Results for 'Mereological Universalism'

640 found
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  1. Non‐Mereological Universalism.Kristie Miller - 2006 - European Journal of Philosophy 14 (3):404-422.
    In this paper I develop a version of universalism that is non-mereological. Broadly speaking, non-mereological universalism is the thesis that for any arbitrary set of objects and times, there is a persisting object which, at each of those times, will be constituted by those of the objects that exist at that time. I consider two general versions of non-mereological universalism, one which takes basic simples to be enduring objects, and the other which takes simples (...)
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  2. Expansionism and Mereological Universalism.Giorgio Lando - 2020 - Theoria 86 (2):187-219.
    Mereological universalists, according to whom every plurality of entities has a fusion, usually claim that most quantifications are restricted to ordinary entities. However, there is no evidence that our usual quantifications over ordinary objects are restricted. In this article I explore an alternative way of reconciling Mereological Universalism with our usual quantifications. I resort to a modest form of ontological expansionism and to the so-called interpretational modalities. Quantifications over ordinary objects are the initial stages of the expansion. (...)
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  3. The vagueness argument for mereological universalism.Donald Smith - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (3):357–368.
    In this paper, I critically discuss one of the more influential arguments for mereological universalism, what I will call ‘the Vagueness Argument’. I argue that a premise of the Vagueness Argument is not well supported and that there are at least two good reasons for thinking that the premise in question is false.
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  4. Debunking a mereological myth: If composition as identity is true, universalism need not be.Nikk Effingham - manuscript
    It is a common view that if composition as identity is true, then so is mereological universalism (the thesis that all objects have a mereological fusion). Various arguments have been advanced in favour of this: (i) there has been a recent argument by Merricks, (ii) some claim that Universalism is entailed by the ontological innocence of the identity relation, (or that ontological innocence undermines objections to universalism) and (iii) it is entailed by the law of (...)
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  5. Universalism entails Extensionalism.Achille C. Varzi - 2009 - Analysis 69 (4):599-604.
    I argue that Universalism (the thesis that mereological composition is unrestricted) entails Extensionalism (the thesis that sameness of composition is sufficient for identity) as long as the parthood relation is transitive and satisfies the Weak Supplementation principle (to the effect that whenever a thing has a proper part, it has another part disjoint from the first).
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  6. Perdurantism, Universalism and Quantifiers.Achille C. Varzi - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2):208-215.
    I argue that the conjunction of perdurantism (the view that objects are temporally extended) and universalism (the thesis that any old class of things has a mereological fusion) gives rise to undesired complications when combined with certain plausible assumptions concerning the semantics of tensed statements.
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  7. Mereological Composition and Plural Quantifier Semantics.Manuel Lechthaler & Ceth Lightfield - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):943-958.
    Mereological universalists and nihilists disagree on the conditions for composition. In this paper, we show how this debate is a function of one’s chosen semantics for plural quantifiers. Debating mereologists have failed to appreciate this point because of the complexity of the debate and extraneous theoretical commitments. We eliminate this by framing the debate between universalists and nihilists in a formal model where these two theses about composition are contradictory. The examination of the two theories in the model brings (...)
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  8. No universalism without gunk? Composition as identity and the universality of identity.Manuel Lechthaler - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4441-4452.
    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 (...)
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  9. A Spatial Approach to Mereology.Ned Markosian - 2014 - In Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    When do several objects compose a further object? The last twenty years have seen a great deal of discussion of this question. According to the most popular view on the market, there is a physical object composed of your brain and Jeremy Bentham’s body. According to the second-most popular view on the market, there are no such objects as human brains or human bodies, and there are also no atoms, rocks, tables, or stars. And according to the third-ranked view, there (...)
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  10. Sparse Parts.Kristie Miller - 2006 - Sorites 17:31-48.
