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Simples

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (2):213 – 228 (1998)

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  1. Why Can’T I Change Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony?David Friedell - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):805-824.
    Musical works change. Bruckner revised his Eighth Symphony. Ella Fitzgerald and many other artists have made it acceptable to sing the jazz standard “All the Things You Are” without its original verse. If we accept that musical works genuinely change in these ways, a puzzle arises: why can’t I change Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony? More generally, why are some individuals in a privileged position when it comes to changing musical works and other artifacts, such as novels, films, and games? I give (...)
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  • Mereological Nihilism: Quantum Atomism and the Impossibility of Material Constitution.Jeffrey Grupp - 2006 - Axiomathes 16 (3):245-386.
    Mereological nihilism is the philosophical position that there are no items that have parts. If there are no items with parts then the only items that exist are partless fundamental particles, such as the true atoms (also called philosophical atoms) theorized to exist by some ancient philosophers, some contemporary physicists, and some contemporary philosophers. With several novel arguments I show that mereological nihilism is the correct theory of reality. I will also discuss strong similarities that mereological nihilism has with empirical (...)
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  • ‘Wholly Present’ Defined.Thomas M. Crisp & Donald P. Smith - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (2):318–344.
    Three-dimensionalists , sometimes referred to as endurantists, think that objects persist through time by being “wholly present” at every time they exist. But what is it for something to be wholly present at a time? It is surprisingly difficult to say. The threedimensionalist is free, of course, to take ‘is wholly present at’ as one of her theory’s primitives, but this is problematic for at least one reason: some philosophers claim not to understand her primitive. Clearly the three-dimensionalist would be (...)
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  • Divisibility and Extension: A Note on Zeno’s Argument Against Plurality and Modern Mereology.Claudio Calosi & Vincenzo Fano - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (2):117-132.
    In this paper, we address an infamous argument against divisibility that dates back to Zeno. There has been an incredible amount of discussion on how to understand the critical notions of divisibility, extension, and infinite divisibility that are crucial for the very formulation of the argument. The paper provides new and rigorous definitions of those notions using the formal theories of parthood and location. Also, it provides a new solution to the paradox of divisibility which does not face some threats (...)
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  • Priority monism, dependence and fundamentality.Claudio Calosi - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (1):1-20.
    Priority monism is roughly the view that the universe is the only fundamental object, that is, a concrete object that does not depend on any other concrete object. Schaffer, the main advocate of PM, claims that PM is compatible with dependence having two different directions: from parts to wholes for subcosmic wholes, and from whole to parts for the cosmic whole. Recently it has been argued that this position is untenable. Given plausible assumptions about dependence, PM entails that dependence has (...)
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  • Sider, Hawley, Sider and the Vagueness Argument.Nikk Effingham - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (2):241 - 250.
    The Vagueness Argument for universalism only works if you think there is a good reason not to endorse nihilism. Sider's argument from the possibility of gunk is one of the more popular reasons. Further, Hawley has given an argument for the necessity of everything being either gunky or composed of mereological simples. I argue that Hawley's argument rests on the same premise as Sider's argument for the possibility of gunk. Further, I argue that that premise can be used to demonstrate (...)
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  • What is the Grounding Problem?Louis deRosset - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (2):173-197.
    A philosophical standard in the debates concerning material constitution is the case of a statue and a lump of clay, Goliath and Lumpl, respectively. According to the story, Lumpl and Goliath are coincident throughout their respective careers. Monists hold that they are identical; pluralists that they are distinct. This paper is concerned with a particular objection to pluralism, the Grounding Problem. The objection is roughly that the pluralist faces a legitimate explanatory demand to explain various differences she alleges between Lumpl (...)
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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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  • The Impossibility of Temporal Relations Between Non-Identical Times: New Arguments for Presentism.Jeffrey Grupp - 2005 - Disputatio 1 (18):1-35.
    I argue that relations between non-identical times, such as the relations, earlier than, later than, or 10 seconds apart, involve contradiction, and only co-temporal relations are non-contradictory, which would leave presentism the only non-contradictory theory of time. The arguments I present are arguments that I have not seen in the literature.
