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Composition as Identity: Part 2

Philosophy Compass 6 (11):817-827 (2011)

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  1. 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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  • Location and Mereology.Cody Gilmore, Claudio Calosi & Damiano Costa - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • No Physical Particles for a Dispositional Monist?Baptiste Le Bihan - 2015 - Philosophical Papers 44 (2):207-232.
    Dispositional monists believe that all properties are essentially causal. Recently, an overdetermination argument has been proposed by Trenton Merricks to support nihilism about ordinary objects. I argue that this argument can be extended to target both nihilism about ordinary objects and nihilism about physical particles when dispositional monism is assumed. It implies that a philosopher who both endorses dispositional monism and takes seriously the overdetermination argument should not believe in the existence of physical particles. I end up by discussing possible (...)
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  • Identity.Harold Noonan & Benjamin L. Curtis - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Much of the debate about identity in recent decades has been about personal identity, and specifically about personal identity over time, but identity generally, and the identity of things of other kinds, have also attracted attention. Various interrelated problems have been at the centre of discussion, but it is fair to say that recent work has focussed particularly on the following areas: the notion of a criterion of identity; the correct analysis of identity over time, and, in particular, the disagreement (...)
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  • Physicalism Requires Functionalism: A New Formulation and Defense of the Via Negativa.Justin Tiehen - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):3-24.
    How should ‘the physical’ be defined for the purpose of formulating physicalism? In this paper I defend a version of the via negativa according to which a property is physical just in case it is neither fundamentally mental nor possibly realized by a fundamentally mental property. The guiding idea is that physicalism requires functionalism, and thus that being a type identity theorist requires being a realizer-functionalist. In §1 I motivate my approach partly by arguing against Jessica Wilson's no fundamental mentality (...)
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  • Priority Monism and Junk.Jamie Taylor - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 63 (1):44-61.
    Analytic Philosophy, Volume 63, Issue 1, Page 44-61, March 2022.
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  • Counting on Strong Composition as Identity to Settle the Special Composition Question.Joshua Spencer - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):857-872.
    Strong Composition as Identity is the thesis that necessarily, for any xs and any y, those xs compose y iff those xs are non-distributively identical to y. Some have argued against this view as follows: if some many things are non-distributively identical to one thing, then what’s true of the many must be true of the one. But since the many are many in number whereas the one is not, the many cannot be identical to the one. Hence is mistaken. (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • ‘Identity’ as a mereological term.Jeroen Smid - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2367-2385.
    The mereological predicate ‘is part of’ can be used to define the predicate ‘is identical with’. I argue that this entails that mereological theories can be ideologically simpler than nihilistic theories that do not use the notion of parthood—contrary to what has been argued by Ted Sider. Moreover, if one accepts an extensional mereology, there are good philosophical reasons apart from ideological simplicity to give a mereological definition of identity.
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  • Is a person-affecting solution to the nonidentity problem impossible? Axiology, accessibility and additional people.Melinda A. Roberts - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2-3):200-228.
    This paper considers two objections based in axiological considerations against the position that whether a given outcome, or possible future or world, is morally worse than a second world may depend in part on what is going on at a third world. Such a wide-angled approach to determining worseness is critical to the solution I have previously proposed in connection with the nonidentity problem. I argue that both objections fail.
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  • Composition and plethological innocence.Jonathan D. Payton - 2022 - Analysis 82 (1):67-74.
    According to Composition as Identity, a whole is distinct from each of its parts individually, but identical to all of them taken together. It is sometimes claimed that, if you accept CAI, then your belief in a whole is ‘ontologically innocent’ with respect to your belief in its parts. This claim is false. But the defender of CAI can claim a different advantage for her view. Following Agustín Rayo, I distinguish ontology from plethology. I then show that CAI allows us (...)
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  • Counting Composites.Jonathan D. Payton - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (4):695-710.
    I defend the thesis that Composition Entails Identity (CEI): that is, a whole is identical to all of its parts, taken together. CEI seems to be inconsistent, since it seems to require that the parts of a whole possess incompatible number properties (for instance, being one thing and being many things). I show that these number properties are, in fact, compatible.
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  • Ditching determination and dependence: or, how to wear the crazy trousersa.James Norton, Kristie Miller & Michael Duncan - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):395-418.
    This paper defends Flatland—the view that there exist neither determination nor dependence relations, and that everything is therefore fundamental—from the objection from explanatory inefficacy. According to that objection, Flatland is unattractive because it is unable to explain either the appearance as of there being determination relations, or the appearance as of there being dependence relations. We show how the Flatlander can meet the first challenge by offering four strategies—reducing, eliminating, untangling and omnizing—which, jointly, explain the appearance as of determination relations (...)
