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Parts: A Study in Ontology

Oxford, England: Oxford University Press (1987)

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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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  • The Disappearance of Change: Towards a Process Account of Persistence.Anne Sophie Meincke - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (1):12-30.
    This paper aims to motivate a new beginning in metaphysical thinking about persistence by drawing attention to the disappearance of change in current accounts of persistence. I defend the claim that the debate is stuck in a dilemma which results from neglecting the constructive role of change for persistence. Neither of the two main competing views, perdurantism and endurantism, captures the idea of persistence as an identity through time. I identify the fundamental ontological reasons for this, namely the shared commitment (...)
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  • Some Stuffs Are Not Sums of Stuff.David Barnett - 2004 - Philosophical Review 113 (1):89-100.
    Milk, sand, plastic, uranium, wood, carbon, and oil are kinds of stuff. The sand in Hawaii, the uranium in North Korea, and the oil in Iraq are portions of stuff. Not everyone believes in portions of stuff.1 Those who do are likely to agree that, whatever their more specific natures, portions of stuff can at least be identified with mereological sums of their subportions.2 It seems after all trivial that a given portion of stuff just is all of its subportions (...)
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  • Kant’s Philosophy of Mathematics and the Greek Mathematical Tradition.Daniel Sutherland - 2004 - Philosophical Review 113 (2):157-201.
    The aggregate EIRP of an N-element antenna array is proportional to N 2. This observation illustrates an effective approach for providing deep space networks with very powerful uplinks. The increased aggregate EIRP can be employed in a number of ways, including improved emergency communications, reaching farther into deep space, increased uplink data rates, and the flexibility of simultaneously providing more than one uplink beam with the array. Furthermore, potential for cost savings also exists since the array can be formed using (...)
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  • Dinge Und Eigenschaften Versuch Zur Ontologie.Daniel von Wachter - 2000 - Verlag J.H. Röll.
    Discusses Armstrong's and Roman Ingarden's ontology, criticises substance ontology, and defends tropes and a field ontology.
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  • The Golden Age of Polish Philosophy. Kaziemierz Twardowski’s Philosophical Legacy.Sandra Lapointe, Jan Wolenski, Mathieu Marion & Wioletta Miskiewicz (eds.) - 2009 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    This volume portrays the Polish or Lvov-Warsaw School, one of the most influential schools in analytic philosophy, which, as discussed in the thorough introduction, presented an alternative working picture of the unity of science.
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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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  • Mereology Without Weak Supplementation.Donald Smith - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):505 – 511.
    According to the Weak Supplementation Principle (WSP)—a widely received principle of mereology—an object with a proper part, p , has another distinct proper part that doesn't overlap p . In a recent article in this journal, Nikk Effingham and Jon Robson employ WSP in an objection to endurantism. I defend endurantism in a way that bears on mereology in general. First, I argue that denying WSP can be motivated apart from the truth of endurantism. I then go on to offer (...)
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  • An elegant universe.Claudio Calosi - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):4767-4782.
    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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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
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  • In Defence of Transcendentism.Damiano Costa & Alessandro Giordani - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (2):225-234.
    How do objects persist through time? According to endurantism, objects persist through time and do not have temporal parts. According to the transcendentist version of endurantism, objects exist at times by participating in events that occur at those times. This version of transcendentism offers specific metaphysical and semantical advantages over other versions of endurantism. In this paper, we defend transcendentist endurantism against a series of criticisms that have been recently offered by Kristie Miller.
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  • A Relevance Constraint on Composition.David Vander Laan - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):135-145.
    Whether certain objects compose a whole at a given time does not seem to depend on anything other than the character of those objects and the relations between them. This observation suggests a far-reaching constraint on theories of composition. One version of the constraint has been explicitly adopted by van Inwagen and rules out his own answer to the composition question. The constraint also rules out the other well-known moderate answers that have so far been proposed.
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  • Grounding and Supplementation.T. Scott Dixon - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (2):375-389.
    Partial grounding is often thought to be formally analogous to proper parthood in certain ways. Both relations are typically understood to be asymmetric and transitive, and as such, are thought to be strict partial orders. But how far does this analogy extend? Proper parthood is often said to obey the weak supplementation principle. There is reason to wonder whether partial grounding, or, more precisely, proper partial grounding, obeys a ground-theoretic version of this principle. In what follows, I argue that it (...)
