Coincidence: The Grounding Problem, Object-Specifying Principles, and Some Consequences

Philosophical Papers 45 (3):497-528 (2016)
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Abstract

This paper lays out the basic structure of any view involving coincident entities, in the light of the grounding problem. While the account is not novel, I highlight fundamental features, to which attention is not usually properly drawn. With this in place, I argue for a number of further claims: The basic differences between coincident objects are modal differences, and any other differences between them need to be explained in terms of these differences. More specifically, the basic difference is not a difference in sort. A number of recent defenses of coincidence, which share the basic structure I outline, misidentify what, in their accounts, plays the basic role of addressing the grounding problem. More tentatively, I argue Coincident entities differ only in these modal properties, and properties they entail. In particular, they do not differ in properties like ‘being a tree,’ ‘being a statue,’ or aesthetic properties, and finally in light of how the account of coincidence offered addresses the grounding problem, the grounding problem provides no reason to prefer monism to pluralism.

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Alan Sidelle
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Citations of this work

Ordinary objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Hard Question for Hylomorphism.Dana Goswick - 2018 - Metaphysics 1 (1):52-62.
Mereological Nominalism.Nikk Effingham - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):160-185.
Mind the Gap: The Space between Coincidence and Colocation.Jeroen Smid - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 51 (1):57-73.
The Metaphysics of Mass Expressions.Mark Steen - 2012 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Contingent identity.Allan Gibbard - 1975 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 4 (2):187-222.
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Sameness and substance.David Wiggins - 1980 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 174 (1):125-128.
On being in the same place at the same time.David Wiggins - 1968 - Philosophical Review 77 (1):90-95.

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