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  • Ditching Dependence and Determination: Or, How to Wear the Crazy Trousers.Michael Duncan, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):395–418.
    This paper defends Flatland—the view that there exist neither determination nor dependence relations, and that everything is therefore fundamental—from the objection from explanatory inefficacy. According to that objection, Flatland is unattractive because it is unable to explain either the appearance as of there being determination relations, or the appearance as of there being dependence relations. We show how the Flatlander can meet the first challenge by offering four strategies—reducing, eliminating, untangling and omnizing—which, jointly, explain the appearance as of there being (...)
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  • Parts Ground the Whole and Are Identical to It.Roberto Loss - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):489-498.
    What is the relation between parts taken together and the whole that they compose? The recent literature appears to be dominated by two different answers to this question, which are normally thought of as being incompatible. According to the first, parts taken together are identical to the whole that they compose. According to the second, the whole is grounded in its parts. The aim of this paper is to make some theoretical room for the view according to which parts ground (...)
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  • Composition as Identity and the Innocence of Mereology.Roberto Loss - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (1):128-143.
    According to the thesis known as ‘Composition as Identity’ (‘CAI’), every entity is identical to the parts it fuses. Many authors in the literature acknowledge that, in spite of its controversial character, one attractive virtue of CAI is its apparent ability to give a straightforward account of the innocence of mereology. In this paper I will present a simple argument according to which CAI entails that no composite entity can be said to be ontologically innocent in the relevant sense. After (...)
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  • Composition, identity and plural ontology.Roberto Loss - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9193-9210.
    According to ‘Strong Composition as Identity’, if an entity is composed of a plurality of entities, it is identical to them. As it has been argued in the literature, SCAI appears to give rise to some serious problems which seem to suggest that SCAI-theorists should take their plural quantifier to be governed by some ‘weak’ plural comprehension principle and, thus, ‘exclude’ some kinds of pluralities from their plural ontology. The aim of this paper is to argue that, contrary to what (...)
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  • On relativist approaches to many-one identity.Martin A. Lipman - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4453-4465.
    Composition as identity is the view that a whole is identical to its parts taken collectively. Such a view raises the question of how the same portion of reality can be both one thing and many things. A primitivist view holds that there is no explanation to be had and that we simply need to accept that being one thing and being many things are compatible. One might think that we can do better by resorting to relativization. A relativist view (...)
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  • Contingent composition as identity.Giorgio Lando & Massimiliano Carrara - 2018 - Synthese.
    When the necessity of identity (NI) is combined with composition as identity (CAI), the contingency of composition (CC) is at risk. In the extant literature, either NI is seen as the basis for a refutation of CAI or CAI is associated with a theory of modality, such that: either NI is renounced (if counterpart theory is adopted); or CC is renounced (if the theory of modal parts is adopted). In this paper, we investigate the prospects of a new variety of (...)
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  • Composition and Relative Counting.Massimiliano Carrara & Giorgio Lando - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (4):489-529.
    According to the so-called strong variant of Composition as Identity (CAI), the Principle of Indiscernibility of Identicals can be extended to composition, by resorting to broadly Fregean relativizations of cardinality ascriptions. In this paper we analyze various ways in which this relativization could be achieved. According to one broad variety of relativization, cardinality ascriptions are about objects, while concepts occupy an additional argument place. It should be possible to paraphrase the cardinality ascriptions in plural logic and, as a consequence, relative (...)
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  • A Defense on the Usefulness of ‘Big-G’ Grounding.Markel Kortabarria - 2023 - Metaphysica: International Journal for Ontology and Metaphysics 24 (1):147-174.
    Contemporary metaphysics has undergone a change of perspective due to the irruption of Grounding in discussions of metaphysical dependence. Proponents argue that Grounding is the primitive relationship of determination underlying many of the traditionally posited idioms of metaphysical dependence. In a recent line of scepticism Jessica Wilson has argued that the inability of the notion to be informatively effective regarding substantial matters of metaphysical determination renders it useless in the face of theoretical work. To supply this lack of informativeness proponents (...)
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  • Groups as pluralities.John Horden & Dan López de Sa - 2020 - Synthese 198 (11):10237-10271.
    We say that each social group is identical to its members. The group just is them; they just are the group. This view of groups as pluralities has tended to be swiftly rejected by social metaphysicians, if considered at all, mainly on the basis of two objections. First, it is argued that groups can change in membership, while pluralities cannot. Second, it is argued that different groups can have exactly the same members, while different pluralities cannot. We rebut these objections, (...)
