Mereology

Edited by Meg Wallace (University of Kentucky)
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  1. Points as Higher-Order Constructs: Whitehead’s Method of Extensive Abstraction.Achille C. Varzi - forthcoming - In Stewart Shapiro & Geoffrey Hellman (eds.), The Continuous. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Euclid’s definition of a point as “that which has no part” has been a major source of controversy in relation to the epistemological and ontological presuppositions of classical geometry, from the medieval and modern disputes on indivisibilism to the full development of point-free geometries in the 20th century. Such theories stem from the general idea that all talk of points as putative lower-dimensional entities must and can be recovered in terms of suitable higher-order constructs involving only extended regions (or bodies). (...)
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  2. Conceptualizing Kant’s Mereology.Benjamin Marschall - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
    In the Resolution of the Second Antinomy of the first Critique and the Dynamics chapter of the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Sciences, Kant presents his critical views on mereology, the study of parts and wholes. He endorses an unusual position: Matter is said to be infinitely divisible without being infinitely divided. It would be mistaken to think that matter consists of infinitely many parts—rather, parts “exist only in the representation of them, hence in the dividing”. This view, according to which (...)
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  3. Drawing Boundaries.Barry Smith - 2019 - In Timothy Tambassi (ed.), The Philosophy of GIS. New York: Springer. pp. 137-158.
    In “On Drawing Lines on a Map” (1995), I suggested that the different ways we have of drawing lines on maps open up a new perspective on ontology, resting on a distinction between two sorts of boundaries: fiat and bona fide. “Fiat” means, roughly: human-demarcation-induced. “Bona fide” means, again roughly: a boundary constituted by some real physical discontinuity. I presented a general typology of boundaries based on this opposition and showed how it generates a corresponding typology of the different sorts (...)
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  4. The Nonclassical Mereology of Olfactory Experiences.Błażej Skrzypulec - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    While there is a growing philosophical interest in analysing olfactory experiences, the mereological structure of odours considered in respect of how they are perceptually experienced has not yet been extensively investigated. The paper argues that odours are perceptually experienced as having a mereological structure, but this structure is significantly different from the spatial mereological structure of visually experienced objects. Most importantly, in the case of the olfactory part-structure, the classical weak supplementation principle is not satisfied. This thesis is justified by (...)
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  5. Conceptual Conservatism and Contingent Composition.Josh Parsons - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (4):327-339.
    ABSTRACT This paper proposes a novel answer to the Special Composition Question. In some respects it agrees with brutalism about composition; in others with universalism. The main novel feature of this answer is the insight I think it gives into what the debate over the Special Composition Question is about.
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  6. Intuitionistic Mereology.Paolo Maffezioli & Achille C. Varzi - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    Two mereological theories are presented based on a primitive apartness relation along with binary relations of mereological excess and weak excess, respectively. It is shown that both theories are acceptable from the standpoint of constructive reasoning while remaining faithful to the spirit of classical mereology. The two theories are then compared and assessed with regard to their extensional import.
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  7. Vedrørende Husserls lære om helheter og deler.Petter Sandstad - 2018 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 53 (2-03):150-164.
    A Norwegian translation is here offered of Eugenie Ginsberg’s paper «Zur Husserlschen Lehre von den Ganzen und den Teilen» (in Archiv für systematische Philosophie und Soziologie 32, 1929, 108–120). The paper discusses Husserl’s six theorems from Logical Investigations III, §14. Ginsberg provides new proofs for theorems 1 and 3, and also endorses theorem 5. In contrast, a counter example is given to theorems 2, 4, and 6: However, proofs are supplied for a modified version of these theorems. Furthermore, an additional (...)
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  8. 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 (...)
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  9. 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 (...)
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  10. Emergent Quasiparticles. Or How to Get a Rich Physics From a Sober Metaphysics.Alexandre Guay & Olivier Sartenaer - 2018 - In Melinda Fagan, Otávio Bueno & Ruey-Lin Chen (eds.), Individuation, Process and Scientific Practices. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 214-235.
    Among the very architects of the recent re-emergence of emergentism in the physical sciences, Robert B. Laughlin certainly occupies a prominent place. Through a series of works beginning as early as his Nobel lecture in 1998, a lecture given after having been awarded, together with Störmer and Tsui, the Nobel prize in physics for its contribution in the elucidation of the fractional quantum Hall effect, Laughlin openly and relentlessly advocated a strongly anti-reductionistic view of physics – and, more particularly, of (...)
