Natural Objects

This paper introduces a framework for thinking about ontological questions—in particular, the Special Composition Question—and shows how the framework might help support something like an account of restricted composition. The framework takes the form of an account of natural objects, in analogy with David Lewis’s account of natural properties. Objects, like properties, come in various metaphysical grades, from the fundamental, fully objective, perfectly natural objects to the nomologically otiose, maximally gerrymandered, perfectly non-natural objects. The perfectly natural objects, I argue, are the mereological simples, and (roughly) a collection composes an object of degree-n naturalness if and only if its members are arranged F-wise, for some property F that appears in the degree-n natural laws. Arbitrary composites turn out to be perfectly non-natural objects and are metaphysical bystanders. Ordinary composite objects fall in between. Some—e.g., atoms—are very (though not perfectly) natural; others—e.g., tables—are highly non-natural.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/apa.2016.6
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,894
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
Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
Brutal Composition.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (3):211 - 249.
Emergence and Fundamentality.Elizabeth Barnes - 2012 - Mind 121 (484):873-901.
How to Have a Radically Minimal Ontology.Ross P. Cameron - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):249 - 264.
Metaphysics as Modeling: The Handmaiden's Tale.L. A. Paul - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):1-29.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Naturalness in Context.Elanor Taylor - 2016 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):1-24.
The “Interests” of Natural Objects.Jay E. Kantor - 1980 - Environmental Ethics 2 (2):163-171.
A Trope Nominalist Theory of Natural Kinds.Markku Keinänen - 2015 - In Ghislain Guigon & Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra (eds.), Nominalism about Properties. Routledge. pp. 156-174.
Environmental Aesthetics and the Dynamic Object.David E. W. Fenner - 2006 - Ethics and the Environment 11 (1):1-19.
No Work For a Theory of Universals.M. Eddon & Christopher J. G. Meacham - 2015 - In Jonathan Schaffer & Barry Loewer (eds.), A Companion to David Lewis. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 116-137.
Mind, World and Value.Michael Morris - 1998 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 43:303-320.
The Shrinking Difference Between Artifacts and Natural Objects.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2008 - American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers.
Reference to Numbers in Natural Language.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):499 - 536.
In Defence of Natural Daylight.Keith Allen - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (1):1-18.
Thing and Object.Kristie Miller - 2008 - Acta Analytica 23 (1):69-89.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
49 ( #115,486 of 2,211,402 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #100,707 of 2,211,402 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature