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Mereology

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2016)

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  1. Corporeal composition.Stuart Glennan - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):11439-11462.
    What is it for an individual thing in the natural world—a rock, a mouse, a family or a planet—to be made of other things—crystals, organs, animals, soil, water, or dirt? Rocks, mice, families and planets are composites, but how are we to understand the relation that holds between these composites and their component parts? My aim is to offer a new account of this relation, which I shall call corporeal composition. A central claim of my account is that corporeal composition (...)
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  • Ontological Categorizations and Selection Biases in Cosmology: The Case of Extra Galactic Objects.Paolo Valore, M. G. Dainotti & Oskar Kopczyński - 2020 - Foundations of Science 26 (3):515-529.
    One of the innovative approaches in contemporary philosophical ontology consists in the assumption of a plurality of ontologies based on different metaphysical presuppositions. Such presuppositions involve, among others, the identification of relevant properties for the objects of our domain as a guiding principle in uncovering what it is to be considered intrinsic and what could be the mere effect of selection preferences based on objective or subjective criteria. A remarkable example of the application of a background metaphysical theory in astrophysics (...)
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  • Divine Simplicity: The Aspectival Account.Joshua Reginald Sijuwade - forthcoming - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-37.
    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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  • Parfitians as Exdurantists.Fabio Patrone - 2017 - Axiomathes (6):1-9.
    Derek Parfit’s thesis that identity doesn’t matter in survival has been extensively discussed except for its metaphysical robustness. How can we justify the abandonment of identity in the way Parfit suggests? My argument is the following. Those who want to endorse the thesis that identity doesn’t matter (and, therefore, abandon identity across time) should adopt exdurantism, i.e. a metaphysics according to which the world is composed by temporal parts each existing at a time and according to which there is nothing (...)
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  • The Polysemy of ‘Part’.Meg Wallace - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4331-4354.
    Some philosophers assume that our ordinary parts-whole concepts are intuitive and univocal. Moreover, some assume that mereology—the formal theory of parts-whole relations—adequately captures these intuitive and univocal notions. Lewis, for example, maintains that mereology is “perfectly understood, unproblematic, and certain.” Following his lead, many assume that expressions such as ‘is part of’ are univocal, topic-neutral, and that compositional monism is true. This paper explores the rejection of –. I argue that our ordinary parts-whole expressions are polysemous; they have multiple distinct, (...)
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  • Plurals and Mereology.Salvatore Florio & David Nicolas - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (3):415-445.
    In linguistics, the dominant approach to the semantics of plurals appeals to mereology. However, this approach has received strong criticisms from philosophical logicians who subscribe to an alternative framework based on plural logic. In the first part of the article, we offer a precise characterization of the mereological approach and the semantic background in which the debate can be meaningfully reconstructed. In the second part, we deal with the criticisms and assess their logical, linguistic, and philosophical significance. We identify four (...)
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  • Mind the Gap.Jeroen Smid - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-17.
    In debates about the metaphysics of material objects examples of colocated objects are commonly taken to be examples of coincidence too. But the argument that colocation is best understood as involving coincidence is never spelled out. This paper shows under what conditions colocation entails coincidence and argues that the entailment depends on a principle that actually rules out certain forms of colocation. This undermines the argument from colocation to coincidence.
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  • Composition, Identity and Plural Ontology.Roberto Loss - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9193-9210.
    According to ‘Strong Composition as Identity’, if an entity is composed of a plurality of entities, it is identical to them. As it has been argued in the literature, SCAI appears to give rise to some serious problems which seem to suggest that SCAI-theorists should take their plural quantifier to be governed by some ‘weak’ plural comprehension principle and, thus, ‘exclude’ some kinds of pluralities from their plural ontology. The aim of this paper is to argue that, contrary to what (...)
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  • Infinitesimal Gunk.Lu Chen - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (5):981-1004.