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  • Austrian Philosophy: The Legacy of Franz Brentano.Barry Smith - 1994 - Open Court.
    This book is a survey of the most important developments in Austrian philosophy in its classical period from the 1870s to the Anschluss in 1938. Thus it is intended as a contribution to the history of philosophy. But I hope that it will be seen also as a contribution to philosophy in its own right as an attempt to philosophize in the spirit of those, above all Roderick Chisholm, Rudolf Haller, Kevin Mulligan and Peter Simons, who have done so much (...)
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  • Extension and Self-Connection.Ben Blumson & Manikaran Singh - 2021 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 30 (3):435-59.
    If two self-connected individuals are connected, it follows in classical extensional mereotopology that the sum of those individuals is self-connected too. Since mainland Europe and mainland Asia, for example, are both self-connected and connected to each other, mainland Eurasia is also self-connected. In contrast, in non-extensional mereotopologies, two individuals may have more than one sum, in which case it does not follow from their being self-connected and connected that the sum of those individuals is self-connected too. Nevertheless, one would still (...)
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  • A Heterodox Defense of the Actualist Higher-Order Thought Theory.Andrea Marchesi - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    I defend the actualist higher-order thought theory against four objections. The first objection contends that the theory is circular. The second one contends that the theory is unable to account for the alleged epistemic position we are in with respect to our own conscious mental states. The third one contends that the theory is unable to account for the evidence we have for the proposition that all conscious mental states are represented. The fourth one contends that the theory does not (...)
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  • Whitehead and Russell on Points.David Bostock - 2010 - Philosophia Mathematica 18 (1):1-52.
    This paper considers the attempts put forward by A.N. Whitehead and by Bertrand Russell to ‘construct’ points (and temporal instants) from what they regard as the more basic concept of extended ‘regions’. It is shown how what they each say themselves will not do, and how it should be filled out and amended so that the ‘construction’ may be regarded as successful. Finally there is a brief discussion of whether this ‘construction’ is worth pursuing, or whether it is better—as in (...)
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  • Philosophy and Cognitive Sciences: Proceedings of the 16th International Wittgenstein Symposium (Kirchberg Am Wechsel, Austria 1993).Roberto Casati & Barry Smith (eds.) - 1994 - Vienna: Wien: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky.
    Online collection of papers by Devitt, Dretske, Guarino, Hochberg, Jackson, Petitot, Searle, Tye, Varzi and other leading thinkers on philosophy and the foundations of cognitive Science. Topics dealt with include: Wittgenstein and Cognitive Science, Content and Object, Logic and Foundations, Language and Linguistics, and Ontology and Mereology.
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  • Mass Nouns and Plural Logic (Extended Abstract).David Nicolas - 2007 - In Proceedings of the 16th Amsterdam Colloquium. Palteam. pp. 211-244.
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  • No Physical Particles for a Dispositional Monist?Baptiste Le Bihan - 2015 - Philosophical Papers 44 (2):207-232.
    A dispositional monist believes that all properties are essentially causal. Recently, an overdetermination argument has been proposed by Trenton Merricks to support nihilism about ordinary objects. I argue that this argument can be extended to target both nihilism about ordinary objects and nihilism about physical particles when dispositional monism is assumed. It implies that a philosopher who both endorses dispositional monism and takes seriously the overdetermination argument should not believe in the existence of physical particles. I end up by discussing (...)
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  • La Catégorisation des Noms Communs: Massifs Et Comptables.David Nicolas - 2002 - In Catégorisation et langage. Hermès.
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  • The Location of Properties.Nikk Effingham - 2015 - Noûs 49 (4):846-866.
    This paper argues that, assuming properties exist and must be located in spacetime, the prevailing view that they are exactly located where their instances are is false. Instead a property is singularly located at just one region, namely the union of its instance's locations. This bears not just on issues in the metaphysics of properties, but also on the debate over whether multi-location is conceivable and/or possible.
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  • All Things Must Pass Away.Joshua Spencer - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 7:67.
    Are there any things that are such that any things whatsoever are among them. I argue that there are not. My thesis follows from these three premises: (1) There are two or more things; (2) for any things, there is a unique thing that corresponds to those things; (3) for any two or more things, there are fewer of them than there are pluralities of them.