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  • A challenge to the new metaphysics: deRosset, Priority, and explanation.David Fisher, Hao Hong & Timothy Perrine - 2021 - Synthese 198 (7):6403-6433.
    Priority Theory is an increasingly popular view in metaphysics. By seeing metaphysical questions as primarily concerned with what explains what, instead of merely what exists, it promises not only an interesting approach to traditional metaphysical issues but also the resolution of some outstanding disputes. In a recent paper, Louis deRosset argues that Priority Theory isn’t up to the task: Priority Theory is committed to there being explanations that violate a formal constraint on any adequate explanation. This paper critically examines deRosset’s (...)
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  • Composition as Identity, Universalism, and Generic Quantifiers.Edward Falls - 2019 - Erkenntnis 86 (5):1277-1291.
    Composition as Identity is, roughly, the thesis that the parts of a whole, taken collectively, are in some sense identical with the whole. Einar Duenger Bohn argues for Universalism from CAI. Universalism says that composition is totally unrestricted: wherever two or more objects occur, an instance of composition occurs, however unnatural or gerrymandered. Bohn’s argument relies on inferences with generic quantifiers, but he does not provide a clear account of generic quantification. My argument is that on the most plausible approach (...)
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  • Grief and Composition as Identity.C. E. Garland - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):464-479.
    ‘It feels like I have lost a part of myself’ is frequently uttered by those grieving the death of a loved one. Despite the ubiquity of such utterances, and the palpable sense that they express something true, few philosophers have considered what, if anything, accounts for their truth. Here, I develop a suggestion from Donald Baxter according to which Composition as Identity provides us a means to understand the grief utterances literally. In doing so, I identify and develop a version (...)
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  • A portable defense of the Procreation Asymmetry.Jake Earl - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2-3):178-199.
    The Procreation Asymmetry holds that we have strong moral reasons not to create miserable people for their own sakes, but no moral reasons to create happy people for their own sakes. To defend this conjunction against an argument that it leads to inconsistency, I show how recognizing ‘creation’ as a temporally extended process allows us to revise the conjuncts in a way that preserves their intuitive force. This defense of the Procreation Asymmetry is preferable to others because it does not (...)
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  • Transitivity When the Same are Distinct.Eric de Araujo - 2022 - Erkenntnis 88 (7):2893-2909.
    It is widely assumed that the identity relation is, among other things, transitive. Some have proposed that the identity relation might hold between objects contingently or occasionally. If, on those proposals, identity is shown to not be transitive, then there is reason to reject such proposals. One such argument attempts to show that the identity relation on such proposals violates transitivity in cases of ‘simultaneous’ fissions and fusion. I argue that, even in those cases, contingent identity and occasional identity are (...)
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  • Against Mereological Nominalism: Reply to Effingham.Javier Cumpa & Alexandre Declos - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8991-9011.
    Mereological Nominalism, as traditionally understood, states that properties are mereological wholes and that instantiation is mereological. Thus defined, this view faces a number of well-known issues, which make it virtually untenable. Recently, Effingham :160–185, 2020) has offered an alternative account of Mereological Nominalism, which intends to avoid these problems by accepting while rejecting. In this paper, we argue that this theory is not viable for two main reasons. First, it faces a threat of circularity. Second, the various non-mereological accounts of (...)
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  • No Simples, No Gunk, No Nothing.Sam Cowling - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (1):246-260.
    Mereological realism holds that the world has a mereological structure – i.e. a distribution of mereological properties and relations. In this article, I defend Eleaticism about properties, according to which there are no causally inert non-logical properties. I then present an Eleatic argument for mereological anti-realism, which denies the existence of both mereological composites and mereological simples. After defending Eleaticism and mereological anti-realism, I argue that mereological anti-realism is preferable to mereological nihilism. I then conclude by examining the thesis that (...)
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  • Emergence for Nihilists.Richard L. J. Caves - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (1):2-28.
    I defend mereological nihilism, the view that there are no composite objects, against a challenge from ontological emergence, the view that some things have properties that are ‘something over and above’ the properties of their parts. As the nihilist does not believe in composite wholes, there is nothing in the nihilist's ontology to instantiate emergent properties – or so the challenge goes. However, I argue that some simples can collectively instantiate an emergent property, so the nihilist's ontology can in fact (...)
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  • Mereology and Identity.Massimiliano Carrara & Giorgio Lando - 2021 - Synthese:4205-4227.
