Philosophical Studies 159 (1):1-20 (2012)
David Lewis insists that restrictivist composition must be motivated by and occur due to some intuitive desiderata for a relation R among parts that compose wholes, and insists that a restrictivist’s relation R must be vague. Peter van Inwagen agrees. In this paper, I argue that restrictivists need not use such examples of relation R as a criterion for composition, and any restrictivist should reject a number of related mereological theses. This paper critiques Lewis and van Inwagen (and others) on their respective mereological metaphysics, and offers a Golden Mean between their two opposite extremes. I argue for a novel account of mereology I call Modal Mereology that is an alternative to Classical Mereology. A modal mereologist can be a universalist about the possible composition of wholes from parts and a restrictivist about the actual composition of wholes from parts. I argue that puzzles facing Modal Mereology (e.g., puzzles concerning Cambridge changes and the Problem of the Many, and how to demarcate the actual from the possible) are also faced in similar forms by classical universalists. On my account, restricted composition is rather motivated by and occurs due to a possible whole’s instantiating an actual type. Universalists commonly believe in such types and defend their existence from objections and puzzles. The Modal Mereological restrictivist can similarly defend the existence of such types (adding that such types are the only wholes) from similar objections and puzzles.
|Keywords||Mereology Universalism Restrictivism Modal Supervenience David Lewis Peter van Inwagen Composition Wholes Parts Problem of the Many|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mereology and Modality.Gabriel Uzquiano - 2014 - In Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. Oxford University Press. pp. 33-56.
A Plea for Things That Are Not Quite All There: Or, Is There a Problem About Vague Composition and Vague Existence?Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102 (8):381-421.
The Problem of the Many, Many Composition Questions, and Naive Mereology.David H. Sanford - 1993 - Noûs 27 (2):219-228.
Parts, Wholes, and Part-Whole Relations: The Prospects of Mereotopology.Achille C. Varzi - 1996 - Data and Knowledge Engineering 20:259–286.
Modal Realism with Modal Tense 1.Takashi Yagisawa - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):309-327.
Structural Universals as Structural Parts: Toward a General Theory of Parthood and Composition.Thomas Mormann - 2010 - Axiomathes 20 (2 -3):229 - 253.
Two Mereological Arguments Against the Possibility of an Omniscient Being.Joshua T. Spencer - 2006 - Philo 9 (1):62-72.
Added to index2010-12-11
Total downloads86 ( #58,916 of 2,154,174 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #119,662 of 2,154,174 )
How can I increase my downloads?