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  1. added 2020-02-25
    Double-Counting and the Problem of the Many.David Liebesman - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-26.
    There is a defeasible constraint against double counting. When I count colours, for instance, I can’t freely count both a colour and its shades. Once we properly grasp this constraint, we can solve the problem of the many. Unlike other solutions, this solution requires us to reject neither our counting judgments, nor the metaphysical principles that seemingly conflict with them. The key is recognizing that the judgments and principles are compatible due to the targeted effects of the defeasible constraint.
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  2. added 2019-08-02
    The Mental Problems of the Many.Peter Unger - 1999 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 195-222.
  3. added 2019-06-06
    The Problem of the Many and the Vagueness of Constitution.E. J. Lowe - 1995 - Analysis 55 (3):179-182.
  4. added 2019-06-05
    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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  5. added 2019-03-11
    Many, but One.Evan T. Woods - forthcoming - Synthese:1-18.
    The problem of the many threatens to show that, in general, there are far more ordinary objects than you might have thought. I present and motivate a solution to this problem using many-one identity. According to this solution, the many things that seem to have what it takes to be, say, a cat, are collectively identical to that single cat.
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  6. added 2018-10-16
    What Are Tropes, Fundamentally? A Formal Ontological Account.Jani Hakkarainen - 2018 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 94:129-159.
    In this paper, I elaborate on the Strong Nuclear Theory (SNT) of tropes and substances, which I have defended elsewhere, using my metatheory about formal ontology and especially fundamental ontological form. According to my metatheory, for an entity to have an ontological form is for it to be a relatum of a formal ontological relation or relations jointly in an order. The full fundamental ontological form is generically identical to a simple formal ontological relation or relations jointly in an order. (...)
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  7. added 2018-03-21
    Mereological Nihilism and Puzzles About Material Objects.Bradley Rettler - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):842-868.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that no objects have proper parts. Despite how counter‐intuitive it is, it is taken quite seriously, largely because it solves a number of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects – or so its proponents claim. In this article, I show that for every puzzle that mereological nihilism solves, there is a similar puzzle that (a) it doesn’t solve, and (b) every other solution to the original puzzle does solve. Since the solutions to the new (...)
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  8. added 2017-05-04
    Multiple Constitution.Nicholas K. Jones - 2015 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmer (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9. Oxford: OUP. pp. 217-261.
    This paper outlines a novel solution to the problem of the many and a conception of ordinary objects that implies it. The solution is that many collections of particles can simultaneously constitute a single object. The proposed conception of ordinary objects maintains that they are fundamentally subjects of change: the changes an object is able to survive explain its constitution.
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  9. added 2017-03-13
    Indeterminate Comprehension.Jonathan A. Simon - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):39-48.
    Can we solve the Problem of the Many, and give a general account of the indeterminacy in definite descriptions that give rise to it, by appealing to metaphysically indeterminate entities? I argue that we cannot. I identify a feature common to the relevant class of definite descriptions, and derive a contradiction from the claim that each such description is satisfied by a metaphysically indeterminate entity.
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  10. added 2017-01-23
    Reply to Lowe.P. T. Geach - 1982 - Analysis 42 (1):30 -.
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  11. added 2017-01-18
    Derivative Properties and the Too Many Thinkers Problem.Joungbin Lim - 2014 - Metaphysica 15 (2).
  12. added 2016-12-08
    Ontology, Composition, Quantification and Action.Bryan Frances - 2016 - Analysis 76 (2):137-142.
    The literature on material composition has largely ignored the composition of actions and events. I argue that this is a mistake. I present a set of individually plausible yet jointly inconsistent claims regarding the connection between quantification and existence, the composition of physical entities and the logical forms of action sentences.
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  13. added 2016-12-08
    Is the Problem of the Many a Problem in Metaphysics?Dan López de Sa - 2008 - Noûs 42 (4):746-752.
