The Special Composition Question and Natural Fusion

Proceedings of the 3rd Filomena Workshop (2019)
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Abstract
Philosophical problems about the part-whole relation have been discussed throughout the history of philosophy, at least since Plato and Aristotle. In contemporary philosophy, the understanding of these issues has benefited from the formal tools of Classical Extensional Mereology. This paper aims is to defend mereological restrictivism against some constraints imposed by the vagueness argument. To achieve this, the paper is divided into three parts. In the first, I introduce the special composition question (hereafter SCQ) as formulated by [Van Inwagen, 1990] and briefly present the three sets of theories that proffer answers to it. In the second part, I focus on the vagueness argument, that was presented by [Lewis, 1986, ] and [Sider, 2007, ] to defend mereological universalism. In the third section, I introduce the theory of natural properties by David Lewis. From this theory, I propose a new mereological operation labeled as natural fusion. The purpose of this operation is to falsify one of the premises of the vagueness argument. Then, I discuss some examples and counter-examples to natural fusion.
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Archival date: 2019-07-02
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