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  1. Coincident Objects: Could a Stuff Ontology Help.D. Zimmerman - 1997 - Analysis 57 (1):19-27.
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  • Contrast and Constitution.Peter van Elswyk - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):158-174.
    The pluralist about material constitution maintains that a lump of clay is not identical with the statue it constitutes. Although pluralism strikes many as extravagant by requiring distinct things to coincide, it can be defended with a simple argument. The monist is less well off. Typically, she has to argue indirectly for her view by finding problems with the pluralist's extravagance. This paper offers a direct argument for monism that illustrates how monism about material constitution is rooted in commonsense as (...)
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  • The Controversy Over the Existence of Ordinary Objects.Amie L. Thomasson - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (7):591-601.
    The basic philosophical controversy regarding ordinary objects is: Do tables and chairs, sticks and stones, exist? This paper aims to do two things: first, to explain why how this can be a controversy at all, and second, to explain why this controversy has arisen so late in the history of philosophy. Section 1 begins by discussing why the 'obvious' sensory evidence in favor of ordinary objects is not taken to be decisive. It goes on to review the standard arguments against (...)
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  • Metaphysical Arguments Against Ordinary Objects.Amie Thomasson - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (224):340 - 359.
    Several prominent attacks on the objects of 'folk ontology' argue that these would be omitted from a scientific ontology, or would be 'rivals' of scientific objects for their claims to be efficacious, occupy space, be composed of parts, or possess a range of other properties. I examine causal redundancy and overdetermination arguments, 'nothing over and above' appeals, and arguments based on problems with collocation and with property additivity. I argue that these share a common problem: applying conjunctive principles to cases (...)
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  • How Can We Come to Know Metaphysical Modal Truths?Amie L. Thomasson - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):2077-2106.
    Those who aim to give an account of modal knowledge face two challenges: the integration challenge of reconciling an account of what is involved in knowing modal truths with a plausible story about how we can come to know them, and the reliability challenge of giving a plausible account of how we could have evolved a reliable capacity to acquire modal knowledge. I argue that recent counterfactual and dispositional accounts of modal knowledge cannot solve these problems regarding specifically metaphysical modal (...)
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  • Michelangelo’s Puzzle.Giuseppe Spolaore & Pierdaniele Giaretta - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (2):453-464.
    Michelangelo thought that stone statues pre-exist their sculptors’ performance. Michelangelo’s view gives rise to a puzzle, which we call Michelangelo’s puzzle. Michelangelo’s puzzle looks structurally similar to so-called problems of material constitution ; so it is tempting to suppose that it can be similarly accounted for. This paper argues that the supposition is misguided. Michelangelo’s puzzle raises specific problems, which cannot be adequately dealt with unless one is prepared to give up either the natural view that stone sculptures are human (...)
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  • Toward a Lockean Unification of Formal and Traditional Epistemology.Paul Silva Jr & Matthew Brandon Lee - 2022 - Episteme 19 (1):111-129.
    Can there be knowledge and rational belief in the absence of a rational degree of confidence? Yes, and cases of "mistuned knowledge" demonstrate this. In this paper we leverage this normative possibility in support of advancing our understanding of the metaphysical relation between belief and credence. It is generally assumed that a Lockean metaphysics of belief that reduces outright belief to degrees of confidence would immediately effect a unification of coarse-grained epistemology of belief with fine-grained epistemology of confidence. Scott Sturgeon (...)
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  • Yet Another Paper on the Supervenience Argument Against Coincident Entities.Theodore Sider - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):613-624.
    Statues and lumps of clay are said by some to coincide - to be numerically distinct despite being made up of the same parts. They are said to be numerically distinct because they differ modally. Coincident objects would be non-modally indiscernible, and thus appear to violate the supervenience of modal properties on nonmodal properties. But coincidence and supervenience are in fact consistent if the most fundamental modal features are not properties, but are rather relations that are symmetric as between coincident (...)
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  • Recent Work on Identity Over Time.Theodore Sider - 2000 - Philosophical Books 41 (2):81–89.
    I am now typing on a computer I bought two years ago. The computer I bought is identical to the computer on which I type. My computer persists over time. Let us divide our subject matter in two. There is first the question of criteria of identity, the conditions governing when an object of a certain kind, a computer for instance, persists until some later time. There are secondly very general questions about the nature of persistence itself. Here I include (...)
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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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  • Is There a True Metaphysics of Material Objects?Alan Sidelle - 2002 - Noûs 36 (s1):118-145.
