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The non-identity of a material thing and its matter

Mind 112 (446):195-234 (2003)

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  1. Strong Pluralism, Coincident Objects and Haecceitism.Karol Lenart & Artur Szachniewicz - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-24.
    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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  • Essentialist Plenitude and the Semantics of Proper Names.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Metaphysics 2 (1):16-25.
    A number of prominent metaphysicians have recently defended a set of ideas which I will call ‘essentialist plenitude.’ Very roughly, and to a first approximation, essentialist plenitude says that wherever there is an object with properties P1, …, Pn there is in fact a plenitude of coincident objects that differ only in the distribution of essentiality and accidentality across P1, …, Pn (§1). The main purpose of this paper is to arouse the suspicion that essentialist plenitude may have far-reaching consequences (...)
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  • Material Constitution is Ad Hoc.Jeroen Smid - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (2):305-325.
    The idea that two objects can coincide—by sharing all their proper parts, or matter—yet be non-identical, results in the “Problem of Coincident Objects”: in what relation do objects stand if they are not identical but share all their proper parts? One solution is to introduce material constitution. In this paper, I argue that this is ad hoc since, first, this solution cannot be generalized to solve similar problems, and, second, there are pseudo cases of coincidence that should not trigger the (...)
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  • Identificational Sentences.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Natural Language Semantics 21 (1):43-77.
    Based on the notion of a trope, this paper gives a novel analysis of identificational sentences such as 'this is Mary','this is a beautiful woman', 'this looks like Mary', or 'this is the same lump of clay, but not the same statue as that'.
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  • Class Nominalism, Wolterstorff's Objection, and Combinatorial Worlds.Ralf Busse - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):680-700.
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  • II-The Last Dogma of Type Confusions.Ofra Magidor - 2009 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 109 (1pt1):1-29.
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  • A Plea for Complex Categories in Ontologies.Alexandra Arapinis & Laure Vieu - 2015 - Applied Ontology 10 (3-4):285-296.
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  • Kind‐Dependent Grounding.Alex Moran - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):359-390.
    Are grounding claims fully general in character? If an object a is F in virtue of being G, does it follow that anything that’s G is F for that reason? According to the thesis of Weak Formality, the answer here is ‘yes’. In this paper, however, I argue that there is philosophical utility in rejecting this thesis. More exactly, I argue that two currently unresolved problems in contemporary metaphysics can be dealt with if we hold that there can be cases (...)
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  • Biological-Mereological Coincidence.Judith K. Crane - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (2):309-325.
    This paper presents and defends an account of the coincidence of biological organisms with mereological sums of their material components. That is, an organism and the sum of its material components are distinct material objects existing in the same place at the same time. Instead of relying on historical or modal differences to show how such coincident entities are distinct, this paper argues that there is a class of physiological properties of biological organisms that their coincident mereological sums do not (...)
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  • Are The Statue and The Clay Mutual Parts?Lee Walters - 2017 - Noûs:23-50.
    Are a material object, such as a statue, and its constituting matter, the clay, parts of one another? One wouldn't have thought so, and yet a number of philosophers have argued that they are. I review the arguments for this surprising claim showing how they all fail. I then consider two arguments against the view concluding that there are both pre-theoretical and theoretical considerations for denying that the statue and the clay are mutual parts.
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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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  • Failed-Art and Failed Art-Theory.Christy Mag Uidhir - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):381-400.
    An object being non-art appears only trivially informative. Some non-art objects, however, could be saliently 'almost' art, and therefore objects for which being non-art is non-trivially informative. I call these kinds of non-art objects 'failed-art' objects—non-art objects aetiologically similar to art-objects, diverging only in virtue of some relevant failure. I take failed-art to be the right sort of thing, to result from the right sort of action, and to have the right sort of history required to be art, but to (...)
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  • Essence and the Grounding Problem.Mark Jago - 2016 - In Reality Making. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 99-120.
    Pluralists about coincident entities say that distinct entities may be spatially coincident throughout their entire existence. The most pressing issue they face is the grounding problem. They say that coincident entities may differ in their persistence conditions and in the sortals they fall under. But how can they differ in these ways, given that they share all their microphysical properties? What grounds those differences, if not their microphysical properties? Do those differences depend only on the way we conceptualise those objects? (...)
