No universalism without gunk? Composition as identity and the universality of identity

Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4441-4452 (2019)
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Abstract

Philosophers disagree whether composition as identity entails mereological universalism. Bricker :264–294, 2016) has recently considered an argument which concludes that composition as identity supports universalism. The key step in this argument is the thesis that any objects are identical to some object, which Bricker justifies with the principle of the universality of identity. I will spell out this principle in more detail and argue that it has an unexpected consequence. If the universality of identity holds, then composition as identity not only leads us to universalism, but also leads to the view that there are no mereological atoms.

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Manuel Lechthaler
University of Strathclyde

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