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Identity in the loose and popular sense

Mind 97 (388):575-582 (1988)

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  1. Ditching determination and dependence: or, how to wear the crazy trousersa.James Norton, Kristie Miller & Michael Duncan - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):395-418.
    This paper defends Flatland—the view that there exist neither determination nor dependence relations, and that everything is therefore fundamental—from the objection from explanatory inefficacy. According to that objection, Flatland is unattractive because it is unable to explain either the appearance as of there being determination relations, or the appearance as of there being dependence relations. We show how the Flatlander can meet the first challenge by offering four strategies—reducing, eliminating, untangling and omnizing—which, jointly, explain the appearance as of determination relations (...)
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  • Divine Simplicity.Joshua Reginald Sijuwade - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (1):143-179.
    This article aims to provide a consistent explication of the doctrine of Divine Simplicity. To achieve this end, a re-construal of the doctrine is made within an “aspectival trope-theoretic” metaphysical framework, which will ultimately enable the doctrine to be elucidated in a consistent manner, and the Plantingian objections raised against it will be shown to be unproblematic.
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  • Is composition identity?Byeong-uk Yi - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4467-4501.
    Say that some things compose something, if the latter is a whole, fusion, or mereological sum of the former. Then the thesis that composition is identity holds that the composition relation is a kind of identity relation, a plural cousin of singular identity. On this thesis, any things that compose a whole are identical with the whole. This article argues that the thesis is incoherent. To do so, the article formulates the thesis in a plural language, a symbolic language that (...)
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  • Many, but one.Evan T. Woods - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4609-4626.
    The problem of the many threatens to show that, in general, there are far more ordinary objects than you might have thought. I present and motivate a solution to this problem using many-one identity. According to this solution, the many things that seem to have what it takes to be, say, a cat, are collectively identical to that single cat.
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  • Composition as Identity: Part 1.Meg Wallace - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (11):804-816.
    Many of us think that ordinary objects – such as tables and chairs – exist. We also think that ordinary objects have parts: my chair has a seat and some legs as parts, for example. But once we are committed to the thesis that ordinary objects are composed of parts, we then open ourselves up to a whole host of philosophical problems, most of which center on what exactly the composition relation is. Composition as Identity is the view that the (...)
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  • Composition as Identity: Part 1.Meg Wallace - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (11):804-816.
    Many of us think that ordinary objects – such as tables and chairs – exist. We also think that ordinary objects have parts: my chair has a seat and some legs as parts, for example. But once we are committed to the (seemingly innocuous) thesis that ordinary objects are composed of parts, we then open ourselves up to a whole host of philosophical problems, most of which center on what exactly the composition relation is. Composition as Identity (CI) is the (...)
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  • Composition as Identity: Part 2.Meg Wallace - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (11):817-827.
    Many of us think that ordinary objects – such as tables and chairs – exist. We also think that ordinary objects have parts: my chair has a seat and some legs as parts, for example. But once we are committed to the (seemingly innocuous) thesis that ordinary objects are composed of parts, we then open ourselves up to a whole host of philosophical problems, most of which center on what exactly this composition relation is. Composition as Identity (CI) is the (...)
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  • Why the social sciences are irreducible.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):4961-4987.
    It is often claimed that the social sciences cannot be reduced to a lower-level individualistic science. The standard argument for this position is the Fodorian multiple realizability argument. Its defenders endorse token–token identities between “higher-level” social objects and pluralities/sums of “lower-level” individuals, but they maintain that the properties expressed by social science predicates are often multiply realizable, entailing that type–type identities between social and individualistic properties are ruled out. In this paper I argue that the multiple realizability argument for explanatory (...)
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  • Causally Redundant Social Objects: Rejoinder to Elder-Vass.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2014 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (6):798-809.
    In Elder-Vass’s response to my critical discussion of his social ontology, it is maintained (1) that a social object is not identical with but is merely composed of its suitably interrelated parts, (2) that a social object is necessarily indistinguishable in terms of its causal capacities from its interrelated parts, and (3) that ontological individualism lacks an adequate ontological justification. In this reply, I argue that in view of (1) the so-called redescription principle defended by Elder-Vass ought to be reformulated (...)