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  11. The Earth and the Aleph.Josh Parsons - manuscript
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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. Plato on Parts and Wholes: The Metaphysics of Structure.C. Shields - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (2):273-277.
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  15. Theseus, Imparting and Exparting.Wylie Breckenridge - manuscript
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  16. La Multiplicidad de los Entes según Tomás de Aquino.Fernando Riofrío Zúñiga - 2017 - Saarbrüken, Germany: Editorial Académica Española. OmniScriptum.
    These PhD Dissertation published as a book is a research on Metaphysics about the problem of Multiplicity explained by its principles on the grounds of Aristotle's Metaphysics focused on substance and metaphysical thought of Aquinas. According to Aquinas the multitude of forms are the cause of multiplicity of beings. Super Boethium De Trinitate has an importan treatment of matter and form as causes of substantial identity, of substance's non-being and something else and be a this. Therefore the multiplicity of beings (...)
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  17. On Being Ultimately Composed of Atoms.Achille C. Varzi - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2891-2900.
    Mereological atomism is the thesis that everything is ultimately composed of atomic parts, i.e., parts lacking proper parts. Standardly, this thesis is characterized by an axiom that says, more simply, that everything has atomic parts. Anthony Shiver has argued that this characterization is satisfied by models that are not atomistic, and is therefore inadequate. I argue that Shiver’s conclusion can and ought to be resisted, for the models in question are atomistic in the intended sense, and even though the standard (...)
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  18. 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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  19. La verità e il campo visivo.Barry Smith - 1999 - Paradigmi 17:49-62.
    L'articolo usa la teoria delle parti, del tutto e dei contomi per elaborare alcune relazioni cruciali tra la «psicologia ecologica» di J.J. Gibson e la fenomenologia di Husserl. Presenta, inoltre, una teoria ontologica dei contomi spaziali e delle entita spazialmente estese, applicandola al cam po visivo, qui concepito come un' entita spazialmente estesa dipendente dal soggetto che percepisce. Su questa base e possibile formulare un nuovo tipo di definizione teoretico-correspondentista della verita per gli enunciati del linguaggio naturale.
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  20. Engineering Ontologies: Foundations and Theories From Philosophy and Logical Theory.Nicola Guarino & Barry Smith - 2006 - In SemanticMining: Semantic Interoperability and Data Mining in Biomedicine (NoE 507505). 1 Deliverable D.21.2. pp. 1-13.
    Ontology as a branch of philosophy is the science of what is, of the kinds and structures of objects, properties, events, processes and relations in every area of reality. ‘Ontology’ is often used by philosophers as a synonym for ‘metaphysics’ (literally: ‘what comes after the Physics’), a term which was used by early students of Aristotle to refer to what Aristotle himself called ‘first philosophy’. The term ‘ontology’ (or ontologia) was itself coined in 1613, independently, by two philosophers, Rudolf Göckel (...)
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  21. Relational Holism and Quantum Mechanics1.Paul Teller - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (1):71-81.
    One can give a strong sense to the idea that a relation does not 'reduce' to non-relational properties by saying that a relation does not supervene upon the non-relational properties of its relata. That there are such inherent relations I call the doctrine of relational holism, a doctrine which seems to conflict with traditional ideas about physicalism. At least parts of classical physics seem to be free of relational holism, but quantum mechanics, on at least some interpretations, incorporates the doctrine (...)
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  22. Partial Content and Expressions of Part and Whole. Discussion of Stephen Yablo: Aboutness.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):797-808.
    In 'Aboutness' (MIT Press 2014), Yablo argues for the importance of the notions of partial content and partial truth. This paper argues that they are involved in a much greater range of entities than acknowledged by Yablo. The paper also argues that some of those entities involve a notion of partial satisfaction as well as partial existence (validity).
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  23. Slot Mereology Revised.Paweł Garbacz - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):171-177.
    The paper suggests two revisions of K. Bennett's system of slot mereology. The revisions do not touch on the philosophical rationale for this system, but are focused on certain logical deficiencies in her formalisation.
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  24. What Does “Nothing Over and Above its Parts” Actually Mean?Jeroen Smid - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (1):e12391.
