Composition as Identity, Modal Parts, and Mereological Essentialism

In Aaron J. Cotnoir & Donald L. M. Baxter (eds.), Composition as Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press USA. pp. 111-129 (2014)
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Abstract

Some claim that Composition as Identity (CI) entails Mereological Essentialism (ME). If this is right, then we have an effective modus tollens against CI: ME is clearly false, so CI is, too. Rather than deny the conditional, I will argue that a CI theorist should embrace ME. I endorse a theory of modal parts such that ordinary objects are spatially, temporally, and modally extended. Accepting modal parts is certainly beneficial to CI theorists, but it also provides elegant solutions to the traditional puzzles of constitution, making it a competitive move in its own right.

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Meg Wallace
University of Kentucky

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