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133 found
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  1. Extension and Self-Connection.Ben Blumson & Manikaran Singh - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy.
    If two self-connected individuals are connected, it follows in classical extensional mereotopology that the sum of those individuals is self-connected too. Since mainland Europe and mainland Asia, for example, are both self-connected and connected to each other, mainland Eurasia is also self-connected. In contrast, in non-extensional mereotopologies, two individuals may have more than one sum, in which case it does not follow from their being self-connected and connected that the sum of those individuals is self-connected too. Nevertheless, one would still (...)
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  2. Mereology and Identity.Massimiliano Carrara & Giorgio Lando - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
  3. Materiality, Parthood, and Possibility.Samuele Iaquinto & Giuliano Torrengo - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-7.
    This paper offers an argument in favour of a Lewisian version of concretism that maintains both the principle of material inheritance (according to which, if all the parts of an object x are material, then x is material) and the materiality-modality link (that is, the principle that, for every x, if x is material, then x is possible).
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  4. No Universalism Without Gunk? Composition as Identity and the Universality of Identity.Manuel Lechthaler - forthcoming - Synthese:1-12.
    Philosophers disagree whether composition as identity entails mereological universalism. Bricker :264–294, 2016) has recently considered an argument which concludes that composition as identity supports universalism. The key step in this argument is the thesis that any objects are identical to some object, which Bricker justifies with the principle of the universality of identity. I will spell out this principle in more detail and argue that it has an unexpected consequence. If the universality of identity holds, then composition as identity not (...)
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  5. Mereology.Ben Blumson - 2021 - Archive of Formal Proofs.
    The interactive theorem prover Isabelle/HOL is used to verify elementary theorems of classical extensional mereology.
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  6. Composition and the Logic of Location: An Argument for Regionalism.Cody Gilmore & Matt Leonard - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):159-178.
    Ned Markosian has recently defended a new theory of composition, which he calls regionalism : some material objects xx compose something if and only if there is a material object located at the fusion of the locations of xx. Markosian argues that regionalism follows from what he calls the subregion theory of parthood. Korman and Carmichael agree. We provide countermodels to show that regionalism does not follow from, even together with fourteen potentially implicit background principles. We then show that regionalism (...)
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  7. The Limits of Classical Mereology: Mixed Fusions and the Failures of Mereological Hybridism.Joshua Kelleher - 2020 - Dissertation, The University of Queensland
    In this thesis I argue against unrestricted mereological hybridism, the view that there are absolutely no constraints on wholes having parts from many different logical or ontological categories, an exemplar of which I take to be ‘mixed fusions’. These are composite entities which have parts from at least two different categories – the membered (as in classes) and the non-membered (as in individuals). As a result, mixed fusions can also be understood to represent a variety of cross-category summation such as (...)
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  8. Conservatism, Counterexamples and Debunking.Daniel Z. Korman - 2020 - Analysis 80 (3):558-574.
    A symposium on my *Objects: Nothing Out of the Ordinary* (2015). In response to Wallace, I attempt to clarify the dialectical and epistemic role that my arguments from counterexamples were meant to play, I provide a limited defense of the comparison to the Gettier examples, and I embrace the comparison to Moorean anti-skeptical arguments. In response to deRosset, I provide a clearer formulation of conservatism, explain how a conservative should think about the interaction between intuition and science, and discuss what (...)
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  9. Expansionism and Mereological Universalism.Giorgio Lando - 2020 - Theoria 86 (2):187-219.
    Mereological universalists, according to whom every plurality of entities has a fusion, usually claim that most quantifications are restricted to ordinary entities. However, there is no evidence that our usual quantifications over ordinary objects are restricted. In this article I explore an alternative way of reconciling Mereological Universalism with our usual quantifications. I resort to a modest form of ontological expansionism and to the so-called interpretational modalities. Quantifications over ordinary objects are the initial stages of the expansion. From these initial (...)
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  10. 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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  11. Da li je Sajder još uvek perdurantista?Nikola S. Stamenković - 2020 - Theoria: Beograd 63 (4):111-125.