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  • Multiple Location Defended.Antony Eagle - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2215-2231.
    The notion of multiple location plays an important role in the characterization of endurantism. Several authors have recently offered cases intended to demonstrate the incoherence of multiple location. I argue that these cases do not succeed in making multiple location problematic. Along the way, several crucial issues about multiple location and its use by endurantists are clarified.
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  • Knowing How Things Might Have Been.Mark Jago - 2018 - Synthese:1-19.
    I know that I could have been where you are right now and that you could have been where I am right now, but that neither of us could have been turnips or natural numbers. This knowledge of metaphysical modality stands in need of explanation. I will offer an account based on our knowledge of the natures, or essencess, of things. I will argue that essences need not be viewed as metaphysically bizarre entities; that we can conceptualise and refer to (...)
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  • Causally Redundant Social Objects.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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  • 4-D Objects and Disposition Ascriptions.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2009 - Philosophical Papers 38 (1):35-72.
    Disposition ascription has been discussed a good deal over the last few decades, as has the revisionary metaphysical view of ordinary, persisting objects known as 'fourdimensionalism'. However, philosophers have not merged these topics and asked whether four-dimensional objects can be proper subjects of dispositional predicates. This paper seeks to remedy this oversight. It argues that, by and large, four-dimensional objects are not suited to take dispositional predicates.
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  • What Generates the Realism/Anti-Realism Dichotomy?Jesse M. Mulder - 2012 - Philosophica 84 (1):53-84.
    The most basic divide amongst analytic metaphysicians separates realists from anti-realists. By examining certain characteristic and problematic features of these two families of views, we uncover their underlying metametaphysicalorientations, which turn out to coincide. This shared philosophical picture that underlies both the realist and the anti-realist project we call the Modern Picture. It rests on a crucial distinction between reality as it is for us and reality as it is in itself. It is argued that this distinction indeed generates the (...)
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  • An Elegant Universe.Claudio Calosi - 2017 - Synthese:1-16.
    David Lewis famously endorsed Unrestricted Composition. His defense of such a controversial principle builds on the alleged innocence of mereology. This innocence defense has come under different attacks in the last decades. In this paper I pursue another line of defense, that stems from some early remarks by van Inwagen. I argue that Unrestricted Composition leads to a better metaphysics. In particular I provide new arguments for the following claims: Unrestricted Composition entails extensionality of composition, functionality of location and four-dimensionalism (...)
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  • Towards a Neo‐Aristotelian Mereology.Kathrin Koslicki - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (1):127-159.
    This paper provides a detailed examination of Kit Fine’s sizeable contribution to the development of a neo‐Aristotelian alternative to standard mereology; I focus especially on the theory of ‘rigid’ and ‘variable embodiments’, as defended in Fine 1999. Section 2 briefly describes the system I call ‘standard mereology’. Section 3 lays out some of the main principles and consequences of Aristotle’s own mereology, in order to be able to compare Fine’s system with its historical precursor. Section 4 gives an exposition of (...)
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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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  • La natura e l'identità degli oggetti materiali.Achille C. Varzi - 2007 - In Annalisa Coliva (ed.), Filosofia analitica. Temi e problemi. Carocci Editore. pp. 17–56.
    A critical survey of the main metaphysical theories concerning the nature of material objects (substratum theories, bundle theories, substance theories, stuff theories) and their identity conditions, both synchronic (monist vs. pluralist theories) and diachronic (three-dimensionalism, four-dimensionalism, sequentialism).
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  • II—Exclusive Individuals.Bill Brewer - 2015 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 89 (1):125-142.
    I agree with a great deal in Helen Steward's paper. I am especially sympathetic to her suggestion that we gain metaphysical illumination by considering various ways in which we arrive at ideas of certain kinds of individuals by abstraction from those of more basic kinds. My aim is to pursue that suggestion by exploring the proposal that a grounding node in this form of abstraction may be characterized by Exclusivity in spatial location. Steward claims that we arrive at our ideas (...)