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  • The Universe among Other Things.Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Ratio 19 (1):107–120.
    Peter Simons has argued that the expression ‘the universe’ is not a genuine singular term: it can name neither a single, completely encompassing individual, nor a collection of individuals. (It is, rather, a semantically plural term standing equally for every existing object.) I offer reasons for resisting Simons’s arguments on both scores.
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  • Mereological commitments.Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Dialectica 54 (4):283–305.
    We tend to talk about (refer to, quantify over) parts in the same way in which we talk about whole objects. Yet a part is not something to be included in an inventory of the world over and above the whole to which it belongs, and a whole is not something to be included in the inventory over and above its constituent parts. This paper is an attempt to clarify a way of dealing with this tension which may be labeled (...)
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  • Mereological Commitments.Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Dialectica 54 (4):283-305.
    We tend to talk about parts in the same way in which we talk about whole objects. Yet a part is not something to be included in an inventory of the world over and above the whole to which it belongs, and a whole is not something to be included in an inventory over and above its own parts. This paper is an attempt to clarify a way of dealing with this tension which may be labeled the Minimalist View: an (...)
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  • Cross-count identity, distinctness, and the theory of internal and external relations.Ian Underwood - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):265 - 283.
    Baxter (Australas J Philos 79: 449-464, 2001) proposes an ingenious solution to the problem of instantiation based on his theory of cross-count identity. His idea is that where a particular instantiates a universal it shares an aspect with that universal. Both the particular and the universal are numerically identical with the shared aspect in different counts. Although Baxter does not say exactly what a count is, it appears that he takes ways of counting as mysterious primitives against which different numerical (...)
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  • Existence and Many-One Identity.Jason Turner - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (250):313-329.
    C endorses the doctrine of Composition as Identity, which holds that a composite object is identical to its many parts, and entails that one object can be identical to several others. In this dialogue, N argues that many‐one identity, and thus composition as identity, is conceptually confused. In particular, N claims it violates two conceptual truths: that existence facts fix identity facts, and that identity is no addition to being. In response to pressure from C, N considers several candidate interpretations (...)
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  • Musical materialism and the inheritance problem.Chris Tillman & J. Spencer - 2012 - Analysis 72 (2):252-259.
    Some hold that musical works are fusions of, or coincide with, their performances. But if performances contain wrong notes, won't works inherit that property? We say ‘no’.
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  • Physicalism Requires Functionalism: A New Formulation and Defense of the Via Negativa.Justin Tiehen - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):3-24.
    How should ‘the physical’ be defined for the purpose of formulating physicalism? In this paper I defend a version of the via negativa according to which a property is physical just in case it is neither fundamentally mental nor possibly realized by a fundamentally mental property. The guiding idea is that physicalism requires functionalism, and thus that being a type identity theorist requires being a realizer-functionalist. In §1 I motivate my approach partly by arguing against Jessica Wilson's no fundamental mentality (...)
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  • Compositional Explanatory Relations and Mechanistic Reduction.Kari L. Theurer - 2013 - Minds and Machines 23 (3):287-307.
    Recently, some mechanists have embraced reductionism and some reductionists have endorsed mechanism. However, the two camps disagree sharply about the extent to which mechanistic explanation is a reductionistic enterprise. Reductionists maintain that cellular and molecular mechanisms can explain mental phenomena without necessary appeal to higher-level mechanisms. Mechanists deny this claim. I argue that this dispute turns on whether reduction is a transitive relation. I show that it is. Therefore, mechanistic explanations at the cellular and molecular level explain mental phenomena. I (...)
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  • 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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  • Counting on Strong Composition as Identity to Settle the Special Composition Question.Joshua Spencer - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):857-872.
    Strong Composition as Identity is the thesis that necessarily, for any xs and any y, those xs compose y iff those xs are non-distributively identical to y. Some have argued against this view as follows: if some many things are non-distributively identical to one thing, then what’s true of the many must be true of the one. But since the many are many in number whereas the one is not, the many cannot be identical to the one. Hence is mistaken. (...)