    Kilimanjaro is a paradigmatic mountain, if any is. Consider atom Sparky, which is neither determinately part of Kilimanjaro nor determinately not part of it. Let Kilimanjaro(+) be the body of land constituted, in the way mountains are constituted by their constituent atoms, by the atoms that make up Kilimanjaro together with Sparky, and Kilimanjaro(–) the one constituted by those other than Sparky. On the one hand, there seems to be just one mountain in the vicinity of Kilimanjaro. On the other (...)
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  14. added 2016-03-23
    Brutal Composition.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (3):211 - 249.
    According to standard, pre-philosophical intuitions, there are many composite objects in the physical universe. There is, for example, my bicycle, which is composed of various parts - wheels, handlebars, molecules, atoms, etc. Recently, a growing body of philosophical literature has concerned itself with questions about the nature of composition.1 The main question that has been raised about composition is, roughly, this: Under what circumstances do some things compose, or add up to, or form, a single object? It turns out that (...)
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  15. added 2016-02-25
    The Exclusion Problem Meets the Problem of Many Causes.Matthew C. Haug - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (1):55-65.
    In this paper I develop a novel response to the exclusion problem. I argue that the nature of the events in the causally complete physical domain raises the “problem of many causes”: there will typically be countless simultaneous low-level physical events in that domain that are causally sufficient for any given high-level physical event. This shows that even reductive physicalists must admit that the version of the exclusion principle used to pose the exclusion problem against non-reductive physicalism is too strong. (...)
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  16. added 2015-10-23
    Dion, Theon, and the Many-Thinkers Problem.Michael B. Burke - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):242–250.
    Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? In Burke 1994, employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, I defended a surprising position last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes. This paper defends that position against objections by Stone, Carter, Olson, and others. Most notably, it offers a novel, conservative solution (...)
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  17. added 2015-10-23
    Is My Head a Person?Michael B. Burke - 2003 - In K. Petrus (ed.), On Human Persons. Heusenstamm Nr Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag. pp. 107-125.
    It is hard to see why the head and other brain-containing parts of a person are not themselves persons, or at least thinking, conscious beings. Some theorists have sought to reconcile us to the existence of thinking person-parts. Others have sought to avoid them, but have relied on radical theories at odds with the metaphysic implicit in ordinary ways of thinking. This paper offers a novel, conservative solution, one on which the heads and other brain-containing parts of persons do exist (...)
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  18. added 2015-10-23
    Objects and Persons. [REVIEW]Michael B. Burker - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (4):586-588.
    Over the last two or three decades, puzzles concerning vagueness, identity, and material constitution have led an increasing number of ontologists to “eliminate” at least some of the objects of folk ontology. In the book here reviewed, Trenton Merricks proposes to eliminate any and all material objects that lack nonredundant causal powers. The objects found lacking include statues, baseballs, planets, and all other inanimate macroscopica, including the masses and conjunctive objects favored by some other eliminativists. The objects found to possess (...)
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  19. added 2015-10-20
    Objects: Nothing Out of the Ordinary.Daniel Z. Korman - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
    One of the central questions of material-object metaphysics is which highly visible objects there are right before our eyes. Daniel Z. Korman defends a conservative view, according to which our ordinary, natural judgments about which objects there are are more or less correct. He begins with an overview of the arguments that have led people away from the conservative view, into revisionary views according to which there are far more objects than we ordinarily take there to be or far fewer. (...)
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  20. added 2015-04-27
    Does Vagueness Underlie the Mass/Count Distinction?David Liebesman - 2016 - Synthese 193 (1):185-203.
    Does vagueness underlie the mass/count distinction? My answer is no. I motivate this answer in two ways. First, I argue against Chierchia’s recent attempt to explain the distinction in terms of vagueness. Second, I give a more general argument that no such account will succeed.
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  21. added 2015-03-28
    On Being a Cat.E. J. Lowe - 1982 - Analysis 42 (3):174 - 177.
