Physical Composition by Bonding

In Ludger Jansen & Paul M. Näger (eds.), Peter van Inwagen. Materialism, Free Will and God. Cham: Springer. pp. 65-96 (2018)
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Van Inwagen proposes that besides simples only living organisms exist as composite objects. This paper suggests expanding van Inwagen’s ontology by also accepting composite objects in the case that physical bonding occurs (plus some extra conditions). Such objects are not living organ-isms but rather physical bodies. They include (approximately) the complete realm of inanimate ordinary objects, like rocks and tables, as well as inanimate scientific objects, like atoms and mol-ecules, the latter filling the ontological gap between simples and organisms in van Inwagen’s origi-nal picture. We thus propose a compositional pluralism claiming that composition arises if and on-ly if bonding or life occurs.

Author Profiles

Julian Husmann
Westfälische Wilhelms Universität, Münster
Paul M. Näger
University of Münster


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