Composition as Identity: Part 2

Philosophy Compass 6 (11):817-827 (2011)
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Many of us think that ordinary objects – such as tables and chairs – exist. We also think that ordinary objects have parts: my chair has a seat and some legs as parts, for example. But once we are committed to the (seemingly innocuous) thesis that ordinary objects are composed of parts, we then open ourselves up to a whole host of philosophical problems, most of which center on what exactly this composition relation is. Composition as Identity (CI) is the view that the composition relation is the identity relation. While such a view has some advantages, there are many arguments against it. In this essay, I discuss several versions of the most common objection against CI, and show how the CI theorist can maintain that these arguments – contrary their initial intuitive appeal – are nonetheless unsound.

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Meg Wallace
University of Kentucky


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