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  1. Composition.Daniel Z. Korman & Chad Carmichael - 2016 - Oxford Handbooks Online.
    When some objects are the parts of another object, they compose that object and that object is composite. This article is intended as an introduction to the central questions about composition and a highly selective overview of various answers to those questions. In §1, we review some formal features of parthood that are important for understanding the nature of composition. In §2, we consider some answers to the question: which pluralities of objects together compose something? As we will see, the (...)
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  • Locke on Individuation and the Corpuscular Basis of Kinds.Dan Kaufman - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3):499–534.
    In a well-known paper, Reginald Jackson expresses a sentiment not uncommon among readers of Locke: “Among the merits of Locke’s Essay…not even the friendliest critic would number consistency.”2 This unflattering opinion of Locke is reiterated by Maurice Mandelbaum: “Under no circumstances can [Locke] be counted among the clearest and most consistent of philosophers.”3 The now familiar story is that there are innumerable inconsistencies and internal problems contained in Locke’s Essay. In fact, it is probably safe to say that there is (...)
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  • Global Supervenience and Dependence.Karen Bennett - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):501-529.
    Two versions of global supervenience have recently been distinguished from each other. I introduce a third version, which is more likely what people had in mind all along. However, I argue that one of the three versions is equivalent to strong supervenience in every sense that matters, and that neither of the other two versions counts as a genuine determination relation. I conclude that global supervenience has little metaphysically distinctive value.
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  • Franz Brentano: An Invitation to Philosophy.Uriah Kriegel - manuscript
    If you’re a professional philosopher, you’ve probably heard of Brentano as the thinker who reintroduced the notion of intentionality into modern philosophy. If you’re not a professional philosopher, you’ve probably never heard of him. But Brentano’s philosophical work expands far beyond the theme of intentionality and constitutes in fact a complete philosophical system, with well worked out and strikingly original theories in every major area of philosophy. The purpose of this article is to provide a panoramic yet digestible overview of (...)
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  • Philosophical Methodology in Modal Epistemology.Dana Goswick - 2012 - Essays in Philosophy 13 (1):11.
    This paper examines the legitimacy of two common methodologies within philosophy: thought experiments and conceptual analysis. In particular, I examine the uses to which these two methodologies have been put within modal epistemology. I argue that, although both methods can be used to reveal conditional essentialist claims , neither can be used to reveal the de re essentialists claims they’re often taken to reveal.
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  • Material Constitution.Stephan Blatti - 2012 - In Robert Barnard & Neil Manson (eds.), Continuum Companion to Metaphysics. Continuum Publishing. pp. 149-69.
    This paper reviews four leading strategies for addressing the problem of material constitution, along with some of the prominent objections faced by each approach. Sections include (1) "The Orthodox View: Coincident Objects," (2) "Dominant Kinds," (3) "Nihilism," (4) "Revising the Logic of Identity," and (5) "Future Research." Also included is an annotated bibliography.
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  • Essence and the Grounding Problem.Mark Jago - 2016 - In Reality Making. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 99-120.
    Pluralists about coincident entities say that distinct entities may be spatially coincident throughout their entire existence. The most pressing issue they face is the grounding problem. They say that coincident entities may differ in their persistence conditions and in the sortals they fall under. But how can they differ in these ways, given that they share all their microphysical properties? What grounds those differences, if not their microphysical properties? Do those differences depend only on the way we conceptualise those objects? (...)
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  • Mental Fictionalism: A Foothold Amid Deflationary Collapse.Meg Wallace - forthcoming - In Tamas Demeter, Adam Toon & T. Parent (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations.
    This paper examines three meta-ontological deflationary approaches – frameworks, verbal disputes, and metalinguistic negotiation – and applies them to ontological debates in philosophy of mind. An intriguing consequence of this application is that it reveals a deep, systematic problem for mental deflationism – specifically, a problem of cognitive collapse. This is surprising; cognitive collapse problems are usually reserved for serious ontological views such as eliminative materialism and mental fictionalism, not deflationism. This paper investigates why deflationism about the mental is particularly (...)
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  • Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness.K. Akiba (ed.) - 2014 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
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  • Essence and Necessity.Andreas Ditter - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-38.
    What is the relation between metaphysical necessity and essence? This paper defends the view that the relation is one of identity: metaphysical necessity is a special case of essence. My argument consists in showing that the best joint theory of essence and metaphysical necessity is one in which metaphysical necessity is just a special case of essence. The argument is made against the backdrop of a novel, higher-order logic of essence (HLE), whose core features are introduced in the first part (...)
