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Constitution is not identity

Mind 101 (401):89-106 (1992)

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  1. An Ontic Account of Explanatory Reduction in Biology.Marie I. Kaiser - 2012 - Köln: Kölner Hochschulschriften.
    Convincing disputes about explanatory reductionism in the philosophy of biology require a clear and precise understanding of what a reductive explanation in biology is. The central aim of this book is to provide such an account by revealing the features that determine the reductive character of a biological explanation. Chapters I-IV provide the ground, on which I can then, in Chapter V, develop my own account of explanatory reduction in biology: Chapter I reveals the meta-philosophical assumptions that underlie my analysis (...)
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  • Consciousness as a Guide to Personal Persistence.Barry Dainton & Tim Bayne - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):549-571.
    Mentalistic (or Lockean) accounts of personal identity are normally formulated in terms of causal relations between psychological states such as beliefs, memories, and intentions. In this paper we develop an alternative (but still Lockean) account of personal identity, based on phenomenal relations between experiences. We begin by examining a notorious puzzle case due to Bernard Williams, and extract two lessons from it: first, that Williams's puzzle can be defused by distinguishing between the psychological and phenomenal approaches, second, that so far (...)
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  • What is the Grounding Problem?Louis deRosset - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (2):173-197.
    A philosophical standard in the debates concerning material constitution is the case of a statue and a lump of clay, Goliath and Lumpl, respectively. According to the story, Lumpl and Goliath are coincident throughout their respective careers. Monists hold that they are identical; pluralists that they are distinct. This paper is concerned with a particular objection to pluralism, the Grounding Problem. The objection is roughly that the pluralist faces a legitimate explanatory demand to explain various differences she alleges between Lumpl (...)
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  • Maximality, Function, and the Many.Robert Francescotti - 2019 - Metaphysica 20 (2):175-193.
    In the region where some cat sits, there are many very cat-like items that are proper parts of the cat, but which we are inclined to think are not themselves cats, e.g. all of Tibbles minus the tail. The question is, how can something be so cat-like without itself being a cat. Some have tried to answer this “Problem of the Many” by relying on a mereological maximality principle, according to which, something cannot be a member of a kind K (...)
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  • Supervaluations and the Problem of the Many.Neil McKinnon - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):320-339.
    Supervaluational treatments of vagueness are currently quite popular among those who regard vagueness as a thoroughly semantic phenomenon. Peter Unger's 'problem of the many' may be regarded as arising from the vagueness of our ordinary physical-object terms, so it is not surprising that supervaluational solutions to Unger's problem have been offered. I argue that supervaluations do not afford an adequate solution to the problem of the many. Moreover, the considerations I raise against the supervaluational solution tell also against the solution (...)
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  • Deconstructing the Brain Disconnection–Brain Death Analogy and Clarifying the Rationale for the Neurological Criterion of Death.Melissa Moschella - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (3):279-299.
    This article explains the problems with Alan Shewmon’s critique of brain death as a valid sign of human death, beginning with a critical examination of his analogy between brain death and severe spinal cord injury. The article then goes on to assess his broader argument against the necessity of the brain for adult human organismal integration, arguing that he fails to translate correctly from biological to metaphysical claims. Finally, on the basis of a deeper metaphysical analysis, I offer a revised (...)
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  • Modal Noneism: Transworld Identity, Identification, and Individuation.Francesco Berto - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Logic 11 (2).
    Noneism a is form of Meinongianism, proposed by Richard Routley and developed and improved by Graham Priest in his widely discussed book Towards Non-Being. Priest's noneism is based upon the double move of building a worlds semantics including impossible worlds, besides possible ones, and admitting a new comprehension principle for objects, differerent from the ones proposed in other kinds of neo-Meinongian theories, such as Parsons' and Zalta's. The new principle has no restrictions on the sets of properties that can deliver (...)
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  • Travelling in Time: How to Wholly Exist in Two Places at the Same Time.Kristie Miller - 2006 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):309-334.
    It is possible to wholly exist at multiple spatial locations at the same time. At least, if time travel is possible and objects endure, then such must be the case. To accommodate this possibility requires the introduction of a spatial analog of either relativising properties to times—relativising properties to spatial locations—or of relativising the manner of instantiation to times—relativising the manner of instantiation to spatial locations. It has been suggested, however, that introducing irreducibly spatially relativised or spatially adverbialised properties presents (...)
