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Noûs 36 (4):578–596 (2002)

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  1. String Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity and Eternalism.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10:17.
    Eternalism, the view that what we regard locally as being located in the past, the present and the future equally exists, is the best ontological account of temporal existence in line with special and general relativity. However, special and general relativity are not fundamental theories and several research programs aim at finding a more fundamental theory of quantum gravity weaving together all we know from relativistic physics and quantum physics. Interestingly, some of these approaches assert that time is not fundamental. (...)
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  • The Lump Sum: A Theory of Modal Parts.Meg Wallace - 2019 - Philosophical Papers 48 (3):403-435.
    A lump theorist claims that ordinary objects are spread out across possible worlds, much like many of us think that tables are spread out across space. We are not wholly located in any one particular world, the lump theorist claims, just as we are not wholly spatially located where one’s hand is. We are modally spread out, a trans-world mereological sum of world-bound parts. We are lump sums of modal parts. And so are all other ordinary objects. In this paper, (...)
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  • Composition as Identity.Meg Wallace - 2009 - Dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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  • Composing Spacetime.Sam Baron & Baptiste Le Bihan - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    According to a number of approaches in theoretical physics spacetime does not exist fundamentally. Rather, spacetime exists by depending on another, more fundamental, non-spatiotemporal structure. A prevalent opinion in the literature is that this dependence should not be analysed in terms of composition. We should not say, that is, that spacetime depends on an ontology of non-spatiotemporal entities in virtue of having them as parts. But is that really right? On the contrary, we argue that a mereological approach to dependent (...)
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  • Mereological monism and Humean supervenience.Andrea Borghini & Giorgio Lando - 2016 - Synthese 197 (11):4745-4765.
    According to Lewis, mereology is the general and exhaustive theory of ontological composition, and every contingent feature of the world supervenes upon some fundamental properties instantiated by minimal entities. A profound analogy can be drawn between these two basic contentions of his metaphysics, namely that both can be intended as a denial of emergentism. In this essay, we study the relationships between Humean supervenience and two philosophical spin-offs of mereological monism: the possibility of gunk and the thesis of composition as (...)
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  • Esistenza e Persistenza.Damiano Costa - 2018 - Milan, IT: Mimesis.
    Nel nostro universo, qualunque cosa, dalla più piccola particella alla più smisurata galassia, esiste in un qualche tempo e in un qualche luogo. Ma cosa significa esistere in un qualche tempo? Il fenomeno dell’esistenza temporale gioca un ruolo fondamentale nella comprensione dell’universo e di noi stessi quali creature temporali. Eppure è un fenomeno profondamente misterioso. L’esistenza temporale è da intendersi come una relazione? Che legami ha con l’esistenza dell’ontologia? L’esistenza temporale e la localizzazione spaziale sono due fenomeni essenzialmente differenti o (...)
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  • The Polysemy of ‘Part’.Meg Wallace - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4331-4354.
    Some philosophers assume that our ordinary parts-whole concepts are intuitive and univocal. Moreover, some assume that mereology—the formal theory of parts-whole relations—adequately captures these intuitive and univocal notions. Lewis, for example, maintains that mereology is “perfectly understood, unproblematic, and certain.” Following his lead, many assume that expressions such as ‘is part of’ are univocal, topic-neutral, and that compositional monism is true. This paper explores the rejection of –. I argue that our ordinary parts-whole expressions are polysemous; they have multiple distinct, (...)
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  • Essence and Logical Properties.Hashem Morvarid - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2897-2917.
    Since Kit Fine presented his counter-examples to the standard versions of the modal view, many have been convinced that the standard versions of the modal view are not adequate. However, the scope of Fine's argument has not been fully appreciated. In this paper, I aim to carry Fine’s argument to its logical conclusion and argue that once we embrace the intuition underlying his counter-examples, we have to hold that properties obtained, totally or partially, by application of logical operations are not (...)
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  • Why Can’T There Be Numbers?David Builes - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Platonists affirm the existence of abstract mathematical objects, and Nominalists deny the existence of abstract mathematical objects. While there are standard arguments in favor of Nominalism, these arguments fail to account for the necessity of Nominalism. Furthermore, these arguments do nothing to explain why Nominalism is true. They only point to certain theoretical vices that might befall the Platonist. The goal of this paper is to formulate and defend a simple, valid argument for the necessity of Nominalism that seeks to (...)
