Folk Mereology is Teleological

Noûs 51 (2):238-270 (2017)

Abstract

When do the folk think that mereological composition occurs? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view of composition that fits with folk intuitions, and yet there has been little agreement about what the folk intuit. We aim to put the tools of experimental philosophy to constructive use. Our studies suggest that folk mereology is teleological: people tend to intuit that composition occurs when the result serves a purpose. We thus conclude that metaphysicians should dismiss folk intuitions, as tied into a benighted teleological view of nature.

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David Rose
Stanford University

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Debunking Arguments.Dan Korman - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12).
Epistemic Anxiety and Adaptive Invariantism.Jennifer Nagel - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):407-435.

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