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  • The ontological parsimony of mereology.Jeroen Smid - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3253-3271.
    Lewis famously argued that mereology is ontologically innocent. Many who have considered this claim believe he was mistaken. Mereology is not innocent, because its acceptance entails the acceptance of sums, new objects that were not previously part of one’s ontology. This argument, the argument from ontological parsimony, has two versions: a qualitative and a quantitative one. I argue that the defender of mereology can neutralize both arguments by holding that, given mereology, a commitment to the parts of an object is (...)
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  • Parthood.Theodore Sider - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (1):51-91.
    There will be a few themes. One to get us going: expansion versus contraction. About an object, o, and the region, R, of space(time) in which o is exactly located,1 we may ask: i) must there exist expansions of o: objects in filled superregions2 of R? ii) must there exist contractions of o: objects in filled subregions of..
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  • Another look at Armstrong's combinatorialism.Theodore Sider - 2005 - Noûs 39 (4):679–695.
    The core idea of David Armstrong’s combinatorial theory of possibility is attractive. Rearrangement is the key to modality; possible worlds result from scrambling bits and pieces of other possible worlds. Yet I encounter great difficulty when trying to formulate the theory rigorously, and my best attempts are vulnerable to counterexamples. The Leibnizian biconditionals relate possibility and necessity to possible world and true in.
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  • Composition as Abstraction.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (9):453-470.
    The existence of mereological sums can be derived from an abstraction principle in a way analogous to numbers. I draw lessons for the thesis that “composition is innocent” from neo-Fregeanism in the philosophy of mathematics.
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  • Monism, Spacetime, and Aristotelian Substances.Carlo Rossi - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (3):375-392.
    Schaffer offers us in the last section of “On What Grounds What” (2009) an applied illustration of his allegedly Aristotelian metaontological position. According to this illustration, Schaffer’s metaontological position, supplemented with a few Aristotelian theses about substance and grounding, would converge in a view remarkably similar to his priority monism (Philosophical Studies, 145, 131–148, 2009b; Philosophical Review, 119, 31–76, 2010a), the view that there is one single fundamental substance. In this paper, I will argue against Schaffer’s suggestion that priority monism (...)
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  • Split identity: Intransitive judgments of the identity of objects.Lance J. Rips - 2011 - Cognition 119 (3):356-373.
    Identity is a transitive relation, according to all standard accounts. Necessarily, if x = y and y = z, then x = z. However, people sometimes say that two objects, x and z, are the same as a third, y, even when x and z have different properties (thus, x = y and y = z, but x ≠ z). In the present experiments, participants read stories about an iceberg that breaks into two icebergs, one to the east and the (...)
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  • Quotation marks: demonstratives or demonstrations?M. Reimer - 1996 - Analysis 56 (3):131-141.
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  • Counting Composites.Jonathan D. Payton - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (4):695-710.
    I defend the thesis that Composition Entails Identity (CEI): that is, a whole is identical to all of its parts, taken together. CEI seems to be inconsistent, since it seems to require that the parts of a whole possess incompatible number properties (for instance, being one thing and being many things). I show that these number properties are, in fact, compatible.
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  • Composition and plethological innocence.Jonathan D. Payton - 2022 - Analysis 82 (1):67-74.
    According to Composition as Identity, a whole is distinct from each of its parts individually, but identical to all of them taken together. It is sometimes claimed that, if you accept CAI, then your belief in a whole is ‘ontologically innocent’ with respect to your belief in its parts. This claim is false. But the defender of CAI can claim a different advantage for her view. Following Agustín Rayo, I distinguish ontology from plethology. I then show that CAI allows us (...)
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  • The Puzzles of Material Constitution.L. A. Paul - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (7):579-590.
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  • Conceptual Conservatism and Contingent Composition.Josh Parsons - 2013 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 56 (4):327-339.
    ABSTRACT This paper proposes a novel answer to the Special Composition Question. In some respects it agrees with brutalism about composition; in others with universalism. The main novel feature of this answer is the insight I think it gives into what the debate over the Special Composition Question is about.