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  • Composition and the Logic of Location: An Argument for Regionalism.Cody Gilmore & Matt Leonard - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):159-178.
    Ned Markosian has recently defended a new theory of composition, which he calls regionalism : some material objects xx compose something if and only if there is a material object located at the fusion of the locations of xx. Markosian argues that regionalism follows from what he calls the subregion theory of parthood. Korman and Carmichael agree. We provide countermodels to show that regionalism does not follow from, even together with fourteen potentially implicit background principles. We then show that regionalism (...)
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  • More Problems for MaxCon: Contingent Particularity and Stuff-Thing Coincidence.Mark Steen - 2011 - Acta Analytica 26 (2):135-154.
    Ned Markosian argues (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76:213-228, 1998a; Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82:332-340, 2004a, The Monist 87:405-428, 2004b) that simples are ‘maximally continuous’ entities. This leads him to conclude that there could be non-particular ‘stuff’ in addition to things. I first show how an ensuing debate on this issue McDaniel (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81(2):265-275, 2003); Markosian (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82:332-340, 2004a) ended in deadlock. I attempt to break the deadlock. Markosian’s view entails stuff-thing coincidence, which I show (...)
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  • Brutal Composition.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (3):211 - 249.
    According to standard, pre-philosophical intuitions, there are many composite objects in the physical universe. There is, for example, my bicycle, which is composed of various parts - wheels, handlebars, molecules, atoms, etc. Recently, a growing body of philosophical literature has concerned itself with questions about the nature of composition.1 The main question that has been raised about composition is, roughly, this: Under what circumstances do some things compose, or add up to, or form, a single object? It turns out that (...)
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  • Extended Simples.Kris McDaniel - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):131 - 141.
    I argue that extended simples are possible. The argument given here parallels an argument given elsewhere for the claim that the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, not intrinsic as is commonly supposed. In the final section of the paper, I show that if the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, the most popular argument against extended simples fails.
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  • A Tale of Two Simples.Joshua Spencer - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (2):167 - 181.
    A material simple is a material object that has no proper parts. Some philosophers have argued for the possibility of extended simples. Some have even argued for the possibility of heterogeneous simples or simples that have intrinsic variations across their surfaces. There is a puzzle, though, that is meant to show that extended, heterogeneous simples are impossible. Although several plausible responses have been given to this puzzle, I wish to reopen the case against extended, heterogeneous simples. In this paper, I (...)
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  • The Impossibility of Relations Between Non-Collocated Spatial Objects and Non-Identical Topological Spaces.Jeffrey Grupp - 2005 - Axiomathes 15 (1):85-141.
    I argue that relations between non-collocated spatial entities, between non-identical topological spaces, and between non-identical basic building blocks of space, do not exist. If any spatially located entities are not at the same spatial location, or if any topological spaces or basic building blocks of space are non-identical, I will argue that there are no relations between or among them. The arguments I present are arguments that I have not seen in the literature.
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  • Free Will and Two Local Determinisms.Andrew Law & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):1011-1023.
    Hudson has formulated two local deterministic theses and argued that both are incompatible with freedom. We argue that Hudson has half the story right. Moreover, reflection on Hudson’s theses brings out an important point for debates about freedom generally: that instead of focusing on the notion of entailment, debates about freedom should focus on the notions of explanation and sourcehood. Hudson’s theses provide an excellent case study for why the latter notions ought to take precedence over the former in debates (...)
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  • Weak Location.Antony Eagle - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (1-2):149-181.
    Recently, many philosophers have been interested in using locative relations to clarify and pursue debates in the metaphysics of material objects. Most begin with the relation of exact location. But what if we begin instead with the relation known as weak location – the relation an object x bears to any region not completely bereft of x? I explore some of the consequences of pursuing this route for issues including coincidence, extended simples, and endurance, with an eye to evaluating the (...)
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  • Mereological Nihilism and Puzzles About Material Objects.Bradley Rettler - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):842-868.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that no objects have proper parts. Despite how counter‐intuitive it is, it is taken quite seriously, largely because it solves a number of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects – or so its proponents claim. In this article, I show that for every puzzle that mereological nihilism solves, there is a similar puzzle that (a) it doesn’t solve, and (b) every other solution to the original puzzle does solve. Since the solutions to the new (...)
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  • Beyond Atomism.Aaron Cotnoir - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):67-72.
    Contemporary metaphysicians have been drawn to a certain attractive picture of the structure of the world. This picture consists in classical mereology, the priority of parts over wholes, and the well-foundedness of metaphysical priority. In this short note, I show that this combination of theses entails superatomism, which is a significant strengthening of mereological atomism. This commitment has been missed in the literature due to certain sorts of models of mereology being overlooked. But the entailment is an important one: we (...)
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  • Parts as Counterparts.Aaron Cotnoir - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):228-241.
    Mereological nihilists are faced with a difficult challenge: explaining ordinary talk about material objects. Popular paraphrase strategies involve plurals, arrangements of particles, or fictions. In this paper, a new paraphrase strategy is put forward that has distinct advantages over its rivals: it is compatible with gunk and emergent properties of macro-objects. The only assumption is a commitment to a liberal view of the nature of simples; the nihilist must be willing to accept the possibility of heterogeneous extended simples. The author (...)
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  • Vague Simples.Neil McKinnon - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):394–397.
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  • The Physics of Extended Simples.D. Braddon-Mitchell & K. Miller - 2006 - Analysis 66 (3):222-226.
    The idea that there could be spatially extended mereological simples has recently been defended by a number of metaphysicians (Markosian 1998, 2004; Simons 2004; Parsons (2000) also takes the idea seriously). Peter Simons (2004) goes further, arguing not only that spatially extended mereological simples (henceforth just extended simples) are possible, but that it is more plausible that our world is composed of such simples, than that it is composed of either point-sized simples, or of atomless gunk. The difficulty for these (...)
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  • What is an Extended Simple Region?Zachary Goodsell, Michael Duncan & Kristie Miller - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    The notion of an extended simple region (henceforth ESR) has recently been marshalled in the service of arguments for a variety of conclusions. Exactly how to understand the idea of extendedness as it applies to simple regions, however, has been largely ignored, or, perhaps better, assumed. In this paper we first (§1) outline what we take to be the standard way that philosophers are thinking about extendedness, namely as an intrinsic property of regions. We then introduce an alternative picture (§2), (...)
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  • The Trinity and Extended Simples.Martin Pickup - 2016 - Faith and Philosophy 33 (4):414-440.
    In this paper, I will offer an analogy between the Trinity and extended simples that supports a Latin approach to the Trinity. The theoretical tools developed to discuss and debate extended simples in the literature of contemporary analytic metaphysics, I argue, can help us make useful conceptual distinctions in attempts to understand what it could be for God to be Triune. Furthermore, the analogy between extended simples and the Trinity might surprise some who find one of these at least plausibly (...)
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  • Unextended Complexes.Martin Pickup - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):257-264.
    Extended simples are fruitfully discussed in metaphysics. They are entities which are located in a complex region of space but do not themselves have parts. In this paper, I will discuss unextended complexes: entities which are not located at a complex region of space but do themselves have parts. In particular, I focus on one type of unextended complex: pointy complexes. Four areas are indicated where pointy complexes might prove philosophically useful. Unextended complexes are therefore philosophically fruitful, in much the (...)
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  • What Do We Want to Know When We Ask the Simple Question?David Mark Kovacs - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (255):254-266.
    The Simple Question (SQ) asks: “What are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions any x must satisfy in order for it to be true that x is a simple?” The main motivation for asking SQ stems from the hope that it could teach us important lessons for material-object ontology. It is universally accepted that a proper answer to it has to be finite, complete and devoid of mereological expressions. This paper argues that we should stop treating SQ as the central (...)
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  • 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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  • Quantum Holism: Reconciling Extended Simples with Supersubstantivalism.Gaeun Kim - manuscript
    I argue that the extended simples picture (ESP) is compatible with supersubstantivalism under the quantum holism model, and that reevaluating our limits on the ways an object may be located by fusing the two ontologies can benefit our understanding of modern physics. I first illustrate the explanatory utility of extended simples, using examples of superposition and entanglement. Second, I advocate the use of supersubstantivalism as a way to understand the interface between objects and spacetime, and argue that the ESP suitably (...)
