Philosophical Studies 148 (2):167 - 181 (2010)

Joshua Spencer
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
A material simple is a material object that has no proper parts. Some philosophers have argued for the possibility of extended simples. Some have even argued for the possibility of heterogeneous simples or simples that have intrinsic variations across their surfaces. There is a puzzle, though, that is meant to show that extended, heterogeneous simples are impossible. Although several plausible responses have been given to this puzzle, I wish to reopen the case against extended, heterogeneous simples. In this paper, I briefly canvass responses to this puzzle which may be made in defense of extended, heterogeneous simples. I then present a new version of this puzzle which targets simples that occupy atomic yet extended regions of space. It seems that none of the traditional responses can be used to successfully save this particular kind of extended simple from the new puzzle. I also consider some non-traditional defenses of heterogeneous extended simples and argue that they too are unsuccessful. Finally, I will argue that a substantial case can be made against the possibility of extended heterogeneous simples of any kind.
Keywords Simples  Material Objects  Space  Tile Space  Spatial Intrinsics  Continuity  Homogeneous Simples  Heterogeneous Simples  Qualitative Variation
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-008-9291-4
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Citations of this work BETA

Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Location and Mereology.Cody Gilmore - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Mereological Nihilism and Puzzles About Material Objects.Bradley Rettler - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):842-868.
Philosophy of Science and Metaphysics.Craig Callender - 2011 - In Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Continuum. pp. 33--54.
Parts as Counterparts.Aaron Cotnoir - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):228-241.

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