Results for 'mereology'

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Bibliography: Mereology in Metaphysics
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  1. 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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  2.  39
    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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7.  1
    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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10.  85
    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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15.  45
    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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  16.  91
    Mereology and Location.Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    A team of leading philosophers presents original work on theories of parthood and location. Topics covered include how we ought to axiomatise our mereology; whether we can reduce mereological relations to identity or to locative relations; whether Mereological Essentialism is true; and what mereology and propositions can tell us about one another.
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  17. Mereology and Modality.Gabriel Uzquiano - 2014 - In Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. 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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  18.  63
    Mereology and Quantum Chemistry: The Approximation of Molecular Orbital. [REVIEW]Jean-Pierre Llored - 2010 - Foundations of Chemistry 12 (3):203-221.
    Mulliken proposed an Aufbauprinzip for the molecules on the basis of molecular spectroscopy while establishing, point by point, his concept of molecular orbit. It is the concept of electronic state which becomes the lever for his attribution of electronic configurations to a molecule. In 1932, the concept of orbit was transmuted into that of the molecular orbital to integrate the probabilistic approach of Born and to achieve quantitative accuracy. On the basis of the quantum works of Hund, Wigner, Lennard-Jones and (...)
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  19. 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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  20.  86
    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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  21. 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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  22. Body Mereology.Frederique de Vignemont - 2005 - In G. Knoblich, I. M. Thornton, M. Grosjean & M. Shiffrar (eds.), Human Body Perception From the Inside Out. Oxford University Press.
    The body is made up of parts. This basic assumption is central in most neuroscientific studies of bodily sensation, body representation and motor action. Yet, the assumption has rarely been considered explicitly. We may indeed ask how the body is internally segmented and how body parts can be defined. That is, how can we sketch the mereology of the body? Here we distinguish between a somatosensory mereology and a motor mereology.
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  23. Mereologies as the Grammars of Chemical Discourses.Rom Harré & Jean-Pierre Llored - 2011 - Foundations of Chemistry 13 (1):63-76.
    Mereology is the logic of part—whole concepts as they are used in many different contexts. The old chemical metaphysics of atoms and molecules seems to fit classical mereology very well. However, when functional attributes are added to part specifications and quantum mechanical considerations are also added, the rules of classical mereology are breached in chemical discourses. A set theoretical alternative mereology is also found wanting. Molecular orbital theory requires a metaphysics of affordances that also stands outside (...)
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  24.  96
    Social Mereology.Katherine Hawley - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (4):395-411.
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  25.  31
    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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  26. In Defense of Mereological Universalism.Michael C. Rea - 1998 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (2):347-360.
    This paper defends Mereological Universalism(the thesis that, for any set S of disjoint objects, there is an object that the members of S compose. Universalism is unpalatable to many philosophers because it entails that if there are such things as my left tennis shoe, W. V. Quine, and the Taj Mahal, then there is another object that those three things compose. This paper presents and criticizes Peter van Inwagen's argument against Universalism and then presents a new argument in favor of (...)
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  27. Mereological Idealism.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2017 - In Tyron Goldschmidt & Kenneth L. Pearce (eds.), Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 200-216.
    According to commonsense, some collections of objects compose wholes, and others do not. However, philosophers have found serious difficulties with attempts to preserve this thesis, and especially with attempts to preserve the existence of just those composite objects recognized by commonsense. In this paper, I defend a classical solution to this problem: "it is the mind that maketh each thing to be one" (Berkeley, Siris, sect. 356). According to this view, which I call 'mereological idealism,' it is when a plurality (...)
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  28. A Spatial Approach to Mereology.Ned Markosian - 2014 - In Shieva Keinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. Oxford University Press.
    When do several objects compose a further object? The last twenty years have seen a great deal of discussion of this question. According to the most popular view on the market, there is a physical object composed of your brain and Jeremy Bentham’s body. According to the second-most popular view on the market, there are no such objects as human brains or human bodies, and there are also no atoms, rocks, tables, or stars. And according to the third-ranked view, there (...)