    Some philosophers say that a whole is “nothing over and above” its parts. Most also take general extensilonal mereology to be treating wholes as “nothing over and above” their parts. It is not always clear, however, what exactly is meant by the phrase “nothing over and above.” Nor is it obvious why the phrase is associated with mereology, and what purpose it serves there. In the words of Peter Van Inwagen : “This slippery phrase has had a lot of employment (...)
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  25. Mereological Considerations In Vasubandhu’s “Proof of Idealism”.Matthew Kapstein - 1988 - Idealistic Studies 18:32.
    And the venerable Nāgasena said to Milinda the king: “You, Sire, have been brought up in great luxury, as beseems your noble birth. If you were to walk this dry weather on the hot and sandy ground, trampling under foot the gritty, gravelly grains of the hard sand, your feet would hurt you. And as your body would be in pain, your mind would be disturbed, and you would experience a sense of bodily suffering. How then did you come, on (...)
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  26. Vague Objects and Phenomenal Wholes.Olli Koistinen & Arto Repo - 2002 - Acta Analytica 17 (2):83-99.
    We consider the so-called problem of the many, formulated by Peter Unger. It arises because ordinary material things do not have precise boundaries: it is always possible to find borderline parts of which it is not true to say either that they are parts or that they are not. Unger’s conclusion is that there are no ordinary things at all. We describe the solutions of Peter van Inwagen and David Lewis, and make some critical comments upon them. After that we (...)
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  27. Wholes and Structures an Attempt at a Philosophical Analysis.Knut Erik Tranøy - 1959 - Munksgaard.
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  28. Before the Mereological Fallacy: A Rejoinder to Rom Harré: Discussion.P. M. S. Hacker - 2013 - Philosophy 88 (1):141-148.
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  29. The Structure of Objects. [REVIEW]Katherine Hawley - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):336-339.
    Short review of The Structure of Objects by Kathrin Koslicki.
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  30. Part and Whole in Physics: An Introduction.Richard Healey & Jos Uffink - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (1):20-21.
  31. Anti‐Symmetry and Non‐Extensional Mereology.Aaron Cotnoir - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):396-405.
    I examine the link between extensionality principles of classical mereology and the anti‐symmetry of parthood. Varzi's most recent defence of extensionality depends crucially on assuming anti‐symmetry. I examine the notions of proper parthood, weak supplementation and non‐well‐foundedness. By rejecting anti‐symmetry, the anti‐extensionalist has a unified, independently grounded response to Varzi's arguments. I give a formal construction of a non‐extensional mereology in which anti‐symmetry fails. If the notion of ‘mereological equivalence’ is made explicit, this non‐anti‐symmetric mereology recaptures all of the structure (...)
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  32. Cualidades (Simples) y semejanza.Jose A. Robles - 1977 - Critica 9 (26):91-111.
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  33. Mereological Considerations In Vasubandhu’s “Proof of Idealism”.Matthew Kapstein - 1988 - Idealistic Studies 18 (1):32-54.
    And the venerable Nāgasena said to Milinda the king: “You, Sire, have been brought up in great luxury, as beseems your noble birth. If you were to walk this dry weather on the hot and sandy ground, trampling under foot the gritty, gravelly grains of the hard sand, your feet would hurt you. And as your body would be in pain, your mind would be disturbed, and you would experience a sense of bodily suffering. How then did you come, on (...)
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  34. Bolzano on Collections.Peter Simons - 1997 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 53 (1):87-108.
    Bolzano's theory of collections has usually been taken as a rudimentary set theory. More recently, Frank Krickel has claimed it is a mereology. I find both interpretations wanting. Bolzano's theory is, as I show, extremely broad in scope; it is in fact a general theory of collective entities, including the concrete wholes of mereology, classes-as-many, and many empirical collections. By extending Bolzano's ideas to embrace the three factors of kind, components and mode of combination, one may develop a coherent general (...)
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  35. Parts and Wholes: Universals as Relations in the Thought of Aquinas.Kevin M. Staley - 1992 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 66:203-213.
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  36. Composition.A. L. Peck - 1928 - The Classical Review 42 (1):3-5.
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  37. Précis of Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (3):700-703.
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  38. Unity and Time in Metaphysics.Benedikt Schick, Edmund Runggaldier & Ludger Honnefelder (eds.) - 2009 - Walter de Gruyter.
