Results for 'Mereology'

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Bibliography: Mereology in Metaphysics
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  1. Intuitionistic mereology.Paolo Maffezioli & Achille C. Varzi - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4277-4302.
    Two mereological theories are presented based on a primitive apartness relation along with binary relations of mereological excess and weak excess, respectively. It is shown that both theories are acceptable from the standpoint of constructive reasoning while remaining faithful to the spirit of classical mereology. The two theories are then compared and assessed with regard to their extensional import.
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  2. Mereological vagueness and existential vagueness.Maureen Donnelly - 2009 - Synthese 168 (1):53 - 79.
    It is often assumed that indeterminacy in mereological relations—in particular, indeterminacy in which collections of objects have fusions—leads immediately to indeterminacy in what objects there are in the world. This assumption is generally taken as a reason for rejecting mereological vagueness. The purpose of this paper is to examine the link between mereological vagueness and existential vagueness. I hope to show that the connection between the two forms of vagueness is not nearly so clear-cut as has been supposed.
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  3.  36
    Mereological Harmony 1.Gabriel Uzquiano - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 6.
    This chapter takes a close look at the thought that mereological relations on material objects mirror, and are mirrored by, parallel mereological relations on their exact locations. This hypothesis is made more precise by means of a battery of principles from which more substantive consequences are derived. Mereological harmony turns out to entail, for example, that atomistic space is an inhospitable environment for material gunk or that Whiteheadian space is not a hospitable environment for unextended material atoms.
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  4. Mereology.Achille C. Varzi & A. J. Cotnoir - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Is a whole something more than the sum of its parts? Are there things composed of the same parts? If you divide an object into parts, and divide those parts into smaller parts, will this process ever come to an end? Can something lose parts or gain new ones without ceasing to be the thing it is? Does any multitude of things (including disparate things such as you, this book, and the tail of a cat) compose a whole of some (...)
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  5. Mereological nihilism: quantum atomism and the impossibility of material constitution.Jeffrey Grupp - 2006 - Axiomathes 16 (3):245-386.
    Mereological nihilism is the philosophical position that there are no items that have parts. If there are no items with parts then the only items that exist are partless fundamental particles, such as the true atoms (also called philosophical atoms) theorized to exist by some ancient philosophers, some contemporary physicists, and some contemporary philosophers. With several novel arguments I show that mereological nihilism is the correct theory of reality. I will also discuss strong similarities that mereological nihilism has with empirical (...)
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  6. Mereological Nihilism and Puzzles about Material Objects.Bradley Rettler - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):842-868.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that no objects have proper parts. Despite how counter‐intuitive it is, it is taken quite seriously, largely because it solves a number of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects – or so its proponents claim. In this article, I show that for every puzzle that mereological nihilism solves, there is a similar puzzle that (a) it doesn’t solve, and (b) every other solution to the original puzzle does solve. Since the solutions to the new (...)
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  7. Mereological Nihilism and Theoretical Unification.Andrew Brenner - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (4):318-337.
    Mereological nihilism (henceforth just "nihilism") is the thesis that composition never occurs. Nihilism has often been defended on the basis of its theoretical simplicity, including its ontological simplicity and its ideological simplicity (roughly, nihilism's ability to do without primitive mereological predicates). In this paper I defend nihilism on the basis of the theoretical unification conferred by nihilism, which is, roughly, nihilism's capacity to allow us to take fewer phenomena as brute and inexplicable. This represents a respect in which nihilism enjoys (...)
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  8.  40
    Mereological Bimodal Logics.Li Dazhu & Yanjing Wang - 2022 - Review of Symbolic Logic 15 (4):823-858.
    In this paper, using a propositional modal language extended with the window modality, we capture the first-order properties of various mereological theories. In this setting, $\Box \varphi $ reads all the parts (of the current object) are $\varphi $, interpreted on the models with a whole-part binary relation under various constraints. We show that all the usual mereological theories can be captured by modal formulas in our language via frame correspondence. We also correct a mistake in the existing completeness proof (...)