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  • Words and Objects.Achille C. Varzi - 2002 - In Andrea Bottani, Massimiliano Carrara & Daniele Giaretta (eds.), Individuals, Essence, and Identity. Themes of Analytic Metaphysics. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 49–75.
    A lot of work in metaphysics relies on linguistic analysis and intuitions. Do we want to know what sort of things there are or could be? Then let’s see what sort of things there must be in order for what we truthfully say to be true. Do we want to see whether x is distinct from y? Then let’s see whether there is any statement that is true of x but not of y. And so on. In this paper I (...)
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  • Meta-Epistemological Scepticism: Criticisms and a Defence.Chris Ranalli - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Edinburgh
    The epistemological problem of the external world asks: (1) “How is knowledge of the world possible given certain obstacles which make it look impossible?” This is a “how-possible?” question: it asks how something is possible given certain obstacles which make it look impossible (cf. Cassam 2007; Nozick 1981; Stroud 1984). Now consider the following question, which asks: (2) “How is a philosophically satisfying answer to (1) possible?” Scepticism is the thesis that knowledge of the world is impossible. It therefore represents (...)
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  • Multiple Location Defended.Antony Eagle - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2215-2231.
    The notion of multiple location plays an important role in the characterization of endurantism. Several authors have recently offered cases intended to demonstrate the incoherence of multiple location. I argue that these cases do not succeed in making multiple location problematic. Along the way, several crucial issues about multiple location and its use by endurantists are clarified.
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  • Diachronic Metaphysical Building Relations: Towards the Metaphysics of Extended Cognition.Michael David Kirchhoff - 2014 - Dissertation, Macquarie University
    In the thesis I offer an analysis of the metaphysical underpinnings of the extended cognition thesis via an examination of standard views of metaphysical building (or, dependence) relations. -/- In summary form, the extended cognition thesis is a view put forth in naturalistic philosophy of mind stating that the physical basis of cognitive processes and cognitive processing may, in the right circumstances, be distributed across neural, bodily, and environmental vehicles. As such, the extended cognition thesis breaks substantially with the still (...)
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  • Material Objects and Essential Bundle Theory.Stephen Barker & Mark Jago - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):2969-2986.
    In this paper we present a new metaphysical theory of material objects. On our theory, objects are bundles of property instances, where those properties give the nature or essence of that object. We call the theory essential bundle theory. Property possession is not analysed as bundle-membership, as in traditional bundle theories, since accidental properties are not included in the object’s bundle. We have a different story to tell about accidental property possession. This move reaps many benefits. Essential bundle theory delivers (...)
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  • Composition and Identities.Manuel Lechthaler - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Otago
    Composition as Identity is the view that an object is identical to its parts taken collectively. I elaborate and defend a theory based on this idea: composition is a kind of identity. Since this claim is best presented within a plural logic, I develop a formal system of plural logic. The principles of this system differ from the standard views on plural logic because one of my central claims is that identity is a relation which comes in a variety of (...)
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  • Part‐Intrinsicality.J. Robert G. Williams - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):431-452.
    In some sense, survival seems to be an intrinsic matter. Whether or not you survive some event seems to depend on what goes on with you yourself —what happens in the environment shouldn’t make a difference. Likewise, being a person at a time seems intrinsic. The principle that survival seems intrinsic is one factor which makes personal fission puzzles so awkward. Fission scenarios present cases where if survival is an intrinsic matter, it appears that an individual could survive twice over. (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Material Constitution and How to Solve It: Enriching Constitution Views in Metaphysics.Robert A. Wilson - 2007 - Philosophers' Imprint 7:1-20.
    Are materially constituted entities, such as statues and glasses of liquid, something more than their material constituents? The puzzle that frames this paper stems from conflicting answers to this question. At the core of the paper is a distinctive way of thinking about material constitution that posits two concepts of constitution, compositional and ampliative constitution, with the bulk of the discussion devoted to developing distinct analyses for these concepts. Distinguishing these concepts solves our initial puzzle and enriches the space of (...)
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  • A Survival Guide to Fission.Mark Moyer - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (3):299 - 322.
    The fission of a person involves what common sense describes as a single person surviving as two distinct people. Thus, say most metaphysicians, this paradox shows us that common sense is inconsistent with the transitivity of identity. Lewis’s theory of overlapping persons, buttressed with tensed identity, gives us one way to reconcile the common sense claims. Lewis’s account, however, implausibly says that reference to a person about to undergo fission is ambiguous. A better way to reconcile the claims of common (...)