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  • Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness.Ken Akiba & Ali Abasnezhad (eds.) - 2014 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    This unique anthology of new, contributed essays offers a range of perspectives on various aspects of ontic vagueness. It seeks to answer core questions pertaining to onticism, the view that vagueness exists in the world itself. The questions to be addressed include whether vague objects must have vague identity, and whether ontic vagueness has a distinctive logic, one that is not shared by semantic or epistemic vagueness. The essays in this volume explain the motivations behind onticism, such as the plausibility (...)
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  • Self-Determination in Plenitude.Irem Kurtsal - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-22.
    On a plenitudinous ontology, in every filled region of spacetime, there is at least one object that’s ‘exactly then and there’; one per each modal profile that the matter in the region satisfies. One of the strongest arguments for plenitude, the “argument from anthropocentrism”, puts pressure on us to accept that members of different communities correctly self-identify under different subject concepts. I explore this consequence and offer an account of selves on which self-determination is both socially and individually variant; we (...)
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  • Castles Built on Clouds: Vague Identity and Vague Objects.Benjamin L. Curtis & Harold W. Noonan - 2014 - In Ken Akiba & Ali Abasnezhad (eds.), Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness. Springer. pp. 305-326.
    Can identity itself be vague? Can there be vague objects? Does a positive answer to either question entail a positive answer to the other? In this paper we answer these questions as follows: No, No, and Yes. First, we discuss Evans’s famous 1978 argument and argue that the main lesson that it imparts is that identity itself cannot be vague. We defend the argument from objections and endorse this conclusion. We acknowledge, however, that the argument does not by itself establish (...)
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  • Physicalism and the Sortalist Conception of Objects.Jonah Goldwater - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5497-5519.
    The central claim of this paper is that the Aristotelian metaphysics of objects is incompatible with physicalism. This includes the contemporary variant of Aristotelianism I call ‘sortalism’. The core reason is that an object’s identity as an instance of a (natural) kind, as well as its consequent persistence conditions, is neither physically fundamental nor determined by what is physically fundamental. The argument for the latter appeals to what is commonly known as ‘the grounding problem’; in particular I argue that the (...)
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  • Substantivity in Feminist Metaphysics.Theodore Sider - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (10):2467-2478.
    Elizabeth Barnes and Mari Mikkola raise the important question of whether certain recent approaches to metaphysics exclude feminist metaphysics. My own approach does not, or so I argue. I do define “substantive” questions in terms of fundamentality; and the concepts of feminist metaphysics are nonfundamental. But my definition does not count a question as being nonsubstantive simply because it involves nonfundamental concepts. Questions about the causal structure of the world, including the causal structure of the social world, are generally substantive (...)
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  • How to Be a Spacetime Substantivalist.Trevor Teitel - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy.
    The consensus among spacetime substantivalists is to respond to Leibniz's classic shift arguments, and their contemporary incarnation in the form of the hole argument, by pruning the allegedly problematic metaphysical possibilities that generate these arguments. Some substantivalists do so by directly appealing to a modal doctrine akin to anti-haecceitism. Other substantivalists do so by appealing to an underlying hyperintensional doctrine that implies some such modal doctrine. My first aim in this paper is to pose a challenge for all extant forms (...)
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  • Fusion.Katherine Hawley - manuscript
    ‘Fusion’ is a philosophical term of art, with a variety of uses. First, it is often a synonym for ‘sum’. In this sense, a is a fusion of b, c and d iff b, c and d are parts of a, and every part of a shares a part with b, c or d. So a cat is a fusion of the cells which compose it, and the same cat is a fusion of the molecules which compose it. Relatedly, ‘fusion’ (...)
     
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  • What is the Grounding Problem?Louis deRosset - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (2):173-197.
    A philosophical standard in the debates concerning material constitution is the case of a statue and a lump of clay, Goliath and Lumpl, respectively. According to the story, Lumpl and Goliath are coincident throughout their respective careers. Monists hold that they are identical; pluralists that they are distinct. This paper is concerned with a particular objection to pluralism, the Grounding Problem. The objection is roughly that the pluralist faces a legitimate explanatory demand to explain various differences she alleges between Lumpl (...)
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  • Endurantist and Perdurantist Accounts of Persistence.Maureen Donnelly - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):27 - 51.
    In this paper, I focus on three issues intertwined in current debates between endurantists and perdurantists—(i) the dimension of persisting objects, (ii) whether persisting objects have timeless, or only time-relative, parts, and (iii) whether persisting objects have proper temporal parts. I argue that one standard endurantist position on the first issue is compatible with standard perdurantist positions on parthood and temporal parts. I further argue that different accounts of persistence depend on the claims about objects' dimensions and not on the (...)
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  • Construction Area (No Hard Hat Required).Karen Bennett - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):79-104.
    A variety of relations widely invoked by philosophers—composition, constitution, realization, micro-basing, emergence, and many others—are species of what I call ‘building relations’. I argue that they are conceptually intertwined, articulate what it takes for a relation to count as a building relation, and argue that—contra appearances—it is an open possibility that these relations are all determinates of a common determinable, or even that there is really only one building relation.
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  • Yet Another Paper on the Supervenience Argument Against Coincident Entities.Theodore Sider - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):613-624.
    Statues and lumps of clay are said by some to coincide - to be numerically distinct despite being made up of the same parts. They are said to be numerically distinct because they differ modally. Coincident objects would be non-modally indiscernible, and thus appear to violate the supervenience of modal properties on nonmodal properties. But coincidence and supervenience are in fact consistent if the most fundamental modal features are not properties, but are rather relations that are symmetric as between coincident (...)
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  • Constitution and Similarity.Kathrin Koslicki - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 117 (3):327-363.
    Whenever an object constitutes, makes up or composes another object, the objects in question share a striking number of properties. This paper is addressed to the question of what might account for the intimate relation and striking similarity between constitutionally related objects. According to my account, the similarities between constitutionally related objects are captured at least in part by means of a principle akin to that of strong supervenience. My paper addresses two main issues. First, I propose independently plausible principles (...)
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  • The Hard Question for Hylomorphism.Dana Goswick - 2018 - Metaphysics 1 (1):52-62.
    The view that ordinary objects are composites of form and matter ("hylomorphism") can be contrasted with the more common view that ordinary objects are composed of only material parts ("matter only"). On a matter-only view the hard question is modal: which modal profile does that (statue-shaped) object have? Does it have the modal profile of a statue, a lump, a mere aggregate? On a hylomorphic view the hard question is ontological: which objects exist? Does a statue (matter-m + statue-form), a (...)
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  • Able to Do the Impossible.Jack Spencer - 2017 - Mind 126 (502):466-497.
    According to a widely held principle—the poss-ability principle—an agent, S, is able to only if it is metaphysically possible for S to. I argue against the poss-ability principle by developing a novel class of counterexamples. I then argue that the consequences of rejecting the poss-ability principle are interesting and far-reaching.
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  • Common Sense and Relativistic Supercoincidence.Yuri Balashov - forthcoming - In Scientific Challenges to Common Sense Philosophy. London, UK:
    Debates about material coincidence tend to start with common-sense intuitions but quickly leave them behind and lead to highly problematic conclusions. Reconciling the latter with common sense is the next stage in the process, which often requires revision of some of the initial beliefs and has been used to adjudicate many rather abstract and technical proposals in the metaphysics of composition and persistence, ranging from natural (constitutionalism) to radical (nihilism). -/- I have no disagreement with this overall strategy: theories do (...)
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  • Sortals and Criteria of Identity.Brian Epstein - 2012 - Analysis 72 (3):474-478.
    In a recent article, Harold Noonan argues that application conditions and criteria of identity are not distinct from one another. This seems to threaten the standard approach to distinguishing sortals from adjectival terms. I propose that his observation, while correct, does not have this consequence. I present a simple scheme for distinguishing sortals from adjectival terms. I also propose an amended version of the standard canonical form of criteria of identity.
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  • Ontological Individualism Reconsidered.Brian Epstein - 2009 - Synthese 166 (1):187-213.
    The thesis of methodological individualism in social science is commonly divided into two different claims—explanatory individualism and ontological individualism. Ontological individualism is the thesis that facts about individuals exhaustively determine social facts. Initially taken to be a claim about the identity of groups with sets of individuals or their properties, ontological individualism has more recently been understood as a global supervenience claim. While explanatory individualism has remained controversial, ontological individualism thus understood is almost universally accepted. In this paper I argue (...)