    I argue that metaphysical views of material objects should be understood as 'packages', rather than individual claims, where the other parts of the package include how the theory addresses 'recalcitant data', and that when the packages meet certain general desiderata - which all of the currently competing views *can* meet - there is nothing in the world that could make one of the theories true as opposed to any of the others.
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  • Global Supervenience and Identity Across Times and Worlds.Theodore Sider - 1999 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (4):913-937.
    The existence and importance of supervenience principles for identity across times and worlds have been noted, but insufficient attention has been paid to their precise nature. Such attention is repaid with philosophical dividends. The issues in the formulation of the supervenience principles are two. The first involves the relevant variety of supervenience: that variety is global, but there are in fact two versions of global supervenience that must be distinguished. The second involves the subject matter: the names “identity over time” (...)
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  • Does Hylomorphism Offer a Distinctive Solution to the Grounding Problem?Alan Sidelle - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):397-404.
    The Aristotelian doctrine of hylomorphism has seen a recent resurgence of popularity, due to the work of a number of well-known and impressive philosophers. One of the recently motivating virtues claimed for the doctrine is its ability to solve the grounding problem for philosophers who believe in coinciding entities. In this brief article, I will argue that when fully spelled out, hylomorphism does not, in fact, contribute a distinctive solution to this problem. It is not that it offers no solution (...)
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  • Coincidence: The Grounding Problem, Object-Specifying Principles, and Some Consequences.Alan Sidelle - 2016 - Philosophical Papers 45 (3):497-528.
    This paper lays out the basic structure of any view involving coincident entities, in the light of the grounding problem. While the account is not novel, I highlight fundamental features, to which attention is not usually properly drawn. With this in place, I argue for a number of further claims: The basic differences between coincident objects are modal differences, and any other differences between them need to be explained in terms of these differences. More specifically, the basic difference is not (...)
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  • A Problem for the Unity of Normativity.Nicholas Shackel - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):404-411.
    A prevalent assumption is that normativity is a unity. In this paper I argue against this assumption by demonstrating the problems it poses to a well known answer to a well known problem for taking rationality to be normative. John Broome's normative requirement relation does indeed avoid that problem, but insofar as the relation is supposed to offer a general characterisation of the normativity of rationality, it fails. It fails because it cannot capture an important aspect of the normativity of (...)
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  • Identity in 4D.Thomas Sattig - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (2):179-195.
    Four-dimensionalists offer a unified picture of various puzzles about identity over time, including the puzzle of fission, the puzzle of constitution and the puzzle of undetached parts. What unifies the four-dimensionalist approaches to these puzzles is the possibility of temporal overlap—the possibility for distinct continuants to share a common temporal part, or stage. I claim that the unified picture is inconsistent, if there are informative criteria of identity over time. I will show that while temporal overlap is compatible with four-dimensionalist (...)
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  • The Standard Objection to the Standard Account.Ryan Wasserman - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 111 (3):197 - 216.
    What is the relation between a clay statue andthe lump of clay from which it is made? According to the defender of the standardaccount, the statue and the lump are distinct,enduring objects that share the same spatiallocation whenever they both exist. Suchobjects also seem to share the samemicrophysical structure whenever they bothexist. This leads to the standard objection tothe standard account: if the statue and thelump of clay have the same microphysicalstructure whenever they both exist, how canthey differ in their (...)
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  • Sortal Continuity of Material Things.Edmund Runggaldier - 1998 - Erkenntnis 48 (2-3):359-369.
    Spatiotemporal and qualitative continuity are not sufficient to trace the career or path of one and the same object through its history. One needs sortal continuity, guaranteed by the form-token of the object. In this paper I concentrate on the question of sortal continuity linked to the problem of the cohabitation of objects. I intend to test whether it is possible to stick to the belief in continuants or endurers as well as the sortal dependence of identity and at the (...)
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  • Bodily Thought and the Corpse Problem.Steinvör Thöll Árnadóttir - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (4):575-592.
    : A key consideration in favour of animalism—the thesis that persons like you and me are identical to the animals we walk around with—is that it avoids a too many thinkers problem that arises for non-animalist positions. The problem is that it seems that any person-constituting animal would itself be able to think, but if wherever there is a thinking person there is a thinking animal distinct from it then there are at least two thinkers wherever there is a thinking (...)
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  • It’s All in Your Head: A Solution to the Problem of Object Coincidence.Graham Renz - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):1387-1407.
