In defense of mereological universalism

Authors
Michael Rea
University of Notre Dame
Abstract
This paper defends Mereological Universalism(the thesis that, for any set S of disjoint objects, there is an object that the members of S compose. Universalism is unpalatable to many philosophers because it entails that if there are such things as my left tennis shoe, W. V. Quine, and the Taj Mahal, then there is another object that those three things compose. This paper presents and criticizes Peter van Inwagen's argument against Universalism and then presents a new argument in favor of Universalism. It turns out that the most reasonable way to resist the argument for Universalism is to deny the existence of artifacts; thus, if we believe in artifacts, we have no real choice other than to embrace Universalism.
Keywords mereology  universalism  composition
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DOI 10.2307/2653513
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