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  9. Mereological nihilism and the special arrangement question.Andrew Brenner - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1295-1314.
    Mereological nihilism is the thesis that composite objects—objects with proper parts—do not exist. Nihilists generally paraphrase talk of composite objects F into talk of there being “xs arranged F-wise” . Recently several philosophers have argued that nihilism is defective insofar as nihilists are either unable to say what they mean by such phrases as “there are xs arranged F-wise,” or that nihilists are unable to employ such phrases without incurring significant costs, perhaps even undermining one of the chief motivations for (...)
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  10.  29
    Mereology with super-supplemention axioms. A reconstruction of the unpublished manuscript of Jan F. Drewnowski.Kordula Świętorzecka & Marcin Łyczak - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1.
    We present a study of unpublished fragments of Jan F. Drewnowski’s manuscript from the years 1922–1928, which contains his own axiomatics for mereology. The sources are transcribed and two versions of mereology are reconstructed from them. The first one is given by Drewnowski. The second comes from Leśniewski and was known to Drewnowski from Leśniewski’s lectures. Drewnowski’s version is expressed in the language of ontology enriched with the primitive concept of a (proper) part, and its key axiom expresses (...)
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  11. Mereology and ideology.Andrew Brenner - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7431-7448.
    Mereological nihilism is the thesis that composition never occurs. Sider has defended nihilism on the basis of its relative ideological simplicity. In this paper I develop the argument from ideological simplicity, and defend it from some recent objections. Along the way I discuss the best way to formulate nihilism, what it means for a theory to exhibit lesser or greater degrees of ideological simplicity, the relationship between the parthood relation and the identity relation, and the notion that we should judge (...)
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  12.  39
    Mereology: A Philosophical Introduction.Giorgio Lando - 2017 - London, UK: Bloomsbury.
    Parthood and composition are everywhere. The leg of a table is part of the table, the word "Christmas" is part of the sentence "I wish you a merry Christmas", the 13th century is part of the Middle Ages. The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg compose Benelux, the body of a deer is composed of a huge number of cells, the Middle Ages are composed of the Early Middle Ages, High Middle Ages, and Late Middle Ages. Is there really a general theory (...)
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  13. Folk Mereology is Teleological.David Rose & Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):238-270.
    When do the folk think that mereological composition occurs? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view of composition that fits with folk intuitions, and yet there has been little agreement about what the folk intuit. We aim to put the tools of experimental philosophy to constructive use. Our studies suggest that folk mereology is teleological: people tend to intuit that composition occurs when the result serves a purpose. We thus conclude that metaphysicians should dismiss folk intuitions, as tied into a (...)
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  14. What Is Classical Mereology?Paul Hovda - 2009 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 38 (1):55 - 82.
    Classical mereology is a formal theory of the part-whole relation, essentially involving a notion of mereological fusion, or sum. There are various different definitions of fusion in the literature, and various axiomatizations for classical mereology. Though the equivalence of the definitions of fusion is provable from axiom sets, the definitions are not logically equivalent, and, hence, are not inter-changeable when laying down the axioms. We examine the relations between the main definitions of fusion and correct some technical errors (...)
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  15. Mereological Nihilism and the Problem of Emergence.David Michael Cornell - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (1):77-87.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that there are no composite objects; everything in existence is mereologically simple. The view is subject to a number of difficulties, one of which concerns what I call the problem of emergence. Very briefly, the problem is that nihilism seems to be incompatible with emergent properties; it seems to rule out their very possibility. This is a problem because there are good independent reasons to believe that emergent properties are possible. This paper provides a solution (...)
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  16. Against mereological nihilism.Jonathan Tallant - 2014 - Synthese 191 (7):1511-1527.
