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  1. Conceivability, Essence, and Haecceities.Hasen Khudairi - manuscript
    This essay aims to redress the contention that epistemic possibility cannot be a guide to the principles of modal metaphysics. I introduce a novel epistemic two-dimensional truthmaker semantics. I argue that the interaction between the two-dimensional framework and the mereological parthood relation, which is super-rigid, enables epistemic possibilities and truthmakers with regard to parthood to be a guide to its metaphysical profile. I specify, further, a two-dimensional formula encoding the relation between the epistemic possibility and verification of essential properties obtaining (...)
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  2. Bound states and the Special Composition Question.McKenzie Kerry & F. A. Muller - forthcoming - In Michela Massimi, Jan-Willem Romeijn & Gerhard Schurz (eds.), EPSA15 Selected Papers: The 5th conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association in Düsseldorf.
    The Special Composition Question asks under what conditions a plurality of objects form another, composite object. We propose a condition grounded in our scientific knowledge of physical reality, the essence of which is that objects form a composite object when and only when they are in a bound state – whence our Bound State Proposal. We provide a variety of reasons in favour of a mereological theory that accommodates our Proposal. We consider but reject another proposal, which is quantum-physical in (...)
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  3. Why Mereological Essentialism Applies to Mereological Aggregates.James Porter Moreland - 2023 - Metaphysica 24 (2):339-357.
    This article’s purpose is to defend the depiction of ordinary-sized physical objects as mereological aggregates (MAs), to clarify what the ontology of an MA is, and to show why mereological essentialism (ME) applies to MAs that seem to be ubiquitous if we are to adopt what Frank Jackson calls “Serious Metaphysics” and refuse to broaden our ontology beyond what is (allegedly) bequeathed to us by physics and chemistry. To accomplish this goal, first, I clarify certain background issues that inform what (...)
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  4. Who's afraid of Reverse Mereological Essentialism?David S. Oderberg - 2023 - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    Whereas Mereological Essentialism is the thesis that the parts of an object are essential to it, Reverse Mereological Essentialism is the thesis that the whole is essential to its parts. Specifically – since RME is an Aristotelian doctrine – it is a claim not about objects in general but about substances. Here I set out and explain RME as it should be understood from the perspective of the Aristotelian-Scholastic tradition, as well as proposing a kind of master argument for believing (...)
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  5. Who’s afraid of reverse mereological essentialism?David S. Oderberg - 2023 - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    Whereas Mereological Essentialism is the thesis that the parts of an object are essential to it, Reverse Mereological Essentialism is the thesis that the whole is essential to its parts. Specifically—since RME is an Aristotelian doctrine—it is a claim not about objects in general but about substances. Here I set out and explain RME as it should be understood from the perspective of the Aristotelian-Scholastic tradition, as well as proposing a kind of master argument for believing it. A number of (...)
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  6. Duns Scotus on Identities — I Mean, Mereological Fusions.J. T. Paasch - 2021 - Theoria 87 (5):1270-1306.
    I argue that Scotus's formal distinction is a mereological fusion relation rather than an identity relation. I construct mereological models which adequately represent Scotus's theory.
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  7. Material Objects.Thomas Sattig - 2021 - Cambridge University Press.
    This Element is a survey of central topics in the metaphysics of material objects. The topics are grouped into four problem spaces. The first concerns how an object's parts are related to the object's existence and to the object's nature, or essence. The second concerns how an object persists through time, how an object is located in spacetime, and how an object changes. The third concerns paradoxes about objects, including paradoxes of coincidence, paradoxes of fission, and the problem of the (...)
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  8. Part, slot, ground: foundations for neo-Aristotelian mereology.Thomas Sattig - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 11):2735-2749.