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  • Time Travel, Coinciding Objects, and Persistence.Cody Gilmore - 2007 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 3. Clarendon Press. pp. 177-198.
    Existing puzzles about coinciding objects can be divided into two types, corresponding to the manner in which they bear upon the endurantism v. perdurantism debate. Puzzles of the first type, which involve temporary spatial co-location, can be solved simply by abandoning endurantism in favor of perdurantism, whereas those of the second type, which involve career-long spatial co-location, remain equally puzzling on both views. I show that the possibility of backward time travel would give rise to a new type of puzzle. (...)
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  • Why Constitution is Not Identity.Lynne Rudder Baker - 1997 - Journal of Philosophy 94 (12):599-621.
  • Percepción, contenido intencional Y singularidad.Francisco Pereira - 2008 - Revista de filosofía (Chile) 64:143-161.
    Muchos filósofos piensan que los contenidos perceptuales son siempre generales y que no deben especificarse utilizando términos singulares. Ellos creen que los objetos /propiedades distales no constituyen esencialmente los contenidos perceptuales. Argumentaré que esta estrategia es insatisfactoria al especificar contenidos e incapaz de dar cuenta de una intuición común, según la cual la veracidad de nuestras experiencias perceptuales no es algo evaluable con independencia de si percibimos o no. Finalmente, sugeriré una alternativa "singularista" en la que los objetos distales sí (...)
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  • The Universe Among Other Things.Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Ratio 19 (1):107–120.
    Peter Simons has argued that the expression ‘the universe’ is not a genuine singular term: it can name neither a single, completely encompassing individual, nor a collection of individuals. (It is, rather, a semantically plural term standing equally for every existing object.) I offer reasons for resisting Simons’s arguments on both scores.
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  • The Ontological Parsimony of Mereology.Jeroen Smid - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3253-3271.
    Lewis famously argued that mereology is ontologically innocent. Many who have considered this claim believe he was mistaken. Mereology is not innocent, because its acceptance entails the acceptance of sums, new objects that were not previously part of one’s ontology. This argument, the argument from ontological parsimony, has two versions: a qualitative and a quantitative one. I argue that the defender of mereology can neutralize both arguments by holding that, given mereology, a commitment to the parts of an object is (...)
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  • Why Four-Dimensionalism Explains Coincidence.M. Eddon - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):721-728.
    In "Does Four-Dimensionalism Explain Coincidence" Mark Moyer argues that there is no reason to prefer the four-dimensionalist (or perdurantist) explanation of coincidence to the three-dimensionalist (or endurantist) explanation. I argue that Moyer's formulations of perdurantism and endurantism lead him to overlook the perdurantist's advantage. A more satisfactory formulation of these views reveals a puzzle of coincidence that Moyer does not consider, and the perdurantist's treatment of this puzzle is clearly preferable.
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  • A Metaphysics of Ordinary Things and Why We Need It.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2008 - Philosophy 83 (1):5-24.
    Metaphysics has enjoyed a vigorous revival in the last few decades. Even so, there has been little ontological interest in the things that we interact with everyday—trees, tables, other people.1 It is not that metaphysicians ignore ordinary things altogether. Indeed, they are happy to say that sentences like ‘The daffodils are out early this year’ or ‘My computer crashed again’ are true. But they take the truth of such sentences not to require that a full description of reality mention daffodils (...)
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  • Disembodied Animals.Allison Thornton - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (2):203-217.
    This paper defends a hylomorphic version of animalism according to which human persons survive as immaterial, bodiless animals after death. According to the hylomorphism under consideration, human persons have souls that survive death, and according to the animalism under consideration, human persons are necessarily animals. One might think this implies that human persons don't survive their deaths since if they were to survive their deaths, they would be immaterial animals after death, but necessarily animals are material. This paper shows that (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Identity.Samuel Elgin - manuscript
    The subject of this paper is the epistemology of identity: a general theory of knowledge, evidence and justification for the claim that one thing is identical to another. Although identity figures significantly in our epistemic lives, this is a topic that, to the best of my knowledge, has gone entirely unexplored. Initial attempts to integrate such an epistemology into existing theories of evidence---many of which are tailor-made for contingent propositions---are confounded by the necessity of identity. I defend a restricted form (...)
