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  1. added 2019-01-10
    Mereological Nihilism and Puzzles About Material Objects.Bradley Rettler - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    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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  2. added 2018-10-22
    Natural Properties, Supervenience, and Mereology.Andrea Borghini & Giorgio Lando - 2011 - Humana Mente 4 (19).
    The interpretation of Lewis‘s doctrine of natural properties is difficult and controversial, especially when it comes to the bearers of natural properties. According to the prevailing reading – the minimalist view – perfectly natural properties pertain to the micro-physical realm and are instantiated by entities without proper parts or point-like. This paper argues that there are reasons internal to a broadly Lewisian kind of metaphysics to think that the minimalist view is fundamentally flawed and that a liberal view, according to (...)
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  3. added 2018-09-06
    What is an Ersatz Part?Kristie Miller & Johann Hariman - forthcoming - New Content is Available for Grazer Philosophische Studien.
    This paper develops four proposals for explicating the notion of an ersatz part. It then evaluates each proposal with respect to a number of jobs for which ersatz parts are posited. We argue that each of the four notions of ersatz parthood do better with respect to some jobs, and worse with respect to others. Thus, we think, it’s horses for courses: which notion of ersatz part one chooses will be sensitive to which metaphysical project one is pursuing.
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  4. added 2017-10-18
    Quantum Holism: Reconciling Extended Simples with Supersubstantivalism.Gaeun Kim - manuscript
    I argue that the extended simples picture (ESP) is compatible with supersubstantivalism under the quantum holism model, and that reevaluating our limits on the ways an object may be located by fusing the two ontologies can benefit our understanding of modern physics. I first illustrate the explanatory utility of extended simples, using examples of superposition and entanglement. Second, I advocate the use of supersubstantivalism as a way to understand the interface between objects and spacetime, and argue that the ESP suitably (...)
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  5. added 2017-10-17
    Composition and Relative Counting.Massimiliano Carrara & Giorgio Lando - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (4):489-529.
    According to the so-called strong variant of Composition as Identity (CAI), the Principle of Indiscernibility of Identicals can be extended to composition, by resorting to broadly Fregean relativizations of cardinality ascriptions. In this paper we analyze various ways in which this relativization could be achieved. According to one broad variety of relativization, cardinality ascriptions are about objects, while concepts occupy an additional argument place. It should be possible to paraphrase the cardinality ascriptions in plural logic and, as a consequence, relative (...)
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  6. added 2017-03-04
    Ought a Four-Dimensionalist To Believe in Temporal Parts?Kristie Miller - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (4):619-646.
    This paper presents the strongest version of a non-perdurantist four-dimensionalism: a theory according to which persisting objects are four-dimensionally extended in space-time, but not in virtue of having maximal temporal parts. The aims of considering such a view are twofold. First, to evaluate whether such an account could provide a plausible middle ground between the two main competitor accounts of persistence: three-dimensionalism and perdurantist four-dimensionalism. Second, to see what light such a theory sheds on the debate between these two competitor (...)
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  7. added 2017-02-08
    Simples, Stuff, and Simple People.Ned Markosian - 2004 - The Monist 87 (3):405-428.
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  8. added 2016-12-09
    What Do We Want to Know When We Ask the Simple Question?David Mark Kovacs - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (255):254-266.
    The Simple Question (SQ) asks: “What are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions any x must satisfy in order for it to be true that x is a simple?” The main motivation for asking SQ stems from the hope that it could teach us important lessons for material-object ontology. It is universally accepted that a proper answer to it has to be finite, complete and devoid of mereological expressions. This paper argues that we should stop treating SQ as the central (...)
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  9. added 2016-12-08
    Monism and Gunk.Jacek Brzozowski - 2016 - In Mark Jago (ed.), Reality Making. Oxford University Press. pp. 57-74.
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  10. added 2016-11-03
    What is an Ersatz Part?Kristie Miller & Johann Hariman - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (4):524-551.