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  • Strange Kinds, Familiar Kinds, and the Charge of Arbitrariness.Daniel Z. Korman - 2010 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics:119-144.
    Particularists in material-object metaphysics hold that our intuitive judgments about which kinds of things there are and are not are largely correct. One common argument against particularism is the argument from arbitrariness, which turns on the claim that there is no ontologically significant difference between certain of the familiar kinds that we intuitively judge to exist (snowballs, islands, statues, solar systems) and certain of the strange kinds that we intuitively judge not to exist (snowdiscalls, incars, gollyswoggles, the fusion of the (...)
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  • Sui criteri d'identità.Massimiliano Carrara - 2018 - Padova: Padova University Press.
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  • Problemas Filosóficos: Uma Introdução à Filosofia / Philosophical Problems: An Introduction to Philosophy.Rodrigo Reis Lastra Cid & Luiz Helvécio Marques Segundo (eds.) - 2020 - Pelotas: Editora da UFPel / UFPel Publisher.
    De um modo geral, queríamos mostrar que a filosofia tem suas próprias áreas, mas tem também subáreas em interdisciplinaridade com as ciências. As ciências e as disciplinas acadêmicas em geral têm problemas, cuja a solução pode ser encontrada empiricamente, por meio de experimentos, entrevistas, documentos, ou formalmente, por meio de cálculos etc, porém os problemas das filosofias dessas disciplinas são justamente os problemas mais fundamentais dessas disciplinas, que fundam o quadro conceitual e de pesquisa das mesmas, e que só poderiam (...)
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  • Maurinian Truths : Essays in Honour of Anna-Sofia Maurin on Her 50th Birthday.Robin Stenwall & Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (eds.) - 2019 - Lund, Sverige: Department of Philosophy, Lund University.
    This book is in honour of Professor Anna-Sofia Maurin on her 50th birthday. It consists of eighteen essays on metaphysical issues written by Swedish and international scholars.
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  • Natural Language Ontology (SEP Entry).Moltmann Friederike - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This is my entry on natural language ontology that is forthcoming in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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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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  • Does Universalism Entail Extensionalism?Aaron Cotnoir - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):121-132.
    Does a commitment to mereological universalism automatically bring along a commitment to the controversial doctrine of mereological extensionalism—the view that objects with the same proper parts are identical? A recent argument suggests the answer is ‘yes’. This paper attempts a systematic response to the argument, considering nearly every available line of reply. It argues that only one approach—the mutual parts view—can yield a viable mereology where universalism does not entail extensionalism.
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  • An Ontic Account of Explanatory Reduction in Biology.Marie I. Kaiser - 2012 - Köln: Kölner Hochschulschriften.
    Convincing disputes about explanatory reductionism in the philosophy of biology require a clear and precise understanding of what a reductive explanation in biology is. The central aim of this book is to provide such an account by revealing the features that determine the reductive character of a biological explanation. Chapters I-IV provide the ground, on which I can then, in Chapter V, develop my own account of explanatory reduction in biology: Chapter I reveals the meta-philosophical assumptions that underlie my analysis (...)
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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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  • Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness.Ken Akiba & Ali Abasnezhad (eds.) - 2014 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    This unique anthology of new, contributed essays offers a range of perspectives on various aspects of ontic vagueness. It seeks to answer core questions pertaining to onticism, the view that vagueness exists in the world itself. The questions to be addressed include whether vague objects must have vague identity, and whether ontic vagueness has a distinctive logic, one that is not shared by semantic or epistemic vagueness. The essays in this volume explain the motivations behind onticism, such as the plausibility (...)
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  • The Niche.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 1999 - Noûs 33 (2):214-238.
    The concept of niche (setting, context, habitat, environment) has been little studied by ontologists, in spite of its wide application in a variety of disciplines from evolutionary biology to economics. What follows is a first formal theory of this concept, a theory of the relations between objects and their niches. The theory builds upon existing work on mereology, topology, and the theory of spatial location as tools of formal ontology. It will be illustrated above all by means of simple biological (...)
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  • A Formal Framework for the Study of the Notion of Undefined Particle Number in Quantum Mechanics.Newton C. A. da Costa & Federico Holik - 2015 - Synthese 192 (2):505-523.