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  • II—Exclusive Individuals.Bill Brewer - 2015 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 89 (1):125-142.
    I agree with a great deal in Helen Steward's paper. I am especially sympathetic to her suggestion that we gain metaphysical illumination by considering various ways in which we arrive at ideas of certain kinds of individuals by abstraction from those of more basic kinds. My aim is to pursue that suggestion by exploring the proposal that a grounding node in this form of abstraction may be characterized by Exclusivity in spatial location. Steward claims that we arrive at our ideas (...)
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  • The Zombies Among Us.Eric T. Olson - 2018 - Noûs 52 (1):216-226.
    Philosophers disagree about whether there could be “zombies”: beings physically identical to normal human people but lacking consciousness. Establishing their possibility would refute physicalism. But it is seldom noted that the popular “constitution view” of human people implies that our bodies actually are zombies. This would contradict several widely held views in the philosophy of mind.
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  • The Endurance/Perdurance Controversy is No Storm in a Teacup.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (4):463-482.
    Several philosophers have maintained in recent years that the endurance/perdurance debate is merely verbal: these prima facie distinct theories of objects’ persistence are in fact metaphysically equivalent, they claim. The present paper challenges this view. Three proposed translation schemes are examined; all are shown to be faulty. In the process, constructive reasons for regarding the debate as a substantive one are provided. It is also suggested that the theories may have differing practical implications.
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  • Coincidence and Principles of Composition.S. Levey - 1997 - Analysis 57 (1):1-10.
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  • Distinctness and Non-Identity.D. H. Sanford - 2005 - Analysis 65 (4):269-274.
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  • I—Kit Fine: Coincidence and Form.Kit Fine - 2008 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 82 (1):101-118.
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  • Percepción, indiscriminabilidad introspectiva y el principio del factor común.Francisco Pereira - 2011 - Filosofia Unisinos 12 (2).
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  • How to Solve the Puzzle of Dion and Theon Without Losing Your Head.Chad Carmichael - forthcoming - Mind:fzy021.
    The ancient puzzle of Dion and Theon has given rise to a surprising array of apparently implausible views. For example, in order to solve the puzzle, several philosophers have been led to deny the existence of their own feet, others have denied that objects can gain and lose parts, and large numbers of philosophers have embraced the thesis that distinct objects can occupy the same space, having all their material parts in common. In this paper, I argue for an alternative (...)
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  • The Puzzles of Material Constitution.L. A. Paul - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (7):579-590.
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  • Coincident Entities and Question-Begging Predicates: An Issue in Meta-Ontology.Francesco Berto - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (1):1-15.
    Meta-ontology (in van Inwagen's sense) concerns the methodology of ontology, and a controversial meta-ontological issue is to what extent ontology can rely on linguistic analysis while establishing the furniture of the world. This paper discusses an argument advanced by some ontologists (I call them unifiers) against supporters of or coincident entities (I call them multipliers) and its meta-ontological import. Multipliers resort to Leibniz's Law to establish that spatiotemporally coincident entities a and b are distinct, by pointing at a predicate F (...)
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  • The Non-Identity of a Material Thing and its Matter.Kit Fine - 2003 - Mind 112 (446):195-234.
    There is a well-known argument from Leibniz's Law for the view that coincident material things may be distinct. For given that they differ in their properties, then how can they be the same? However, many philosophers have suggested that this apparent difference in properties is the product of a linguistic illusion; there is just one thing out there, but different sorts or guises under which it may be described. I attempt to show that this ‘opacity’ defence has intolerable consequences for (...)
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  • Physicalism as a Research Programme.Duško Prelević - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (1):15-33.
    _ Source: _Page Count 19 It is argued in this paper that physicalism is best understood as a research programme, rather than a thesis or an attitude, as some philosophers argue. Given that research programmes connect past, present and future philosophical or scientific activities, physicalists need not decide between current and future physical theories, as it has been required by Hempel’s Dilemma. The author contrasts this proposal with other solutions to Hempel’s Dilemma proposed by currentists, futurists, and those philosophers who (...)
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  • Moderate Monism, Sortal Concepts, and Relative Identity.Harold Noonan - 2013 - The Monist 96 (1):101-130.
  • Nothing Outside the Text: Derrida and Brandom on Language and World.Stephen S. Bush - 2009 - Contemporary Pragmatism 6 (2):45-69.