    Four dimensionalism, the thesis that persisting objects are four dimensional and thus extended in time as well as space, has become a serious contender as an account of persistence. While many four dimensionalists are mereological universalists, there are those who find mereological universalism both counterintuitive and ontologically profligate. It would be nice then, if there was a coherent and plausible version of four dimensionalism that was non-universalist in nature. I argue that unfortunately there is not. By its (...)
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  11. The Special Composition Question and Natural Fusion.Renato Rocha - 2019 - Proceedings of the 3rd Filomena Workshop.
    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, (...)
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  12. Del fuoco che non brucia: risposte, riflessioni, ringraziamenti.Achille C. Varzi - 2014 - In Elena Casetta, Valeria Giardino, Andrea Borghini, Patrizia Pedrini, Francesco Calemi, Daniele Santoro, Giuliano Torrengo, Claudio Calosi, Pierluigi Graziani & Achille C. Varzi (eds.), Mettere a Fuoco Il Mondo. Conversazioni sulla Filosofia di Achille Varzi (Special Issue of Isonomia – Epistemologica). ISONOMIA – Epistemologica. University of Urbino. pp. 111–153.
    An overview of the way I picture the amorphous world we live in, built around my comments and responses to nine festschrift essays by A. Borghini (on the Fedro metaphor and the art of butchery), F. Calemi (on the predication principle and metalinguistic nominalism), C. Calosi (on the argument from mereological universalism to extensonality), E. Casetta (on the role of “monsters” in the realism/antirealism debate), V. Giardino (on inductive reasoning, spatial representation, and problem solving), P. Graziani (on (...) notation), P. Pedrini (on the distinction between natural and artificial boundaries), D. Santoro (on causation by omission), and G. Torrengo (on absolute vs. relational space and the problem of incongruent counterparts). (shrink)
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  13. Composition and Identities.Manuel Lechthaler - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Otago
    Composition as Identity is the view that an object is identical to its parts taken collectively. I elaborate and defend a theory based on this idea: composition is a kind of identity. Since this claim is best presented within a plural logic, I develop a formal system of plural logic. The principles of this system differ from the standard views on plural logic because one of my central claims is that identity is a relation which comes in a variety of (...)
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  14. Composition as Abstraction.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (9):453-470.
    The existence of mereological sums can be derived from an abstraction principle in a way analogous to numbers. I draw lessons for the thesis that “composition is innocent” from neo-Fregeanism in the philosophy of mathematics.
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  15. Ontology and Arbitrariness.David Builes - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):485-495.
    In many different ontological debates, anti-arbitrariness considerations push one towards two opposing extremes. For example, in debates about mereology, one may be pushed towards a maximal ontology (mereological universalism) or a minimal ontology (mereological nihilism), because any intermediate view seems objectionably arbitrary. However, it is usually thought that anti-arbitrariness considerations on their own cannot decide between these maximal or minimal views. I will argue that this is a mistake. Anti-arbitrariness arguments may be used to motivate a certain (...)
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  16. Theories as recipes: third-order virtue and vice.Michaela Markham McSweeney - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):391-411.
    A basic way of evaluating metaphysical theories is to ask whether they give satisfying answers to the questions they set out to resolve. I propose an account of “third-order” virtue that tells us what it takes for certain kinds of metaphysical theories to do so. We should think of these theories as recipes. I identify three good-making features of recipes and show that they translate to third-order theoretical virtues. I apply the view to two theories—mereological universalism and plenitudinous (...)
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  17. Materiality, Parthood, and Possibility.Samuele Iaquinto & Giuliano Torrengo - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87:1125-1131.
    This paper offers an argument in favour of a Lewisian version of concretism that maintains both the principle of material inheritance (according to which, if all the parts of an object x are material, then x is material) and the materiality-modality link (that is, the principle that, for every x, if x is material, then x is possible).
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  18. Unrestricted Composition and Restricted Quantification.Daniel Z. Korman - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (3):319-334.