    I argue that mereological nihilism fails because it cannot answer the special arrangement question: when is it true that the xs are arranged F-wise? I suggest that the answers given in the literature fail and that the obvious responses that could be made look to undermine the motivations for adopting nihilism in the first place.
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  17. The mereology of structural universals.Peter Forrest - 2016 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 25 (3):259-283.
    This paper explores the mereology of structural universals, using the structural richness of a non-classical mereology without unique fusions. The paper focuses on a problem posed by David Lewis, who using the example of methane, and assuming classical mereology, argues against any purely mereological theory of structural universals. The problem is that being a methane molecule would have to contain being a hydrogen atom four times over, but mereology does not have the concept of the same (...)
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  18. Social Mereology.Katherine Hawley - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (4):395-411.
    What kind of entity is a committee, a book group or a band? I argue that committees and other such social groups are concrete, composite particulars, having ordinary human beings amongst their parts. So the committee members are literally parts of the committee. This mereological view of social groups was popular several decades ago, but fell out of favour following influential objections from David-Hillel Ruben. But recent years have seen a tidal wave of work in metaphysics, including the metaphysics of (...)
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  19. Mereological Nihilism and Personal Ontology.Andrew Brenner - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268).
    Mereological nihilists hold that composition never occurs, so that nothing is ever a proper part of anything else. Substance dualists generally hold that we are each identical with an immaterial soul. In this paper, I argue that every popular objection to substance dualism has a parallel objection to composition. This thesis has some interesting implications. First, many of those who reject composition, but accept substance dualism, or who reject substance dualism and accept composition, have some explaining to do. Secondly, one (...)
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  20. Tensed Mereology.Paul Hovda - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (2):241-283.
    Classical mereology (CM) is usually taken to be formulated in a tenseless language, and is therefore associated with a four-dimensionalist metaphysics. This paper presents three ways one might integrate the core idea of flat plenitude, i.e., that every suitable condition or property has exactly one mereological fusion, with a tensed logical setting. All require a revised notion of mereological fusion. The candidates differ over how they conceive parthood to interact with existence in time, which connects to the distinction between (...)
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  21.  42
    The mereology of Thomas Aquinas.Raphael Mary Salzillo - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):e12728.
    This article gives an overview of the mereological thought of the medieval philosopher and theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas. Until the 20th century mereology—the study of the relationship of whole and part—was not generally recognized as a distinct domain of philosophy and so Aquinas, like most of his contemporaries, has no single systematic treatment of it as a topic in its own right. However, a cohesive account of part‐whole relations can be pieced together from the various metaphysical, ethical and theological (...)
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  22.  78
    Mereology and time travel.Carlo Proietti & Jeroen Smid - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2245-2260.
    Core principles of mereology have been questioned by appealing to time travel scenarios. This paper questions the methodology of employing time travel scenarios to argue against mereology. We show some time travel scenarios are structurally equivalent to more standard ones not involving time travel; and that the three main theories about persistence through time can each solve both the time travel scenario as well as the structurally similar classical scenario. Time travel scenarios that are not similar to more (...)
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  23.  50
    Analytic Rules for Mereology.Paolo Maffezioli - 2016 - Studia Logica 104 (1):79-114.
    We present a sequent calculus for extensional mereology. It extends the classical first-order sequent calculus with identity by rules of inference corresponding to well-known mereological axioms. Structural rules, including cut, are admissible.
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  24.  87
    Decidability of General Extensional Mereology.Hsing-Chien Tsai - 2013 - Studia Logica 101 (3):619-636.
    The signature of the formal language of mereology contains only one binary predicate P which stands for the relation “being a part of”. Traditionally, P must be a partial ordering, that is, ${\forall{x}Pxx, \forall{x}\forall{y}((Pxy\land Pyx)\to x=y)}$ and ${\forall{x}\forall{y}\forall{z}((Pxy\land Pyz)\to Pxz))}$ are three basic mereological axioms. The best-known mereological theory is “general extensional mereology”, which is axiomatized by the three basic axioms plus the following axiom and axiom schema: (Strong Supplementation) ${\forall{x}\forall{y}(\neg Pyx\to \exists z(Pzy\land \neg Ozx))}$ , where Oxy (...)