    Slot mereology reduces parthood to slot-filling: a material object is structured by a certain arrangement of slots; and the fillers of these slots are the object's proper parts. My aim in this essay is to go further and reduce slot-filling to essence and grounding. In combination, the reduction of parthood to slot-filling and the reduction of slot-filling to essence and grounding yields the reduction of parthood to essence and grounding. If this overarching reduction succeeds, it promises new metaphysical foundations for (...)
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  9. Contingent composition as identity.Giorgio Lando & Massimiliano Carrara - 2018 - Synthese.
    When the necessity of identity (NI) is combined with composition as identity (CAI), the contingency of composition (CC) is at risk. In the extant literature, either NI is seen as the basis for a refutation of CAI or CAI is associated with a theory of modality, such that: either NI is renounced (if counterpart theory is adopted); or CC is renounced (if the theory of modal parts is adopted). In this paper, we investigate the prospects of a new variety of (...)
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  10. Do Events Have Their Parts Essentially?Paul R. Daniels & Dana Goswick - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (3):313-320.
    We argue that mereological essentialism for events is independent of mereological essentialism for objects, and that the philosophical fallout of embracing mereological essentialism for events is minimal. We first outline what we should consider to be the parts of events, and then highlight why one would naturally be inclined to think that the object-question and the event-question are linked. Then, we argue that they are not. We also diagnose why this is the case and emphasize the upshot. In particular, we (...)
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  11. Handbook of Mereology.Stamatios Gerogiorgakis, Johanna Seibt & Guido Imaguire (eds.) - 2017 - Munich: Philosophia.
    The present volume is the first comprehensive reference work for research on part-whole relations. The Handbook of Mereology offers a wide scope, inclusive presentation of contemporary research on part-whole relations that draws out systematic, historical, and interdisciplinary trajectories, shows the subject’s fertility, and inspires future explorations. In particular, we want to impress that mereology is much more than the study of axiomatised systems. The relationship between part and whole is a basic schema of cognitive organisation that operates not only at (...)
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  12. Macroscopic Metaphysics: Middle-Sized Objects and Longish Processes.Paul Needham - 2017 - Cham: Springer.
    This book is about matter. It involves our ordinary concept of matter in so far as this deals with enduring continuants that stand in contrast to the occurrents or processes in which they are involved, and concerns the macroscopic realm of middle-sized objects of the kind familiar to us on the surface of the earth and their participation in medium term processes. The emphasis will be on what science rather than philosophical intuition tells us about the world, and on chemistry (...)
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  13. Complex Survivalism, or: How to Lose Your Essence and Live to Tell About It.Jeremy W. Skrzypek - 2017 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 91:185-199.
    Of those who defend a Thomistic hylomorphic account of human persons, “survivalists” hold that the persistence of the human person’s rational soul between death and the resurrection is sufficient to maintain the persistence of the human person herself throughout that interim. According to survivalists, at death, and until the resurrection, a human person comes to be temporarily composed of, but not identical to, her rational soul. One of the major objections to survivalism is that it is committed to a rejection (...)
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  14. Composition as a Kind of Identity.Phillip Bricker - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):264-294.
    Composition as identity, as I understand it, is a theory of the composite structure of reality. The theory’s underlying logic is irreducibly plural; its fundamental primitive is a generalized identity relation that takes either plural or singular arguments. Strong versions of the theory that incorporate a generalized version of the indiscernibility of identicals are incompatible with the framework of plural logic, and should be rejected. Weak versions of the theory that are based on the idea that composition is merely analogous (...)
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  15. Mereology.Paul R. Daniels - 2016 - Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy.
    This peer reviewed reference article is an annotated online bibliography on mereology with 80+ entries. It's aim is to provide a selective and balanced guide to the subject. It contains thematic headings with commentaries. The reader should come away cognizant of what the most influential work in mereology are. Topics highlighted herein include, but are not limited to: the history of mereology, classical extensional mereology and its challenges, parthood, connections with location relations, mereological simples and gunk, composition as identity, as (...)
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  16. Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An overview of contemporary part-whole theories, with reference to both their axiomatic developments and their philosophical underpinnings.