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  • Ditching Dependence and Determination: Or, How to Wear the Crazy Trousers.Michael Duncan, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):395–418.
    This paper defends Flatland—the view that there exist neither determination nor dependence relations, and that everything is therefore fundamental—from the objection from explanatory inefficacy. According to that objection, Flatland is unattractive because it is unable to explain either the appearance as of there being determination relations, or the appearance as of there being dependence relations. We show how the Flatlander can meet the first challenge by offering four strategies—reducing, eliminating, untangling and omnizing—which, jointly, explain the appearance as of there being (...)
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  • Composition and vagueness.Trenton Merricks - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):615-637.
    ‘Restricted composition’ says that there are some composite objects. And it says that some objects jointly compose nothing at all. The main threat to restricted composition is the influential and widely defended Vagueness Argument. We shall see that the Vagueness Argument fails. In seeing how this argument fails, we shall discover a new focus for the debate over composition's extent.
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  • Parts and wholes.Kris McDaniel - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (5):412-425.
    Philosophical questions concerning parts and wholes have received a tremendous amount of the attention of contemporary analytic metaphysicians. In what follows, I discuss some of the central questions. The questions to be discussed are: how general is parthood? Are there different kinds of parthood or ways to be a part? Can two things be composed of the same parts? When does composition occur? Can material objects gain or lose parts? What is the logical form of the parthood relation enjoyed by (...)
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  • Existence and Number.Kris McDaniel - 2013 - Analytic Philosophy 54 (2):209-228.
    The Frege-Russell view is that existence is a second-order property rather than a property of individuals. One of the most compelling arguments for this view is based on the premise that there is an especially close connection between existence and number. The most promising version of this argument is by C.J.F Williams (1981, 1992). In what follows, I argue that this argument fails. I then defend an account according to which both predications of number and existence attribute properties to individuals.
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  • Against composition as identity.Kris McDaniel - 2008 - Analysis 68 (2):128-133.
    I argue that composition as identity is incompatible with the possibility of emergent properties (as characterized in the paper) and so should be rejected.
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  • Presentism, persistence and composition.Ernâni Magalhães - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (4):509-523.
    Pace Benovsky's ‘Presentism and Persistence,’ presentism is compatible with perdurantism, tropes and bundle-of-universals theories of persisting objects. I demonstrate how the resemblance, causation and precedence relations that tie stages together can be accommodated within an ersatzer presentist framework. The presentist account of these relations is then used to delineate a presentist-friendly account of the inter-temporal composition required for making worms out of stages. The defense of presentist trope theory shows how properties with indexes other than t may be said to (...)
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  • Two notions of fusion and the landscape of extensionality.Roberto Loss - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3443-3463.
    There are two main ways in which the notion of mereological fusion is usually defined in the current literature in mereology which have been labelled ‘Leśniewski fusion’ and ‘Goodman fusion’. It is well-known that, with Minimal Mereology as the background theory, every Leśniewski fusion also qualifies as a Goodman fusion. However, the converse does not hold unless stronger mereological principles are assumed. In this paper I will discuss how the gap between the two notions can be filled, focussing in particular (...)
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  • Mystery of the Trinity: a Reply to Einar Bøhn.Joseph Long - 2019 - Sophia 58 (2):301-307.
    In this journal, Einar Bøhn has proposed a solution to the so-called Trinitarian Paradox. After summarizing the Paradox and Bøhn’s proposed solution, I argue that those committed to Christian orthodoxy cannot accept the solution, for three reasons: First, it requires positing more kinds of divine entity than God and the Persons of the Trinity; second, it is based upon a false assumption; and, finally, the proposed solution amounts at best to a form of obscurantism.
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  • No universalism without gunk? Composition as identity and the universality of identity.Manuel Lechthaler - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4441-4452.
    Philosophers disagree whether composition as identity entails mereological universalism. Bricker :264–294, 2016) has recently considered an argument which concludes that composition as identity supports universalism. The key step in this argument is the thesis that any objects are identical to some object, which Bricker justifies with the principle of the universality of identity. I will spell out this principle in more detail and argue that it has an unexpected consequence. If the universality of identity holds, then composition as identity not (...)
