Synthese 195 (2):657-678 (2018)
AbstractMereological nihilism is the thesis that composition never occurs. Some philosophers have thought that science gives us compelling evidence against nihilism. In this article I respond to this concern. An initial challenge for nihilism stems from the fact that composition is such a ubiquitous feature of scientific theories. In response I motivate a restricted form of scientific anti-realism with respect to those components of scientific theories which make reference to composition. A second scientifically based worry for nihilism is that certain specific scientific phenomena might require ineliminable quantification over composite objects. I address these concerns, and argue that there seem to be nihilist-friendly construals of the scientific phenomena in question.
Similar books and articles
Mereological Nihilism and Theoretical Unification.Andrew Brenner - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (4):318-337.
Mereological nihilism and the special arrangement question.Andrew Brenner - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1295-1314.
Unrestricted Composition as Identity.Einar Duenger Bohn - 2014 - In Donald Baxter & Aaron Cotnoir (eds.), Composition as Identity. Oxford University Press. pp. 143-65.
No Simples, No Gunk, No Nothing.Sam Cowling - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (1):246-260.
Composition as a secondary quality.Uriah Kriegel - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (3):359-383.
A Relevance Constraint on Composition.David Vander Laan - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):135-145.
Toward a Commonsense Answer to the Special Composition Question.Chad Carmichael - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):475-490.
Nihilism, Thought and Personhood: An Ontological Study.Michael Franklin Patton - 1990 - Dissertation, Syracuse University
Ordinary Objects and Series‐Style Answers to the Special Composition Question.Paul Silva - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):69-88.
The Existential Quantifier, Composition and Contingency.Kristie Miller - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (2):211 - 235.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
Why Composition Matters.Andrew M. Bailey & Andrew Brenner - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (8):934-949.
Mereological Nihilism and Personal Ontology.Andrew Brenner - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268).
What are empirical consequences? On dispensability and composite objects.Alex LeBrun - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13201-13223.
References found in this work
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.