Emergence for Nihilists

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (1):2-28 (2018)
Richard Caves
University of Leeds
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 accommodate emergent properties. Furthermore, I show that employing plural instantiation does not bloat the nihilist's ontology or ideology.
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DOI 10.1111/papq.12148
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Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
The Metaphysics Within Physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.
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