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  • Priority Monism Beyond Spacetime.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2018 - Metaphysica 19 (1):95-111.
    I will defend two claims. First, Schaffer's priority monism is in tension with many research programs in quantum gravity. Second, priority monism can be modified into a view more amenable to this physics. The first claim is grounded in the fact that promising approaches to quantum gravity such as loop quantum gravity or string theory deny the fundamental reality of spacetime. Since fundamental spacetime plays an important role in Schaffer's priority monism by being identified with the fundamental structure, namely the (...)
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  • Space Emergence in Contemporary Physics: Why We Do Not Need Fundamentality, Layers of Reality and Emergence.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (49):71-95.
    ‘Space does not exist fundamentally: it emerges from a more fundamental non-spatial structure.’ This intriguing claim appears in various research programs in contemporary physics. Philosophers of physics tend to believe that this claim entails either that spacetime does not exist, or that it is derivatively real. In this article, I introduce and defend a third metaphysical interpretation of the claim: reductionism about space. I argue that, as a result, there is no need to subscribe to fundamentality, layers of reality and (...)
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  • Location and Mereology.Cody Gilmore - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Object.Henry Laycock - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In The Principles of Mathematics, Russell writes: Whatever may be an object of thought, or may occur in any true or false proposition, or can be counted as one, I call a term. This, then, is the widest word in the philosophical vocabulary. I shall use as synonymous with it the words unit, individual and entity. The first two emphasize the fact that every term is one, while the third is derived from the fact that every term has being, i.e. (...)
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  • Individuals: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics.Shamik Dasgupta - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (1):35-67.
    We naturally think of the material world as being populated by a large number of individuals . These are things, such as my laptop and the particles that compose it, that we describe as being propertied and related in various ways when we describe the material world around us. In this paper I argue that, fundamentally speaking at least, there are no such things as material individuals. I then propose and defend an individual-less view of the material world I call (...)
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  • The Location of Properties.Nikk Effingham - 2015 - Noûs 49 (4):846-866.
    This paper argues that, assuming properties exist and must be located in spacetime, the prevailing view that they are exactly located where their instances are is false. Instead a property is singularly located at just one region, namely the union of its instance's locations. This bears not just on issues in the metaphysics of properties, but also on the debate over whether multi-location is conceivable and/or possible.
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  • Mereological Nominalism.Nikk Effingham - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):160-185.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Mind the Gap.Jeroen Smid - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-17.
    In debates about the metaphysics of material objects examples of colocated objects are commonly taken to be examples of coincidence too. But the argument that colocation is best understood as involving coincidence is never spelled out. This paper shows under what conditions colocation entails coincidence and argues that the entailment depends on a principle that actually rules out certain forms of colocation. This undermines the argument from colocation to coincidence.
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  • How to Be a Pluralist in Substance Ontology.Travis Dumsday - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (4):995-1022.
    The four principal competing substance ontologies are substratum theory, bundle theory, primitive substance theory, and hylomorphism. Both historically and in the recent literature, most arguments pertaining to these four theories have been developed under the assumption that only one of them can be true. However there is room in this debate for various forms of pluralism: mild pluralism here refers to the view that while only one of these four theories is true of our world, there is at least one (...)
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  • Deep Gunk and Deep Junk.Daniel Giberman - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    All parts of mereologically ‘gunky’ entities have proper parts. All parts relevant to mereologically ‘junky’ entities *are* proper parts. This essay explores the application of gunk and junk beyond the standard category of material object. One such application yields what is here dubbed ‘deep’ gunk and junk: a material entity x all of whose intrinsic elements from any fundamental ontological category C either have proper parts from C that also are intrinsic elements of x, or are proper parts of entities (...)
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  • The Concreteness of Objects: An Argument Against Mereological Bundle Theory.Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - Synthese:1-18.
    In a series of publications, L. A. Paul has defended a version of the bundle theory according to which material objects are nothing but mereological sums of ‘their’ properties. This ‘mereological’ bundle theory improves in important ways on earlier bundle theories, but here I present a new argument against it. The argument is roughly this: 1) Material objects occupy space; 2) even if properties have spatial characteristics, they do not quite occupy space; 3) on no plausible construal of mereological composition (...)
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  • A Novel Interpretation of Plato’s Theory of Forms.P. X. Monaghan - 2010 - Metaphysica 11 (1):63-78.
