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  1. The Ups and Downs of Mechanism Realism: Functions, Levels, and Crosscutting Hierarchies.Joe Dewhurst & Alistair M. C. Isaac - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-23.
    Mechanism realists assert the existence of mechanisms as objective structures in the world, but their exact metaphysical commitments are unclear. We introduce Local Hierarchy Realism as a substantive and plausible form of mechanism realism. The limits of LHR reveal a deep tension between two aspects of mechanists’ explanatory strategy. Functional decomposition identifies locally relevant entities and activities, while these same entities and activities are also embedded in a nested hierarchy of levels. In principle, a functional decomposition may identify entities engaging (...)
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  • Is Weak Supplementation Analytic?Aaron Cotnoir - 2019 - Synthese:1-17.
    Mereological principles are often controversial; perhaps the most stark contrast is between those who claim that Weak Supplementation is analytic—constitutive of our notion of proper parthood—and those who argue that the principle is simply false, and subject to many counterexamples. The aim of this paper is to diagnose the source of this dispute. I’ll suggest that the dispute has arisen by participants failing to be sensitive to two different conceptions of proper parthood: the outstripping conception and the non-identity conception. I’ll (...)
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  • Exemplification and Parthood.Peter Forrest - 2013 - Axiomathes 23 (2):323-341.
    Consider the things that exist—the entities—and let us suppose they are mereologically structured, that is, some are parts of others. The project of ontology within the bounds of bare mereology use this structure to say which of these entities belong to various ontological kinds, such as properties and particulars. My purpose in this paper is to defend the most radical section of the project, the mereological theory of the exemplification of universals. Along the way I help myself to several hypotheses: (...)
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  • The Problem of Empty Names and Russellian Plenitude.Joshua Spencer - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):1-18.
    ‘Ahab is a whaler’ and ‘Holmes is a whaler’ express different propositions, even though neither ‘Ahab’ nor ‘Holmes’ has a referent. This seems to constitute a theoretical puzzle for the Russellian view of propositions. In this paper, I develop a variant of the Russellian view, Plenitudinous Russellianism. I claim that ‘Ahab is a whaler’ and ‘Holmes is a whaler’ express distinct gappy propositions. I discuss key metaphysical and semantic differences between Plenitudinous Russellianism and Traditional Russellianism and respond to objections that (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Propositional Constituency.Lorraine Juliano Keller - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (5-6):655-678.
    In this paper, I criticize Structured Propositionalism, the most widely held theory of the nature of propositions according to which they are structured entities with constituents. I argue that the proponents of Structured Propositionalism have paid insufficient attention to the metaphysical presuppositions of the view – most egregiously, to the notion of propositional constituency. This is somewhat ironic, since the friends of structured propositions tend to argue as if the appeal to constituency gives their view a dialectical advantage. I criticize (...)
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  • The Denial of Moral Dilemmas as a Regulative Ideal.Michael Cholbi - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):268-289.
    The traditional debate about moral dilemmas concerns whether there are circumstances in which an agent is subject to two obligations that cannot both be fulfilled. Realists maintain there are. Irrealists deny this. Here I defend an alternative, methodologically-oriented position wherein the denial of genuine moral dilemmas functions as a regulative ideal for moral deliberation and practice. That is, moral inquiry and deliberation operate on the implicit assumption that there are no genuine moral dilemmas. This view is superior to both realism (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Quasi-Supplementation, Plenitudinous Coincidentalism, and Gunk.Cody Gilmore - forthcoming - In Robert Garcia (ed.), Substance: New Essays. Philosophia Verlag.
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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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  • Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An overview of contemporary part-whole theories, with reference to both their axiomatic developments and their philosophical underpinnings.
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  • Universalism and Junk.A. J. Cotnoir - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):649-664.
    Those who accept the necessity of mereological universalism face what has come to be known as the ‘junk argument’ due to Bohn [2009], which proceeds from the incompatibility of junk with universalism and the possibility of junk, to conclude that mereological universalism isn't metaphysically necessary. Most attention has focused on ; however, recent authors have cast doubt on . This paper undertakes a defence of premise against three main objections. The first is a new objection to the effect that Bohn's (...)
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  • Merricks Vs. The Russellian Orthodoxy.Jeff Speaks - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):469-477.
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