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Profile: A. J. Cotnoir (University of St. Andrews)
  1.  93
    Parts as Counterparts.A. J. Cotnoir - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):228-241.
    Mereological nihilists are faced with a difficult challenge: explaining ordinary talk about material objects. Popular paraphrase strategies involve plurals, arrangements of particles, or fictions. In this paper, a new paraphrase strategy is put forward that has distinct advantages over its rivals: it is compatible with gunk and emergent properties of macro-objects. The only assumption is a commitment to a liberal view of the nature of simples; the nihilist must be willing to accept the possibility of heterogeneous extended simples. The author (...)
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  2.  82
    Strange Parts: The Metaphysics of Non‐Classical Mereologies.A. J. Cotnoir - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (9):834-845.
    The dominant theory of parts and wholes – classical extensional mereology – has faced a number of challenges in the recent literature. This article gives a sampling of some of the alleged counterexamples to some of the more controversial principles involving the connections between parthood and identity. Along the way, some of the main revisionary approaches are reviewed. First, counterexamples to extensionality are reviewed. The ‘supplementation’ axioms that generate extensionality are examined more carefully, and a suggested revision is considered. Second, (...)
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  3.  29
    Composition as Identity.A. J. Cotnoir & Donald L. M. Baxter (eds.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Composition is the relation between a whole and its parts--the parts are said to compose the whole; the whole is composed of the parts. But is a whole anything distinct from its parts taken collectively? It is often said that 'a whole is nothing over and above its parts'; but what might we mean by that? Could it be that a whole just is its parts?This collection of essays is the first of its kind to focus on the relationship between (...)
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  4.  53
    Does Universalism Entail Extensionalism?A. J. Cotnoir - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):121-132.
    Does a commitment to mereological universalism automatically bring along a commitment to the controversial doctrine of mereological extensionalism—the view that objects with the same proper parts are identical? A recent argument suggests the answer is ‘yes’. This paper attempts a systematic response to the argument, considering nearly every available line of reply. It argues that only one approach—the mutual parts view—can yield a viable mereology where universalism does not entail extensionalism.
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  5. Composition as General Identity.A. J. Cotnoir - 2013 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 8. Oxford University Press. pp. 294-322.
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  6.  91
    Beyond Atomism.A. J. Cotnoir - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):67-72.
    Contemporary metaphysicians have been drawn to a certain attractive picture of the structure of the world. This picture consists in classical mereology, the priority of parts over wholes, and the well-foundedness of metaphysical priority. In this short note, I show that this combination of theses entails superatomism, which is a significant strengthening of mereological atomism. This commitment has been missed in the literature due to certain sorts of models of mereology being overlooked. But the entailment is an important one: we (...)
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  7.  99
    Universalism and Junk.A. J. Cotnoir - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):649-664.
    Those who accept the necessity of mereological universalism face what has come to be known as the ‘junk argument’ due to Bohn [2009], which proceeds from the incompatibility of junk with universalism and the possibility of junk, to conclude that mereological universalism isn't metaphysically necessary. Most attention has focused on ; however, recent authors have cast doubt on . This paper undertakes a defence of premise against three main objections. The first is a new objection to the effect that Bohn's (...)
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  8.  19
    How Many Angels Can Be in the Same Place at the Same Time? A Defence of Mereological Universalism.A. J. Cotnoir - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):959-965.
    I reply to Hawthorne and Uzquiano’s arguments for the incompatibility between mereological universalism and plenitudinous co-location. I argue that a mereology in which antisymmetry for parthood fails is independently motivated, and allows for both universalism and plenitudinous co-location. There can be as many angels in a place as there are cardinalities.
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  9.  39
    Inconsistent Boundaries.Zach Weber & A. J. Cotnoir - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1267-1294.
    Mereotopology is a theory of connected parts. The existence of boundaries, as parts of everyday objects, is basic to any such theory; but in classical mereotopology, there is a problem: if boundaries exist, then either distinct entities cannot be in contact, or else space is not topologically connected . In this paper we urge that this problem can be met with a paraconsistent mereotopology, and sketch the details of one such approach. The resulting theory focuses attention on the role of (...)
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