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  29. Multilocation and Mereology.Shieva Kleinschmidt - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):253-276.
    Multilocation and Minimal Mereology do not mix well. It has been pointed out that Three-Dimensionalism, which can be construed as multilocation-friendly, runs into trouble with Weak Supplementation. But in fact, regardless of one’s theory of persistence, if someone posits the possibility of any one of several kinds of multilocation, he or she will not be able to maintain the necessity of any of the three axioms of Minimal Mereology: the Transitivity of Proper Parthood, the Asymmetry of Proper Parthood, (...)
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  30. Against Mereological Panentheism.Oliver D. Crisp - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (2):23-41.
    In this paper I offer an argument against one important version of panentheism, that is, mereological panentheism. Although panentheism has proven difficult to define, I provide a working definition of the view, and proceed to argue that given this way of thinking about the doctrine, mereological accounts of panentheism have serious theological drawbacks. I then explore some of these theological drawbacks. In a concluding section I give some reasons for thinking that the classical theistic alternative to panentheism is preferable, all (...)
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  31. Is Mereology Ontologically Innocent?Byeong-Uk Yi - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 93 (2):141-160.
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  32.  60
    A Mereological Construal of the Primary Notions Being and Thing in Avicenna and Aquinas.Daniel D. De Haan - 2014 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):335-360.
    This study has two goals: first, to show that Avicenna’s account of being and thing significantly influenced Aquinas’s doctrine of the primary notions; second, to establish the value of adopting a mereological construal of these primary notions in the metaphysics of Avicenna and Aquinas. I begin with an explication of the mereological construal of the primary notions that casts these notions in terms of wholes and parts. Being and thing refer to the same entitative whole and have the same extension, (...)
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  33. Mereological Sums and Singular Terms.Kathrin Koslicki - 2014 - In Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. Oxford University Press. pp. 209-235.
    The relative merits of standard mereology have received quite a bit of attention in recent years from metaphysicians concerned with the part/whole properties of material objects. A question that has not been pursued to the same degree, however, is what sort of semantic repercussions a commitment to mereological sums in the standard sense might have in particular on the predicted behavior of singular terms and our practices of using such terms to refer to objects. The apparent mismatch between our (...)
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  34. Mereological Bundle Theory.L. A. Paul - forthcoming - In Hans Burkhardt, Johanna Seibt & Guido Imaguire (eds.), Handbook of Mereology. Philosophia Verlag.
    Bundle theory takes objects to be bundles of properties. Some bundle theorists take objects to be bundles of instantiated universals, and some take objects to be bundles of tropes. Tropes are instances of properties: some take instantiated universals to be tropes, while others deny the existence of universals and take tropes to be ontologically fundamental. Historically, the bundling relation has been taken to be a primitive relation, not analyzable in terms of or ontologically reducible to some other relation, and has (...)
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  35. 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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  36. Mereological Harmony.Gabriel Uzquiano - 2011 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper 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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  37. A Taxonomy for the Mereology of Entangled Quantum Systems.Paul M. Näger & Niko Strobach - manuscript
    The emerging field of quantum mereology considers part-whole relations in quantum systems. Entangled quantum systems pose a peculiar problem in the field, since their total states are not reducible to that of their parts. While there exist several established proposals for modelling entangled systems, like monistic holism or relational holism, there is considerable unclarity, which further positions are available. Using the lambda operator and plural logic as formal tools, we review and develop conceivable models and evaluate their consistency and (...)
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  38. A Mereological Challenge to Endurantism.Nikk Effingham & Jon Robson - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):633 – 640.
    In this paper, we argue that time travel is problematic for the endurantist. For it appears to be possible, given time travel, to construct a wall out of a single time travelling brick. This commits the endurantist to one of the following: (a) the wall is composed of the time travelling brick many times over; (b) the wall does not in fact exist at all; (c) the wall is identical to the brick. We argue that each of these options is (...)
