Synthese 195 (9):3975-4008 (2018)

Mark Balaguer
California State University, Los Angeles
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 if there were a fact of the matter about whether composite objects exist, then it would be either a necessary fact or a contingent fact, and both of these alternatives are implausible.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1403-2
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,319
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Ethics Without Principles.Jonathan Dancy - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-36.

View all 76 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The World Just Is the Way It Is.David Builes - 2021 - The Monist 104 (1):1-27.
Ordinary Objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Composition and Vagueness.Trenton Merricks - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):615-637.
A Note on Unrestricted Composition.Timothy McCarthy - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (3):202-211.
Brutal Composition.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (3):211 - 249.
Composition, Colocation, and Metaontology.Karen Bennett - 2009 - In David Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 38.
Disposition and Latent Teleology in Descartes’s Philosophy.Lynda Gaudemard - 2015 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2):293-308.
Empty Names.Ben Caplan - 2002 - Dissertation, UCLA
Natural Objects.Joshua D. K. Brown - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):254-271.
Material Objects, Constitution, and Mysterianism.Hagit Benbaji - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):1-26.


Added to PP index

Total views
108 ( #99,409 of 2,448,685 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
46 ( #14,494 of 2,448,685 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes