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Many-one identity

Philosophical Papers 17 (3):193-216 (1988)

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  1. 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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  • Nonclassical Minds and Indeterminate Survival.J. Robert G. Williams - 2014 - Philosophical Review 123 (4):379-428.
    Revisionary theories of logic or truth require revisionary theories of mind. This essay outlines nonclassically based theories of rational belief, desire, and decision making, singling out the supervaluational family for special attention. To see these nonclassical theories of mind in action, this essay examines a debate between David Lewis and Derek Parfit over what matters in survival. Lewis argued that indeterminacy in personal identity allows caring about psychological connectedness and caring about personal identity to amount to the same thing. The (...)
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  • Irreducibly Collective Existence and Bottomless Nihilism.Jonas Werner - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-16.
    This paper develops the metaphysical hypothesis that there are irreducibly collective pluralities, pluralities of objects that do not have a singular object among them. A way to formulate this hypothesis using plural quantification will be proposed and the coherence of irreducibly collective existence will be defended. Furthermore, irreducibly collective existence will be shown to allow for bottomless scenarios that do not involve things standing in relations of parthood. This will create logical space for an anti-atomistic form of mereological nihilism.
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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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  • Elder-Vass on the Causal Power of Social Structures.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2014 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (6):774-791.
    In this review essay, I examine the central tenets of sociologist Dave Elder-Vass’s recent contribution to social ontology, as put forth in his book The Causal Power of Social Structures: Emergence, Structure and Agency. Elder-Vass takes issue with ontological individualists and maintains that social structures exist and have causal powers in their own right. I argue that he fails to establish his main theses: he shows neither that social structures have causal powers “in their own right” (in any sense of (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Group Nouns and Pseudo‐Singularity.Eric Snyder & Stewart Shapiro - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (1):66-77.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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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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  • Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
    Consider a circle and a pair of its semicircles. Which is prior, the whole or its parts? Are the semicircles dependent abstractions from their whole, or is the circle a derivative construction from its parts? Now in place of the circle consider the entire cosmos (the ultimate concrete whole), and in place of the pair of semicircles consider the myriad particles (the ultimate concrete parts). Which if either is ultimately prior, the one ultimate whole or its many ultimate parts?
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  • From Nihilism to Monism.Jonathan Schaffer - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):175 – 191.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that all concrete objects are simple. Existence monism is the view that the only concrete object is one big simple: the world. I will argue that nihilism culminates in monism. The nihilist demands the simplest sufficient ontology, and the monist delivers it.
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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” 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, the view that there is one single fundamental substance. In this paper, I will argue against Schaffer’s suggestion that priority monism represents a viable development of Aristotelian metaphysics. In particular, I will (...)
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  • A Hundred Years of Metaphysics within the Analytic Tradition. Introduction to the Monographic Section on Contemporary Analityc Metaphysics.Carlo Rossi - 2020 - Revista de Humanidades de Valparaíso 16:7-16.
    Introduction to the monographic section on contemporary analytic metaphysics.
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  • An Egalitarian Account of Composition and Realization.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2022 - The Monist 105 (2):276-292.
    I argue that wholes are neither identical to nor distinct from their parts. Instead, wholes are invariants under some transformations in their parts. Similarly, higher-level properties are neither identical to nor distinct from their lower-level realizers. Instead, higher-level properties are aspects of their realizers that are invariant under some transformations in their realizers. Nowhere in this picture is there any ontological hierarchy between levels of composition or realization. Neither wholes nor their parts are more fundamental. Neither is prior. Neither reduces (...)
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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 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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  • The Generalization Problem and the Identity Solution.Dwayne Moore - 2010 - Erkenntnis 72 (1):57-72.
    For some time now, Jaegwon Kim has argued that irreducible mental properties face the threat of causal inefficacy. The primary weapon he deploys to sustain this charge is the supervenience/exclusion argument. This argument, in a nutshell, states that any mental property that irreducibly supervenes on a physical property is excluded from causal efficacy because the underlying physical property takes care of all of the causal work itself. Originally intended for mental properties alone, it did not take long for his critics (...)
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  • Structure-Making.Kris McDaniel - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):251-274.
    Friends of states of affairs and structural universals appeal to a relation, structure-making, that is allegedly a kind of composition relation: structure-making ?builds? facts out of particulars and universals, and ?builds? structural universals out of unstructured universals. D. M. Armstrong, an eminent champion of structures, endorses two interesting theses concerning composition. First, that structure-making is a composition relation. Second, that it is not the only (fundamental) composition relation: Armstrong also believes in a mode of composition that he calls mereological, and (...)
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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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  • Bradley’s Regress.Anna-Sofia Maurin - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (11):794-807.
    Ever since F. H. Bradley first formulated his famous regress argument philosophers have been hard at work trying to refute it. The argument fails, it has been suggested, either because its conclusion just does not follow from its premises, or it fails because one or more of its premises should be given up. In this paper, the Bradleyan argument, as well as some of the many and varied reactions it has received, is scrutinized.
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  • Coinciding Objects: In Defence of the 'Standard Account'.E. J. Lowe - 1995 - Analysis 55 (3):171 - 178.
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  • Composition as Identity and the Innocence of Mereology.Roberto Loss - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (1):128-143.
    According to the thesis known as ‘Composition as Identity’ (‘CAI’), every entity is identical to the parts it fuses. Many authors in the literature acknowledge that, in spite of its controversial character, one attractive virtue of CAI is its apparent ability to give a straightforward account of the innocence of mereology. In this paper I will present a simple argument according to which CAI entails that no composite entity can be said to be ontologically innocent in the relevant sense. After (...)
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  • Composition, Identity and Plural Ontology.Roberto Loss - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9193-9210.
