Undermining Motivations for Universalism

Noûs 45 (4):696-713 (2011)
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Abstract

Universalism (the thesis that for any ys, those ys compose a further object) is an answer to the Special Composition Question. In the literature there are three arguments – what I call the arguments from elegance – that universalists often rely upon, but which are rarely examined in-depth. I argue that these motivations cannot be had by the perdurantist, for to avoid a commitment to badly behaved superluminal objects perdurantists must answer the ‘Proper Continuant Question’. Any answer to that question necessarily ensures that there is a restricted answer to the Special Composition Question that is just as elegant as universalism. Thus, if you are a perdurantist, the arguments from elegance fail to motivate universalism for there will always be a restricted composition that is just as good

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Nikk Effingham
University of Birmingham

Citations of this work

Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Ordinary objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Endurantism and Perdurantism.Nikk Effingham - 2012 - In Robert Barnard Neil Manson (ed.), Continuum Companion to Metaphysics. pp. 170.
Temporal Parts.Katherine Hawley - 2004/2010 - Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Material Beings.Peter van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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