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  17. Mereological Essentialism and Mereological Inessentialism.Dwayne Moore - 2015 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 15 (1):67-85.
    Mereological essentialists argue that mereological summations cannot change their parts. Mereological inessentialists argue that mereological summations can change some or all of their parts. In this paper I articulate and defend a position called Moderate Mereological Inessentialism, according to which certain mereological summations can change some, but not all, of their parts. Persistent mereological summations occur when the functional parts of mereological summations persist through alterations to its spatial parts.
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  18. Mereology and Location.Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    A team of leading philosophers presents original work on theories of parthood and location. Topics covered include how we ought to axiomatise our mereology; whether we can reduce mereological relations to identity or to locative relations; whether Mereological Essentialism is true; and what mereology and propositions can tell us about one another.
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  19. Composition as Identity, Modal Parts, and Mereological Essentialism.Meg Wallace - 2014 - In A. J. Cotnoir & Donald L. M. Baxter (eds.), Composition as Identity. Oxford, UK: pp. 111-129.
    Some claim that Composition as Identity (CI) entails Mereological Essentialism (ME). If this is right, then we have an effective modus tollens against CI: ME is clearly false, so CI is, too. Rather than deny the conditional, I will argue that a CI theorist should embrace ME. I endorse a theory of modal parts such that ordinary objects are spatially, temporally, and modally extended. Accepting modal parts is certainly beneficial to CI theorists, but it also provides elegant solutions to the (...)
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  20. Some Twelfth-Century Reflections on Mereological Essentialism.Andrew Arlig - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy 1 (1).
    Peter Abelard held two views that imply a form of Mereological Essentialism: first, a thing is nothing other than all its parts taken together and second, no thing has more parts at one time than it does at another. This paper situates Abelard’s theses within their historical context. The paper first examines Boethius’s suggestive remarks about the dependence of the whole upon its parts and it highlights several of the choices that were open to twelfth-century students of Boethius’s mereology. Then (...)
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  21. Modality, Mereology and Substance.Paul Needham - 2012 - In Robin Hendry, Paul Needham & Andrea Woody (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Vol 6: Philosophy of Chemistry. Amsterdam, Nederländerna: pp. 232-254.
    This article surveys the theory of the part relation (mereology), quantified modal logic, and Kripke and Putnam’s notion of natural kinds. It shows how the former two bear on the macroscopic understanding of the notions of substance and phase, which stands in contrast to the microphysical essentialism of Kripke and Putnam, and can be used to explicate Aristotle’s and the Stoic conceptions of mixture. The article concludes with some comments about the relevance of the issues raised by these ancient theories (...)
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  22. Natural Properties, Supervenience, and Mereology.Andrea Borghini & Giorgio Lando - 2011 - Humana Mente 4 (19):79-104.
    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 (...)
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  23. Mereological essentialism, composition, and stuff: a reply to Kristie Miller.David Nicolas - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (3):425-429.
    In ‘Essential stuff' (2008) and ‘Stuff' (2009), Kristie Miller argues that two generally accepted theses, often formulated as follows, are incompatible: - (Temporal) mereological essentialism for stuff (or matter), the thesis that any portion of stuff has the same parts at every time it exists. - Stuff composition, the thesis that for any two portions of stuff, there exists a portion of stuff that is their mereological sum (or fusion). She does this by considering competing hypotheses about stuff, trying to (...)
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  24. Essential stuff.Kristie Miller - 2008 - Ratio 21 (1):55–63.
    Here is a common view. There exist things, and there exists stuff, where roughly, ‘thing’ is a count noun, and ‘stuff’ is a mass noun. Syntactically, ‘thing’ functions as a singular referring term that takes ‘a’ and ‘every’ and is subject to pluralisation, while ‘stuff’ functions as a plural referring term that takes ‘some’ and is not subject to pluralisation. Hence there exists a thing, and some stuff. Usual versions of the common view endorse two principles about portions of stuff. (...)