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  • Entension, or How It Could Happen That an Object is Wholly Located in Each of Many Places.Josh Parsons - unknown
    Normally this is not how we think material objects work. I, for example, am a material object that is located in multiple places: this place to my left where my left arm is, and this, distinct, place to my right, where my right arm is. But I am only partially located in each place. My left arm is a part of me that fills exactly the place to my left, and my right arm is a distinct part of me that (...)
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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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  • Gunky Objects in a Simple World.Kris McDaniel - 2006 - Philo 9 (1):39-46.
    Suppose that a material object is gunky: all of its parts are located in space, and each of its parts has a proper part. Does it follow from this hypothesis that the space in which that object resides must itself be gunky? I argue that it does not. There is room for gunky objects in a space that decomposes without remainder into mereological simples.
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  • Principles of Composition and Criteria of Identity.Katherine Hawley - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):481 – 493.
    I argue that, despite van Inwagen’s pessimism about the task, it is worth looking for answers to his General Composition Question. Such answers or ‘principles of composition’ tell us about the relationship between an object and its parts. I compare principles of composition with criteria of identity, arguing that, just as different sorts of thing satisfy different criteria of identity, they may satisfy different principles of composition. Variety in criteria of identity is not taken to reflect ontological variety in the (...)
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  • Identity and Indiscernibility.K. Hawley - 2009 - Mind 118 (469):101-119.
    Putative counterexamples to the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles (PII) are notoriously inconclusive. I establish ground rules for debate in this area, offer a new response to such counterexamples for friends of the PII, but then argue that no response is entirely satisfactory. Finally, I undermine some positive arguments for PII.
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  • Vague Composition Without Vague Existence.Chad Carmichael - 2011 - Noûs 45 (2):315-327.
    David Lewis (1986) criticizes moderate views of composition on the grounds that a restriction on composition must be vague, and vague composition leads, via a precisificational theory of vagueness, to an absurd vagueness of existence. I show how to resist this argument. Unlike the usual resistance, however, I do not jettison precisificational views of vagueness. Instead, I blur the connection between composition and existence that Lewis assumes. On the resulting view, in troublesome cases of vague composition, there is an object, (...)
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  • What is an Ersatz Part?Kristie Miller & Johann Hariman - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (4):524-551.
    _ Source: _Page Count 28 This paper develops four proposals for explicating the notion of an ersatz part. It then evaluates each proposal with respect to a number of jobs for which ersatz parts are posited. We argue that each of the four notions of ersatz parthood do better with respect to some jobs, and worse with respect to others. Thus, we think, it’s horses for courses: which notion of ersatz part one chooses will be sensitive to which metaphysical project (...)
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  • Persistence and Determination.Katherine Hawley - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:197-212.
    Roughly speaking, perdurantism is the view that ordinary objects persist through time by having temporal parts, whilst endurantism is the view that they persist by being wholly present at different times. (Speaking less roughly will be important later.) It is often thought that perdurantists have an advantage over endurantists when dealing with objects which appear to coincide temporarily: lumps, statues, cats, tail-complements, bisected brains, repaired ships, and the like. Some cases – personal fission, for example – seem to involve temporary (...)
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  • Debunking Arguments and Metaphysical Laws.Jonathan Barker - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    I argue that one’s views about which “metaphysical laws” obtain—including laws about what is identical with what, about what is reducible to what, and about what grounds what—can be used to deflect or neutralize the threat posed by a debunking explanation. I use a well-known debunking argument in the metaphysics of material objects as a case study. Then, after defending the proposed strategy from the charge of question-begging, I close by showing how the proposed strategy can be used by certain (...)
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  • Finitism and Divisibility: A Reply to Puryear.Travis Dumsday - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):596-601.
    Puryear develops an objection against a prominent attempt to show that the universe must have a temporal beginning. Here I formulate a reply.
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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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  • Finitism and the Beginning of the Universe.Stephen Puryear - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):619-629.
