Ordinary Objects and Series‐Style Answers to the Special Composition Question

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):69-88 (2013)
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Abstract

The special composition question asks, roughly, under what conditions composition occurs. The common sense view is that composition only occurs among some things and that all and only ‘ordinary objects’ exist. Peter van Inwagen has marshaled a devastating argument against this view. The common sense view appears to commit one to giving what van Inwagen calls a ‘series-style answer’ to the special composition question, but van Inwagen argues that series-style answers are impossible because they are inconsistent with the transitivity of parthood. In what follows I answer this objection in addition to other, less troubling objections raised by van Inwagen.

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Author's Profile

Paul Silva Jr.
University of Cologne

Citations of this work

Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Toward a Commonsense Answer to the Special Composition Question.Chad Carmichael - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):475-490.
Ordinary objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Composition.Daniel Z. Korman & Chad Carmichael - 2016 - Oxford Handbooks Online.
Against Purity.Jonathan Barker - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Material Beings.Peter van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Parts: A Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Structure of Objects.Kathrin Koslicki - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Ordinary Objects.Amie L. Thomasson (ed.) - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Brutal Composition.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (3):211 - 249.

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