    It is uncontroversial that artifacts like statues and tables are mind-dependent. What is controversial is whether and how this mind-dependence has implications for the ontology of artifacts. I argue the mind-dependence of artifacts entails that there are no artifacts or artifact joints in the extra-mental world. In support of this claim, I argue that artifacts and artifact joints lack any extra-mental grounding, and so ought not to have a spot in a realist ontology. I conclude that the most plausible story (...)
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  • The Puzzles of Material Constitution.L. A. Paul - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (7):579-590.
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  • Coincidence as Overlap.L. A. Paul - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):623–659.
    I discuss puzzles involving coinciding material objects (such as statues and their constitutive lumps of clay) and propose solutions.
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  • The Zombies Among Us.Eric T. Olson - 2018 - Noûs 52 (1):216-226.
    Philosophers disagree about whether there could be “zombies”: beings physically identical to normal human people but lacking consciousness. Establishing their possibility would refute physicalism. But it is seldom noted that the popular “constitution view” of human people implies that our bodies actually are zombies. This would contradict several widely held views in the philosophy of mind.
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  • The Paradox of Increase.Eric T. Olson - 2006 - The Monist 89 (3):390-417.
    It seems evident that things sometimes get bigger by acquiring new parts. But there is an ancient argument purporting to show that this is impossible: the paradox of increase or growing argument.i Here is a sketch of the paradox. Suppose we have an object, A, and we want to make it bigger by adding a part, B. That is, we want to bring it about that A first lacks and then has B as a part. Imagine, then, that we conjoin (...)
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  • The Paradox of Increase.Eric T. Olson - 2006 - The Monist 89 (3):390-417.
    The paradox of increase in an ancient argument purporting to show that nothing can grow by acquiring new parts. If it is sound, similar reasoning leads to the more general conclusion that nothing can ever change its parts. After discussing the implicationsof this principle, the paper lays out the paradox in a way that reveals the premises that figure in it. It emerges that the paradox has no easy solution, and can be resisted only by taking on one of five (...)
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  • Relativism and Persistence.Eric T. Olson - 1997 - Philosophical Studies 88 (2):141-162.
    Philosophers often talk as if what it takes for a person to persist through time were up to us, as individuals or as a linguistic community, to decide. In most ordinary situations it might be fully determinate whether someone has survived or perished: barring some unforeseen catastrophe, it is clear enough that you will still exist ten minutes from now, for example. But there is no shortage of actual and imaginary situations where it is not so clear whether one survives. (...)
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  • Material Coincidence and the Indiscernibility Problem.Eric T. Olson - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (204):337-355.
    It is often said that the same particles can simultaneously make up two or more material objects that differ in kind and in their mental, biological, and other qualitative properties. Others wonder how objects made of the same parts in the same arrangement and surroundings could differ in these ways. I clarify this worry and show that attempts to dismiss or solve it miss its point. At most one can argue that it is a problem we can live with.
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  • Human Atoms.Eric T. Olson - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (3):396-406.
    In this paper I shall explore a novel alternative to these familiar views. In his recent book Sub ects of Ex erience, E. J. Lowe argues, as many others have done before, that you and I are not animals. It follows from this, he says, that we must be simple substances without parts. That may sound like Cartesian dualism. But Lowe is no Cartesian. He argues from premises that many present-day materialists accept. And he claims that our being mereologically simple (...)
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  • Survivalism, Corruptionism, and Mereology.David S. Oderberg - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (4):1-26.
    Corruptionism is the view that following physical death, the human being ceases to exist but their soul persists in the afterlife. Survivalism holds that both the human being and their soul persist in the afterlife, as distinct entities, with the soul constituting the human. Each position has its defenders, most of whom appeal both to metaphysical considerations and to the authority of St Thomas Aquinas. Corruptionists claim that survivalism violates a basic principle of any plausible mereology, while survivalists tend to (...)
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  • Against Strong Pluralism.Harold W. Noonan - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1081-1087.
    Strong pluralists hold that not even permanent material coincidence is enough for identity. Strong pluralism entails the possibility of purely material objects -- even if not coincident -- alike in all general respects, categorial and dispositional, relational and non-relational, past, present and future, at the microphysical level, but differing in some general modal, counterfactual or dispositional repscts at the macrophysical level. It is objectionable because it thus deprives us of the explanatory resources to explain why evident absurdities are absurd. A (...)
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  • Statues and Lumps: A Strange Coincidence?Mark Moyer - 2006 - Synthese 148 (2):401-423.