    Many philosophers have argued that the past must be finite in duration because otherwise reaching the present moment would have involved something impossible, namely, the sequential occurrence of an actual infinity of events. In reply, some philosophers have objected that there can be nothing amiss in such an occurrence, since actually infinite sequences are ‘traversed’ all the time in nature, for example, whenever an object moves from one location in space to another. This essay focuses on one of the two (...)
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  • Simples and the Possibility of Discrete Space.Neal A. Tognazzini - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):117 – 128.
    What are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for an object's being a simple (an object without proper parts)? According to one prominent view, The Pointy View of Simples, an object is a simple if and only if the region occupied by that object contains exactly one point in space. According to another prominent view, MaxCon, an object is a simple if and only if it is maximally continuous. In this paper, I argue that both of these views are inconsistent (...)
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  • Are Functional Properties Causally Potent?Peter Alward - 2006 - Sorites 17:49-55.
    Kim has defended a solution to the exclusion problem which deploys the «causal inheritance principle» and the identification of instantiations of mental properties with instantiations of their realizing physical properties. I wish to argue that Kim's putative solution to the exclusion problem rests on an equivocation between instantiations of properties as bearers of properties and instantiations as property instances. On the former understanding, the causal inheritance principle is too weak to confer causal efficacy upon mental properties. And on the latter (...)
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  • Tahko metafysiikan ja tieteen suhteesta.Markku Keinänen - 2016 - Ajatus 73:255-267.
    [A comment paper on Tuomas Tahko's book An Introduction to Metametaphysics (CUP, 2016).] Pyrin tässä artikkelissa selvittämään, missä määrin Tuomas Tahkon kirjan An Introduction to Metametaphysics luvussa 9 esittämä käsitys tieteen ja metafysiikan suhteesta tuo selvyyttä metafysiikan luonteeseen itsenäisenä tutkimusalana. Analyyttinen metafysiikka on joutunut viimeisten viidentoista vuoden aikana kasvavan kritiikin kohteeksi. James Ladymanin (2012) mukaan viime aikoina suosittu käsitys metafyysisen teorian valinnasta teoreettisten hyveiden perusteella kohtaa niin sanotun vahvan globaalin alimääräytyneisyyden ongelman. Tahko pyrkii vastaamaan näihin huoliin esittämällä synteesiin E.J. Lowen (...)
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  • Against Ontological Fundamentalism.Ned Markosian - 2005 - Facta Philosophica 7 (1):69-83.
    Suppose you are asked to be the substitute teacher for a high school physics class. Suppose part of your assignment is to explain to the students all about the subatomic structure of a typical macroscopic object, such as a wooden table. Here is a speech that you are likely to find yourself making at some point during your lesson.
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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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  • Location and Mereology.Cody Gilmore - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Composition as Identity: Part 1.Megan B. 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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  • Ordinary Objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An encyclopedia entry which covers various revisionary conceptions of which macroscopic objects there are, and the puzzles and arguments that motivate these conceptions: sorites arguments, the argument from vagueness, the puzzles of material constitution, arguments against indeterminate identity, arguments from arbitrariness, debunking arguments, the overdetermination argument, and the problem of the many.
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  • No Simples, No Gunk, No Nothing.Sam Cowling - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (1):246-260.
    Mereological realism holds that the world has a mereological structure – i.e. a distribution of mereological properties and relations. In this article, I defend Eleaticism about properties, according to which there are no causally inert non-logical properties. I then present an Eleatic argument for mereological anti-realism, which denies the existence of both mereological composites and mereological simples. After defending Eleaticism and mereological anti-realism, I argue that mereological anti-realism is preferable to mereological nihilism. I then conclude by examining the thesis that (...)
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  • Two Thoughts on "A Tale of Two Parts".Joshua Spencer - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (3):485-490.
    In “A Tale of Two Simples,” I presented an argument against the possibility of extended heterogeneous simples that relied on the possibility of extended atomic regions of space. Andrew Jaeger has presented a parody of one part of my argument for a clearly absurd conclusion. In this short paper, I defend my argument by showing that there is a significant disanalogy between my support for a key premise in my argument and Jaeger’s support for the corresponding premise in his parody (...)
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