    The contributions to this collection deal with the fundamental problem of unity, which plays a decisive role in many contemporary debates (even when this role ...
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  39. Formal Proper Parts Through Strong Supplementation: A Reply to Bennett.Christopher M. P. Tomaszewski - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (4):521-526.
    Kathrin Koslicki argues that ordinary material objects like tables and motorcycles have formal proper parts that structure the material proper parts. Karen Bennett rejects a key premise in Koslicki's argument according to which the material ingredient out of which a complex material object is made is a proper part of that object. Koslicki defends this premise with a principle motivated by its power to explain three important phenomena of material composition. But these phenomena can be equally well explained by a (...)
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  40. 1. Part and Whole, Resultant and Emergent.Mario Bunge - 2004 - In Emergence and Convergence: Qualitative Novelty and the Unity of Knowledge. University of Toronto Press. pp. 9-25.
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  41. 2. On the Relation Between the Partition of a Whole Into Parts and the Attribution of Properties to an Object.Kuno Lorenz - 2010 - In Logic, Language and Method – on Polarities in Human Experience: Philosophical Papers. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 20-32.
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  42. Cosmic Loops.Daniel Nolan - 2018 - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and Its Structure. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 91-106.
    This paper explores a special kind of loop of grounding: cosmic loops. A cosmic loop is a loop that intuitively requires us to go "around" the entire universe to come back to the original ground. After describing several kinds of cosmic loop scenarios, I will discuss what we can learn from these scenarios about constraints on grounding; the conceivability of cosmic loops; the possibility of cosmic loops; and the prospects for salvaging local reflexivity, asymmetry and transitivity of grounding in a (...)
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  43. Permanent Generic Relatedness and Silent Change.Niels Grewe, Ludger Jansen & Barry Smith - 2016 - In Formal Ontology and Information Systems. CEUR, Vol. 1060. pp. 1-5.
    Given the assertion of a relation between two types, like: “Epidermis has part some Keratinocyte”, we define silent change as any kind of change of the instance-relata of the relation in question that does not change the truth-value of the respective type-level assertion. Such assertions are notoriously difficult to model in OWL 2. To address this problem, we distinguish different modes of type-level relatedness giving rise to this problem and describe a conservative extension to the BFO top-level ontology that allows (...)
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  44. 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.
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  45. Strange Parts: The Metaphysics of Non‐Classical Mereologies.Aaron Cotnoir - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (9):834-845.
    The dominant theory of parts and wholes – classical extensional mereology – has faced a number of challenges in the recent literature. This article gives a sampling of some of the alleged counterexamples to some of the more controversial principles involving the connections between parthood and identity. Along the way, some of the main revisionary approaches are reviewed. First, counterexamples to extensionality are reviewed. The ‘supplementation’ axioms that generate extensionality are examined more carefully, and a suggested revision is considered. Second, (...)
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  46. Strange Parts: The Metaphysics of Non‐Classical Mereologies.Aaron Cotnoir - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (9):834-845.
    The dominant theory of parts and wholes – classical extensional mereology – has faced a number of challenges in the recent literature. This article gives a sampling of some of the alleged counterexamples to some of the more controversial principles involving the connections between parthood and identity. Along the way, some of the main revisionary approaches are reviewed. First, counterexamples to extensionality are reviewed. The ‘supplementation’ axioms that generate extensionality are examined more carefully, and a suggested revision is considered. Second, (...)
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  47. 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 (...)
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  48. Natural Objects.Joshua D. K. Brown - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):254-271.
    This paper introduces a framework for thinking about ontological questions—in particular, the Special Composition Question—and shows how the framework might help support something like an account of restricted composition. The framework takes the form of an account of natural objects, in analogy with David Lewis’s account of natural properties. Objects, like properties, come in various metaphysical grades, from the fundamental, fully objective, perfectly natural objects to the nomologically otiose, maximally gerrymandered, perfectly non-natural objects. The perfectly natural objects, I argue, are (...)
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  49. The Largest Proper Parts of a Mereological Whole: A Refutation of Classical Extensional Mereology.Patrick Monaghan - 2016 - Metaphysica.
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  50. Mereological Principles in Metaphysics.Márta Ujvári - 2014 - Metaphysica 15 (2).
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