    U knjizi Pisanje knjige sveta (2011) Teodor Sajder tvrdi da na fundamentalnom nivou stvarnosti ne postoje objekti sastavljeni od delova, što njegovo gledište čini verzijom mereološkog nihilizma. Međutim, u prethodnoj knjizi pod naslovom Četvorodimenzionalizam (2001) Sajder zastupa mereološki univerzalizam, tezu da svaka klasa objekata ima mereološku fuziju, odnosno da postoji dodatni objekat koji sadrži date objekta kao svoje delove, koji igra suštinsku ulogu u njegovoj argumentu na osnovu nejasnosti u prilog perdurantizma, odnosno postojanja temporalnih delova materijalnih objekata. U ovom radu (...)
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  12. Blocking the Vagueness Block - A New Restricted Answer to the Special Composition Question.Johan Gamper - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (2):425-428.
    The vagueness objection seems to block any moderate answer to the Special Composition Question leaving us with the two extreme alternatives that there either is no composite object or that any set of things compose an object. In this technical paper I introduce the notion of causal objects and a definition of a predicate that permits the set of all parts to be divided into equivalence classes. On this view we can use equivalence classes of parts to define the notion (...)
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  13. Hume on the Unity of Determinations of Extension.Jani Hakkarainen - 2019 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 22 (1):219–233.
    We do not fully understand Hume’s account of space if we do not understand his view of determinations of extension, which is too much ignored a topic. In this paper, I argue for an interpretation that determinations of extension are unities in Hume’s view: single beings in addition to their components. This realist reading is reasonable on both textual and philosophical grounds. There is strong textual evidence for it and no textual reason to reject it. Realism makes perfect sense of (...)
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  14. On the Grounds of Sums: Reply to Saenz.Yannic Kappes - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):824-829.
    Noël Blas Saenz has recently argued for a counterfactual condition on grounding called Sensitivity, with which he tries to show that there are no mereological sums and that universalism abo...
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  15. How to Be an Uncompromising Revisionary Ontologist.David Mark Kovacs - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2129-2152.
    Revisionary ontologies seem to go against our common sense convictions about which material objects exist. These views face the so-called Problem of Reasonableness: they have to explain why reasonable people don’t seem to accept the true ontology. Most approaches to this problem treat the mismatch between the ontological truth and ordinary belief as superficial or not even real. By contrast, I propose what I call the “uncompromising solution”. First, I argue that our beliefs about material objects were influenced by evolutionary (...)
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  16. The Sorites Paradox in Metaphysics.Irem Kurtsal - 2019 - In Sergi Oms & Elia Zardini (eds.), The Sorites Paradox. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 207-228.
    Take any putative ordinary object which is divisible into a finite number of small units and tolerant to the loss of one of them. We can remove these units one at a time, and since our object definitely doesn’t exist when there are zero units, and since we cannot pinpoint which removal brings about this destruction, the Sorites Puzzle threatens common sense. We can rescue ordinary objects from its grip, but since independently motivated linguistic explanations of vagueness depend on there (...)
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  17. The Mereology of Emergence.Ryan Miller - 2019 - Dissertation, The University of St Andrews
    The debate about the ontological innocence of mereology has generally been framed as a debate about the plausibility of Universal Fusion. Ontologically loaded fusions must be more than the sum of their parts, and this seems to violate parsimony if fusion is universal. Less attention has been paid to the question of what sort of emergence mereological fusions must exhibit if they are irreducible to their parts. The philosophy of science literature provides several models of such strong emergence. Examining those (...)
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  18. An Alternative Model for Understanding Anaxagoras’ Mixture.David Torrijos-Castrillejo - 2019 - Philosophisches Jahrbuch 126:7-26.
    For Anaxagoras, both before the beginning of the world and in the present, “all is together” and “everything is in everything.” Various modern interpretations abound regarding the identity of this “mixture.” It has been explained as an aggregation of particles or as a continuous “fusion” of different sorts of ingredients. However—even though they are not usually recognized as a distinct group—there are a number of other scholars who, without seemingly knowing each other, have offered a different interpreta- tion: Anaxagoras’ mixture (...)
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  19. Mereological Composition and Plural Quantifier Semantics.Manuel Lechthaler & Ceth Lightfield - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):943-958.