    In this paper, I advance an original view of the structure of space called Infinitesimal Gunk. This view says that every region of space can be further divided and some regions have infinitesimal size, where infinitesimals are understood in the framework of Robinson’s nonstandard analysis. This view, I argue, provides a novel reply to the inconsistency arguments proposed by Arntzenius and Russell, which have troubled a more familiar gunky approach. Moreover, it has important advantages over the alternative views these authors (...)
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  • Coincidence as Parthood.Jean-Baptiste Guillon - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4247-4276.
    There are three families of solutions to the traditional Amputation Paradox: Eliminativism, Contingent Identity Theories, and Theories of Coincident Entities. Theories of Coincident Entities challenge our common understanding of the relation between identity and parthood, since they accept that two things can be mereologically coincident without being identical. The contemporary discussion of the Amputation Paradox tends to mention only one theory of Coincident Entities, namely the Constitution View, which violates the mereological principle of Extensionality. But in fact, there is another (...)
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  • Intuitionistic Mereology.Paolo Maffezioli & Achille C. Varzi - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4277-4302.
    Two mereological theories are presented based on a primitive apartness relation along with binary relations of mereological excess and weak excess, respectively. It is shown that both theories are acceptable from the standpoint of constructive reasoning while remaining faithful to the spirit of classical mereology. The two theories are then compared and assessed with regard to their extensional import.
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  • The Integrated Structure of Consciousness: Phenomenal Content, Subjective Attitude, and Noetic Complex.Katsunori Miyahara & Olaf Witkowski - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (4):731-758.
    We explore the integrated structure of consciousness by examining the “phenomenological axioms” of the “integrated information theory of consciousness ” from the perspective of Husserlian phenomenology. After clarifying the notion of phenomenological axioms by drawing on resources from Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, we develop a critique of the integration axiom by drawing on phenomenological analyses developed by Aron Gurwitsch and Merleau-Ponty. This axiom is ambiguous. It can be read either atomistically as claiming that the phenomenal content of conscious experience (...)
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  • Extensionality for Fusions and Pluralities.Jeroen Smid - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 18):1-20.
    One of the more persistent debates in mereology is whether distinct wholes can have the same parts. Extensional mereologists hold that if there is no part that makes the difference, then there is nothing to distinguish the wholes, so sameness of parts implies identity. Non-extensionalists, however, do think there are cases where distinct wholes share all their parts. This paper argues that the kind of argument non-extensionalists employ can also be levelled against a widely accepted extensionality principle of plural logic. (...)
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  • Enactment and Construction of the Cognitive Niche: Toward an Ontology of the Mind- World Connection.Konrad Werner - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1313-1341.
    The paper discusses the concept of the cognitive niche and distinguishes the latter from the metabolic niche. By using these posits I unpack certain ideas that are crucial for the enactivist movement, especially for its original formulation proposed by Varela, Thompson and Rosh. Drawing on the ontology of location, boundaries, and parthood, I argue that enacting the world can be seen as the process of cognitive niche construction. Moreover, it turns out that enactivism—as seen through the lens of the conceptual (...)
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  • What is Wrong with Self-Grounding?David Kovacs - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (6):1157-1180.
    Many philosophers embrace grounding, supposedly a central notion of metaphysics. Grounding is widely assumed to be irreflexive, but recently a number of authors have questioned this assumption: according to them, it is at least possible that some facts ground themselves. The primary purpose of this paper is to problematize the notion of self-grounding through the theoretical roles usually assigned to grounding. The literature typically characterizes grounding as at least playing two central theoretical roles: a structuring role and an explanatory role. (...)
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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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  • The Intrinsic Structure of Quantum Mechanics.Eddy Keming Chen - unknown
    The wave function in quantum mechanics presents an interesting challenge to our understanding of the physical world. In this paper, I show that the wave function can be understood as four intrinsic relations on physical space. My account has three desirable features that the standard account lacks: it does not refer to any abstract mathematical objects, it is free from the usual arbitrary conventions, and it explains why the wave function has its gauge degrees of freedom, something that are usually (...)
