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  1. Mereological monism and Humean supervenience.Andrea Borghini & Giorgio Lando - 2016 - Synthese 197 (11):4745-4765.
    According to Lewis, mereology is the general and exhaustive theory of ontological composition, and every contingent feature of the world supervenes upon some fundamental properties instantiated by minimal entities. A profound analogy can be drawn between these two basic contentions of his metaphysics, namely that both can be intended as a denial of emergentism. In this essay, we study the relationships between Humean supervenience and two philosophical spin-offs of mereological monism: the possibility of gunk and the thesis of composition as (...)
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  • Any Sum of Parts Which Are Water is Water.Henry Laycock - 2011 - Humana Mente 4 (19):41-55.
    Mereological entities often seem to violate ‘ordinary’ ideas of what a concrete object can be like, behaving more like sets than like Aristotelian substances. However, the mereological notions of ‘part’, ‘composition’, and ‘sum’ or ‘fusion’ appear to find concrete realisation in the actual semantics of mass nouns. Quine notes that ‘any sum of parts which are water is water’; and the wine from a single barrel can be distributed around the globe without affecting its identity. Is there here, as some (...)
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  • Object.Bradley Rettler & Andrew M. Bailey - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1.
    One might well wonder—is there a category under which every thing falls? Offering an informative account of such a category is no easy task. For nothing would distinguish things that fall under it from those that don’t—there being, after all, none of the latter. It seems hard, then, to say much about any fully general category; and it would appear to do no carving or categorizing or dividing at all. Nonetheless there are candidates for such a fully general office, including (...)
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  • The Logic of Mass Expressions.David Nicolas - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Object.Henry Laycock - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In The Principles of Mathematics, Russell writes: Whatever may be an object of thought, or may occur in any true or false proposition, or can be counted as one, I call a term. This, then, is the widest word in the philosophical vocabulary. I shall use as synonymous with it the words unit, individual and entity. The first two emphasize the fact that every term is one, while the third is derived from the fact that every term has being, i.e. (...)
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  • Natural Language Ontology (SEP Entry).Moltmann Friederike - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This is my entry on natural language ontology that is forthcoming in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Composition as General Identity.Aaron J. Cotnoir - 2013 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 294-322.
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  • Plurals and Mereology.Salvatore Florio & David Nicolas - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (3):415-445.
    In linguistics, the dominant approach to the semantics of plurals appeals to mereology. However, this approach has received strong criticisms from philosophical logicians who subscribe to an alternative framework based on plural logic. In the first part of the article, we offer a precise characterization of the mereological approach and the semantic background in which the debate can be meaningfully reconstructed. In the second part, we deal with the criticisms and assess their logical, linguistic, and philosophical significance. We identify four (...)
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  • The Right Stuff.Ned Markosian - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):665-687.
    This paper argues for including stuff in one's ontology. The distinction between things and stuff is first clarified, and then three different ontologies of the physical universe are spelled out: a pure thing ontology, a pure stuff ontology, and a mixed ontology of both things and stuff. Eleven different reasons for including stuff in one's ontology are given. Then five objections to positing stuff are considered and rejected.
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  • Against Universal Mereological Composition.Crawford Elder - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (4):433-454.
    This paper opposes universal mereological composition (UMC). Sider defends it: unless UMC were true, he says, it could be indeterminate how many objects there are in the world. I argue that there is no general connection between how widely composition occurs and how many objects there are in the world. Sider fails to support UMC. I further argue that we should disbelieve in UMC objects. Existing objections against them say that they are radically unlike Aristotelian substances. True, but there is (...)
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  • Actions and Activity.Jennifer Hornsby - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):233-245.
    Contemporary literature in philosophy of action seems to be divided overthe place of action in the natural causal world. I think that a disagreementabout ontology underlies the division. I argue here that human action isproperly understood only by reference to a category of process or activity,where this is not a category of particulars.
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  • To Exist and to Count: A Note on the Minimalist View.Francesco Berto & Massimiliano Carrara - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (3):343-356.
    Sometimes mereologists have problems with counting. We often don't want to count the parts of maximally connected objects as full-fledged objects themselves, and we don't want to count discontinuous objects as parts of further, full-fledged objects. But whatever one takes "full-fledged object" to mean, the axioms and theorems of classical, extensional mereology commit us to the existence both of parts and of wholes – all on a par, included in the domain of quantification – and this makes mereology look counterintuitive (...)
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  • A Return to the Analogy of Being.Kris Mcdaniel - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):688 - 717.
    Recently, I’ve championed the doctrine that fundamentally different sorts of things exist in fundamentally different ways.1 On this view, what it is for an entity to be can differ across ontological categories.2 Although historically this doctrine was very popular, and several important challenges to this doctrine have been dealt with, I suspect that contemporary metaphysicians will continue to treat this view with suspicion until it is made clearer when one is warranted in positing different modes of existence.3 I address this (...)
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  • Biological Species Are Natural Kinds.Crawford L. Elder - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):339-362.
    This paper argues that typical biological species are natural kinds, on a familiar realist understanding of natural kinds—classes of individuals across which certain properties cluster together, in virtue of the causal workings of the world. But the clustering is far from exceptionless. Virtually no properties, or property-combinations, characterize every last member of a typical species—unless they can also appear outside the species. This motivates some to hold that what ties together the members of a species is the ability to interbreed, (...)
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  • Books Received. [REVIEW]Ralf Busse - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (3):455-466.