    It is usually stated that quantum mechanics presents problems with the identity of particles, the most radical position—supported by E. Schrödinger—asserting that elementary particles are not individuals. But the subject goes deeper, and it is even possible to obtain states with an undefined particle number. In this work we present a set theoretical framework for the description of undefined particle number states in quantum mechanics which provides a precise logical meaning for this notion. This construction goes in the line of (...)
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  • A Formal Framework for the Study of the Notion of Undefined Particle Number in Quantum Mechanics.Federico Holik & Newton C. A. da Costa - 2015 - Synthese 192 (2):505-523.
    It is usually stated that quantum mechanics presents problems with the identity of particles, the most radical position—supported by E. Schrödinger—asserting that elementary particles are not individuals. But the subject goes deeper, and it is even possible to obtain states with an undefined particle number. In this work we present a set theoretical framework for the description of undefined particle number states in quantum mechanics which provides a precise logical meaning for this notion. This construction goes in the line of (...)
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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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  • Sandra Lapointe (Ed.) Themes From Ontology, Mind, and Logic: Present and Past – Essays in Honour of Peter Simons. [REVIEW]Petter Sandstad - 2017 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 20 (1):218-226.
    I review Sandra Lapointe (ed.) "Themes from Ontology, Mind, and Logic: Present and Past – Essays in Honour of Peter Simons".
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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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  • Supervenience, Determination, and Dependence.Jeffrey Yoshimi - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):114–133.
    I show how existing concepts of supervenience relate to two more fundamental ontological relations: determination and dependence. Determination says that the supervenient properties of a thing are a function of its base properties, while dependence says that having a supervenient property implies having a base property. I show that most varieties of supervenience are either determination relations or determination relations conjoined with dependence relations. In the process of unpacking these connections I identify limitations of existing concepts of supervenience and provide (...)
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  • Introduction.Andrea Bottani - 2005 - Dialectica 59 (4):381–400.
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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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  • Part‐Intrinsicality.J. Robert G. Williams - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):431-452.
    In some sense, survival seems to be an intrinsic matter. Whether or not you survive some event seems to depend on what goes on with you yourself —what happens in the environment shouldn’t make a difference. Likewise, being a person at a time seems intrinsic. The principle that survival seems intrinsic is one factor which makes personal fission puzzles so awkward. Fission scenarios present cases where if survival is an intrinsic matter, it appears that an individual could survive twice over. (...)
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  • Tropes – The Basic Constituents of Powerful Particulars.Markku Keinänen - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (3):419-450.
    This article presents a trope bundle theory of simple substances, the Strong Nuclear Theory[SNT] building on the schematic basis offered by Simons's (1994) Nuclear Theory[NT]. The SNT adopts Ellis's (2001) dispositional essentialist conception of simple substances as powerful particulars: all of their monadic properties are dispositional. Moreover, simple substances necessarily belong to some natural kind with a real essence formed by monadic properties. The SNT develops further the construction of substances the NT proposes to obtain an adequate trope bundle theory (...)
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  • Maximalism and the Structure of Acts.Campbell Brown - 2018 - Noûs (4):752-771.
    Suppose we believe that a property F is coextensive with moral permissibility. F may be, for example, the property of having the best consequences, if we are Consequentialists, or that of conforming to a universalisable maxim, if we are Kantians, and so on. This may raise the following problem. It is plausible that permissibility is “closed under implication”: any act that is implied by a permissible act must itself be permissible. Yet, in some cases, F might not be closed under (...)
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  • Vague Parts and Vague Identity.Elizabeth Barnes & J. R. G. Williams - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2):176-187.
    We discuss arguments against the thesis that the world itself can be vague. The first section of the paper distinguishes dialectically effective from ineffective arguments against metaphysical vagueness. The second section constructs an argument against metaphysical vagueness that promises to be of the dialectically effective sort: an argument against objects with vague parts. Firstly, cases of vague parthood commit one to cases of vague identity. But we argue that Evans' famous argument against will not on its own enable one to (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Universalism Doesn’T Entail Extensionalism.Roberto Loss - forthcoming - Analysis.
    In the literature on mereology it is often accepted that mereological universalism entails extensionalism. More precisely, many accept that, if parthood is assumed to be a partial order, the thesis that every plurality of entities has a mereological fusion entails the thesis that different composite entities have different proper parts. Central to this idea is the principle known as ‘Weak Supplementation’ which many take to impose an important constraint on the relation of proper parthood. In this paper I argue that (...)
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