    _ Source: _Page Count 28 This paper develops four proposals for explicating the notion of an ersatz part. It then evaluates each proposal with respect to a number of jobs for which ersatz parts are posited. We argue that each of the four notions of ersatz parthood do better with respect to some jobs, and worse with respect to others. Thus, we think, it’s horses for courses: which notion of ersatz part one chooses will be sensitive to which metaphysical project (...)
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  11. added 2016-09-14
    Indefinite Divisibility.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):239-263.
    Some hold that the lesson of Russell’s paradox and its relatives is that mathematical reality does not form a ‘definite totality’ but rather is ‘indefinitely extensible’. There can always be more sets than there ever are. I argue that certain contact puzzles are analogous to Russell’s paradox this way: they similarly motivate a vision of physical reality as iteratively generated. In this picture, the divisions of the continuum into smaller parts are ‘potential’ rather than ‘actual’. Besides the intrinsic interest of (...)
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  12. added 2016-09-08
    Unextended Complexes.Martin Pickup - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):257-264.
    Extended simples are fruitfully discussed in metaphysics. They are entities which are located in a complex region of space but do not themselves have parts. In this paper, I will discuss unextended complexes: entities which are not located at a complex region of space but do themselves have parts. In particular, I focus on one type of unextended complex: pointy complexes. Four areas are indicated where pointy complexes might prove philosophically useful. Unextended complexes are therefore philosophically fruitful, in much the (...)
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  13. added 2016-06-19
    Ontology and the Logistic Analysis of Reality.Barry Smith - 1993 - In Nicola Guarino & Roberto Poli (eds.), Proceedings of the International Workshop on Formal Ontology in Conceptual Analysis and Knowledge Representation. Italian National Research Council. pp. 51-68.
    I shall attempt in what follows to show how mereology, taken together with certain topological notions, can yield the basis for future investigations in formal ontology. I shall attempt to show also how the mereological framework here advanced can allow the direct and natural formulation of a series of theses – for example pertaining to the concept of boundary – which can be formulated only indirectly (if at all) in set-theoretic terms.
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  14. added 2016-03-01
    The Physics of Extended Simples.D. Braddon-Mitchell & K. Miller - 2006 - Analysis 66 (3):222-226.
    The idea that there could be spatially extended mereological simples has recently been defended by a number of metaphysicians (Markosian 1998, 2004; Simons 2004; Parsons (2000) also takes the idea seriously). Peter Simons (2004) goes further, arguing not only that spatially extended mereological simples (henceforth just extended simples) are possible, but that it is more plausible that our world is composed of such simples, than that it is composed of either point-sized simples, or of atomless gunk. The difficulty for these (...)
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  15. added 2016-02-28
    The Transcendentist Theory of Persistence.Damiano Costa - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (2):57-75.
    This paper develops an endurantist theory of persistence. The theory is built around one basic tenet, which concerns existence at a time – the relation between an object and the times at which that object is present. According to this tenet, which I call transcendentism, for an object to exist at a time is for it to participate in events that are located at that time. I argue that transcendentism is a semantically grounded and metaphysically fruitful. It is semantically grounded, (...)
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  16. added 2015-11-21
    Eliminativism and Gunk.Jiri Benovsky - 2016 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (1):59-66.
    Eliminativism about macroscopic material objects claims that we do not need to include tables in our ontology, and that any job – practical or theoretical – they have to do can be done by 'atoms arranged tablewise'. This way of introducing eliminativism faces the worry that if there are no 'atoms', that is, if there are no simples and the world is 'gunky', there are no suitable entities to be 'arranged tablewise'. In this article, I discuss various strategies the eliminativist (...)
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  17. added 2015-10-05
    Natural Properties, Supervenience, and Mereology.Andrea Borghini & Giorgio Lando - 2011 - Humana Mente 4 (19):79-104.