    Puzzles about persistence and change through time, i.e., about identity across time, have foundered on confusion about what it is for ‘two things’ to be have ‘the same thing’ at a time. This is most directly seen in the dispute over whether material objects can occupy exactly the same place at the same time. This paper defends the possibility of such coincidence against several arguments to the contrary. Distinguishing a temporally relative from an absolute sense of ‘the same’, we see (...)
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  • The Paradox of Decrease and Dependent Parts.Alex Moran - 2018 - Ratio 31 (3):273-284.
    This paper is concerned with the paradox of decrease. Its aim is to defend the answer to this puzzle that was propounded by its originator, namely, the Stoic philosopher Chrysippus. The main trouble with this answer to the paradox is that it has the seemingly problematic implication that a material thing could perish due merely to extrinsic change. It follows that in order to defend Chrysippus’ answer to the paradox, one has to explain how it could be that Theon is (...)
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  • Non-Unique Composition.A. Meirav - 2000 - Synthese 124 (3):323-342.
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  • Stuff and Coincidence.Thomas J. McKay - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):3081-3100.
    Anyone who admits the existence of composite objects allows a certain kind of coincidence, coincidence of a thing with its parts. I argue here that a similar sort of coincidence, coincidence of a thing with the stuff that constitutes it, should be equally acceptable. Acknowledgement of this is enough to solve the traditional problem of the coincidence of a statue and the clay or bronze it is made of. In support of this, I offer some principles for the persistence of (...)
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  • The Right Stuff.Ned Markosian - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):665-687.
    This paper argues for including stuff in one's ontology. The distinction between things and stuff is first clarified, and then three different ontologies of the physical universe are spelled out: a pure thing ontology, a pure stuff ontology, and a mixed ontology of both things and stuff. Eleven different reasons for including stuff in one's ontology are given. Then five objections to positing stuff are considered and rejected.
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  • Coinciding Objects: In Defence of the 'Standard Account'.E. J. Lowe - 1995 - Analysis 55 (3):171 - 178.
    E. J. Lowe; Coinciding objects: in defence of the ‘standard account’, Analysis, Volume 55, Issue 3, 1 July 1995, Pages 171–178, https://doi.org/10.1093/analys/5.
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  • Non-Concrete Parts of Material Objects.Michael Longenecker - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):5091-5111.
    This article offers a novel solution to the problem of material constitution: by including non-concrete objects among the parts of material objects, we can avoid having a statue and its constituent piece of clay composed of all the same proper parts. Non-concrete objects—objects that aren’t concrete, but possibly are—have been used in defense of the claim that everything necessarily exists. But the account offered shows that non-concreta are independently useful in other domains as well. The resulting view falls under a (...)
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  • Qua Objects and Their Limits.Annina J. Loets - 2021 - Mind 130 (518):617-638.
    It is both a matter of everyday experience and a tenet of sociological theory that people often occupy a range of social roles and identities, some of which are associated with mutually incompatible properties. But since nothing could have incompatible properties, it is not clear how this is possible. It has been suggested, notably by Kit Fine, that the puzzling relation between a person and their various social roles and identities can be explained by admitting an ontology of social qua (...)
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  • Coincidence and Principles of Composition.S. Levey - 1997 - Analysis 57 (1):1-10.
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  • Strong Pluralism, Coincident Objects and Haecceitism.Karol Lenart & Artur Szachniewicz - 2020 - Axiomathes 30 (4):347-370.
    According to strong pluralism, objects distinct by virtue of their modal properties can coincide. The most common objection towards such view invokes the so-called Grounding Problem according to which the strong pluralist needs to explain what the grounds are for supposed modal differences between the coincidents. As recognized in the literature, the failure to provide an answer to the Grounding Problem critically undermines the plausibility of strong pluralism. Moreover, there are strong reasons to believe that strong pluralists cannot provide an (...)
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  • Toward a Lockean Unification of Formal and Traditional Epistemology.Matthew Brandon Lee & Paul Silva - 2022 - Episteme 19 (1):111-129.
    A Lockean metaphysics of belief that understands outright belief as a determinable with degrees of confidence as determinates is supposed to effect a unification of traditional coarse-grained epistemology of belief with fine-grained epistemology of confidence. But determination of belief by confidence would not by itself yield the result that norms for confidence carry over to norms for outright belief unless belief and high confidence are token identical. We argue that this token-identity thesis is incompatible with the neglected phenomenon of “mistuned (...)
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  • Egalitarian vs. Elitist Plenitude.Uriah Kriegel - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (10):3055-3070.
