Persistence through function preservation

Synthese 192 (1):97-146 (2015)
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When do the folk think that material objects persist? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view which fits with folk intuitions, yet there is little agreement about what the folk intuit. I provide a range of empirical evidence which suggests that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence: the folk tend to intuit that a material object survives alterations when its function is preserved. Given that the folk operate with a teleological view of persistence, I argue for a debunking explanation of folk intuitions, concluding that metaphysicians should dismiss folk intuitions as tied into a benighted view of nature

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David Rose
Stanford University

References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Material Beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Functional analysis.Robert E. Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.

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