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  • More Problems for MaxCon: Contingent Particularity and Stuff-Thing Coincidence.Mark Steen - 2011 - Acta Analytica 26 (2):135-154.
    Ned Markosian argues (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76:213-228, 1998a; Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82:332-340, 2004a, The Monist 87:405-428, 2004b) that simples are ‘maximally continuous’ entities. This leads him to conclude that there could be non-particular ‘stuff’ in addition to things. I first show how an ensuing debate on this issue McDaniel (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81(2):265-275, 2003); Markosian (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82:332-340, 2004a) ended in deadlock. I attempt to break the deadlock. Markosian’s view entails stuff-thing coincidence, which I show (...)
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  • Nominalism, Contingency, and Natural Structure.M. Joshua Mozersky - 2019 - Synthese (6):1-16.
    Ian Hacking’s wide-ranging and penetrating analysis of science contains two well-developed lines of thought. The first emphasizes the contingent history of our inquiries into nature, focusing on the various ways in which our concepts and styles of reasoning evolve through time, how their current application is constrained by the conditions under which they arose, and how they might have evolved differently. The second is the mistrust of the idea that the world contains mind-independent natural kinds, preferring nominalism to ‘inherent structurism’. (...)
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  • The Use of Sets (and Other Extensional Entities) in the Analysis of Hylomorphically Complex Objects.Simon Evnine - 2018 - Metaphysics 1 (1):97-109.
    Hylomorphically complex objects are things that change their parts or matter or that might have, or have had, different parts or matter. Often ontologists analyze such objects in terms of sets (or functions, understood set-theoretically) or other extensional entities such as mereological fusions or quantities of matter. I urge two reasons for being wary of any such analyses. First, being extensional, such things as sets are ill-suited to capture the characteristic modal and temporal flexibility of hylomorphically complex objects. Secondly, sets (...)
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  • L'étoffe du sensible [Sensible Stuffs].Olivier Massin - 2014 - In J.-M. Chevalier & B. Gaultier (eds.), Connaître, Questions d'épistémologie contemporaine. Paris, France: Ithaque. pp. 201-230.
    The proper sensible criterion of sensory individuation holds that senses are individuated by the special kind of sensibles on which they exclusively bear about (colors for sight, sounds for hearing, etc.). H. P. Grice objected to the proper sensibles criterion that it cannot account for the phenomenal difference between feeling and seeing shapes or other common sensibles. That paper advances a novel answer to Grice's objection. Admittedly, the upholder of the proper sensible criterion must bind the proper sensibles –i.e. colors– (...)
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  • Ontology - Bibliographical Guide.Raul Corazzon - unknown
    Table of Formal and Descriptivists Ontologists (PDF - from Bernard Bolzano to present time) Ontologists of the 19th and 20th Centuries (a selection of critical judgments about some of the greatest philosophers of the recent past) Living Ontologists (a list of authors with an interest in ontology, with synthetic bibliographies).
     
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  • To Exist and to Count: A Note on the Minimalist View.Massimiliano Carrara Francesco Berto - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (3):343-356.
    Sometimes mereologists have problems with counting. We often don't want to count the parts of maximally connected objects as full‐fledged objects themselves, and we don't want to count discontinuous objects as parts of further, full‐fledged objects. But whatever one takes “full‐fledged object” to mean, the axioms and theorems of classical, extensional mereology commit us to the existence both of parts and of wholes – all on a par, included in the domain of quantification – and this makes mereology look counterintuitive (...)
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  • Against Universal Mereological Composition.Crawford Elder - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (4):433-454.
    This paper opposes universal mereological composition. Sider defends it: unless UMC were true, he says, it could be indeterminate how many objects there are in the world. I argue that there is no general connection between how widely composition occurs and how many objects there are in the world. Sider fails to support UMC. I further argue that we should disbelieve in UMC objects. Existing objections against them say that they are radically unlike Aristotelian substances. True, but there is a (...)
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  • The Ontology of Products.Massimiliano Vignolo - 2010 - Metaphysica 11 (1):1-16.
    We speak of products in two senses: in one, we speak of types of products, in the other we speak of the particular objects that are instances of those types. I argue that types of products have the same ontological status as that of material stuffs, like water and gold, which have a non-particular level of existence. I also argue that the relationship between types of products and their instances is logically similar to the relation of constitution, which holds between, (...)
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  • The Intelligibility of Metaphysical Structure.Peter Finocchiaro - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):581-606.
    Theories that posit metaphysical structure are able to do much work in philosophy. Some, however, find the notion of ‘metaphysical structure’ unintelligible. In this paper, I argue that their charge of unintelligibility fails. There is nothing distinctively problematic about the notion. At best, their charge of unintelligibility is a mere reiteration of previous complaints made toward similar notions. In developing their charge, I clarify several important concepts, including primitiveness, intelligibility, and the Armstrong-inspired “ontologism” view of the world. I argue that, (...)
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  • Substance and Time.Paul Needham - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):485-512.
    ‘Water is H 2 O’ is naturally construed as an equivalence. What are the things to which the two predicates ‘is water’ and ‘is H 2 O’ apply? The equivalence presupposes that substance properties are distinguished from phase properties. A substance like water (H 2 O) exhibits various phases (solid, liquid, gas) under appropriate conditions, and a given (say liquid) phase may comprise several substances. What general features distinguish substance from phase properties? I tackle these questions on the basis of (...)
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