    In several recent issues of this journal, I argued for an account of property possession as strict, numerical identity. While this account has stuck some as being highly idiosyncratic in nature, it is not entirely something new under the sun, since as I will argue in this paper, it turns out to have a historic precedent in Plato⠀™ s theory of forms. Indeed, the purpose of this paper is twofold. The first is to show that my account of property (...)
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  • Quantum Gravity and Mereology: Not So Simple.Sam Baron & Baptiste Le Bihan - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly.
    A number of philosophers have argued in favour of extended simples on the grounds that they are needed by fundamental physics. The arguments typically appeal to theories of quantum gravity. To date, the argument in favour of extended simples has ignored the fact that the very existence of spacetime is put under pressure by quantum gravity. We thus consider the case for extended simples in the context of different views on the existence of spacetime. We show that the case for (...)
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  • Against Zero-Dimensional Material Objects (and Other Bare Particulars).Daniel Giberman - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (2):305-321.
    A modus tollens against zero-dimensional material objects is presented from the premises (i) that if there are zero-dimensional material objects then there are bare particulars, and (ii) that there are no bare particulars. The argument for the first premise proceeds by elimination. First, bare particular theory and bundle theory are motivated as the most appealing theories of property exemplification. It is then argued that the bundle theorist’s Ockhamism ought to lead her to reject spatiotemporally located zero-dimensional property instances. Finally, it (...)
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  • Construction Area (No Hard Hat Required).Karen Bennett - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):79-104.
    A variety of relations widely invoked by philosophers—composition, constitution, realization, micro-basing, emergence, and many others—are species of what I call ‘building relations’. I argue that they are conceptually intertwined, articulate what it takes for a relation to count as a building relation, and argue that—contra appearances—it is an open possibility that these relations are all determinates of a common determinable, or even that there is really only one building relation.
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  • Mereological Bundle Theory and the Identity of Indiscernibles.Anthony Shiver - 2014 - Synthese 191 (5):1-13.
    Paul (Noûs 36:578–596, 2002; Noûs 40:623–659, 2006, The Handbook of Mereology, forthcoming) has argued for a bundle theory of objects that analyzes the bundling relation between properties and objects in terms of parthood relations. In this paper I argue that any mereological bundle theory with the explanatory power of Paul’s theory will entail the principle of the identity of indiscernibles (PII). This is problematic, since similar bundle theories seem to fall to Max Black’s two sphere counterexample to (PII). I argue, (...)
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  • “Tropes in Space.Daniel Giberman - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):453-472.
    Tropes are particular features of concrete objects. Properties—the extensions of predicates—are primitive resemblance classes of tropes. Friends of tropes have been criticized for failing to answer three questions. First, are there fundamental items other than tropes? Second, what criteria determine whether some tropes are all and only the features of some one object? Third, can trope classes be formed adequately using only primitive resemblance? Trading on the spatiotemporal status of tropes, this essay offers new responses to each of these questions. (...)
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  • The Adverbial Theory of Properties.Andrea Borghini - 2012 - Metaphysica 13 (2):107-123.
    The paper presents a novel version of universalism—the thesis according to which there are only universals, no individuals—which is cashed out in terms of an adverbial analysis of predication. According to the theory, every spatiotemporal occurrence of a universal U can be expressed by a sentence which asserts the existence of U adverbially modified by the spatiotemporal region at which it exists. After some preliminary remarks on the interpretation of natural language, a formal semantics for the theory is first provided, (...)
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  • What is a City?Achille C. Varzi - 2019 - Topoi 40 (2):399-408.
    Cities are mysteriously attractive. The more we get used to being citizens of the world, the more we feel the need to identify ourselves with a city. Moreover, this need seems in no way distressed by the fact that the urban landscape around us changes continuously: new buildings rise, new restaurants open, new stores, new parks, new infrastructures… Cities seem to vindicate Heraclitus’s dictum: you cannot step twice into the same river; you cannot walk twice through the same city. But, (...)
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  • Partial Resemblance and Property Immanence.Paul Audi - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):884-903.
  • Folk Mereology is Teleological.David Rose & Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):238-270.
    When do the folk think that mereological composition occurs? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view of composition that fits with folk intuitions, and yet there has been little agreement about what the folk intuit. We aim to put the tools of experimental philosophy to constructive use. Our studies suggest that folk mereology is teleological: people tend to intuit that composition occurs when the result serves a purpose. We thus conclude that metaphysicians should dismiss folk intuitions, as tied into a benighted (...)
