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  1. Self-Made People.David Mark Kovacs - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1071-1099.
    The Problem of Overlappers is a puzzle about what makes it the case, and how we can know, that we have the parts we intuitively think we have. In this paper, I develop and motivate an overlooked solution to this puzzle. According to what I call the self-making view it is within our power to decide what we refer to with the personal pronoun ‘I’, so the truth of most of our beliefs about our parts is ensured by the very (...)
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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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  • Spacetime the One Substance.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (1):131 - 148.
    What is the relation between material objects and spacetime regions? Supposing that spacetime regions are one sort of substance, there remains the question of whether or not material objects are a second sort of substance. This is the question of dualistic versus monistic substantivalism. I will defend the monistic view. In particular, I will maintain that material objects should be identified with spacetime regions. There is the spacetime manifold, and the fundamental properties are pinned directly to it.
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  • Le strutture dell'ordinario.Achille C. Varzi - 1999 - In Luigi Lombardi Vallauri (ed.), Logos dell’essere, logos della norma. Editrice Adriatica. pp. 489–530.
    The general hypothesis underlying this work is that mereology (the study of the relations between an entity and its parts) and topology (understood as the study of the qualitative relations of connection and compactness) may jointly constitute adequate grounds for the formal-ontological analysis of the world of ordinary experience. The analysis focuses on certain minimal (structural) principles on the basis of which different philosophical theories may be erected.
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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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  • Dion, Theon, and the Many-Thinkers Problem.Michael B. Burke - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):242–250.
    Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? In Burke 1994, employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, I defended a surprising position last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes. This paper defends that position against objections by Stone, Carter, Olson, and others. Most notably, it offers a novel, conservative solution (...)
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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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  • Fiat Objects.Barry Smith - 2001 - Topoi 20 (2):131-148.
    Human cognitive acts are directed towards entities of a wide range of different types. What follows is a new proposal for bringing order into this typological clutter. A categorial scheme for the objects of human cognition should be (1) critical and realistic. Cognitive subjects are liable to error, even to systematic error of the sort that is manifested by believers in the Pantheon of Olympian gods. Thus not all putative object-directed acts should be recognized as having objects of their own. (...)
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  • Half-Hearted Humeanism.Aaron Segal - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9:262-305.
    Many contemporary philosophers endorse the Humean-Lewisian Denial of Absolutely Necessary Connections (‘DANC’). Among those philosophers, many deny all or part of the Humean-Lewisian package of views about causation and laws. I argue that they maintain an inconsistent set of views. DANC entails that (1) causal properties and relations are, with a few possible exceptions, always extrinsic to their bearers, (2) nomic properties and relations are, with a few possible exceptions, always extrinsic to their bearers, and (3) causal and nomic properties (...)
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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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  • Keep the Chickens Cooped: The Epistemic Inadequacy of Free Range Metaphysics.Amanda Bryant - 2017 - Synthese:1-21.
    This paper aims to better motivate the naturalization of metaphysics by identifying and criticizing a class of theories I call 'free range metaphysics'. I argue that free range metaphysics is epistemically inadequate because the constraints on its content — consistency, simplicity, intuitive plausibility, and explanatory power — are insufficiently robust and justificatory. However, since free range metaphysics yields clarity-conducive techniques, incubates science, and produces conceptual and formal tools useful for scientifically engaged philosophy, I do not recommend its discontinuation. I do (...)
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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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  • Composition as Pattern.Steve Petersen - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1119-1139.
    I argue for patternism, a new answer to the question of when some objects compose a whole. None of the standard principles of composition comfortably capture our natural judgments, such as that my cat exists and my table exists, but there is nothing wholly composed of them. Patternism holds, very roughly, that some things compose a whole whenever together they form a “real pattern”. Plausibly we are inclined to acknowledge the existence of my cat and my table but not of (...)
