How Composites Could Have Been Indispensable

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Abstract
Mereological Nihilism is the thesis that no material object has proper parts; every material object is a simple. Recent developments in plural semantics have made it possible to develop and motivate this position. In particular, some have argued that the tools of plural reference and quantification enable us to systematically paraphrase true statements apparently about composites into statements that only concern simples. Are composites really surplus to philosophical requirements? Given the resources of plural semantics, what must the world be like if composites are to be theoretically indispensable? I will describe and defend the possibility of scenario in which mention of composites cannot be paraphrased. We will therefore come to appreciate one way in which the world would have to be in order for composites to be required and for Nihilism to fail.
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Archival date: 2010-07-07
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2010-07-07

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