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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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  • Monism and Material Constitution.Stephen Barker & Mark Jago - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (1):189-204.
    Are the sculpture and the mass of gold which permanently makes it up one object or two? In this article, we argue that the monist, who answers ‘one object’, cannot accommodate the asymmetry of material constitution. To say ‘the mass of gold materially constitutes the sculpture, whereas the sculpture does not materially constitute the mass of gold’, the monist must treat ‘materially constitutes’ as an Abelardian predicate, whose denotation is sensitive to the linguistic context in which it appears. We motivate (...)
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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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  • Propositions and Counterpart Theory.Cian Dorr - 2005 - Analysis 65 (3):210–218.
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  • I—Kit Fine: Coincidence and Form.Kit Fine - 2008 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 82 (1):101-118.
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  • Category Mistakes Are Meaningful.Ofra Magidor - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (6):553-581.
    Category mistakes are sentences such as ‘Colourless green ideas sleep furiously’ or ‘The theory of relativity is eating breakfast’. Such sentences are highly anomalous, and this has led a large number of linguists and philosophers to conclude that they are meaningless (call this ‘the meaninglessness view’). In this paper I argue that the meaninglessness view is incorrect and category mistakes are meaningful. I provide four arguments against the meaninglessness view: in Sect. 2, an argument concerning compositionality with respect to category (...)
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  • The Puzzles of Material Constitution.L. A. Paul - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (7):579-590.
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  • Coincident Entities and Question-Begging Predicates: An Issue in Meta-Ontology.Francesco Berto - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (1):1-15.
    Meta-ontology (in van Inwagen's sense) concerns the methodology of ontology, and a controversial meta-ontological issue is to what extent ontology can rely on linguistic analysis while establishing the furniture of the world. This paper discusses an argument advanced by some ontologists (I call them unifiers) against supporters of or coincident entities (I call them multipliers) and its meta-ontological import. Multipliers resort to Leibniz's Law to establish that spatiotemporally coincident entities a and b are distinct, by pointing at a predicate F (...)
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  • Semantic Deflationism Deflated.Mahrad Almotahari - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2435-2454.
    Deflationism is the view that certain metaphysical debates are defective, leaving it open whether the defect is best explained in semantic, conceptual, or epistemic terms. Local semantic deflationism is the thesis that familiar metaphysical debates, which appear to be about the existence and identity of material objects, are merely verbal. It’s a form of local deflationism because it restricts itself to one particular area of metaphysics. It’s a form of semantic deflationism because the defect it purports to identify in these (...)
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  • Mereological Nominalism.Nikk Effingham - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Classical Opacity.Michael Caie, Jeremy Goodman & Harvey Lederman - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • The Lump and the Ledger: Material Coincidence at Little-to-No Cost.Jonah Goldwater - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    This paper aims to make headway on two related issues—one methodological, the other substantive. The former concerns cost–benefit analyses when applied to metaphysical theory choice. The latter concerns material coincidence, i.e., multiple objects occupying the same space at the same time, such as the statue and the clay from which it’s made. The issues are entwined as many reject coincidence on the grounds that it’s costly. I argue this judgment is unjustified. More generally, I set out and defend a framework (...)
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  • Coincidence and Identity.Penelope Mackie - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:151-176.
    This paper is about a puzzle concerning the metaphysics of material objects: a puzzle generated by cases where material objects appear to coincide, sharing all their matter. As is well known, it can be illustrated by the example of a statue. In front of me now, sitting on my desk, is a statue – a statue of a lion. The statue is made of clay. So in front of me now is a piece of clay. But what is the relation (...)
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  • Strange Parts: The Metaphysics of Non‐Classical Mereologies.Aaron Cotnoir - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (9):834-845.
    The dominant theory of parts and wholes – classical extensional mereology – has faced a number of challenges in the recent literature. This article gives a sampling of some of the alleged counterexamples to some of the more controversial principles involving the connections between parthood and identity. Along the way, some of the main revisionary approaches are reviewed. First, counterexamples to extensionality are reviewed. The ‘supplementation’ axioms that generate extensionality are examined more carefully, and a suggested revision is considered. Second, (...)
