Coincident Objects and The Grounding Problem

Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 16 (41):164-173 (2022)
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Pluralists believe in the occurrence of numerically distinct spatiotemporal coincident objects. They argue that there are coincident objects that share all physical and spatiotemporal properties and relations; nevertheless, they differ in terms of modal and some other profiles. Appealing to the grounding problem according to which nothing can ground the modal differences between coincident objects, monists reject the occurrence of coincident objects. In the first part of this paper, I attempt to show that the dispute between monists and pluralists cannot be settled based upon the grounding problem tout court. I argue that the grounding problem or a very similar problem is a challenge for all monists and pluralists alike if they are ontologically committed to the existence of composite objects as independent entities. In the final part, adopting the Aristotelian account of essence, I propose a solution that enables pluralists to plausibly ground modal differences between coincident objects.

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Ataollah Hashemi
Saint Louis University


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