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  25. Monism and statespace structure.Theodore Sider - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:129-150.
    Exotic ontologies are all the rage. Distant from common sense and often science as well, views like mereological essentialism, nihilism, and fourdimensionalism appeal to our desire to avoid arbitrariness, anthropocentrism, and metaphysical conundrums.1 Such views are defensible only if they are materially adequate, only if they can “reconstruct” the world of common sense and science. (No disrespect to the heroic metaphysicians of antiquity, but this world is not just an illusion.) In the world of common sense and science, bicycles survive (...)
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  26. Chisholm’s changing conception of ordinary objects.Mark Steen - 2008 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 76 (1):1-56.
    Roderick Chisholm changed his mind about ordinary objects. Circa 1973-1976, his analysis of them required the positing of two kinds of entities—part-changing ens successiva and non-part-changing, non-scatterable primary objects. This view has been well noted and frequently discussed (e.g., recently in Gallois 1998 and Sider 2001). Less often treated is his later view of ordinary objects (1986-1989), where the two kinds of posited entities change, from ens successiva to modes, and, while retaining primary objects, he now allows them to survive (...)
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  27. Zasady mereologicznego esencjalizmu.Mariusz Grygianiec - 2007 - Filozofia Nauki 3.
    Mereologcal essentialism is a metaphysical doctrine formulated and defended originally by Roderick M. Chisholm. The main principle of mereological essentialism states, that for any objects x and y - if x is ever a part of y, then y is necessarily such that x is a part of y, i.e. that all parts of y are essential to it (y has them at any time that y exists). The principle may also be put by saying, that every object has the (...)
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  28. Identyczność osobowa w czasie: konsekwencje esencjalizmu.Mariusz Grygianiec - 2006 - Filozofia Nauki 3.
    The paper is an attempt to formulate some consequences of the metaphysical doctrine of mereological essentialism (ME) and the assumption that persons persisting through time remain identical in the strict and philosophical sense (Chisholm, following Butler and Reid). Those consequences are substantiality , non-constitutivity , constantiality , anti-identism ( non-bodility ), and simplicity of persons. The author tries to show that although the above stance has a great theoretical appeal, it leads to the many further difficulties, which remain without reasonable (...)
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  29. Aristotle’s Mereology And The Status Of Form.Kathrin Koslicki - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (12):715-736.
    In a difficult but fascinating passage in Metaphysics Z.17, Aristotle puts forward a proposal, by means of a regress argument, according to which a whole or matter/form-compound is one or unified, in contrast to a heap, due to the presence of form or essence. This proposal gives rise to two central questions: (i) the question of whether form itself is to be viewed, literally and strictly speaking, as part of the matter/form-compound; and (ii) the question of whether form is to (...)
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  30. Non‐Mereological Universalism.Kristie Miller - 2006 - European Journal of Philosophy 14 (3):404-422.
    In this paper I develop a version of universalism that is non-mereological. Broadly speaking, non-mereological universalism is the thesis that for any arbitrary set of objects and times, there is a persisting object which, at each of those times, will be constituted by those of the objects that exist at that time. I consider two general versions of non-mereological universalism, one which takes basic simples to be enduring objects, and the other which takes simples to be instantaneous objects. This yields (...)
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  31. The Paradox of Increase.Eric T. Olson - 2006 - The Monist 89 (3):390-417.
    The paradox of increase in an ancient argument purporting to show that nothing can grow by acquiring new parts. If it is sound, similar reasoning leads to the more general conclusion that nothing can ever change its parts. After discussing the implicationsof this principle, the paper lays out the paradox in a way that reveals the premises that figure in it. It emerges that the paradox has no easy solution, and can be resisted only by taking on one of five (...)
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  32. Can Mereological Sums Change Their Parts?Peter Van Inwagen - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (12):614-630.