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  • Can Mereological Sums Serve as the Semantic Values of Plurals?David Nicolas - 2007
    Abstract: Friends of plural logic—like Oliver & Smiley (2001), Rayo (2002), Yi (2005), and McKay (2006)—have argued that a semantics of plurals based on mereological sums would be too weak, and they have adduced several examples in favor of their claim. However, they have not considered various possible counter-arguments. So how convincing are their own arguments? We show that several of them are easily answered, while some others are more problematic. Overall, the case against mereological singularism—the idea that mereological sums (...)
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  • Against Lewisian Modal Realism From a Metaontological Point of View.Tora Koyama - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):1207-1225.
    Modal realism is an ontological position made familiar by David Lewis, according to which there exist possible worlds other than the actual world that we inhabit. It is hard to uphold modal realism, and indeed modal realism has only a few advocates. However, as most contemporary metaphysicians agree, this does not mean that it is easy to refute modal realism. In this paper, I argue against modal realism from a metaontological point of view. First, I provide a precise formulation of (...)
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  • What Is Classical Mereology?Paul Hovda - 2009 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 38 (1):55 - 82.
    Classical mereology is a formal theory of the part-whole relation, essentially involving a notion of mereological fusion, or sum. There are various different definitions of fusion in the literature, and various axiomatizations for classical mereology. Though the equivalence of the definitions of fusion is provable from axiom sets, the definitions are not logically equivalent, and, hence, are not inter-changeable when laying down the axioms. We examine the relations between the main definitions of fusion and correct some technical errors in prominent (...)
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  • Thinking, Experiencing and Rethinking Mereological Interdependence.Michael W. Stadler - 2019 - Gestalt Theory 41 (1):31-46.
    Summary The present article is a partly ontological, partly Gestalt-psychological discussion of the thinkability of structures in which parts and whole are interdependent. In the first section, I show that in the framework of E. Husserl’s formal part–whole ontology, the conceptualization of such an interdependence leads to logical problems. The second section turns to and affirms the experience of this interplay between parts and whole, exemplified with B. Pinna’s recent research on meaningful Gestalt perception. In the final section, I take (...)
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  • Construction Area (No Hard Hat Required).Karen Bennett - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):79-104.
    A variety of relations widely invoked by philosophers—composition, constitution, realization, micro-basing, emergence, and many others—are species of what I call ‘building relations’. I argue that they are conceptually intertwined, articulate what it takes for a relation to count as a building relation, and argue that—contra appearances—it is an open possibility that these relations are all determinates of a common determinable, or even that there is really only one building relation.
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  • Meghetologia.Massimiliano Carrara & Filippo Mancini - 2020 - Aphex. Portale Italiano di Filosofia Analitica 21 (1):1-49.
    Megethology is the second-order theory of the part-whole relation developed by David Lewis, and it is obtained by combining plural quantification with classical extensional mereology. It can express some hypotheses about the size of the domain such as that there are inaccessibly many atoms. This will prove enough to get the orthodox set theory. Then, megethology is a possible foundation for mathematics. This paper is an introduction to megethology.
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  • The Role of Supervenience and Constitution in Neuroscientific Research.Jens Harbecke - 2014 - Synthese 191 (5):1-19.
    This paper is concerned with the notions of supervenience and mechanistic constitution as they have been discussed in the philosophy of neuroscience. Since both notions essentially involve specific dependence and determination relations among properties and sets of properties, the question arises whether the notions are systematically connected and how they connect to science. In a first step, some definitions of supervenience and mechanistic constitution are presented and tested for logical independence. Afterwards, certain assumptions fundamental to neuroscientific inquiry are made explicit (...)
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  • On the Possibility of Presentism with Occurrents.Marco Marabello - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-16.