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  • Truthmaking for Modal Skeptics.Jamin Asay - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):303-312.
    Standard truthmaker theory has generally assumed a realist account of de re modality and essences. But there are reasons to be skeptical about such a view, and for considering antirealist alternatives. Can truthmaker theory survive in the face of such skepticism? I argue that it can, but that only certain antirealist perspectives on de re modality are acceptable for truthmaker theory. In particular, either a quasi-realist or conventionalist account of de re modality is needed to provide the best account of (...)
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  • How Counterpart Theory Saves Nonreductive Physicalism.Justin Tiehen - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):139-174.
    Nonreductive physicalism faces serious problems regarding causal exclusion, causal heterogeneity, and the nature of realization. In this paper I advance solutions to each of those problems. The proposed solutions all depend crucially on embracing modal counterpart theory. Hence, the paper’s thesis: counterpart theory saves nonreductive physicalism. I take as my inspiration the view that mental tokens are constituted by physical tokens in the same way statues are constituted by lumps of clay. I break from other philosophers who have pursued this (...)
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  • Does Universalism Entail Extensionalism?Aaron Cotnoir - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):121-132.
    Does a commitment to mereological universalism automatically bring along a commitment to the controversial doctrine of mereological extensionalism—the view that objects with the same proper parts are identical? A recent argument suggests the answer is ‘yes’. This paper attempts a systematic response to the argument, considering nearly every available line of reply. It argues that only one approach—the mutual parts view—can yield a viable mereology where universalism does not entail extensionalism.
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  • Critical Notice: Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism, by Derk Pereboom.Derek Ball - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (1):118-129.
    Critical notice of Derk Pereboom's "Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism". Discusses Pereboom's idea that conscious states might be misrepresented in introspection, and his idea that instantiations of mental properties are composed of instantiations of physical properties.
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  • In Defense of Essentialism.L. A. Paul - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):333–372.
    If an object has a property essentially, it has that property in every possible world according to which it exists.2 If an object has a property accidentally, it does not have that property in every possible world according to which it exists. Claims about an object’s essential or accidental properties are de re modal claims, and essential and accidental properties are de re modal properties. Take an object’s modal profile to specify its essential properties and the range of its accidental (...)
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  • Modal Realisms.Kris McDaniel - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):303–331.
    Possibilism—the view that there are non-actual, merely possible entities—is a surprisingly resilient doctrine.1 One particularly hardy strand of possibilism—the modal realism championed by David Lewis—continues to attract both foes who seek to demonstrate its falsity (or at least stare its advocates into apostasy) and friends who hope to defend modal realism (or, when necessary, modify modal realism so as to avoid problematic objections).2 Although I am neither a foe nor friend of modal realism (but some of my best friends are!), (...)
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  • Essentialism and the Nonidentity Problem.Shamik Dasgupta - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (3):540-570.
  • The Paradox of Decrease and Dependent Parts.Alex Moran - 2018 - Ratio 31 (3):273-284.
    This paper is concerned with the paradox of decrease. Its aim is to defend the answer to this puzzle that was propounded by its originator, namely, the Stoic philosopher Chrysippus. The main trouble with this answer to the paradox is that it has the seemingly problematic implication that a material thing could perish due merely to extrinsic change. It follows that in order to defend Chrysippus’ answer to the paradox, one has to explain how it could be that Theon is (...)
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  • Contrast and Constitution.Peter van Elswyk - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):158-174.
    The pluralist about material constitution maintains that a lump of clay is not identical with the statue it constitutes. Although pluralism strikes many as extravagant by requiring distinct things to coincide, it can be defended with a simple argument. The monist is less well off. Typically, she has to argue indirectly for her view by finding problems with the pluralist's extravagance. This paper offers a direct argument for monism that illustrates how monism about material constitution is rooted in commonsense as (...)
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  • Coincidence and Form.Kit Fine - 2008 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 82 (1):101-118.
    How can a statue and a piece of alloy be coincident at any time at which they exist and yet differ in their modal properties? I argue that this question demands an answer and that the only plausible answer is one that posits a difference in the form of the two objects.
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  • Coincidence as Overlap.L. Paul - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):623–659.
    I discuss puzzles involving coinciding material objects (such as statues and their constitutive lumps of clay) and propose solutions.
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  • Toward a Conceptualist Solution of the Grounding Problem.Iris Einheuser - 2011 - Noûs 45 (2):300-314.