    The interpretation of Lewis‘s doctrine of natural properties is difficult and controversial, especially when it comes to the bearers of natural properties. According to the prevailing reading – the minimalist view – perfectly natural properties pertain to the micro-physical realm and are instantiated by entities without proper parts or point-like. This paper argues that there are reasons internal to a broadly Lewisian kind of metaphysics to think that the minimalist view is fundamentally flawed and that a liberal view, according to (...)
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  18. added 2015-09-29
    Composition.Daniel Z. Korman & Chad Carmichael - 2016 - Oxford Handbooks Online.
    When some objects are the parts of another object, they compose that object and that object is composite. This article is intended as an introduction to the central questions about composition and a highly selective overview of various answers to those questions. In §1, we review some formal features of parthood that are important for understanding the nature of composition. In §2, we consider some answers to the question: which pluralities of objects together compose something? As we will see, the (...)
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  19. added 2015-08-28
    Ought a Four-Dimensionalist to Believe in Temporal Parts?Kristie Miller - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (4):pp. 619-646.
    This paper presents the strongest version of a non-perdurantist four-dimensionalism: a theory according to which persisting objects are four-dimensionally extended in space-time, but not in virtue of having maximal temporal parts. The aims of considering such a view are twofold. First, to evaluate whether such an account could provide a plausible middle ground between the two main competitor accounts of persistence: three-dimensionalism and perdurantist four-dimensionalism. Second, to see what light such a theory sheds on the debate between these two competitor (...)
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  20. added 2015-08-24
    Fundamentality and Ontological Minimality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press. pp. 237-253.
    In this chapter, a generic definition of fundamentality as an ontological minimality thesis is sought and its applicability examined. Most discussions of fundamentality are focused on a mereological understanding of the hierarchical structure of reality, which may be combined with an atomistic, object-oriented metaphysics. But recent work in structuralism, for instance, calls for an alternative understanding and it is not immediately clear that the conception of fundamentality at work in structuralism is commensurable with the mereological conception. However, it is proposed (...)
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  21. added 2015-03-28
    Zeno Objects and Supervenience.Simon Prosser - 2009 - Analysis 69 (1):18 - 26.
    Many philosophers accept a ‘layered’ world‐view according to which the facts about the higher ontological levels supervene on the facts about the lower levels. Advocates of such views often have in mind a version of atomism, according to which there is a fundamental level of indivisible objects known as simples or atoms upon whose spatiotemporal locations and intrinsic properties everything at the higher levels supervenes.1 Some, however, accept the possibility of ‘gunk’ worlds in which there are parts ‘all the way (...)
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  22. added 2014-03-22
    Simples.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (2):213 – 228.
    Since the publication of Peter van Inwagen's book, Material Beings,1 there has been a growing body of philosophical literature on the topic of composition. The main question addressed in both van Inwagen's book and subsequent discussions of the topic is a question that van Inwagen calls "the Special Composition Question." The Special Composition Question is, roughly, the question Under what circumstances do several things compose, or add up to, or form, a single object? For the purposes of formulating a more (...)
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  23. added 2014-03-19
    Illusions of Gunk.J. Robert G. Williams - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):493–513.
    Worlds where things divide forever ("gunk" worlds) are apparently conceivable. The conceivability of such scenarios has been used as an argument against "nihilist" or "near-nihilist" answers to the special composition question. I argue that the mereological nihilist has the resources to explain away the illusion that gunk is possible.
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  24. added 2014-03-12
    Chopping Up Gunk.John Hawthorne & Brian Weatherson - 2004 - The Monist 87 (3):339-50.
    We show that someone who believes in both gunk and the possibility of supertasks has to give up either a plausible principle about where gunk can be located, or plausible conservation principles.
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  25. added 2014-03-09
    Soc It to Me? Reply to McDaniel on Maxcon Simples.Ned Markosian - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):332 – 340.