    Mereological universalists and nihilists disagree on the conditions for composition. In this paper, we show how this debate is a function of one’s chosen semantics for plural quantifiers. Debating mereologists have failed to appreciate this point because of the complexity of the debate and extraneous theoretical commitments. We eliminate this by framing the debate between universalists and nihilists in a formal model where these two theses about composition are contradictory. The examination of the two theories in the model brings clarity (...)
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  20. Sums and Grounding.Noël B. Saenz - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):102-117.
    As I will use the term, an object is a mereological sum of some things just in case those things compose it simply in virtue of existing. In the first half of this paper, I argue that there are no sums. The key premise for this conclusion relies on a constraint on what, in certain cases, it takes for something to ground, or metaphysically explain, something else. In the second half, I argue that in light of my argument against sums, (...)
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  21. The Future‐Like‐Ours Argument, Animalism, and Mereological Universalism.Andrea Sauchelli - 2018 - Bioethics 32 (3):199-204.
    Which metaphysical theories are involved—whether presupposed or implied—in Marquis’ future-like-ours argument against abortion? Vogelstein has recently argued that the supporter of the FLO argument faces a problematic dilemma; in particular, Marquis, the main supporter of the argument, seems to have to either abandon diachronic universalism or acquiesce and declare that contraception is morally wrong. I argue that the premises of Marquis’ argument can be reasonably combined with a form of unrestricted composition and that the FLO argument is better viewed as (...)
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  22. 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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  23. What is an Ersatz Part?Kristie Miller & Johann Hariman - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (4):524-551.
    _ Source: _Page Count 28 This paper develops four proposals for explicating the notion of an ersatz part. It then evaluates each proposal with respect to a number of jobs for which ersatz parts are posited. We argue that each of the four notions of ersatz parthood do better with respect to some jobs, and worse with respect to others. Thus, we think, it’s horses for courses: which notion of ersatz part one chooses will be sensitive to which metaphysical project (...)
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  24. Composition as Abstraction.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (9):453-470.
    The existence of mereological sums can be derived from an abstraction principle in a way analogous to numbers. I draw lessons for the thesis that “composition is innocent” from neo-Fregeanism in the philosophy of mathematics.
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  25. Counting on Strong Composition as Identity to Settle the Special Composition Question.Joshua Spencer - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):857-872.
    Strong Composition as Identity is the thesis that necessarily, for any xs and any y, those xs compose y iff those xs are non-distributively identical to y. Some have argued against this view as follows: if some many things are non-distributively identical to one thing, then what’s true of the many must be true of the one. But since the many are many in number whereas the one is not, the many cannot be identical to the one. Hence is mistaken. (...)
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  26. Mereological Nihilism: Keeping It Simple.Simon D. Thunder - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (4):278-287.
    (Mereological) nihilism states that there are no composite objects—there are only sub-atomic particles such as quarks. Nihilism’s biggest rival, (mereological) universalism, posits vast numbers of composite objects in addition to the sub-atomic particles, and so nihilism appears to be the more ontologically parsimonious of the two theories. If this is the case, it’s a significant result for the nihilist: ontological parsimony is almost always thought to be a theoretical virtue, so a nihilist victory in the parsimony stakes gives us a (...)
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  27. Composition and the Cases.Andrew M. Bailey - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (5):453-470.
    Some strange cases have gripped philosophers of mind. They have been deployed against materialism about human persons, functionalism about mentality, the possibility of artificial intelligence, and more. In this paper, I cry “foul”. It’s not hard to think that there’s something wrong with the cases. But what? My proposal: their proponents ignore questions about composition. And ignoring composition is a mistake. Indeed, materialists about human persons, functionalists about mentality, and believers in the possibility of artificial intelligence can plausibly deploy moderate (...)
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  28. Composition as Identity and Plural Cantor's Theorem.Einar Duenger Bohn - 2016 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 25 (3).
    I argue that Composition as Identity blocks the plural version of Cantor's Theorem, and that therefore the plural version of Cantor's Theorem can no longer be uncritically appealed to. As an example, I show how this result blocks a recent argument by Hawthorne and Uzquiano.