    According to ‘Strong Composition as Identity’, if an entity is composed of a plurality of entities, it is identical to them. As it has been argued in the literature, SCAI appears to give rise to some serious problems which seem to suggest that SCAI-theorists should take their plural quantifier to be governed by some ‘weak’ plural comprehension principle and, thus, ‘exclude’ some kinds of pluralities from their plural ontology. The aim of this paper is to argue that, contrary to what (...)
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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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  • Names and Pseudonyms.Lloyd Humberstone - 1995 - Philosophy 70 (274):487 - 512.
    Was there such a person as Lewis Carroll? An affirmative answer is suggested by the thought that Lewis Carroll was Charles Dodgson, and since there was certainly such a person as Charles Dodgson, there was such a person as Lewis Carroll. A negative answer is suggested by the thought that in arguing thus, the two names ‘Lewis Carroll’ and ‘Charles Dodgson’ are being inappropriately treated as though they were completely on a par: a pseudonym is, after all, a false or (...)
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  • On Relativist Approaches to Many-One Identity.Martin A. Lipman - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4453-4465.
    Composition as identity is the view that a whole is identical to its parts taken collectively. Such a view raises the question of how the same portion of reality can be both one thing and many things. A primitivist view holds that there is no explanation to be had and that we simply need to accept that being one thing and being many things are compatible. One might think that we can do better by resorting to relativization. A relativist view (...)
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  • Double-Counting and the Problem of the Many.David Liebesman - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):209-234.
    There is a defeasible constraint against double counting. When I count colours, for instance, I can’t freely count both a colour and its shades. Once we properly grasp this constraint, we can solve the problem of the many. Unlike other solutions, this solution requires us to reject neither our counting judgments, nor the metaphysical principles that seemingly conflict with them. The key is recognizing that the judgments and principles are compatible due to the targeted effects of the defeasible constraint.
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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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  • Mereological Composition and Plural Quantifier Semantics.Manuel Lechthaler & Ceth Lightfield - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):943-958.
    Mereological universalists and nihilists disagree on the conditions for composition. In this paper, we show how this debate is a function of one’s chosen semantics for plural quantifiers. Debating mereologists have failed to appreciate this point because of the complexity of the debate and extraneous theoretical commitments. We eliminate this by framing the debate between universalists and nihilists in a formal model where these two theses about composition are contradictory. The examination of the two theories in the model brings clarity (...)
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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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  • Thin Mereological Sums, Abstraction, and Interpretational Modalities.Giorgio Lando - forthcoming - Wiley: Theoria:1-18.
    Some tools introduced by Linnebo to show that mathematical entities are thin objects can also be applied to non-mathematical entities, which have been thought to be thin as well for a variety of reasons. In this paper, I discuss some difficulties and opportunities concerning the application of abstraction and interpretational modalities to mereological sums. In particular, I show that on one hand some prima facie attractive candidates for the role of an explanatory plural abstraction principle for mereological sums (in terms (...)
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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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  • Essential Bundle Theory and Modality.Mark Jago - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 6):1-16.
    Bundle theories identify material objects with bundles of properties. On the traditional approach, these are the properties possessed by that material object. That view faces a deep problem: it seems to say that all of an object’s properties are essential to it. Essential bundle theory attempts to overcome this objection, by taking the bundle as a specification of the object’s essential properties only. In this paper, I show that essential bundle theory faces a variant of the objection. To avoid the (...)
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  • Essential Bundle Theory and Modality.Mark Jago - 2021 - Synthese 198 (S6):1439-1454.
    Bundle theories identify material objects with bundles of properties. On the traditional approach, these are the properties possessed by that material object. That view faces a deep problem: it seems to say that all of an object’s properties are essential to it.Essential bundle theoryattempts to overcome this objection, by taking the bundle as a specification of the object’s essential properties only. In this paper, I show that essential bundle theory faces a variant of the objection. To avoid the problem, the (...)
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  • On Christian Theism and Unrestricted Composition.Ross Inman & Alexander Pruss - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (4):345-360.
    Our aim in this paper is to bring to light two sources of tension for Christian theists who endorse the principle of unrestricted composition, that necessarily, for any objects, the xs, there exists an object, y, such that the xs compose y. In Value, we argue that a composite object made of wholly valuable parts is at least as valuable as its most valuable part, and so the mereological sum of God and a wholly valuable part would be at least (...)
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  • The Man Without Properties.Boris Hennig - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    Contemporary philosophical logic rests on a distinction between things and properties. Properties are thought to differ from things in that their proper expression is incomplete or unsaturated. In this paper, I will argue that Aristotle did not distinguish between things and properties in this way. I will show, first, that Aristotle’s essences are not properties, and that certain passages in Aristotle make sense only if we do not take accidents to be properties either. The notion of a property is thus (...)
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  • Instance Is the Converse of Aspect.Boris Hennig - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):3-20.
    According to the aspect theory of instantiation, a particular A instantiates a universal B if and only if an aspect of A is cross-count identical with an aspect of B. This involves the assumption that both particulars and universals have aspects, and that aspects can mediate between different ways of counting things. I will ask what is new about this account of instantiation and, more importantly, whether it is an improvement on its older relatives. It will turn out that the (...)
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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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  • Institutional Objects, Reductionism and Theories of Persistence.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (4):525-562.
    Can institutional objects be identified with physical objects that have been ascribed status functions, as advocated by John Searle in The Construction of Social Reality (1995)? The paper argues that the prospects of this identification hinge on how objects persist – i.e., whether they endure, perdure or exdure through time. This important connection between reductive identification and mode of persistence has been largely ignored in the literature on social ontology thus far.
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