The Mereology of Emergence

Dissertation, The University of St Andrews (2019)

Ryan Miller
University of St. Andrews
The debate about the ontological innocence of mereology has generally been framed as a debate about the plausibility of Universal Fusion. Ontologically loaded fusions must be more than the sum of their parts, and this seems to violate parsimony if fusion is universal. Less attention has been paid to the question of what sort of emergence mereological fusions must exhibit if they are irreducible to their parts. The philosophy of science literature provides several models of such strong emergence. Examining those models suggests that the difficulty with emergent fusions has at least as much to do with extensionality as it does with Universal Fusion. Some accounts of emergence fail to ensure irreducibility when combined with extensional mereologies. The most promising model for the strong emergence of ontologically loaded fusions fails to validate Anti-Symmetry, which naturally leads to failures of extensionality. These results suggest that the focus on Universal Fusion may have been misplaced.
Keywords mereology  emergence  composition as identity  mereological universalism  extensionality
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Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
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