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  29. 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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  30. Does Universalism Entail Extensionalism?Aaron Cotnoir - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):121-132.
    Does a commitment to mereological universalism automatically bring along a commitment to the controversial doctrine of mereological extensionalism—the view that objects with the same proper parts are identical? A recent argument suggests the answer is ‘yes’. This paper attempts a systematic response to the argument, considering nearly every available line of reply. It argues that only one approach—the mutual parts view—can yield a viable mereology where universalism does not entail extensionalism.
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  31. How Many Angels Can Be in the Same Place at the Same Time? A Defence of Mereological Universalism.Aaron Cotnoir - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):959-965.
    I reply to Hawthorne and Uzquiano’s arguments for the incompatibility between mereological universalism and plenitudinous co-location. I argue that a mereology in which antisymmetry for parthood fails is independently motivated, and allows for both universalism and plenitudinous co-location. There can be as many angels in a place as there are cardinalities.
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  32. Self-Made People.David Mark Kovacs - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1071-1099.
    The Problem of Overlappers is a puzzle about what makes it the case, and how we can know, that we have the parts we intuitively think we have. In this paper, I develop and motivate an overlooked solution to this puzzle. According to what I call the self-making view it is within our power to decide what we refer to with the personal pronoun ‘I’, so the truth of most of our beliefs about our parts is ensured by the very (...)
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  33. 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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  34. Metaphysics and the Future-Like-Ours Argument Against Abortion.Eric Vogelstein - 2016 - The Journal of Ethics 20 (4):419-434.
    Don Marquis’s “future-like-ours” argument against the moral permissibility of abortion is widely considered the strongest anti-abortion argument in the philosophical literature. In this paper, I address the issue of whether the argument relies upon controversial metaphysical premises. It is widely thought that future-like-ours argument indeed relies upon controversial metaphysics, in that it must reject the psychological theory of personal identity. I argue that that thought is mistaken—the future-like-ours argument does not depend upon the rejection of such a theory. I suggest, (...)
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  35. Toward a Commonsense Answer to the Special Composition Question.Chad Carmichael - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):475-490.
    The special composition question is the question, ‘When do some things compose something?’ The answers to this question in the literature have largely been at odds with common sense, either by allowing that any two things compose something, or by denying the existence of most ordinary composite objects. I propose a new ‘series-style’ answer to the special composition question that accords much more closely with common sense, and I defend this answer from van Inwagen's objections. Specifically, I will argue that (...)
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  36. Junky Non-Worlds.Daniel Giberman - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (2):437-443.
    A mereological structure is junky if and only if each of its elements is a proper part of some other. The young literature on junk has focused on junky worlds and whether they are counterexamples to unrestricted composition. The present note defends the possibility of junky structures that are not worlds. This possibility complicates a recent attempt in the literature to render junk consistent with a weakened form of unrestricted composition. The upshot is that junky non-worlds threaten the weakened form (...)
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  37. Restricted Diachronic Composition and Special Relativity.Stephan Torre - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):235-255.
    When do objects at different times compose a further object? This is the question of diachronic composition. The universalist answers, ‘under any conditions whatsoever’. Others argue for restrictions on diachronic composition: composition occurs only when certain conditions are met. Recently, some philosophers have argued that restrictions on diachronic compositions are motivated by our best physical theories. In Persistence and Spacetime and elsewhere, Yuri Balashov argues that diachronic compositions are restricted in terms of causal connections between object stages. In a recent (...)
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  38. Anaxagorae Homoeomeria.David Torrijos-Castrillejo - 2015 - Elenchos 36 (1):141-148.
    Aristotle introduced in the history of the reception of Anaxagoras the term “homoiomerous”. This word refers to substances whose parts are similar to each other and to the whole. Although Aristotle’s explanations can be puzzling, the term “homoiomerous” may explain an authentic aspect of Anaxagoras’ doctrine reflected in the fragments of his work. Perhaps one should find a specific meaning for the term “homoiomerous” in Anaxagoras, somewhat different from the one present in Aristotle. This requires a review of the sense (...)
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  39. Unrestricted Composition as Identity.Einar Duenger Bohn - 2014 - In Donald Baxter & Aaron Cotnoir (eds.), Composition as Identity. Oxford University Press. pp. 143-65.