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  39.  9
    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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  40. Biological-Mereological Coincidence.Judith K. Crane - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (2):309-325.
    This paper presents and defends an account of the coincidence of biological organisms with mereological sums of their material components. That is, an organism and the sum of its material components are distinct material objects existing in the same place at the same time. Instead of relying on historical or modal differences to show how such coincident entities are distinct, this paper argues that there is a class of physiological properties of biological organisms that their coincident mereological sums do not (...)
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  41. 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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  42. Mereology, Modality and Magic.Katherine Hawley - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):117 – 133.
    If the property _being a methane molecule_ is a universal, then it is a structural universal: objects instantiate _being a methane molecule_ just in case they have the right sorts of proper parts arranged in the right sort of way. Lewis argued that there can be no satisfactory account of structural universals; in this paper I provide a satisfactory account.
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  43. Can Mereological Sums Change Their Parts?Peter Van Inwagen - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (12):614-630.
    Many philosophers think not. Many philosophers, in fact, seem to suppose that anyone who raises the question whether mereological sums can change their parts displays thereby a failure to grasp an essential feature of the concept “mereological sum.” It is hard to point to an indisputable example of this in print,[i] but it is a thesis I hear put forward very frequently in conversation (sometimes it is put forward in the form of an incredulous stare after I have said something (...)
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  44. Mereological Extensionality, Supplementation, and Material Constitution.E. J. Lowe - 2013 - The Monist 96 (1):131-148.
  45. 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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  46. Mereological monism and Humean supervenience.Andrea Borghini & Giorgio Lando - 2016 - Synthese 197 (11):4745-4765.
    According to Lewis, mereology is the general and exhaustive theory of ontological composition, and every contingent feature of the world supervenes upon some fundamental properties instantiated by minimal entities. A profound analogy can be drawn between these two basic contentions of his metaphysics, namely that both can be intended as a denial of emergentism. In this essay, we study the relationships between Humean supervenience and two philosophical spin-offs of mereological monism: the possibility of gunk and the thesis of composition (...)
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  47. One's a Crowd: Mereological Nihilism Without Ordinary‐Object Eliminativism.Gabriele Contessa - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (2):199-221.
    Mereological nihilism is the thesis that there are no composite objects—i.e. objects with proper material parts. One of the main advantages of mereological nihilism is that it allows its supporters to avoid a number of notorious philosophical puzzles. However, it seems to offer this advantage only at the expense of certain widespread and deeply entrenched beliefs. In particular, it is usually assumed that mereological nihilism entails eliminativism about ordinary objects—i.e. the counterintuitive thesis that there are no such things as tables, (...)
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  48. Mereological Essentialism, Mereological Conjunctivism, and Identity Through Time.James van Cleve - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):141-156.
  49.  69
    Mereology Without Weak Supplementation.Donald Smith - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):505 – 511.
    According to the Weak Supplementation Principle (WSP)—a widely received principle of mereology—an object with a proper part, p , has another distinct proper part that doesn't overlap p . In a recent article in this journal, Nikk Effingham and Jon Robson employ WSP in an objection to endurantism. I defend endurantism in a way that bears on mereology in general. First, I argue that denying WSP can be motivated apart from the truth of endurantism. I then go on (...)
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  50. Non-Wellfounded Mereology.Aaron J. Cotnoir & Andrew Bacon - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (2):187-204.
    This paper is a systematic exploration of non-wellfounded mereology. Motivations and applications suggested in the literature are considered. Some are exotic like Borges’ Aleph, and the Trinity; other examples are less so, like time traveling bricks, and even Geach’s Tibbles the Cat. The authors point out that the transitivity of non-wellfounded parthood is inconsistent with extensionality. A non-wellfounded mereology is developed with careful consideration paid to rival notions of supplementation and fusion. Two equivalent axiomatizations are given, and are (...)
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