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  • Intensional Composition as Identity.Manuel Lechthaler - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (2):294-318.
    Composition as Identity claims that a composite object is identical to its parts taken collectively. This is often understood as reducing the identity of composite objects to the identity of their parts. The author argues that Composition as Identity is not such a reduction. His central claim is that an intensional notion of composition, which is sensitive to the arrangement of the composing objects, avoids criticisms based on an extensional understanding of composition. The key is to understand composition as an (...)
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  • Contingent composition as identity.Giorgio Lando & Massimiliano Carrara - forthcoming - Synthese.
    When the necessity of identity is combined with composition as identity, the contingency of composition is at risk. In the extant literature, either NI is seen as the basis for a refutation of CAI or CAI is associated with a theory of modality, such that: either NI is renounced ; or CC is renounced. In this paper, we investigate the prospects of a new variety of CAI, which aims to preserve both NI and CC. This new variety of CAI is (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Fusion First.Shieva Kleinschmidt - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):689-707.
    Logics of part/whole relations frequently take parthood or proper parthood as primitive, defining the remaining mereological properties and relations in terms of them. I argue from considerations involving Weak Supplementation for the conclusion that we should take fusion as our mereological primitive. I point out that the intuitions supporting Weak Supplementation also support a stronger principle, Weak Supplementation of Pluralities, and that the principle can only do the work demanded by our intuitions when formulated in terms of a notion of (...)
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  • ∈ : Formal concepts in a material world truthmaking and exemplification as types of determination.Philipp Keller - 2007 - Dissertation, University of Geneva
    In the first part ("Determination"), I consider different notions of determination, contrast and compare modal with non-modal accounts and then defend two a-modality theses concerning essence and supervenience. I argue, first, that essence is a a-modal notion, i.e. not usefully analysed in terms of metaphysical modality, and then, contra Kit Fine, that essential properties can be exemplified contingently. I argue, second, that supervenience is also an a-modal notion, and that it should be analysed in terms of constitution relations between properties. (...)
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  • Almost Identical, Almost Innocent.Katherine Hawley - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:249-263.
    In his 1991 book, Parts of Classes, David Lewis discusses the idea that composition is identity, alongside the idea that mereological overlap is a form of partial identity. But this notion of partial identity does nothing to help Lewis achieve his goals in that book. So why does he mention it? I explore and resolve this puzzle, by comparing Parts of Classes with Lewis's invocation of partial identity in his 1993 paper ‘Many But Almost One’, where he uses it to (...)
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  • Plato’s Problem of Composition.Verity Harte - 2002 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 17 (1):1-26.
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  • Causally Redundant Social Objects: Rejoinder to Elder-Vass.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2014 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (6):798-809.
    In Elder-Vass’s response to my it is maintained: that a social object is not identical with but is merely composed of its suitably interrelated parts; that a social object is necessarily indistinguishable in terms of its causal capacities from its interrelated parts; and that ontological individualism lacks an adequate ontological justification. In this reply, I argue that in view of the so-called redescription principle defended by Elder-Vass ought to be reformulated and renamed; that the conjunction of and renders social objects (...)
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  • The Razor Argument of Metaphysics A.9.José Edgar González-Varela - 2018 - Phronesis 63 (4):408-448.
    I discuss Aristotle’s opening argument against Platonic Forms in _Metaphysics_ A.9, ‘the Razor’, which criticizes the introduction of Forms on the basis of an analogy with a hypothetical case of counting things. I argue for a new interpretation of this argument, and show that it involves two interesting objections against the introduction of Forms as formal causes: one concerns the completeness and the other the adequacy of such an explanatory project.
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  • Can parts cause their wholes?Toby Friend - 2018 - Synthese:1-22.
    Part–whole causation (PWC) is the thesis that some causes are part of their effects. PWC has been objected to because of its incompatibility with the criterion that causes not be spatially included within their effects and the criterion that causes and effects are ontologically distinct in some sense. This paper serves to undermine the sufficiency of these ways of objecting to PWC by showing that for each criterion either cause-effect relationships need not satisfy it or part–whole relationships can. A case-study (...)
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