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  • How to Rule Out Disjunctive Properties.Paul Audi - 2013 - Noûs 47 (4):748-766.
    Are there disjunctive properties? This question is important for at least two reasons. First, disjunctive properties are invoked in defense of certain philosophical theories, especially in the philosophy of mind. Second, the question raises the prior issue of what counts as a genuine property, a central concern in the metaphysics of properties. I argue here, on the basis of general considerations in the metaphysics of properties, that there are no disjunctive properties. Specifically, I argue that genuine properties must guarantee similarity-in-a-respect (...)
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  • Awareness of Abstract Objects.Elijah Chudnoff - 2013 - Noûs 47 (4):706-726.
    Awareness is a two-place determinable relation some determinates of which are seeing, hearing, etc. Abstract objects are items such as universals and functions, which contrast with concrete objects such as solids and liquids. It is uncontroversial that we are sometimes aware of concrete objects. In this paper I explore the more controversial topic of awareness of abstract objects. I distinguish two questions. First, the Existence Question: are there any experiences that make their subjects aware of abstract objects? Second, the Grounding (...)
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  • Coincidence as Overlap.L. A. Paul - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):623–659.
    I discuss puzzles involving coinciding material objects (such as statues and their constitutive lumps of clay) and propose solutions.
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  • A New Universal Bundle Theory.Ruoyu Zhang - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (2):473-486.
    Universal Bundle Theory holds that objects are fundamentally identical with bundles of universals. Universals are multiply instantiable properties. One popular objection to UBT concerns the possibility of distinct indiscernibles. There are mainly two replies in the literature, corresponding to two representative UBTs, which I shall call the Identity-View and the Instance-View. Each view faces serious problems. This paper proposes a new version of UBT and argues that it is better than these other two versions.
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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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  • 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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  • Material Constitution is Ad Hoc.Jeroen Smid - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (2):305-325.
    The idea that two objects can coincide—by sharing all their proper parts, or matter—yet be non-identical, results in the “Problem of Coincident Objects”: in what relation do objects stand if they are not identical but share all their proper parts? One solution is to introduce material constitution. In this paper, I argue that this is ad hoc since, first, this solution cannot be generalized to solve similar problems, and, second, there are pseudo cases of coincidence that should not trigger the (...)
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  • No Bare Particulars.Andrew M. Bailey - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (1):31-41.
    There are predicates and subjects. It is thus tempting to think that there are properties on the one hand, and things that have them on the other. I have no quarrel with this thought; it is a fine place to begin a theory of properties and property-having. But in this paper, I argue that one such theory—bare particularism—is false. I pose a dilemma. Either bare particulars instantiate the properties of their host substances or they do not. If they do not, (...)
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  • Physical Constituents of Qualia.István Aranyosi - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 116 (2):103-131.
    ABSTRACT. In this paper I propose a defense of a posteriori materialism. Prob- lems with a posteriori identity materialism are identi?ed, and a materialism based on composition, not identity, is proposed. The main task for such a proposal is to account for the relation between physical and phenomenal properties. Compos- ition does not seem to be ?t as a relation between properties, but I offer a peculiar way to understand property-composition, based on some recent ideas in the literature on ontology. (...)
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  • Bundle Theory’s Black Box: Gap Challenges for the Bundle Theory of Substance.Robert Garcia - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (1):115-126.
    My aim in this article is to contribute to the larger project of assessing the relative merits of different theories of substance. An important preliminary step in this project is assessing the explanatory resources of one main theory of substance, the so-called bundle theory. This article works towards such an assessment. I identify and explain three distinct explanatory challenges an adequate bundle theory must meet. Each points to a putative explanatory gap, so I call them the Gap Challenges. I consider (...)
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  • Persistence Through Function Preservation.David Rose - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):97-146.
    When do the folk think that material objects persist? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view which fits with folk intuitions, yet there is little agreement about what the folk intuit. I provide a range of empirical evidence which suggests that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence: the folk tend to intuit that a material object survives alterations when its function is preserved. Given that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence, I argue for a debunking (...)
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  • A Grounding Solution to the Grounding Problem.Noël B. Saenz - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2193-2214.