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  22. added 2015-03-05
    Parts and Wholes.Kris McDaniel - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (5):412-425.
    Philosophical questions concerning parts and wholes have received a tremendous amount of the attention of contemporary analytic metaphysicians. In what follows, I discuss some of the central questions. The questions to be discussed are: how general is parthood? Are there different kinds of parthood or ways to be a part? Can two things be composed of the same parts? When does composition occur? Can material objects gain or lose parts? What is the logical form of the parthood relation enjoyed by (...)
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  23. added 2015-03-05
    Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Objects and Persons presents an original theory about what kinds of things exist. Trenton Merricks argues that there are no non-living inanimate macrophysical objects -- no statues or rocks or chairs or stars -- because they would have no causal role over and above the causal role of their microphysical parts. Humans do exist: we have non-redundant causal powers. Along the way, Merricks has interesting things to say about mental causation, free will, and various philosophical puzzles. Anyone working in metaphysics (...)
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  24. added 2015-02-13
    The Ontology of Material Objects.E. T. Olson - 2002 - Philosophical Books 43 (4):292-299.
    [First paragraph] For a long time philosophers thought material objects were unproblematic. Or nearly so. There may have been a problem about what a material object is: a substance, a bundle of tropes, a compound of substratum and universals, a collection of sense-data, or what have you. But once that was settled there were supposed to be no further metaphysical problems about material objects. This illusion has now largely been dispelled. No one can get a Ph.D. in philosophy nowadays without (...)
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  25. added 2015-02-12
    What Are Natural Kinds?Katherine Hawley & Alexander Bird - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):205-221.
    We articulate a view of natural kinds as complex universals. We do not attempt to argue for the existence of universals. Instead, we argue that, given the existence of universals, and of natural kinds, the latter can be understood in terms of the former, and that this provides a rich, flexible framework within which to discuss issues of indeterminacy, essentialism, induction, and reduction. Along the way, we develop a 'problem of the many' for universals.
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  26. added 2014-12-08
    Almost One, Overlap and Function.C. S. Sutton - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):45-52.
    In David Lewis’s famous ‘Many, but Almost One’, he argues that when objects of the same kind share most of their parts, they can be counted as one. I argue that mereological overlap does not do the trick. A better candidate is overlap in function. Although mereological overlap often goes hand-in-hand with functional overlap, a functional approach is more accurate in cases in which mereology and function are teased apart. A functional approach also solves a version of the problem of (...)
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  27. added 2014-04-02
    Introduction: Vagueness and Ontology.Geert Keil - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):149-164.
    The article introduces a special issue of the journal Metaphysica on vagueness and ontology. The conventional view has it that all vagueness is semantic or representational. Russell, Dummett, Evans and Lewis, inter alia, have argued that the notion of “ontic” or “metaphysical” vagueness is not even intelligible. In recent years, a growing minority of philosophers have tried to make sense of the notion and have spelled it out in various ways. The article gives an overview and relates the idea of (...)
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  28. added 2014-04-01
    Lewis Vs Lewis on the Problem of the Many.Dan López de Sa - 2014 - Synthese 191 (6):1105-1117.
    Consider a cat on a mat. On the one hand, there seems to be just one cat, but on the other there seem to be many things with as good a claim as anything in the vicinity to being a cat. Hence, the problem of the many. In his ‘Many, but Almost One,’ David Lewis offered two solutions. According to the first, only one of the many is indeed a cat, although it is indeterminate exactly which one. According to the (...)
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  29. added 2014-03-27
    Universalism, Four Dimensionalism, and Vagueness.Hud Hudson - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (3):547-560.
    Anyone who endorses Universalism and Four Dimensionalism owes us an argument for those controversial mereological theses. One may put forth David Lewis’s and Ted Sider’s arguments from vagueness. However, the success of those arguments depends on the rejection of the epistemic view of vagueness, and thus opens the door to a fatal confrontation with one particularly troubling version of The Problem of the Many. The alternative for friends of Universalism and Four Dimensionalism is to abandon those currently fashionable arguments in (...)