    Many of those who accept the universalist thesis that mereological composition is unrestricted also maintain that the folk typically restrict their quantifiers in such a way as to exclude strange fusions when they say things that appear to conflict with universalism. Despite its prima facie implausibility, there are powerful arguments for universalism. By contrast, there is remarkably little evidence for the thesis that strange fusions are excluded from the ordinary domain of quantification. Furthermore, this reconciliatory strategy seems (...)
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  19. Sums and Grounding.Noël B. Saenz - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):102-117.
    As I will use the term, an object is a mereological sum of some things just in case those things compose it simply in virtue of existing. In the first half of this paper, I argue that there are no sums. The key premise for this conclusion relies on a constraint on what, in certain cases, it takes for something to ground, or metaphysically explain, something else. In the second half, I argue that in light of my argument against (...)
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  20. Sider, the inheritance of intrinsicality, and theories of composition.Cody Gilmore - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):177-197.
    I defend coincidentalism (the view that some pluralities have more than one mereological fusion) and restricted composition (the view that some pluralities lack mereological fusions) against recent arguments due to Theodore Sider.
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  21. Restricted composition.Ned Markosian - 2008 - In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary debates in metaphysics. Malden, MA: Blackwell. pp. 341--63.
    Let’s begin with a simple example. Consider two quarks: one near the tip of your nose, the other near the center of Alpha Centauri. Here is a question about these two subatomic particles: Is there an object that has these two quarks as its parts and that has no other parts? According to one view of the matter (a view that is surprisingly endorsed by a great many contemporary philosophers), the answer to this question is Yes. But I think it (...)
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  22. The Universe among Other Things.Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Ratio 19 (1):107–120.
    Peter Simons has argued that the expression ‘the universe’ is not a genuine singular term: it can name neither a single, completely encompassing individual, nor a collection of individuals. (It is, rather, a semantically plural term standing equally for every existing object.) I offer reasons for resisting Simons’s arguments on both scores.
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  23. Extension and Self-Connection.Ben Blumson & Manikaran Singh - 2021 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 30 (3):435-59.
    If two self-connected individuals are connected, it follows in classical extensional mereotopology that the sum of those individuals is self-connected too. Since mainland Europe and mainland Asia, for example, are both self-connected and connected to each other, mainland Eurasia is also self-connected. In contrast, in non-extensional mereotopologies, two individuals may have more than one sum, in which case it does not follow from their being self-connected and connected that the sum of those individuals is self-connected too. Nevertheless, one would still (...)
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  24. The Vagueness Argument Against Abstract Artifacts.Daniel Z. Korman - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):57-71.
    Words, languages, symphonies, fictional characters, games, and recipes are plausibly abstract artifacts— entities that have no spatial location and that are deliberately brought into existence as a result of creative acts. Many accept that composition is unrestricted: for every plurality of material objects, there is a material object that is the sum of those objects. These two views may seem entirely unrelated. I will argue that the most influential argument against restricted composition—the vagueness argument—doubles as an argument that there can (...)
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  25. Mereological Nihilism and Theoretical Unification.Andrew Brenner - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (4):318-337.
    Mereological nihilism (henceforth just "nihilism") is the thesis that composition never occurs. Nihilism has often been defended on the basis of its theoretical simplicity, including its ontological simplicity and its ideological simplicity (roughly, nihilism's ability to do without primitive mereological predicates). In this paper I defend nihilism on the basis of the theoretical unification conferred by nihilism, which is, roughly, nihilism's capacity to allow us to take fewer phenomena as brute and inexplicable. This represents a respect in which (...)
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  26. Mereological nihilism and the special arrangement question.Andrew Brenner - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1295-1314.
    Mereological nihilism is the thesis that composite objects—objects with proper parts—do not exist. Nihilists generally paraphrase talk of composite objects F into talk of there being “xs arranged F-wise” . Recently several philosophers have argued that nihilism is defective insofar as nihilists are either unable to say what they mean by such phrases as “there are xs arranged F-wise,” or that nihilists are unable to employ such phrases without incurring significant costs, perhaps even undermining one of the chief motivations (...)
