Mereological Nihilism and Puzzles about Material Objects

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):842-868 (2018)

Abstract

Mereological nihilism is the view that no objects have proper parts. Despite how counter‐intuitive it is, it is taken quite seriously, largely because it solves a number of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects – or so its proponents claim. In this article, I show that for every puzzle that mereological nihilism solves, there is a similar puzzle that (a) it doesn’t solve, and (b) every other solution to the original puzzle does solve. Since the solutions to the new puzzles apply just as well to the old puzzles, the old puzzles provide no motivation to be a mereological nihilist.

Download options

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-03-08

Downloads
1,636 (#3,161)

6 months
120 (#5,230)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - London and New York: Routledge.
Material Beings.Peter van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Material Beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Cornell University Press.

View all 109 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

Generic Animalism.Andrew M. Bailey & Peter van Elswyk - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (8):405-429.
Ordinary Objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Why Composition Matters.Andrew M. Bailey & Andrew Brenner - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (8):934-949.
Mooreanism in Metaphysics From Mooreanism in Physics.Nina Emery - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Why compositional nihilism dissolves puzzles.Holly Kantin - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4319-4340.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Puzzles of Material Constitution.L. A. Paul - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (7):579-590.
Mereological Nihilism: Keeping It Simple.Simon D. Thunder - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (4):278-287.
Mereological Nihilism and Theoretical Unification.Andrew Brenner - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (4):318-337.
Against Mereological Nihilism.Jonathan Tallant - 2014 - Synthese 191 (7):1511-1527.
No Simples, No Gunk, No Nothing.Sam Cowling - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (1):246-260.
A Sudden Collapse to Nihilism.Roberto Loss - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):370-375.
Vague Objects and the Problem of the Many.Thomas Sattig - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):211-223.
Mereological Nihilism and the Problem of Emergence.David Michael Cornell - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (1):77-87.
Mereological Harmony.Gabriel Uzquiano - 2011 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
Composition is Identity and Mereological Nihilism.Claudio Calosi - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):219-235.