Mereology and truth-making

Logic and Logical Philosophy 25 (3):245-258 (2016)
Peter Simons
Trinity College, Dublin
Many mereological propositions are true contingently, so we are entitled to ask why they are true. One frequently given type of answer to such questions evokes truth-makers, that is, entities in virtue of whose existence the propositions in question are true. However, even without endorsing the extreme view that all contingent propositions have truth-makers, it turns out to be puzzlingly hard to provide intuitively convincing candidate truth-makers for even a core class of basic mereological propositions. Part of the problem is that the relation of part to whole is ontologically intimate in a way reminiscent of identity. Such intimacy bespeaks a formal or internal relation, which typically requires no truth-makers beyond its terms. But truth-makers are held to necessitate their truths, so whence the contingency when A is part of B but need not be, or B need not have A as part? This paper addresses and attempts to disentangle the conundrum.
Keywords mereology   mereological propositions   truth-makers   continuants
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DOI 10.12775/LLP.2015.020
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