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  27. Mereological Nihilism and Puzzles about Material Objects.Bradley Rettler - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):842-868.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that no objects have proper parts. Despite how counter‐intuitive it is, it is taken quite seriously, largely because it solves a number of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects – or so its proponents claim. In this article, I show that for every puzzle that mereological nihilism solves, there is a similar puzzle that (a) it doesn’t solve, and (b) every other solution to the original puzzle does solve. Since the solutions to (...)
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  28. Mereology and ideology.Andrew Brenner - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7431-7448.
    Mereological nihilism is the thesis that composition never occurs. Sider has defended nihilism on the basis of its relative ideological simplicity. In this paper I develop the argument from ideological simplicity, and defend it from some recent objections. Along the way I discuss the best way to formulate nihilism, what it means for a theory to exhibit lesser or greater degrees of ideological simplicity, the relationship between the parthood relation and the identity relation, and the notion that we should (...)
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  29. Mereological Nihilism and Personal Ontology.Andrew Brenner - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268).
    Mereological nihilists hold that composition never occurs, so that nothing is ever a proper part of anything else. Substance dualists generally hold that we are each identical with an immaterial soul. In this paper, I argue that every popular objection to substance dualism has a parallel objection to composition. This thesis has some interesting implications. First, many of those who reject composition, but accept substance dualism, or who reject substance dualism and accept composition, have some explaining to do. Secondly, (...)
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  30. Unity, Mereology and Connectivity.Farid Masrour - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):509-520.
    The goal of this paper is to raise a few questions about Bayne s mereological account of the unity of consciousness. In Section 1, I raise a few clarificatory questions about the account and the thesis that consciousness is necessarily unified. In Sections 2 and 3, I offer an alternative view of unity of consciousness and contrast it with Bayne's view. I call this view the connectivity account. These sections prepare the ground for the main question of this article: (...)
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  31. Why Mereological Essentialism Applies to Mereological Aggregates.James Porter Moreland - 2023 - Metaphysica 24 (2):339-357.
    This article’s purpose is to defend the depiction of ordinary-sized physical objects as mereological aggregates (MAs), to clarify what the ontology of an MA is, and to show why mereological essentialism (ME) applies to MAs that seem to be ubiquitous if we are to adopt what Frank Jackson calls “Serious Metaphysics” and refuse to broaden our ontology beyond what is (allegedly) bequeathed to us by physics and chemistry. To accomplish this goal, first, I clarify certain background issues that (...)
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  32. Mereology in Aristotle's Assertoric Syllogistic.Justin Vlasits - 2019 - History and Philosophy of Logic 40 (1):1-11.
    How does Aristotle think about sentences like ‘Every x is y’ in the Prior Analytics? A recently popular answer conceives of these sentences as expressing a mereological relationship between x and y: the sentence is true just in case x is, in some sense, a part of y. I argue that the motivations for this interpretation have so far not been compelling. I provide a new justification for the mereological interpretation. First, I prove a very general algebraic soundness (...)
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  33. Mereological Sums and Singular Terms.Kathrin Koslicki - 2014 - In Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 209-235.
    The relative merits of standard mereology have received quite a bit of attention in recent years from metaphysicians concerned with the part/whole properties of material objects. A question that has not been pursued to the same degree, however, is what sort of semantic repercussions a commitment to mereological sums in the standard sense might have in particular on the predicted behavior of singular terms and our practices of using such terms to refer to objects. The apparent mismatch between our (...)
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  34. Biological-mereological coincidence.Judith K. Crane - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (2):309-325.
    This paper presents and defends an account of the coincidence of biological organisms with mereological sums of their material components. That is, an organism and the sum of its material components are distinct material objects existing in the same place at the same time. Instead of relying on historical or modal differences to show how such coincident entities are distinct, this paper argues that there is a class of physiological properties of biological organisms that their coincident mereological sums (...)