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  25.  20
    Mereology in Kal'm A New Reading of the Proof from Accidents for Creation.Ayman Shihadeh - 2021 - Kader 19 (1):347-376.
    The objective of this article is twofold. First, it investigates mereology in medieval Islamic theology, particularly the theologians’ claim that the whole is identical to its parts and accordingly that at least some attributes common to the parts must by extension be attributed of the whole. This claim was refuted by philosophers and, from the eleventh century onwards, an increasing number of theologians. Second, it offers a new interpretation of the standard theological proof from accidents for creation ex nihilo, (...)
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  26. Using mereological principles to support metaphysics.Maureen Donnelly - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (243):225-246.
    Mereological principles are sometimes used to support general claims about the structure and arrangement of objects in the world. I focus initially on one such mereological principle, the weak supplementation principle (WSP). It is not obvious that (WSP) is prescribed by ordinary thinking about parthood. Further, (WSP) is not needed for a fairly strong formal characterization of the part–whole relation. For these reasons, some arguments relying on (WSP) might be countered by simply denying (WSP). I argue more generally that there (...)
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  27. Decidability of mereological theories.Hsing-Chien Tsai - 2009 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 18 (1):45-63.
    Mereological theories are theories based on a binary predicate ‘being a part of’. It is believed that such a predicate must at least define a partial ordering. A mereological theory can be obtained by adding on top of the basic axioms of partial orderings some of the other axioms posited based on pertinent philosophical insights. Though mereological theories have aroused quite a few philosophers’ interest recently, not much has been said about their meta-logical properties. In this paper, I will look (...)
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  28. The Mereological Problem of Entanglement.Paul M. Näger - manuscript
    It is well-known that the entangled quantum state of a composite object cannot be reduced to the states of its parts. This quantum holism provides a peculiar challenge to formulate an appropriate mereological model: When a system is in an entangled state, which objects are there on the micro and macro level, and which of the objects carries which properties? This paper chooses a modeling approach to answer these questions: It proceeds from a systematic overview of consistent mereological models for (...)
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  29. The Mereology of Emergence.Ryan Miller - 2019 - Dissertation, The University of St Andrews
    The debate about the ontological innocence of mereology has generally been framed as a debate about the plausibility of Universal Fusion. Ontologically loaded fusions must be more than the sum of their parts, and this seems to violate parsimony if fusion is universal. Less attention has been paid to the question of what sort of emergence mereological fusions must exhibit if they are irreducible to their parts. The philosophy of science literature provides several models of such strong emergence. Examining (...)
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  30. Mereology in Aristotle's Assertoric Syllogistic.Justin Vlasits - 2019 - History and Philosophy of Logic 40 (1):1-11.
    How does Aristotle think about sentences like ‘Every x is y’ in the Prior Analytics? A recently popular answer conceives of these sentences as expressing a mereological relationship between x and y: the sentence is true just in case x is, in some sense, a part of y. I argue that the motivations for this interpretation have so far not been compelling. I provide a new justification for the mereological interpretation. First, I prove a very general algebraic soundness and completeness (...)
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  31.  44
    Mereology and truth-making.Peter Simons - 2016 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 25 (3):245-258.
    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 (...)
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  32.  62
    Mereology then and now.Rafał Gruszczyński & Achille C. Varzi - 2015 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 24 (4):409–427.
    This paper offers a critical reconstruction of the motivations that led to the development of mereology as we know it today, along with a brief description of some problems that define current research in the field.
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  33. Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An overview of contemporary part-whole theories, with reference to both their axiomatic developments and their philosophical underpinnings.