    Many philosophers think not. Many philosophers, in fact, seem to suppose that anyone who raises the question whether mereological sums can change their parts displays thereby a failure to grasp an essential feature of the concept “mereological sum.” It is hard to point to an indisputable example of this in print,[i] but it is a thesis I hear put forward very frequently in conversation (sometimes it is put forward in the form of an incredulous stare after I have said something (...)
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  33. Counterpart theory vindicated: A reply to Merricks.Andrea Borghini - 2005 - Dialectica 59 (1):67–73.
    The paper shows – contra what has been argued by Trenton Merricks – that counterpart theory, when conjoined with composition as identity, does not entail mereological essentialism. What Merrick’s argument overlooks is that contingent identity is but one of the effects of grounding identity across possible worlds on similarity.
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  34. Counterpart Theory Vindicated: A Reply to Merricks.Andrea Borghini - 2005 - Dialectica 59 (1):67-73.
    The paper shows – contra what has been argued by Trenton Merricks – that counterpart theory, when conjoined with composition as identity, does not entail mereological essentialism. What Merricks's argument overlooks is that contingent identity is but one of the effects of grounding identity across possible worlds on similarity.
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  35. W obronie mereologicznego esencjalizmu.Mariusz Grygianiec - 2005 - Filozofia Nauki 3.
    The paper is an attempt to defend the Chisholm's metaphysical doctrine called mereological essentialism. The main thesis of mereological essentialism states that for any objects x and y - if x is ever a part of y, then y is necessarily such that x is a part of y, i.e. that all parts of y are essential to it (y has them at any time that y exists). This radical theory gives a categorisation of all objects via entia per se (...)
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  36. Natural selection and the traits of individual organisms.Joel Pust - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (5):765-779.
    I have recently argued that origin essentialism regarding individual organisms entails that natural selection does not explain why individual organisms have the traits that they do. This paper defends this and related theses against Mohan Matthen's recent objections.
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  37. Topological Essentialism.Roberto Casati & Achille Varzi - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 100 (3):217-236.
    Considering topology as an extension of mereology, this paper analyses topological variants of mereological essentialism (the thesis that an object could not have different parts than the ones it has). In particular, we examine de dicto and de re versions of two theses: (i) that an object cannot change its external connections (e.g., adjacent objects cannot be separated), and (ii) that an object cannot change its topological genus (e.g., a doughnut cannot turn into a sphere). Stronger forms of structural essentialism, (...)
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  38. Composition as identity, mereological essentialism, and counterpart theory.Trenton Merricks - 1999 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 77 (2):192 – 195.
  39. Michael Jubien, ontology, modality, and the fallacy of reference. [REVIEW]Theodore Sider - 1999 - Noûs 33 (2):284–294.
    Michael Jubien’s Ontology, Modality, and the Fallacy of Reference is an interesting and lively discussion of those three topics. In ontology, Jubien defends, to a first approximation, a Quinean conception: a world of objects that may be arbitrarily sliced or summed. Slicing yields temporal parts; summing yields aggregates, or fusions. Jubien is very unQuinean in his explicit Platonism regarding properties and propositions, but concerns about abstracta are peripheral to much of the argumentation in the book.1 His version of the doctrine (...)
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  40. Preserving the principle of one object to a place: A novel account of the relations among objects, sorts, sortals, and persistence conditions.Michael B. Burke - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (3):591-624.
    This article offers a novel, conservative account of material constitution, one that incorporates sortal essentialism and features a theory of dominant sortals. It avoids coinciding objects, temporal parts, relativizations of identity, mereological essentialism, anti-essentialism, denials of the reality of the objects of our ordinary ontology, and other departures from the metaphysic implicit in ordinary ways of thinking. Defenses of the account against important objections are found in Burke 1997, 2003, and 2004, as well as in the often neglected six paragraphs (...)