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  35. Mereology.Ben Blumson - 2021 - Archive of Formal Proofs.
    The interactive theorem prover Isabelle/HOL is used to verify elementary theorems of classical extensional mereology.
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  36. Mereological nihilism: quantum atomism and the impossibility of material constitution.Jeffrey Grupp - 2006 - Axiomathes 16 (3):245-386.
    Mereological nihilism is the philosophical position that there are no items that have parts. If there are no items with parts then the only items that exist are partless fundamental particles, such as the true atoms (also called philosophical atoms) theorized to exist by some ancient philosophers, some contemporary physicists, and some contemporary philosophers. With several novel arguments I show that mereological nihilism is the correct theory of reality. I will also discuss strong similarities that mereological nihilism (...)
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  37. The Mereological Foundation of Megethology.Massimiliano Carrara & Enrico Martino - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (2):227-235.
    In Mathematics is megethology. Philosophia Mathematica, 1, 3–23) David K. Lewis proposes a structuralist reconstruction of classical set theory based on mereology. In order to formulate suitable hypotheses about the size of the universe of individuals without the help of set-theoretical notions, he uses the device of Boolos’ plural quantification for treating second order logic without commitment to set-theoretical entities. In this paper we show how, assuming the existence of a pairing function on atoms, as the unique assumption non expressed (...)
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  38. The Mereological Problem of Entanglement.Paul M. Näger - manuscript
    It is well-known that the entangled quantum state of a composite object cannot be reduced to the states of its parts. This quantum holism provides a peculiar challenge to formulate an appropriate mereological model: When a system is in an entangled state, which objects are there on the micro and macro level, and which of the objects carries which properties? This paper chooses a modeling approach to answer these questions: It proceeds from a systematic overview of consistent mereological (...)
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  39. Against Mereological Panentheism.Oliver D. Crisp - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (2):23-41.
    In this paper I offer an argument against one important version of panentheism, that is, mereological panentheism. Although panentheism has proven difficult to define, I provide a working definition of the view, and proceed to argue that given this way of thinking about the doctrine, mereological accounts of panentheism have serious theological drawbacks. I then explore some of these theological drawbacks. In a concluding section I give some reasons for thinking that the classical theistic alternative to panentheism is (...)
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  40. Heyting Mereology as a Framework for Spatial Reasoning.Thomas Mormann - 2013 - Axiomathes 23 (1):137- 164.
    In this paper it is shown that Heyting and Co-Heyting mereological systems provide a convenient conceptual framework for spatial reasoning, in which spatial concepts such as connectedness, interior parts, (exterior) contact, and boundary can be defined in a natural and intuitively appealing way. This fact refutes the wide-spread contention that mereology cannot deal with the more advanced aspects of spatial reasoning and therefore has to be enhanced by further non-mereological concepts to overcome its congenital limitations. The allegedly unmereological (...)
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  41. On Mereology and Metricality.Zee R. Perry - 2024 - Philosophers' Imprint 23.
    This article motivates and develops a reductive account of the structure of certain physical quantities in terms of their mereology. That is, I argue that quantitative relations like "longer than" or "3.6-times the volume of" can be analyzed in terms of necessary constraints those quantities put on the mereological structure of their instances. The resulting account, I argue, is able to capture the intuition that these quantitative relations are intrinsic to the physical systems they’re called upon to describe and (...)
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  42. Dispositions, Mereology and Panpsychism: The Case for Phenomenal Properties.Simone Gozzano - 2023 - In Christopher J. Austin, Anna Marmodoro & Andrea Roselli (eds.), Powers, Parts, and Wholes. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 227 - 242.
    My interest in this chapter is to investigate this crossroad as applied to mental properties, considered powers. In particular, I scrutinize the possibility of taking the phenomenal property of feeling pain as a complex power or disposition. This possibility comes in handy in discussing panpsychism, the view that the ultimate elements of reality are phenomenal properties, which would ground physical properties as well.
