Composition

Oxford Handbooks Online (2016)
Authors
Chad Carmichael
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis
Abstract
When some objects are the parts of another object, they compose that object and that object is composite. This article is intended as an introduction to the central questions about composition and a highly selective overview of various answers to those questions. In §1, we review some formal features of parthood that are important for understanding the nature of composition. In §2, we consider some answers to the question: which pluralities of objects together compose something? As we will see, the dominant answers are all of them and none of them. In §§3-4, we examine one of the main arguments that has driven philosophers to these extreme answers: the argument from vagueness. In §5, we turn to the question of whether composition is unique: is it sometimes the case that some things compose more than one thing? Finally, in §6, we turn from the question of which composites exist to the question of which composites exist fundamentally.
Keywords composition  parthood  mereology  argument from vagueness  special composition question  hylomorphism  coincidence  grounding problem  fundamentality
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DOI 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199935314.013.9
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References found in this work BETA

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
No Work for a Theory of Grounding.Jessica Wilson - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):535–579.
Metaphysical Dependence: Grounding and Reduction.Gideon Rosen - 2010 - In Bob Hale & Aviv Hoffmann (eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 109-36.
Against Grounding Necessitarianism.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.

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Citations of this work BETA

Object.Bradley Rettler & Andrew M. Bailey - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Objects: Nothing Out of the Ordinary.Daniel Z. Korman - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.

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