Bare objects, ordinary objects, and mereological essentialism

Mark Steen
Allegheny College
From five plausible premises about ordinary objects it follows that ordinary objects are either functions, fictions or processes. Assuming that the function and fiction accounts of ordinary objects are not plausible, in this paper I develop and defend a (non-Whiteheadian) process account of ordinary objects. I first offer an extended deduction that argues for mereological essentialism for masses or quantities, and then offer an inductive argument in favor of interpreting ordinary objects as processes. The ontology has two main types of entities, masses of matter and processes. A cat, for instance, is shown to be a ‘catting’ process that migrates through distinct portions of matter, much like how a wave passes through distinct portions of water. I also show how the account solves the paradox of coincidence, the Ship of Theseus, fusion cases (e.g. Tib/Tibbles), and answers the Special Composition Question.
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