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  43.  53
    Mereological Models of Spacetime Emergence.J. Pohlmann - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass.
    Recent work in quantum gravity has prompted a re-evaluation of the fundamental nature of spacetime. Spacetime is potentially emergent from non-spatiotemporal entities posited by a theory of quantum gravity. Recent efforts have sought to interpret the relationship between spacetime and the fundamental entities through a mereological framework. These frameworks propose that spacetime can be conceived as either having non-spatiotemporal entities as its constituents or being a constituent part of a non-spatiotemporal structure. I present a roadmap for those interested in (...)
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  44. ‘Identity’ as a mereological term.Jeroen Smid - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2367-2385.
    The mereological predicate ‘is part of’ can be used to define the predicate ‘is identical with’. I argue that this entails that mereological theories can be ideologically simpler than nihilistic theories that do not use the notion of parthood—contrary to what has been argued by Ted Sider. Moreover, if one accepts an extensional mereology, there are good philosophical reasons apart from ideological simplicity to give a mereological definition of identity.
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  45. Mereology and Identity.Massimiliano Carrara & Giorgio Lando - 2021 - Synthese:4205-4227.
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  46. Thin Mereological Sums, Abstraction, and Interpretational Modalities.Giorgio Lando - 2023 - Theoria 89 (3):1-18.
    Some tools introduced by Linnebo to show that mathematical entities are thin objects can also be applied to non-mathematical entities, which have been thought to be thin as well for a variety of reasons. In this paper, I discuss some difficulties and opportunities concerning the application of abstraction and interpretational modalities to mereological sums. In particular, I show that on one hand some prima facie attractive candidates for the role of an explanatory plural abstraction principle for mereological sums (...)
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  47. Two Mereological Arguments Against the Possibility of an Omniscient Being.Joshua T. Spencer - 2006 - Philo 9 (1):62-72.
    In this paper I present two new arguments against the possibility of an omniscient being. My new arguments invoke considerations of cardinality and resemble several arguments originally presented by Patrick Grim. Like Grim, I give reasons to believe that there must be more objects in the universe than there are beliefs. However, my arguments will rely on certain mereological claims, namely that Classical Extensional Mereology is necessarily true of the part-whole relation. My first argument is an instance of a (...)
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  48. The nonclassical mereology of olfactory experiences.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2019 - Synthese 198 (1):867-886.
    While there is a growing philosophical interest in analysing olfactory experiences, the mereological structure of odours considered in respect of how they are perceptually experienced has not yet been extensively investigated. The paper argues that odours are perceptually experienced as having a mereological structure, but this structure is significantly different from the spatial mereological structure of visually experienced objects. Most importantly, in the case of the olfactory part-structure, the classical weak supplementation principle is not satisfied. This thesis (...)
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  49. A Mereological Reading of the Dictum de Omni et Nullo.Phil Corkum - forthcoming - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.
    When Aristotle introduces the perfect moods, he refers back to the dictum de omni et nullo, a semantic condition for universal affirmations and negations. There recently has been renewed interest in the question whether the dictum validates the assertoric syllogistic. I rehearse evidence that Aristotle provides a mereological semantics for universal affirmations and negations, and note that this semantics entails a nonstandard reading of the dictum, under which the dictum, in the presence of a minimal logical apparatus, indeed validates (...)
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  50. Mereology without weak supplementation.Donald Smith - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):505 – 511.
    According to the Weak Supplementation Principle (WSP)—a widely received principle of mereology—an object with a proper part, p , has another distinct proper part that doesn't overlap p . In a recent article in this journal, Nikk Effingham and Jon Robson employ WSP in an objection to endurantism. I defend endurantism in a way that bears on mereology in general. First, I argue that denying WSP can be motivated apart from the truth of endurantism. I then go on to offer (...)
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