    This paper defends the possibility of admitting occurrents in a presentist ontology. Two ways of doing so are proposed, the first one involves Meinongian presentism. By using the notion of non-existent object and coherently modifying some mereological principle, it is argued, the presentist can allow for occurrents. The second proposal involves ex-concrete objects. Ex-concrete objects, i.e. objects that are contingently not concrete, have been used by Linsky and Zalta (Philosophical Perspectives, 8 (Logic and Language), 431-458, 1994), Williamson (2002) in the (...)
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  • What is It to Be Located?Matt Leonard - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (9):2991-3009.
    The literature suggests two main answers to the question of what it is for a material object to be located at a region of spacetime. Both have a number of virtues. However, both suffer from well-known problems. According to one answer, location is a primitive relation with no informative metaphysical analysis. But this makes a number of necessary truths seem mysterious and leaves them unexplained. According to the other answer, to be located at a region is just to be identical (...)
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  • A Hundred Years of Metaphysics within the Analytic Tradition. Introduction to the Monographic Section on Contemporary Analityc Metaphysics.Carlo Rossi - 2020 - Revista de Humanidades de Valparaíso 16:7-16.
    Introduction to the monographic section on contemporary analytic metaphysics.
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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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  • An Abstract Mereology for Meinongian Objects.Thibaut Giraud - 2013 - Humana Mente 6 (25).
    The purpose of this paper is to examine how any domain of Meinongian objects can be structured by a special kind of mereology. The basic definition of this mereology is the following: an object is part of another iff every characteristic property of the former is also a characteristic property of the latter. I will show that this kind of mereology ends up being very powerful for dealing with Meinongian objects. Mereological sums and products are not restricted in any way (...)
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  • Dividing Plato’s Kinds.Fernando Muniz & George Rudebusch - 2018 - Phronesis 63 (4):392-407.
    A dilemma has stymied interpretations of the Stranger’s method of dividing kinds into subkinds in Plato’sSophistandStatesman. The dilemma assumes that the kinds are either extensions or intensions. Now kinds divide like extensions, not intensions. But extensions cannot explain the distinct identities of kinds that possess the very same members. We propose understanding a kind as like an animal body—the Stranger’s simile for division—possessing both an extension and an intension. We find textual support in the Stranger’s paradigmatic four steps for collecting (...)
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  • Representing and Reasoning Over a Taxonomy of Part–Whole Relations.C. Maria Keet & Alessandro Artale - 2008 - Applied ontology 3 (1-2):91-110.
    Many types of part-whole relations have been proposed in the literature to aid the conceptual modeller to choose the most appropriate type, but many of those relations lack a formal specification to give clear and unambiguous semantics to them. To remedy this, a formal taxonomy of types of mereological and meronymic part-whole relations is presented that distinguishes between transitive and intransitive relations and the kind of entity types that are related. The demand to use it effectively brings afore new requirements (...)
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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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  • The Lump and the Ledger: Material Coincidence at Little-to-No Cost.Jonah Goldwater - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (4):789-812.
    This paper aims to make headway on two related issues—one methodological, the other substantive. The former concerns cost–benefit analyses when applied to metaphysical theory choice. The latter concerns material coincidence, i.e., multiple objects occupying the same space at the same time, such as the statue and the clay from which it’s made. The issues are entwined as many reject coincidence on the grounds that it’s costly. I argue this judgment is unjustified. More generally, I set out and defend a framework (...)
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  • Problemas de Metafísica Analítica / Problems in Analytical Metaphysics.Guido Imaguire & Rodrigo Reis Lastra Cid (eds.) - 2020 - Pelotas: Editora da UFPel / UFPel Publisher.
    O desenvolvimento da filosofia acadêmica no Brasil é direcionada, entre vários fatores, pelas investigações dos diversos Grupos de Trabalho (GTs) da Associação Nacional de Pós-Graduação em Filosofia (ANPOF). Esses GTs se dividem de acordo com a temática investigada. O GT de Metafísica Analítica é relativamente novo e ainda tem poucos membros, mas os temas nele trabalhados são variados e todos centrais no debate metafísico contemporâneo internacional. A sua investigação se caracteriza pelo rigor lógico e conceitual com o qual aborda esses (...)