  • Composition, Indiscernibility, Coreferentiality.Massimiliano Carrara & Giorgio Lando - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (1):119-142.
    According to strong composition as identity, the logical principles of one–one and plural identity can and should be extended to the relation between a whole and its parts. Otherwise, composition would not be legitimately regarded as an identity relation. In particular, several defenders of strong CAI have attempted to extend Leibniz’s Law to composition. However, much less attention has been paid to another, not less important feature of standard identity: a standard identity statement is true iff its terms are coreferential. (...)
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  • Composition is Identity and Mereological Nihilism.Claudio Calosi - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):219-235.
    Composition is Identity is the thesis that a whole is, strict and literally, its parts considered collectively. Mereological Nihilism is the thesis that there are no composite objects whatsoever instead. This paper argues that they are equivalent, at least insofar as Composition is Identity is phrased in a particular way. It then addresses some consequences of such equivalence.
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  • Composition as a Kind of Identity.Phillip Bricker - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):264-294.
    Composition as identity, as I understand it, is a theory of the composite structure of reality. The theory’s underlying logic is irreducibly plural; its fundamental primitive is a generalized identity relation that takes either plural or singular arguments. Strong versions of the theory that incorporate a generalized version of the indiscernibility of identicals are incompatible with the framework of plural logic, and should be rejected. Weak versions of the theory that are based on the idea that composition is merely analogous (...)
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  • Composition as analysis: the meta-ontological origins (and future) of composition as identity.Martina Botti - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4545-4570.
    In this paper, I argue that the debate on Composition as Identity—the thesis that any composite object is identical to its parts—is deadlocked because both the defenders and the detractors of the claim have so far failed to take its philosophical core at face value and have, as a result, defended and criticized respectively something that is not Composition as Identity. After establishing how Composition as Identity should properly be understood and proposing for it a new interpretation centered around the (...)
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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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  • From Hume's Dictum Via Submergence to Composition as Identity or Mereological Nihilism.Einar Duenger Bohn - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (1):336-355.
    I show that a particular version of Hume's Dictum together with the falsity of Composition as Identity entails an incoherency, so either that version of Hume's Dictum is false or Composition as Identity is true. I conditionally defend the particular version of Hume's Dictum in play, and hence conditionally conclude that Composition as Identity is true. I end by suggesting an alternative way out for a persistent foe of Composition as Identity, namely mereological nihilism.
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  • Composition as identity: pushing forward.Einar Duenger Bohn - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4595-4607.
    In this paper, I present the thesis of Composition as Identity as I think it should be understood, and reply to some objections to it. My aim is not to argue that CAI is true, but to show how CAI can be true, and push the debate forward in the direction I think it must and should go in light of some new objections.
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  • Why the debate about composition is factually empty.Mark Balaguer - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3975-4008.
    I argue in this paper that the debate over composition is factually empty; in other words, I argue that there’s no fact of the matter whether there are any composite objects like tables and rocks and cats. Moreover, at the end of the paper, I explain how my argument is suggestive of a much more general conclusion, namely, that there’s no fact of the matter whether there are any material objects at all. Roughly speaking, the paper proceeds by arguing that (...)
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  • On the dispensability of grounding: Ground-breaking work on metaphysical explanation.James Norton - 2017 - Dissertation, The University of Sydney
    Primitive, unanalysable grounding relations are considered by many to be indispensable constituents of the metaphysician’s toolkit. Yet, as a primitive ontological posit, grounding must earn its keep by explaining features of the world not explained by other tools already at our disposal. Those who defend grounding contend that grounding is required to play two interconnected roles: accounting for widespread intuitions regarding what is ontologically prior to what, and forming the backbone of a theory of metaphysical explanation, in much the same (...)
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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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  • The Metaphysics of Mass Expressions.Mark Steen - 2012 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Multi-Descriptional Physicalism, Level(s) of Being, and the Mind-Body Problem.Savvas Ioannou - 2022 - Dissertation, University of St. Andrews
    The main idea of this thesis is multi-descriptional physicalism. According to it, only physical entities are elements of our ontology, and there are different ways to describe them. Higher-level vocabularies (e.g., mental, neurological, biological) truly describe reality. Sentences about higher-level entities are made true by physical entities. Every chapter will develop multi-descriptional physicalism or defend it from objections. In chapter 1, I will propose a new conceptual reductive account that conceptually reduces higher-level entities to physical entities. This conceptual reductive account (...)
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  • Composition as Identity.Meg Wallace - 2009 - Dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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