihiko L. Okamoto, Yoshihiko Hasegawa & Haruyuki Inui - 2014 - Philosophical Magazine 94 (12):1327-1344.
  48. Composition Dependence of Polymorphism and Electrical Conductivity in Ce-Doped Bi4V2O11.Saba Beg & Niyazi A. S. Al-Areqi - 2009 - Philosophical Magazine 89 (15):1279-1294.
  49. Uniaxial Textures in Cubic Materials.W. N. Reynolds - 1968 - Philosophical Magazine 18 (156):1155-1159.
  50. XI.—Composition and Criticism.H. S. Eveling - 1959 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 59 (1):213-232.
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