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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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  • An Extensionalist's Guide to Non-Extensional Mereology.Josh Parsons - manuscript
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  • Composition and Identities.Manuel Lechthaler - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Otago
    Composition as Identity is the view that an object is identical to its parts taken collectively. I elaborate and defend a theory based on this idea: composition is a kind of identity. Since this claim is best presented within a plural logic, I develop a formal system of plural logic. The principles of this system differ from the standard views on plural logic because one of my central claims is that identity is a relation which comes in a variety of (...)
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  • The Universe Among Other Things.Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Ratio 19 (1):107–120.
    Peter Simons has argued that the expression ‘the universe’ is not a genuine singular term: it can name neither a single, completely encompassing individual, nor a collection of individuals. (It is, rather, a semantically plural term standing equally for every existing object.) I offer reasons for resisting Simons’s arguments on both scores.
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  • Time as a Part of Physical Objects: The Modern 'Descartes-Minus Argument' and an Analogous Argument From Fourteenth-Century Logic (William Heytesbury and Albert of Saxony).Michael Fitzgerald - 2009 - Vivarium 47 (1):54-73.
    I argue in the essay that the fourteenth-century logicians William Heytesbury and Albert of Saxony developed an argument I call the Socrates-Minus Argument. Their analysis and rejection of it indicates a direction towards a pragmatic resolution to the contemporary Descartes-Minus Argument. Their resolution is similar to the view adopted today by Peter van Inwagen, namely, that “arbitrary undetached parts of physical objects,” like 'all of Socrates except his finger' simply do not exist. I conclude the fourteenth-century approach does not run (...)
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  • All the World's a Stage.Theodore Sider - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (3):433 – 453.
    Some philosophers believe that everyday objects are 4-dimensional spacetime worms, that a person (for example) persists through time by having temporal parts, or stages, at each moment of her existence. None of these stages is identical to the person herself; rather, she is the aggregate of all her temporal parts.1 Others accept “three dimensionalism”, rejecting stages in favor of the notion that persons “endure”, or are “wholly present” throughout their lives.2 I aim to defend an apparently radical third view: not (...)
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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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  • Four-Dimensionalism.Theodore Sider - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (2):197-231.
    Persistence through time is like extension through space. A road has spatial parts in the subregions of the region of space it occupies; likewise, an object that exists in time has temporal parts in the various subregions of the total region of time it occupies. This view — known variously as four dimensionalism, the doctrine of temporal parts, and the theory that objects “perdure” — is opposed to “three dimensionalism”, the doctrine that things “endure”, or are “wholly present”.1 I will (...)
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  • Spacetime Gaps and the Persistence of Objects Through Time.Thomas K. Javoroski - unknown
    When we begin to investigate the persistence of objects through time, we find immediately that the sort of concerns embodied in Leibniz's Law cause philosophers to divide themselves into the two major camps of Purdurantists and Endurantists. What is required according to each for a given object at a given time to be identified with a given object at another time is held to be dramatically different, even while both often look to the same general sort of indicators for their (...)
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  • Disembodied Animals.Allison Thornton - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (2):203-217.
    This paper defends a hylomorphic version of animalism according to which human persons survive as immaterial, bodiless animals after death. According to the hylomorphism under consideration, human persons have souls that survive death, and according to the animalism under consideration, human persons are necessarily animals. One might think this implies that human persons don't survive their deaths since if they were to survive their deaths, they would be immaterial animals after death, but necessarily animals are material. This paper shows that (...)
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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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  • Topological Essentialism.Roberto Casati & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 100 (3):217-236.
    Considering topology as an extension of mereology, this paper analyses topological variants of mereological essentialism (the thesis that an object could not have different parts than the ones it has). In particular, we examine de dicto and de re versions of two theses: (i) that an object cannot change its external connections (e.g., adjacent objects cannot be separated), and (ii) that an object cannot change its topological genus (e.g., a doughnut cannot turn into a sphere). Stronger forms of structural essentialism, (...)
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  • Why Care About What There Is?Daniel Z. Korman - forthcoming - In Javier Cumpa (ed.), The Question of Ontology: The Contemporary Debate. Oxford University Press.
    There’s the question of what there is, and then there’s the question of what ultimately exists. Many contend that, once we have this distinction clearly in mind, we can see that there is no sensible debate to be had about whether there are such things as properties or tables or numbers, and that the only ontological question worth debating is whether such things are ultimate (in one or another sense). I argue that this is a mistake. Taking debates about ordinary (...)