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  30. added 2014-03-26
    Fuzzy Realism and the Problem of the Many.Michael Tye - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):215 - 225.
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  31. added 2014-03-19
    The Problem of the Many Minds.Bradley Monton & Sanford Goldberg - 2006 - Minds and Machines 16 (4):463-470.
    It is argued that, given certain reasonable premises, an infinite number of qualitatively identical but numerically distinct minds exist per functioning brain. The three main premises are (1) mental properties supervene on brain properties; (2) the universe is composed of particles with nonzero extension; and (3) each particle is composed of continuum-many point-sized bits of particle-stuff, and these points of particle-stuff persist through time.
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  32. added 2014-03-19
    The Thesis of Vague Objects and Unger's Problem of the Many.David B. Hershenov - 2001 - Philosophical Papers 30 (1):57-67.
    Although the predominant view is that vagueness is due to our language being imprecise, the alternative idea that objects themselves do not have determinate borders has received an occasional hearing. But what has failed to be appreciated is how this idea can avoid a puzzle Peter Unger named “The Problem of the Many.”[i].
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  33. added 2014-03-13
    Indeterminate Truth.Patrick Greenough - 2008 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 32 (1):213-241.
    In §2-4, I survey three extant ways of making sense of indeterminate truth and find each of them wanting. All the later sections of the paper are concerned with showing that the most promising way of making sense of indeterminate truth is via either a theory of truthmaker gaps or via a theory of truthmaking gaps. The first intimations of a truthmaker–truthmaking gap theory of indeterminacy are to be found in Quine (1981). In §5, we see how Quine proposes to (...)
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  34. added 2014-01-20
    1. The Problem of the Many.Thomas Sattig - 2010 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 5:145.
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  35. added 2013-04-07
    Ordinary Objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An encyclopedia entry which covers various revisionary conceptions of which macroscopic objects there are, and the puzzles and arguments that motivate these conceptions: sorites arguments, the argument from vagueness, the puzzles of material constitution, arguments against indeterminate identity, arguments from arbitrariness, debunking arguments, the overdetermination argument, and the problem of the many.
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  36. added 2013-03-07
    Reasoning Without the Principle of Sufficient Reason.Shieva Kleinschmidt - 2013 - In Tyron Goldschmidt (ed.), The Philosophy of Existence: Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? Routledge. pp. 64-79.
    According to Principles of Sufficient Reason, every truth (in some relevant group) has an explanation. One of the most popular defenses of Principles of Sufficient Reason has been the presupposition of reason defense, which takes endorsement of the defended PSR to play a crucial role in our theory selection. According to recent presentations of this defense, our method of theory selection often depends on the assumption that, if a given proposition is true, then it has an explanation, and this will (...)
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  37. added 2012-09-24
    Solitude Without Souls: Why Peter Unger Hasn’T Established Substance Dualism.Will Bynoe & Nicholas K. Jones - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (1):109-125.
    Unger has recently argued that if you are the only thinking and experiencing subject in your chair, then you are not a material object. This leads Unger to endorse a version of Substance Dualism according to which we are immaterial souls. This paper argues that this is an overreaction. We argue that the specifically Dualist elements of Unger’s view play no role in his response to the problem; only the view’s structure is required, and that is available to Unger’s opponents. (...)
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  38. added 2012-02-06
    Many Many Problems.Brian Weatherson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):481–501.
    Recently four different papers have suggested that the supervaluational solution to the Problem of the Many is flawed. Stephen Schiffer (1998, 2000a, 2000b) has argued that the theory cannot account for reports of speech involving vague singular terms. Vann McGee and Brian McLaughlin (2000) say that theory cannot, yet, account for vague singular beliefs. Neil McKinnon (2002) has argued that we cannot provide a plausible theory of when precisifications are acceptable, which the supervaluational theory needs. And Roy Sorensen (2000) argues (...)
