Toward a Commonsense Answer to the Special Composition Question

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):475-490 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The special composition question is the question, ‘When do some things compose something?’ The answers to this question in the literature have largely been at odds with common sense, either by allowing that any two things compose something, or by denying the existence of most ordinary composite objects. I propose a new ‘series-style’ answer to the special composition question that accords much more closely with common sense, and I defend this answer from van Inwagen's objections. Specifically, I will argue that the proposed answer entails the transitivity of parthood, that it is non-circular, and that it casts some light on the ancient puzzle about the Ship of Theseus.

Similar books and articles

A Relevance Constraint on Composition.David Vander Laan - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):135-145.
Simples.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (2):213 – 228.
Composition as a secondary quality.Uriah Kriegel - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (3):359-383.
Brutal Composition.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (3):211 - 249.
Borderline Simple or Extremely Simple.Katherine Hawley - 2004 - The Monist 87 (3):385-404.
Restricted composition.Ned Markosian - 2008 - In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 341--63.

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-11-15

Downloads
3,246 (#1,257)

6 months
91 (#9,873)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Chad Carmichael
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis

Citations of this work

Objects: Nothing Out of the Ordinary.Daniel Z. Korman - 2015 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press UK.
Cardinal Composition.Lisa Vogt & Jonas Werner - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-23.
What Do the Folk Think about Composition and Does it Matter?Daniel Z. Korman & Chad Carmichael - 2017 - In David Rose (ed.), Experimental Metaphysics. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 187-206.
Ordinary objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Against Conservatism in Metaphysics.Maegan Fairchild & John Hawthorne - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:45-75.

View all 19 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.

View all 89 references / Add more references