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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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  • Coincidence and Principles of Composition.S. Levey - 1997 - Analysis 57 (1):1-10.
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  • Why Counterpart Theory and Four-Dimensionalism Are Incompatible.Jim Stone - 2005 - Analysis 65 (4):329-333.
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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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  • Endurance, Perdurance, and Metaontology.Jiri Benovsky - 2011 - SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy (2):159-177.
    The recent debate in metaontology gave rise to several types of (more or less classical) answers to questions about "equivalences" between metaphysical theories and to the question whether metaphysical disputes are substantive or merely verbal (i.e. various versions of realism, strong anti-realism, moderate anti-realism, or epistemicism). In this paper, I want to do two things. First, I shall have a close look at one metaphysical debate that has been the target and center of interest of many meta-metaphysicians, namely the problem (...)
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  • Emergent Individuals and the Resurrection.Jonathan D. Jacobs & Timothy O'Connor - 2010 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (2):69 - 88.
    We present an original emergent individuals view of human persons, on which persons are substantial biological unities that exemplify metaphysically emergent mental states. We argue that this view allows for a coherent model of identity-preserving resurrection from the dead consistent with orthodox Christian doctrine, one that improves upon alternatives accounts recently proposed by a number of authors. Our model is a variant of the “falling elevator” model advanced by Dean Zimmerman that, unlike Zimmerman’s, does not require a closest continuer account (...)
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  • How to Solve the Puzzle of Dion and Theon Without Losing Your Head.Chad Carmichael - forthcoming - Mind:fzy021.
    The ancient puzzle of Dion and Theon has given rise to a surprising array of apparently implausible views. For example, in order to solve the puzzle, several philosophers have been led to deny the existence of their own feet, others have denied that objects can gain and lose parts, and large numbers of philosophers have embraced the thesis that distinct objects can occupy the same space, having all their material parts in common. In this paper, I argue for an alternative (...)
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  • Eternalist Theories of Persistence Through Time: Where the Differences Really Lie.Jiri Benovsky - 2009 - Axiomathes 19 (1):51-71.
    The eternalist endurantist and perdurantist theories of persistence through time come in various versions, namely the two versions of perdurantism: the worm view and the stage view , and the two versions of endurantism: indexicalism and adverbialism . Using as a starting point the instructive case of what is depicted by photographs, I will examine these four views, and compare them, with some interesting results. Notably, we will see that two traditional enemies—the perdurantist worm view and the endurantist theories—are more (...)
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  • The Vagueness Argument for Mereological Universalism.Donald Smith - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (3):357–368.
    In this paper, I critically discuss one of the more influential arguments for mereological universalism, what I will call ‘the Vagueness Argument’. I argue that a premise of the Vagueness Argument is not well supported and that there are at least two good reasons for thinking that the premise in question is false.
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  • The Non-Identity of a Material Thing and its Matter.Kit Fine - 2003 - Mind 112 (446):195-234.
    There is a well-known argument from Leibniz's Law for the view that coincident material things may be distinct. For given that they differ in their properties, then how can they be the same? However, many philosophers have suggested that this apparent difference in properties is the product of a linguistic illusion; there is just one thing out there, but different sorts or guises under which it may be described. I attempt to show that this ‘opacity’ defence has intolerable consequences for (...)
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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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  • Rearranging the Furniture.John Biro - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-5.
    According to Peter van Inwagen, there are, from the point of view of serious metaphysics, no composites, only simples. Saying that we have built a ship is a misleading way of saying that we have rearranged some simples ship- wise. However, the notion of rearranging simples is problematic, and van Inwagen’s resort to “honorary simples” does not make it less so. Simples can be rearranged only by way of rearranging these, making talk of them not merely a convenient facon de (...)
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  • On Stages, Worms, and Relativity.Yuri Balashov - 2002 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 50:223-.