    A number of prominent metaphysicians have recently defended the idea of material plenitude: wherever there is one material object, there is in fact a great multitude of them, all coincident and sharing many properties, but differing in which of these properties they have essentially and which accidentally. The main goal of this paper is to put on the agenda an important theoretical decision that plenitudinists face, regarding whether their plenitude is egalitarian or elitist, depending on whether or not they take (...)
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  • Constitution and Similarity.Kathrin Koslicki - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 117 (3):327-363.
    Whenever an object constitutes, makes up or composes another object, the objects in question share a striking number of properties. This paper is addressed to the question of what might account for the intimate relation and striking similarity between constitutionally related objects. According to my account, the similarities between constitutionally related objects are captured at least in part by means of a principle akin to that of strong supervenience. My paper addresses two main issues. First, I propose independently plausible principles (...)
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  • Extended Cognition & the Causal‐Constitutive Fallacy: In Search for a Diachronic and Dynamical Conception of Constitution.Michael David Kirchhoff - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):320-360.
    Philosophical accounts of the constitution relation have been explicated in terms of synchronic relations between higher‐ and lower‐level entities. Such accounts, I argue, are temporally austere or impoverished, and are consequently unable to make sense of the diachronic and dynamic character of constitution in dynamical systems generally and dynamically extended cognitive processes in particular. In this paper, my target domain is extended cognition based on insights from nonlinear dynamics. Contrariwise to the mainstream literature in both analytical metaphysics and extended cognition, (...)
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  • Locke on Individuation and the Corpuscular Basis of Kinds.Dan Kaufman - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3):499–534.
    In a well-known paper, Reginald Jackson expresses a sentiment not uncommon among readers of Locke: “Among the merits of Locke’s Essay…not even the friendliest critic would number consistency.”2 This unflattering opinion of Locke is reiterated by Maurice Mandelbaum: “Under no circumstances can [Locke] be counted among the clearest and most consistent of philosophers.”3 The now familiar story is that there are innumerable inconsistencies and internal problems contained in Locke’s Essay. In fact, it is probably safe to say that there is (...)
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  • Why compositional nihilism dissolves puzzles.Holly Kantin - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4319-4340.
    One of the main motivations for compositional nihilism, the view that there are no composite material objects, concerns the many puzzles and problems associated with them. Nihilists claim that eliminating composites provides a unified solution to a slew of varied, difficult problems. However, numerous philosophers have questioned whether this is really so. While nihilists clearly avoid the usual, composite-featuring formulations of the puzzles, the concern is that the commitments that generate the problems are not eliminated along with composites. If this (...)
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  • Causes and Counterparts.Alex Kaiserman - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):17-28.
    It follows from David Lewis's counterpart-theoretic analysis of modality and his counterfactual theory of causation that causal claims are relativized to a set of counterpart relations. Call this Shlewis's view. I show how Shlewis's view can provide attractively unified solutions to similar modal and causal puzzles. I then argue that Shlewis's view is better motivated, by his own lights, than the view Lewis actually held, and also better motivated than a similar approach which relativizes causal claims to sets of ‘contrast (...)
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  • A Critique of Baker’s Constitution View.Joseph Jedwab - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (1):47-62.
    The paper presents, motivates, critiques, and proposes revisions to Baker’s Constitution View, which includes her definitions of constitution, derivative features, and numerical sameness. The paper argues that Baker should add a mereological clause to her definition of constitution in order to avoid various counterexamples.
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  • Can There Be Spatially Coincident Entities of the Same Kind.David B. Hershenov - 2003 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):1-22.
    The majority of philosophers believe that the existence of spatially coincident entities is not only a coherent idea but that there are millions of such entities. What such philosophers do not countenance are spatially coincident entities of the same kind. We will call this ‘Locke's Thesis’ since the denial goes back to An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. It is there that Locke wrote, ‘For we never finding, nor conceiving it possible that two things of the same kind should exist in (...)
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  • Coincidence as Parthood.Jean-Baptiste Guillon - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4247-4276.
    There are three families of solutions to the traditional Amputation Paradox: Eliminativism, Contingent Identity Theories, and Theories of Coincident Entities. Theories of Coincident Entities challenge our common understanding of the relation between identity and parthood, since they accept that two things can be mereologically coincident without being identical. The contemporary discussion of the Amputation Paradox tends to mention only one theory of Coincident Entities, namely the Constitution View, which violates the mereological principle of Extensionality. But in fact, there is another (...)
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