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  41. Mereological essentialism restricted.Dallas Willard - 1994 - Axiomathes 5 (1):123-144.
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  42. An Argument for Mereological Essentialism.Dean Wallace Zimmerman - 1992 - Dissertation, Brown University
    If extended objects were just sums of unextended parts, no satisfactory theory of contact would be possible. So extended objects are not decomposable into sets of simples. The fact that extended things do not possess a single decomposition into a set of smallest, indivisible parts places important constraints upon the analysis of propositions involving mass terms. In particular, it rules out those which construe masses of matter as set-theoretical constructions out of the parts of things. Consequently, any correct "semantics for (...)
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  43. Parthood and Persistence.Ali Akhtar Kazmi - 1990 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 20 (Supplement):227-250.
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  44. Parts Study in Ontology: A Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
    The relationship of part to whole is one of the most fundamental there is, yet until now there has been no full-length study of this concept. This book shows that mereology, the formal theory of part and whole, is essential to ontology. Peter Simons surveys and criticizes previous theories, especially the standard extensional view, and proposes a more adequate account which encompasses both temporal and modal considerations in detail. This has far-reaching consequences for our understanding of such classical philosophical concepts (...)
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  45. Mereological Essentialism, Mereological Conjunctivism, and Identity Through Time.James van Cleve - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):141-156.
  46. Mereology and Identity.Robert Earl Frederick - 1984 - Dissertation, Brown University
    The dissertation is a study of the relations between individual things, parts of individual things, and boundaries. In first chapter I present an expanded system of axioms and definitions for the primitive mereological relation "x is a part of y." I discuss alternatives to some of the axioms, particularly the axiom of mereological essentialism, i.e. the view that things have their parts essentially. I also give axioms and definitions that characterize the relations between three dimensional objects and their boundaries. I (...)
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  47. Nonexistent Possibles and Their Individuation.Garry Rosenkrantz - 1984 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 22 (1):127-147.
    A nonexistent possible is a particular concrete object which exists in some possible world but doesn't exist in the actual world. A definite description may be said to individuate a nonexistent possible if just one possible object satisfies the condition specified by that description, and this possible object doesn't exist in the actual world. Given a plausible form of mereological essentialism, certain mereological and causal descriptions which determine a thing's composition individuate nonexistent possible hunks of matter which are mereological or (...)
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  48. Nonexistent Possibles and Their Individuation.Garry Rosenkrantz - 1984 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 22 (1):127-147.
    A nonexistent possible is a particular concrete object which exists in some possible world but doesn't exist in the actual world. A definite description may be said to individuate a nonexistent possible if just one possible object satisfies the condition specified by that description, and this possible object doesn't exist in the actual world. Given a plausible form of mereological essentialism, certain mereological and causal descriptions which determine a thing's composition individuate nonexistent possible hunks of matter which are mereological or (...)
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  49. Mereological Essentialism: Asymmetrical Essential Dependence and the Nature of Continuants.David Wiggins - 1979 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 7 (1):297-315.
    The author expounds critically Roderick Chisholm's theory of modal mereology and undertakes to redeploy and reconcile this with the Lesniewski-Tarski theory of part-whole, modally augmented. An argument is presented for the principle that what belongs to an aggregate as a part belongs essentially to it. This principle is argued not to imply that every part of an ordinary substance is essentially part of it (such substances not being aggregates), and to give no particular support to Roderick Chisholm's postulation of entia (...)
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  50. Mereological Essentialism.David Wiggins - 1979 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 7 (1):297-315.
    The author expounds critically Roderick Chisholm's theory of modal mereology and undertakes to redeploy and reconcile this with the Lesniewski-Tarski theory of part-whole, modally augmented. An argument is presented for the principle that what belongs to an aggregate as a part belongs essentially to it. This principle is argued not to imply that every part of an ordinary substance is essentially part of it (such substances not being aggregates), and to give no particular support to Roderick Chisholm's postulation of entia (...)
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