    Four-dimensionalism, or perdurantism, the view that temporally extended objects persist through time by having (spatio-)temporal parts or stages, includes two varieties, the worm theory and the stage theory. According to the worm theory, perduring objects are four-dimensional wholes occupying determinate regions of spacetime and having temporal parts, or stages, each of them confined to a particular time. The stage theorist, however, claims, not that perduring objects have stages, but that the fundamental entities of the perdurantist ontology are stages. I argue (...)
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  • Undetached Parts and Disconnected Wholes.Achille C. Varzi - 2013 - In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag. pp. 696–708.
    I offer a diagnosis of the parallelism between the Doctrine of Potential Parts and the Doctrine of Potential Wholes and briefly examine its bearing on Johansson’s account of the Tibbles-Tib Problem.
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  • Mereology and Time Travel.Carlo Proietti & Jeroen Smid - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-16.
    Core principles of mereology have been questioned by appealing to time travel scenarios. This paper questions the methodology of employing time travel scenarios to argue against mereology. We show some time travel scenarios are structurally equivalent to more standard ones not involving time travel; and that the three main theories about persistence through time can each solve both the time travel scenario as well as the structurally similar classical scenario. Time travel scenarios that are not similar to more standard arguments (...)
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  • Fission and Personal Identity Over Time.Trenton Merricks - 1997 - Philosophical Studies 88 (2):163-186.
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  • Debunking Rationalist Defenses of Common-Sense Ontology: An Empirical Approach.Robert Carry Osborne - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):197-221.
    Debunking arguments typically attempt to show that a set of beliefs or other intensional mental states bear no appropriate explanatory connection to the facts they purport to be about. That is, a debunking argument will attempt to show that beliefs about p are not held because of the facts about p. Such beliefs, if true, would then only be accidentally so. Thus, their causal origins constitute an undermining defeater. Debunking arguments arise in various philosophical domains, targeting beliefs about morality, the (...)
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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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  • Do Four-Dimensionalists Have to Be Counterpart Theorists?George Djukic - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):292 – 311.
    In 'Four-Dimensional Objects' Peter van Inwagen gives two arguments for the claim that proponents of four-dimensionalism have to be counterpart theorists. Recently Jack Copeland, Heather Dyke, and Diane Proudfoot, echoing in part points made by Mark Heller in this journal in 1993, have sought to rebut one of van Inwagen's arguments. In this paper I shall criticize their discussion and by implication certain points made by Heller. In so doing I shall also rebut a possible objection to van Inwagen's second (...)
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  • The Endurance/Perdurance Distinction.N. McKinnon - 2002 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (3):288 – 306.
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  • Statues and Lumps: A Strange Coincidence?Mark Moyer - 2006 - Synthese 148 (2):401-423.
    Puzzles about persistence and change through time, i.e., about identity across time, have foundered on confusion about what it is for ‘two things’ to be have ‘the same thing’ at a time. This is most directly seen in the dispute over whether material objects can occupy exactly the same place at the same time. This paper defends the possibility of such coincidence against several arguments to the contrary. Distinguishing a temporally relative from an absolute sense of ‘the same’, we see (...)
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  • Basic Problems of Mereotopology.Achille C. Varzi - 1998 - In Nicola Guarino (ed.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems. Ios Press. pp. 29–38.
    Mereotopology is today regarded as a major tool for ontological analysis, and for many good reasons. There are, however, a number of open questions that call for an answer. Some are philosophical, others have direct applicative import, but all are crucial for a proper assessment of the strengths and limits of mereotopology. This paper is an attempt to put sum order in this area.
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  • Composition as Identity.Meg Wallace - 2009 - Dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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  • The Supervenience Solution to the Too-Many-Thinkers Problem.C. S. Sutton - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (257):619-639.
    Persons think. Bodies, time-slices of persons, and brains might also think. They have the necessary neural equipment. Thus, there seems to be more than one thinker in your chair. Critics assert that this is too many thinkers and that we should reject ontologies that allow more than one thinker in your chair. I argue that cases of multiple thinkers are innocuous and that there is not too much thinking. Rather, the thinking shared between, for example, persons and their bodies is (...)
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