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  39. added 2011-07-11
    Many, but Almost One.David K. Lewis - 1993 - In Keith Cambell, John Bacon & Lloyd Reinhardt (eds.), Ontology, Causality and Mind: Essays on the Philosophy of D. M. Armstrong. Cambridge University Press. pp. 23-38.
  40. added 2011-07-01
    A Materialist Metaphysics of the Human Person.Hud Hudson - 2001 - Cornell University Press.
    Introduction In the first four chapters of this book, I develop and defend a monistic account of human persons according to which human persons are highly ...
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  41. added 2011-07-01
    Constitution is Not Identity.Mark Johnston - 1992 - Mind 101 (401):89-106.
  42. added 2011-07-01
    The Paradox of the 1,001 Cats.E. J. Lowe - 1982 - Analysis 42 (1):27 - 30.
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  43. added 2011-07-01
    What Price Bivalence?W. V. Quine - 1981 - Journal of Philosophy 78 (2):90-95.
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  44. added 2011-06-13
    Maximality and Consciousness.Trenton Merricks - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):150-158.
    Being conscious is intrinsic. Suppose P, a conscious human being, “shrinks” by losing an atom from her left index finger. Suppose that at the very first instant at which P has lost that atom, the atoms that then compose her remain just as they were immediately before “the loss.” This implies—assuming MS for reductio—that, just as those atoms compose a conscious object after the loss, so they composed a conscious object before the loss. Name that latter object ‘the atom-complement’.
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  45. added 2011-05-31
    The Problem of the Many.Peter Unger - 1980 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5 (1):411-468.
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  46. added 2010-04-08
    Vague Composition and the Problem of the Many.Brian Weatherson - manuscript
    Assume also that it is vague, in some sense, which hairs are hairs of that cat. Then one might think that it is indeterminate in some sense which thing is the cat on the mat.
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  47. added 2008-12-31
    The Problem of the Many.Brian Weatherson - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2016.
    As anyone who has flown out of a cloud knows, the boundaries of a cloud are a lot less sharp up close than they can appear on the ground. Even when it seems clearly true that there is one, sharply bounded, cloud up there, really there are thousands of water droplets that are neither determinately part of the cloud, nor determinately outside it. Consider any object that consists of the core of the cloud, plus an arbitrary selection of these droplets. (...)
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  48. added 2008-12-31
    A New Problem of the Many.Neil McKinnon - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):80-97.
    Peter Unger's 'problem of the many' has elicited many responses over the past quarter of a century. Here I present a new problem of the many. This new problem, I claim, is resistant to the solutions cunently on offer for Unger's problem.
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  49. added 2008-12-31
    Endurantism, Diachronic Vagueness and the Problem of the Many.By Kristie Miller - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2):242–253.
    A plausible desideratum for an account of the nature of objects, at, and across time, is that it accommodate the phenomenon of vagueness without locating vagueness in the world. A series of arguments have attempted to show that while universalist perdurantism – which combines a perdurantist account of persistence with an unrestricted mereological account of composition – meets this desideratum, endurantist accounts do not. If endurantists reject unrestricted composition then they must hold that vagueness is ontological. But if they embrace (...)
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  50. added 2008-12-31
    An Argument for the Many.Robert Williams - 2006 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (1):411-419.
    If one believes that vagueness is an exclusively representational phenomenon, one faces the problem of the many. In the vicinity of Kilimanjaro, there are many many ‘mountain candidates’ all, apparently, with more-or-less equal claim to be mountains. David Lewis has defended a radical claim: that all the billions of mountain candidates are mountains. This paper argues that the supervaluationist about vagueness should adopt Lewis’ proposal, on pain of losing their best explanation of the seductiveness of the sorites.
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