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  34. Mereology and modality.Gabriel Uzquiano - 2014 - In Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 33-56.
    Do mereological fusions have their parts necessarily? None of the axioms of non-modal formulations of classical mereology appear to speak directly to this question. And yet a great many philosophers who take the part-whole relation to be governed by classical mereology seem to assume that they do. In addition to this, many philosophers who make allowance for the part-whole relation to obtain merely contingently between a part and a mereological fusion tend to depart from non-modal formulations of classical (...)
     
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  35. Why Mereological Essentialism Applies to Mereological Aggregates.James Porter Moreland - 2023 - Metaphysica 24 (2):339-357.
    This article’s purpose is to defend the depiction of ordinary-sized physical objects as mereological aggregates (MAs), to clarify what the ontology of an MA is, and to show why mereological essentialism (ME) applies to MAs that seem to be ubiquitous if we are to adopt what Frank Jackson calls “Serious Metaphysics” and refuse to broaden our ontology beyond what is (allegedly) bequeathed to us by physics and chemistry. To accomplish this goal, first, I clarify certain background issues that inform what (...)
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  36. Mereological bundle theory and the identity of indiscernibles.Anthony Shiver - 2014 - Synthese 191 (5):1-13.
    Paul (Noûs 36:578–596, 2002; Noûs 40:623–659, 2006, The Handbook of Mereology, forthcoming) has argued for a bundle theory of objects that analyzes the bundling relation between properties and objects in terms of parthood relations. In this paper I argue that any mereological bundle theory with the explanatory power of Paul’s theory will entail the principle of the identity of indiscernibles (PII). This is problematic, since similar bundle theories seem to fall to Max Black’s two sphere counterexample to (PII). I (...)
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  37.  27
    Classical mereology is not elementarily axiomatizable.Andrzej Pietruszczak - 2015 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 24 (4).
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  38.  56
    Against Mereological Nominalism: Reply to Effingham.Javier Cumpa & Alexandre Declos - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8991-9011.
    Mereological Nominalism, as traditionally understood, states that properties are mereological wholes and that instantiation is mereological. Thus defined, this view faces a number of well-known issues, which make it virtually untenable. Recently, Effingham :160–185, 2020) has offered an alternative account of Mereological Nominalism, which intends to avoid these problems by accepting while rejecting. In this paper, we argue that this theory is not viable for two main reasons. First, it faces a threat of circularity. Second, the various non-mereological accounts of (...)
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  39.  20
    Mereology and mathematics: Christian Wolff's foundational programme.Matteo Favaretti Camposampiero - 2019 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (6):1151-1172.
    ABSTRACTHow did the traditional doctrine of parts and wholes evolve into contemporary formal mereology? This paper argues that a crucial missing link may lie in the early modern and especially Wolf...
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  40. Nonclassical Mereology and Its Application to Sets.Peter Forrest - 2002 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 43 (2):79-94.
    Part One of this paper is a case against classical mereology and for Heyting mereology. This case proceeds by first undermining the appeal of classical mereology and then showing how it fails to cohere with our intuitions about a measure of quantity. Part Two shows how Heyting mereology provides an account of sets and classes without resort to any nonmereological primitive.
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  41. Non‐Mereological Universalism.Kristie Miller - 2006 - European Journal of Philosophy 14 (3):404-422.
    In this paper I develop a version of universalism that is non-mereological. Broadly speaking, non-mereological universalism is the thesis that for any arbitrary set of objects and times, there is a persisting object which, at each of those times, will be constituted by those of the objects that exist at that time. I consider two general versions of non-mereological universalism, one which takes basic simples to be enduring objects, and the other which takes simples to be instantaneous objects. This yields (...)
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  42. On Mereology and Metricality.Zee R. Perry - 2024 - Philosophers' Imprint 23.