    The statue and the lump of clay that constitutes it fail to share all of their kind and modal properties. Therefore, by Leibniz’s Law, the statue is not the lump. Question: What grounds the kind and modal differences between the statue and the lump? In virtue of what is it that the lump of clay, but not the statue, can survive being smashed? This is the grounding problem. Now a number of solutions to the grounding problem require that we substantially (...)
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  • Load Bare-Ing Particulars.Nathan Wildman - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1419-1434.
    Bare particularism is a constituent ontology according to which substances—concrete, particular objects like people, tables, and tomatoes—are complex entities constituted by their properties and their bare particulars. Yet, aside from this description, much about bare particularism is fundamentally unclear. In this paper, I attempt to clarify this muddle by elucidating the key metaphysical commitments underpinning any plausible formulation of the position. So the aim here is primarily catechismal rather than evangelical—I don’t intend to convert anyone to bare particularism, but, by (...)
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  • New Reasons to Motivate Trope Theory: Endurantism and Perdurantism.Jiri Benovsky - 2013 - Acta Analytica 28 (2):223-227.
    In this paper, I argue that (non-presentist) endurantism is incompatible with the view that properties are universals. I do so by putting forward a very simple objection that forces the endurantist to embrace tropes, rather than universals. I do not claim that this is bad news for the endurantist—trope theory seems to me by all means more appealing than universals—rather, I would like to see this result as a further motivation to embrace tropes. I then also put forward a (more (...)
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  • Instantiation is Not Partial Identity.Nicholas Mantegani - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):697-715.
    In order to avoid the problems faced by standard realist analyses of the “relation” of instantiation, Baxter and, following him, Armstrong each analyze the instantiation of a universal by a particular in terms of their partial identity. I introduce two related conceptions of partial identity, one mereological and one non-mereological, both of which require at least one of the relata of the partial identity “relation” to be complex. I then introduce a second non-mereological conception of partial identity, which allows for (...)
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  • Can a Relational Substance Ontology Be Hylomorphic?Travis Dumsday - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 11):2717-2734.
    The debate between relational versus constituent substance ontology is longstanding and ongoing. In the contemporary literature it is mostly taken for granted that any version of hylomorphism must count as a constituent substance ontology. Here I argue that a certain sort of relational substance ontology could also legitimately be labeled hylomorphic, and in fact that relational substance ontologists have some good reasons to affirm this version of hylomorphism.
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  • Eternalist Theories of Persistence Through Time: Where the Differences Really Lie.Jiri Benovsky - 2009 - Axiomathes 19 (1):51-71.
    The eternalist endurantist and perdurantist theories of persistence through time come in various versions, namely the two versions of perdurantism: the worm view and the stage view , and the two versions of endurantism: indexicalism and adverbialism . Using as a starting point the instructive case of what is depicted by photographs, I will examine these four views, and compare them, with some interesting results. Notably, we will see that two traditional enemies—the perdurantist worm view and the endurantist theories—are more (...)
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  • Token-Distinctness and the Disjunctive Strategy.Ranpal Dosanjh - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (3):715-732.
    According to the Multiple Realizability Argument, a higher-level property typically has many physical realizers, so it cannot be type-identical to any one of them. This enables the non-reductive physicalist to claim that some higher-level properties are type-distinct from physical properties. The reductive physicalist can counter with the Disjunctive Strategy: nothing prevents us from type-identifying the higher-level property with the disjunction of its realizers. Developing a powers-based ontology of properties, Shoemaker and Wilson present responses to the Disjunctive Strategy, wherein higher-level property (...)
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  • Composition.Daniel Z. Korman & Chad Carmichael - 2016 - Oxford Handbooks Online.
    When some objects are the parts of another object, they compose that object and that object is composite. This article is intended as an introduction to the central questions about composition and a highly selective overview of various answers to those questions. In §1, we review some formal features of parthood that are important for understanding the nature of composition. In §2, we consider some answers to the question: which pluralities of objects together compose something? As we will see, the (...)
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  • Nominalist Constituent Ontologies: A Development and Critique.Robert K. Garcia - 2009 - Dissertation, University of Notre Dame
    In this dissertation I consider the merits of certain nominalist accounts of phenomena related to the character of ordinary objects. What these accounts have in common is the fact that none of them is an error theory about standard cases of predication and none of them deploys God or uniquely theistic resources in its explanatory framework. -/- The aim of the dissertation is to answer the following questions: -/- • What is the best nominalist account on offer? • How might (...)
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