    In this paper I argue that composition as identity entails unrestricted composition. I also briefly consider a new take on the special composition question.
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  40. Universalism and Junk.A. J. Cotnoir - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):649-664.
    Those who accept the necessity of mereological universalism face what has come to be known as the ‘junk argument’ due to Bohn [2009], which proceeds from the incompatibility of junk with universalism and the possibility of junk, to conclude that mereological universalism isn't metaphysically necessary. Most attention has focused on ; however, recent authors have cast doubt on . This paper undertakes a defence of premise against three main objections. The first is a new objection to the effect that Bohn's (...)
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  41. Ontology in Plain English.John Horden - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (255):225-242.
    In a series of papers, Eli Hirsch develops a deflationary account of certain ontological debates, specifically those regarding the composition and persistence of physical objects. He argues that these debates are merely verbal disputes between philosophers who fail to correctly express themselves in a common language. To establish the truth in plain English about these issues, Hirsch contends, we need only listen to the assertions of ordinary speakers and interpret them charitably. In this paper, I argue that Hirsch's conclusions rest (...)
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  42. Mereological Sums and Singular Terms.Kathrin Koslicki - 2014 - In Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. Oxford University Press. pp. 209-235.
    The relative merits of standard mereology have received quite a bit of attention in recent years from metaphysicians concerned with the part/whole properties of material objects. A question that has not been pursued to the same degree, however, is what sort of semantic repercussions a commitment to mereological sums in the standard sense might have in particular on the predicted behavior of singular terms and our practices of using such terms to refer to objects. The apparent mismatch between our actual (...)
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  43. What Do We Want to Know When We Ask the Simple Question?David Mark Kovacs - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (255):254-266.
    The Simple Question (SQ) asks: “What are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions any x must satisfy in order for it to be true that x is a simple?” The main motivation for asking SQ stems from the hope that it could teach us important lessons for material-object ontology. It is universally accepted that a proper answer to it has to be finite, complete and devoid of mereological expressions. This paper argues that we should stop treating SQ as the central (...)
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  44. A Spatial Approach to Mereology.Ned Markosian - 2014 - In Shieva Keinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. Oxford University Press.
    When do several objects compose a further object? The last twenty years have seen a great deal of discussion of this question. According to the most popular view on the market, there is a physical object composed of your brain and Jeremy Bentham’s body. According to the second-most popular view on the market, there are no such objects as human brains or human bodies, and there are also no atoms, rocks, tables, or stars. And according to the third-ranked view, there (...)
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  45. Parts as Counterparts.Aaron Cotnoir - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):228-241.
    Mereological nihilists are faced with a difficult challenge: explaining ordinary talk about material objects. Popular paraphrase strategies involve plurals, arrangements of particles, or fictions. In this paper, a new paraphrase strategy is put forward that has distinct advantages over its rivals: it is compatible with gunk and emergent properties of macro-objects. The only assumption is a commitment to a liberal view of the nature of simples; the nihilist must be willing to accept the possibility of heterogeneous extended simples. The author (...)
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  46. Composition as Identity Doesn’T Settle the Special Composition Question1.Ross P. Cameron - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):531-554.
    Orthodoxy says that the thesis that composition is identity 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 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 (...)
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  47. The Junk Argument: Safe Disposal Guidelines for Mereological Universalists.Gabriele Contessa - 2012 - Analysis 72 (3):455-457.
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  48. All Things Must Pass Away.Joshua Spencer - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 7:67.
    Are there any things that are such that any things whatsoever are among them. I argue that there are not. My thesis follows from these three premises: (1) There are two or more things; (2) for any things, there is a unique thing that corresponds to those things; (3) for any two or more things, there are fewer of them than there are pluralities of them.
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  49. Familiar Objects and Their Shadows. By Crawford L. Elder. (Cambridge UP, 2011. Pp. Xi + 210. Price £50.00, $85.00 H/B.).Nathan Wildman - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (246):195-197.
  50. Vague Composition Without Vague Existence.Chad Carmichael - 2011 - Noûs 45 (2):315-327.
    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 composition, there is an object, (...)
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