Authors
Abstract
The assumption that wholes have properties, specifically causally efficacious properties, which the sum of its parts seem to lack, lends support to the argument that wholes are something more than the sum of their parts. The properties of the whole are taken to be the result of the particular arrangement of the whole’s parts. The rearrangement of parts makes new properties emerge for a particular whole. This creates hierarchical ontological levels of properties in an object. My purpose in this paper will be to undermine the preceding lines of thought as valid support for wholes being “over and above” the sums of their parts. I begin by pointing out that the costs of a theory where arrangement entails new, unique and distinct properties for a whole carry two unattractive commitments: a reliance on a scientifically disproved version of early Emergentism and causal redundancy. I, then, present an alternative theory to explain the relationship between the properties of wholes and arrangement: my contention will be that the properties that we attribute to wholes are actually the manifestation of preexisting, but heretofore unmanifested, properties of parts, which manifest only when a specific part comes in contact with another specific part in a particular arrangement. I argue that the properties of a part are all we need to give a complete account for the properties of a whole.
Keywords Ontology  Material Composition  Emergence
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Emergence and Reduction.Shaun Le Boutillier - 2013 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 43 (2):205-225.
Undetached Parts and Disconnected Wholes.Achille C. Varzi - 2013 - In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag. pp. 696–708.
Parts and Wholes.Kris McDaniel - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (5):412-425.
Qualitative Unity and the Bundle Theory.David Robb - 2005 - The Monist 88 (4):466-92.
Parts Generate the Whole but They Are Not Identical to It.Ross P. Cameron - 2014 - In Aaron J. Cotnoir & Donald L. M. Baxter (eds.), Composition as Identity. Oxford University Press.
Wholes and Parts: The Limits of Composition.D. H. Mellor - 2006 - South African Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):138-145.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-02-01

Total views
319 ( #32,765 of 2,506,155 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
25 ( #35,936 of 2,506,155 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes