Acta Analytica 17 (2):83-99 (2002)

Olli Koistinen
University of Turku
We consider the so-called problem of the many, formulated by Peter Unger. It arises because ordinary material things do not have precise boundaries: it is always possible to find borderline parts of which it is not true to say either that they are parts or that they are not. Unger’s conclusion is that there are no ordinary things at all. We describe the solutions of Peter van Inwagen and David Lewis, and make some critical comments upon them. After that we present our own suggestion which is based on ideas developed by Leibniz in connection with problems of unity and plurality. We suggest that what the problem of the many teaches us is that in order to understand what ordinary things are, we have to take seriously the Leibnizian-Kantian distinction between phenomena and things-in-themselves.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Logic   Metaphysics   Epistemology   Philosophy of Mind
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Reprint years 2009
DOI 10.1007/s12136-002-1006-4
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References found in this work BETA

Material Beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.William G. Lycan - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):42-47.
Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
Material Beings.Peter van Inwagen - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (3):701-708.
The Problem of the Many.Peter Unger - 1980 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 5 (1):411-468.

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