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  • Solitude Without Souls: Why Peter Unger Hasn’T Established Substance Dualism.Will Bynoe & Nicholas K. Jones - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (1):109-125.
    Unger has recently argued that if you are the only thinking and experiencing subject in your chair, then you are not a material object. This leads Unger to endorse a version of Substance Dualism according to which we are immaterial souls. This paper argues that this is an overreaction. We argue that the specifically Dualist elements of Unger’s view play no role in his response to the problem; only the view’s structure is required, and that is available to Unger’s opponents. (...)
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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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  • The Constitution Relation and Baker’s Account of It.Marta Campdelacreu - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (1):1-19.
    A traditional argument based on Leibniz’s Law concludes that, for example, a statue and the piece of marble of which it is made are two different objects. This is because they have different properties: the statue can survive the loss of some of its parts but the piece of marble cannot. Lynne Rudder Baker adds that the piece of marble constitutes the statue. In this paper I focus on what I think is the most powerful objection to Baker’s account of (...)
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  • Failed-Art and Failed Art-Theory.Christopher Mag Uidhir - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):381-400.
    An object being non-art appears only trivially informative. Some non-art objects, however, could be saliently ‘almost’ art, and therefore objects for which being non-art is non-trivially informative. I call these kinds of non-art objects ‘failed-art’ objects—non-art objects aetiologically similar to art-objects, diverging only in virtue of some relevant failure. I take failed-art to be the right sort of thing, to result from the right sort of action, and to have the right sort of history required to be art, but to (...)
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  • Composition as Identity.Meg Wallace - 2009 - Dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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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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  • Multiple Constitution.Nicholas K. Jones - 2015 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmer (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9. Oxford: OUP. pp. 217-261.
    This paper outlines a novel solution to the problem of the many and a conception of ordinary objects that implies it. The solution is that many collections of particles can simultaneously constitute a single object. The proposed conception of ordinary objects maintains that they are fundamentally subjects of change: the changes an object is able to survive explain its constitution.
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  • The Hard Question for Hylomorphism.Dana Goswick - 2018 - Metaphysics 1 (1):52-62.
    The view that ordinary objects are composites of form and matter ("hylomorphism") can be contrasted with the more common view that ordinary objects are composed of only material parts ("matter only"). On a matter-only view the hard question is modal: which modal profile does that (statue-shaped) object have? Does it have the modal profile of a statue, a lump, a mere aggregate? On a hylomorphic view the hard question is ontological: which objects exist? Does a statue (matter-m + statue-form), a (...)
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  • Moderate Monism and Modality.Harold W. Noonan - 2008 - Analysis 68 (1):88–94.
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  • Intrinsic, Hence Real; Extrinsic, Hence Unreal? The Modal and Sortal Properties of Continuants.Márta Ujvári - 2011 - Prolegomena 10 (1):53-66.
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  • Ontological Individualism Reconsidered.Brian Epstein - 2009 - Synthese 166 (1):187-213.
    The thesis of methodological individualism in social science is commonly divided into two different claims—explanatory individualism and ontological individualism. Ontological individualism is the thesis that facts about individuals exhaustively determine social facts. Initially taken to be a claim about the identity of groups with sets of individuals or their properties, ontological individualism has more recently been understood as a global supervenience claim. While explanatory individualism has remained controversial, ontological individualism thus understood is almost universally accepted. In this paper I argue (...)
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  • Persons and Mysterianism.Hagit Benbaji - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (1):165-188.
    The aim of this paper is to argue against the widely held view that our concept of person is purely mental. Utilizing an Anscombian scenario, in which reports on one’s own actions are made on the basis of observation, I argue that such “pilots in their ships,” as it were, cannot self-ascribe bodily properties. The mere fact that we feel in our bodies unlike pilots in their ships cannot generate the intuition that we are bodily: as long as we conceive (...)
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  • Arguing for Non-Identity: A Response to King and Frances.Kit Fine - 2006 - Mind 115 (460):1059-1082.
    I defend my paper ‘The Non-identity of a Material Thing and Its Matter’ against objections from Bryan Frances and Jeffrey King.
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