What is an Extended Simple Region?

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (3):649-659 (2020)
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Abstract

The notion of an extended simple region (henceforth ESR) has recently been marshalled in the service of arguments for a variety of conclusions. Exactly how to understand the idea of extendedness as it applies to simple regions, however, has been largely ignored, or, perhaps better, assumed. In this paper we first (§1) outline what we take to be the standard way that philosophers are thinking about extendedness, namely as an intrinsic property of regions. We then introduce an alternative picture (§2), according to which extendedness is extrinsic. In §3 we argue that it matters which way of thinking about extendedness is the right one, since how ESRs behave is sensitive to what extendedness consists in, and various arguments that appeal to ESRs turn out to be unsound if extendedness is extrinsic rather than intrinsic.

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