    This paper defends a conceptualist answer to the question how objects come by their modal properties. It isolates the controversial metaphysical assumptions that are needed to get ontological conceptualism off the ground, outlines the conceptualist answer to the question and shows that conceptualism is not in as bad a shape as some critics have maintained.
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  • The Zombies Among Us.Eric T. Olson - 2018 - Noûs 52 (1):216-226.
    Philosophers disagree about whether there could be “zombies”: beings physically identical to normal human people but lacking consciousness. Establishing their possibility would refute physicalism. But it is seldom noted that the popular “constitution view” of human people implies that our bodies actually are zombies. This would contradict several widely held views in the philosophy of mind.
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  • Sums and Grounding.Noël B. Saenz - 2018 - 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 sums, (...)
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  • Having a Part Twice Over.Karen Bennett - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):83 - 103.
    I argue that it is intuitive and useful to think about composition in the light of the familiar functionalist distinction between role and occupant. This involves factoring the standard notion of parthood into two related notions: being a parthood slot and occupying a parthood slot. One thing is part of another just in case it fills one of that thing's parthood slots. This move opens room to rethink mereology in various ways, and, in particular, to see the mereological structure of (...)
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  • Bodily Thought and the Corpse Problem.Steinvör Thöll Árnadóttir - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (4):575-592.
    : A key consideration in favour of animalism—the thesis that persons like you and me are identical to the animals we walk around with—is that it avoids a too many thinkers problem that arises for non-animalist positions. The problem is that it seems that any person-constituting animal would itself be able to think, but if wherever there is a thinking person there is a thinking animal distinct from it then there are at least two thinkers wherever there is a thinking (...)
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  • Parts and Wholes.Kris McDaniel - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (5):412-425.
    Philosophical questions concerning parts and wholes have received a tremendous amount of the attention of contemporary analytic metaphysicians. In what follows, I discuss some of the central questions. The questions to be discussed are: how general is parthood? Are there different kinds of parthood or ways to be a part? Can two things be composed of the same parts? When does composition occur? Can material objects gain or lose parts? What is the logical form of the parthood relation enjoyed by (...)
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  • Kind‐Dependent Grounding.Alex Moran - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):359-390.
    Are grounding claims fully general in character? If an object a is F in virtue of being G, does it follow that anything that’s G is F for that reason? According to the thesis of Weak Formality, the answer here is ‘yes’. In this paper, however, I argue that there is philosophical utility in rejecting this thesis. More exactly, I argue that two currently unresolved problems in contemporary metaphysics can be dealt with if we hold that there can be cases (...)
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  • II—Exclusive Individuals.Bill Brewer - 2015 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 89 (1):125-142.
    I agree with a great deal in Helen Steward's paper. I am especially sympathetic to her suggestion that we gain metaphysical illumination by considering various ways in which we arrive at ideas of certain kinds of individuals by abstraction from those of more basic kinds. My aim is to pursue that suggestion by exploring the proposal that a grounding node in this form of abstraction may be characterized by Exclusivity in spatial location. Steward claims that we arrive at our ideas (...)
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  • Structure-Making.Kris McDaniel - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):251-274.
    Friends of states of affairs and structural universals appeal to a relation, structure-making, that is allegedly a kind of composition relation: structure-making ?builds? facts out of particulars and universals, and ?builds? structural universals out of unstructured universals. D. M. Armstrong, an eminent champion of structures, endorses two interesting theses concerning composition. First, that structure-making is a composition relation. Second, that it is not the only (fundamental) composition relation: Armstrong also believes in a mode of composition that he calls mereological, and (...)
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  • Replies to Dorr, Fine, and Hirsch.Theodore Sider - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):733-754.
    This is a symposium on my book, Writing the Book of the World, containing a precis from me, criticisms from Dorr, Fine, and Hirsch, and replies by me.
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  • Mereological Nominalism.Nikk Effingham - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):160-185.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Metaphysical Arguments Against Ordinary Objects.Amie Thomasson - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (224):340 - 359.
    Several prominent attacks on the objects of 'folk ontology' argue that these would be omitted from a scientific ontology, or would be 'rivals' of scientific objects for their claims to be efficacious, occupy space, be composed of parts, or possess a range of other properties. I examine causal redundancy and overdetermination arguments, 'nothing over and above' appeals, and arguments based on problems with collocation and with property additivity. I argue that these share a common problem: applying conjunctive principles to cases (...)
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