    The terms deconstruction and différence are central to both Jacques Derrida's work and to poststructuralism generally. These terms attempt to provide an alternative to metaphysical construals of linguistic meaning. I compare Derrida's discussion of linguistic meaning and reference with the contemporary pragmatist, Robert Brandom, arguing that Brandom has important similarities to Derrida. However, whereas Derrida remains committed to metaphysics even as he tries to contest it, Brandom, to his credit, more thoroughly rejects metaphysics.
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  • Coincidence and Identity.Penelope Mackie - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:151-176.
    This paper is about a puzzle concerning the metaphysics of material objects: a puzzle generated by cases where material objects appear to coincide, sharing all their matter. As is well known, it can be illustrated by the example of a statue. In front of me now, sitting on my desk, is a statue – a statue of a lion. The statue is made of clay. So in front of me now is a piece of clay. But what is the relation (...)
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  • Pantheism and Saving God.Andrei A. Buckareff - 2016 - Sophia 55 (3):347-355.
    In this paper, I examine Mark Johnston’s panentheistic account of the metaphysics of the divine developed in his recent book, Saving God: Religion After Idolatry. On Johnston’s account, God is the ‘Highest One’ and is identified with ‘the outpouring of Being by way of its exemplification in ordinary existents for the sake of the self-disclosure of Being’. Johnston eschews supernaturalism and takes his position to be consistent with what he calls ‘legitimate naturalism’ which he takes to be some version of (...)
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  • The Frustrating Problem For Four-Dimensionalism.A. P. Taylor - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1097-1115.
    I argue that four-dimensionalism and the desire satisfaction account of well-being are incompatible. For every person whose desires are satisfied, there will be many shorter-lived individuals (‘person-stages’ or ‘subpersons’) who share the person’s desires but who do not exist long enough to see those desires satisfied; not only this, but in many cases their desires are frustrated so that the desires of the beings in whom they are embedded as proper temporal parts may be fulfilled. I call this the frustrating (...)
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  • Deconstructing Ontological Vagueness.Matti Eklund - 2008 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (1):117-140.
    I will here present a number of problems concerning the idea that there is ontological vagueness, and the related claim that appeal to this idea can help solve some vagueness-related problems. A theme underlying the discussion will be the distinction between vagueness specifically and indeterminacy more generally (and, relatedly, the distinction between ontological vagueness and ontological indeterminacy). Even if the world is somehow ontologically indeterminate it by no means follows that it is, properly speaking, ontologically vague.1..
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  • Human Atoms.Eric T. Olson - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (3):396-406.
    In this paper I shall explore a novel alternative to these familiar views. In his recent book Sub ects of Ex erience, E. J. Lowe argues, as many others have done before, that you and I are not animals. It follows from this, he says, that we must be simple substances without parts. That may sound like Cartesian dualism. But Lowe is no Cartesian. He argues from premises that many present-day materialists accept. And he claims that our being mereologically simple (...)
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  • Statues and Lumps: A Strange Coincidence?Mark Moyer - 2006 - Synthese 148 (2):401-423.
    Puzzles about persistence and change through time, i.e., about identity across time, have foundered on confusion about what it is for ‘two things’ to be have ‘the same thing’ at a time. This is most directly seen in the dispute over whether material objects can occupy exactly the same place at the same time. This paper defends the possibility of such coincidence against several arguments to the contrary. Distinguishing a temporally relative from an absolute sense of ‘the same’, we see (...)
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  • 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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  • Composition and Coincidence.Eric T. Olson - 1996 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 77 (4):374-403.
  • Pluralism and the Absence of Truth.Jeremy Wyatt - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Connecticut
    In this dissertation, I argue that we should be pluralists about truth and in turn, eliminativists about the property Truth. Traditional deflationists were right to suspect that there is no such property as Truth. Yet there is a plurality of pluralities of properties which enjoy defining features that Truth would have, were it to exist. So although, in this sense, truth is plural, Truth is non-existent. The resulting account of truth is indebted to deflationism as the provenance of the suspicion (...)
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  • Identity and Becoming.Robert Allen - 2000 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):527-548.
    A material object is constituted by a sum of parts all of which are essential to the sum but some of which seem inessential to the object itself. Such object/sum of parts pairs include my body/its torso and appendages and my desk/its top, drawers, and legs. In these instances, we are dealing with objects and their components. But, fundamentally, we may also speak, as Locke does, of an object and its constitutive matter—a “mass of particles”—or even of that aggregate and (...)
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