    This article motivates and develops a reductive account of the structure of certain physical quantities in terms of their mereology. That is, I argue that quantitative relations like "longer than" or "3.6-times the volume of" can be analyzed in terms of necessary constraints those quantities put on the mereological structure of their instances. The resulting account, I argue, is able to capture the intuition that these quantitative relations are intrinsic to the physical systems they’re called upon to describe and (...)
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  43.  29
    General Extensional Mereology is Finitely Axiomatizable.Hsing-Chien Tsai - 2018 - Studia Logica 106 (4):809-826.
    Mereology is the theory of the relation “being a part of”. The first exact formulation of mereology is due to the Polish logician Stanisław Leśniewski. But Leśniewski’s mereology is not first-order axiomatizable, for it requires every subset of the domain to have a fusion. In recent literature, a first-order theory named General Extensional Mereology can be thought of as a first-order approximation of Leśniewski’s theory, in the sense that GEM guarantees that every definable subset of the (...)
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  44. Mereology and Identity.Massimiliano Carrara & Giorgio Lando - 2021 - Synthese:4205-4227.
  45. Heyting Mereology as a Framework for Spatial Reasoning.Thomas Mormann - 2013 - Axiomathes 23 (1):137- 164.
    In this paper it is shown that Heyting and Co-Heyting mereological systems provide a convenient conceptual framework for spatial reasoning, in which spatial concepts such as connectedness, interior parts, (exterior) contact, and boundary can be defined in a natural and intuitively appealing way. This fact refutes the wide-spread contention that mereology cannot deal with the more advanced aspects of spatial reasoning and therefore has to be enhanced by further non-mereological concepts to overcome its congenital limitations. The allegedly unmereological concept (...)
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  46.  48
    Is Mereology Ontologically Innocent? Well, it Depends….Christian J. Feldbacher-Escamilla - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (2):395-424.
    Mereology, the theory of parts and wholes, is sometimes used as a framework for categorisation because it is regarded as ontologically innocent in the sense that the mereological fusion of some entities is nothing over and above the entities. In this paper it is argued that an adequate answer to the question of whether the thesis of the ontological innocence of mereology holds relies crucially on the underlying theory of reference. It is then shown that upholding the thesis (...)
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  47. What is mereological harmony?Matt Leonard - 2016 - Synthese 193 (6).
    Say that mereological harmony is the view that there is at least some mirroring between the mereological structure of material objects and the mereological structure of their locations: each, in some way, mirrors the other. As it turns out, there is a confusing array of systems of harmony available to the substantivalist. In this paper, I attempt to bring some order to these systems. I explore some systems found in the literature, as well as some natural systems which haven’t been (...)
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  48. Unity, Mereology and Connectivity.Farid Masrour - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):509-520.
    The goal of this paper is to raise a few questions about Bayne s mereological account of the unity of consciousness. In Section 1, I raise a few clarificatory questions about the account and the thesis that consciousness is necessarily unified. In Sections 2 and 3, I offer an alternative view of unity of consciousness and contrast it with Bayne's view. I call this view the connectivity account. These sections prepare the ground for the main question of this article: why (...)
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  49.  28
    Lewis on Mereology and Set Theory.John P. Burgess - 2015 - In Barry Loewer & Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), A companion to David Lewis. Chichester, West Sussex ;: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 459–469.
    David Lewis in the short monograph Parts of Classes (PC) undertakes a fundamental re‐examination of the relationship between mereology, the general theory of parts, and set theory, the general theory of collections. Given Lewis's theses, to be an element of a set or member of class is just to have a singleton that is a part thereof. Lewis in PC adds a claim of kind of ontological innocence, comparable to that of first‐order logic, for mereology. The only substantive (...)
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  50. On Mereological Essentialism.Alvin Plantinga - 1975 - Review of Metaphysics 28 (3):468 - 476.
    This paper examines and comments on roderick chisholm's "parts as essential to their wholes", "review of metaphysics", Volume 26, 1973.
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