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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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  • Two Mereological Arguments Against the Possibility of an Omniscient Being.Joshua T. Spencer - 2006 - Philo 9 (1):62-72.
    In this paper I present two new arguments against the possibility of an omniscient being. My new arguments invoke considerations of cardinality and resemble several arguments originally presented by Patrick Grim. Like Grim, I give reasons to believe that there must be more objects in the universe than there are beliefs. However, my arguments will rely on certain mereological claims, namely that Classical Extensional Mereology is necessarily true of the part-whole relation. My first argument is an instance of a problem (...)
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  • Engineering Ontologies: Foundations and Theories From Philosophy and Logical Theory.Nicola Guarino & Barry Smith - 2006 - In SemanticMining: Semantic Interoperability and Data Mining in Biomedicine (NoE 507505). 1 Deliverable D.21.2. pp. 1-13.
    Ontology as a branch of philosophy is the science of what is, of the kinds and structures of objects, properties, events, processes and relations in every area of reality. ‘Ontology’ is often used by philosophers as a synonym for ‘metaphysics’ (literally: ‘what comes after the Physics’), a term which was used by early students of Aristotle to refer to what Aristotle himself called ‘first philosophy’. The term ‘ontology’ (or ontologia) was itself coined in 1613, independently, by two philosophers, Rudolf Göckel (...)
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  • Coincident Entities and Question-Begging Predicates: An Issue in Meta-Ontology.Francesco Berto - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (1):1-15.
    Meta-ontology (in van Inwagen's sense) concerns the methodology of ontology, and a controversial meta-ontological issue is to what extent ontology can rely on linguistic analysis while establishing the furniture of the world. This paper discusses an argument advanced by some ontologists (I call them unifiers) against supporters of or coincident entities (I call them multipliers) and its meta-ontological import. Multipliers resort to Leibniz's Law to establish that spatiotemporally coincident entities a and b are distinct, by pointing at a predicate F (...)
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  • Against Mereological Nominalism: Reply to Effingham.Javier Cumpa & Alexandre Declos - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    Mereological Nominalism, as traditionally understood, states (1) that properties are mereological wholes and (2) that instantiation is mereological. Thus defined, this view faces a number of well-known issues, which make it virtually untenable. Recently, Effingham (Philos Phenom Res 100(1):160–185, 2020) has offered an alternative account of Mereological Nominalism, which intends to avoid these problems by accepting (1) while rejecting (2). In this paper, we argue that this theory is not viable for two main reasons. First, it faces a threat of (...)
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  • Is Mereology Ontologically Innocent? Well, It Depends….Christian Feldbacher-Escamilla - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (2):395-424.
    Mereology, the theory of parts and wholes, is sometimes used as a framework for categorisation because it is regarded as ontologically innocent in the sense that the mereological fusion of some entities is nothing over and above the entities. In this paper it is argued that an adequate answer to the question of whether the thesis of the ontological innocence of mereology holds relies crucially on the underlying theory of reference. It is then shown that upholding the thesis comes at (...)
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  • Prolegomena to Music Semantics.Philippe Schlenker - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (1):35-111.
    We argue that a formal semantics for music can be developed, although it will be based on very different principles from linguistic semantics and will yield less precise inferences. Our framework has the following tenets: Music cognition is continuous with normal auditory cognition. In both cases, the semantic content derived from an auditory percept can be identified with the set of inferences it licenses on its causal sources, analyzed in appropriately abstract ways. What is special about music semantics is that (...)
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  • Deep Gunk and Deep Junk.Daniel Giberman - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    All parts of mereologically ‘gunky’ entities have proper parts. All parts relevant to mereologically ‘junky’ entities *are* proper parts. This essay explores the application of gunk and junk beyond the standard category of material object. One such application yields what is here dubbed ‘deep’ gunk and junk: a material entity x all of whose intrinsic elements from any fundamental ontological category C either have proper parts from C that also are intrinsic elements of x, or are proper parts of entities (...)