    I raised the following question in a recent paper: What are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for an object's being a simple? And I proposed and defended this answer (which I called 'MaxCon'): Necessarily, x is a simple iff x is a maximally continuous object. In a more recent paper, Kris McDaniel raises several objections to MaxCon, including, in particular, two objections based on a principle about the supervenience of constitution that he calls 'SoC'. The purpose of the present (...)
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  26. added 2014-03-03
    Boring Infinite Descent.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (2):257-269.
    In formal ontology, infinite regresses are generally considered a bad sign. One debate where such regresses come into play is the debate about fundamentality. Arguments in favour of some type of fundamentalism are many, but they generally share the idea that infinite chains of ontological dependence must be ruled out. Some motivations for this view are assessed in this article, with the conclusion that such infinite chains may not always be vicious. Indeed, there may even be room for a type (...)
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  27. added 2013-12-20
    From Times to Worlds and Back Again: A Transcendentist Theory of Persistence.Alessandro Giordani & Damiano Costa - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):210-220.
    Until recently, an almost perfect parallelism seemed to hold between theories of identity through time and across possible worlds,as every account in the temporal case(endurantism,perdurantism, exdurantism) was mirrored by a twin account in the modal case (trans-world identity, identity-via-parts, identity-via-counterparts). Nevertheless, in the recent literature, this parallelism has been broken because of the implementation in the debate of the relation of location. In particular, endurantism has been subject to a more in-depth analysis, and different versions of it, corresponding to different (...)
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  28. added 2013-07-18
    The Universe As We Find It. By John Heil. [REVIEW]Tuomas E. Tahko - 2013 - Mind 122 (488):1095-1098.
    Book review of 'The Universe As We Find It' (2012, OUP). By John Heil.
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  29. added 2013-06-18
    Why a Gunk World is Compatible with Nihilism About Objects.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2013 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 6 (1):1-14.
    Ted Sider argues that nihilism about objects is incompatible with the metaphysical possibility of gunk and takes this point to show that nihilism is flawed. I shall describe one kind of nihilism able to answer this objection. I believe that most of the things we usually encounter do not exist. That is, I take talk of macroscopic objects and macroscopic properties to refer to sets of fundamental properties, which are invoked as a matter of linguistic convention. This view is a (...)
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  30. added 2012-10-14
    Strong Composition as Identity and Simplicity.Joshua Spencer - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (5):1177-1184.
    The general composition question asks “what are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions any xs and any y must satisfy in order for it to be true that those xs compose that y?” Although this question has received little attention, there is an interesting and theoretically fruitful answer. Namely, strong composition as identity (SCAI): necessarily, for any xs and any y, those xs compose y iff those xs are identical to y. SCAI is theoretically fruitful because if it is true, (...)
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  31. added 2012-10-08
    The Structure of Gunk: Adventures in the Ontology of Space.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2008 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics: Volume 4. Oxford University Press. pp. 248.
    Could space consist entirely of extended regions, without any regions shaped like points, lines, or surfaces? Peter Forrest and Frank Arntzenius have independently raised a paradox of size for space like this, drawing on a construction of Cantor’s. I present a new version of this argument and explore possible lines of response.
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  32. added 2011-12-10
    Quasi-Supplementation, Plenitudinous Coincidentalism, and Gunk.Cody Gilmore - forthcoming - In Robert Garcia (ed.), Substance: New Essays. Philosophia Verlag.
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  33. added 2011-07-01
    A Tale of Two Simples.Joshua Spencer - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (2):167 - 181.
    A material simple is a material object that has no proper parts. Some philosophers have argued for the possibility of extended simples. Some have even argued for the possibility of heterogeneous simples or simples that have intrinsic variations across their surfaces. There is a puzzle, though, that is meant to show that extended, heterogeneous simples are impossible. Although several plausible responses have been given to this puzzle, I wish to reopen the case against extended, heterogeneous simples. In this paper, I (...)
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