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  • Melissus as an Analytic Metaphysicist.Vincenzo Fano, Pierluigi Graziani, Flavia Marcacci & Mirko Tagliaferri - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-23.
    The aim of this paper is to reconstruct the logical structure of Melissus philosophy, building on Laks Most’s translation and Barnes’ seminal work on the Samian. This will allow us to shed some light on the subtle argumentations of Melissus. On top of that, we frame Melissus’ metaphysics employing modern logical instruments. On one side, this reformulation makes clear a few assumptions hidden in the deductions made by the Samian; on the other side, our paper shows that contemporary analytic metaphysics (...)
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  • An Extensional Mereology for Structured Entities.Ilaria Canavotto & Alessandro Giordani - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-32.
    In this paper, we present an extensional system of mereology suitable to account for the intuitive distinction between heaplike and non-heaplike entities. Since the need to capture this distinction has been a key motivation for non-extensional mereologies, we first assess the main non-extensional systems advanced in the last years and highlight some mereological and metaphysical difficulties they involve. We then advance a novel program, according to which the distinction between heaplike and non-heaplike entities can be accounted for by bringing together (...)
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  • Irreducibly Thick Evaluation is Not Thinly Evaluative.N. D. Cannon - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3-4):651-666.
    In this paper, I criticize the pairing of irreducible thickness with the traditional view of evaluation which says evaluation is a matter of encoding good or bad in some way. To do this, I first explicate the determination view, which holds that irreducibly thick concepts are to thin concepts as determinates are to determinables. I then show that, even if the determination view did establish irreducible thickness, it would not have proven that the evaluative is well understood as being an (...)
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  • Parts of Falling Objects: Galileo’s Thought Experiment in Mereological Setting.Rafał Gruszczyński - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    This paper aims to formalize Galileo’s argument against the Aristotelian view that the weight of free-falling bodies influences their speed. I obtain this via the application of concepts of parthood and of mereological sum, and via recognition of a principle which is not explicitly formulated by the Italian thinker but seems to be natural and helpful in understanding the logical mechanism behind Galileo’s train of thought. I also compare my reconstruction to one of those put forward by Atkinson and Peijnenburg (...)
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  • Hierarchical Structures.Stanley N. Salthe - 2012 - Axiomathes 22 (3):355 - 383.
    This paper compares the two known logical forms of hierarchy, both of which have been used in models of natural phenomena, including the biological. I contrast their general properties, internal formal relations, modes of growth (emergence) in applications to the natural world, criteria for applying them, the complexities that they embody, their dynamical relations in applied models, and their informational relations and semiotic aspects.
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  • The Conceptual Elusiveness of Engineering Functions. [REVIEW]Pieter E. Vermaas, Dingmar Eck & Peter Kroes - 2013 - Philosophy and Technology 26 (2):159-185.
    In this paper, we describe the conceptual elusiveness of the notion of function as used in engineering practice. We argue that it should be accepted as an ambiguous notion, and then review philosophical argumentations in which engineering functions occur in order to identify the consequences of this ambiguity. Function is a key notion in engineering, yet is used by engineers systematically in a variety of meanings. First, we demonstrate that this ambiguous use is rational for engineers by considering the role (...)
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  • Two Challenges for a Boolean Approach to Constitutive Inference.Jens Harbecke - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):17.
    This paper discusses two challenges for a Boolean method for establishing constitutive regularity statements which, according to the regularity theory of mechanistic constitution, form the core of any mechanistic explanation in neuroscience. After presenting the regularity definition for the constitution relation and a methodology for constitutive inference, the paper discusses the problem of full variation of tested mechanistic factors and the problem of informational redundancy. A solution is offered for each problem. The first requires some adjustments to the original theory (...)
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  • Parthood‐Like Relations: Closure Principles And Connections To Some Axioms Of Classical Mereology.Paul Hovda - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):183-197.
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