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Four Dimensionalism

Philosophical Review 106 (2):197-231 (1997)

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  1. Thoughts, Processive Character and the Stream of Consciousness.Marta Jorba - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (5):730-753.
    This paper explores the relation of thought and the stream of consciousness in the light of an ontological argument raised against cognitive phenomenology views. I argue that the ontological argument relies on a notion of ‘processive character’ that does not stand up to scrutiny and therefore it is insufficient for the argument to go through. I then analyse two more views on what ‘processive character’ means and argue that the process-part account best captures the intuition behind the argument. Following this (...)
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  • The Constitution Relation and Baker’s Account of It.Marta Campdelacreu - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (1):1-19.
    A traditional argument based on Leibniz’s Law concludes that, for example, a statue and the piece of marble of which it is made are two different objects. This is because they have different properties: the statue can survive the loss of some of its parts but the piece of marble cannot. Lynne Rudder Baker adds that the piece of marble constitutes the statue. In this paper I focus on what I think is the most powerful objection to Baker’s account of (...)
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  • Two Theories of Change in Plato’s Timaeus.Takeshi Nakamura - 2022 - Ancient Philosophy Today 4 (1):4-29.
    In Plato’s Timaeus, two different theories – the Receptacle theory and the geometrical particle theory – are presented to explain change in the natural world. In this paper, I argue that there is tension between the two theories. After examining several possible solutions for this tension, I conclude that Plato does not present it as something ready to be solved within the dialogue but, rather, as something to be understood in a way that maintains both theories. Finally, I also argue (...)
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  • The Nature of Appearance in Kant’s Transcendentalism: A Seman- Tico-Cognitive Analysis.Sergey L. Katrechko - 2018 - Kantian Journal 37 (3):41-55.
  • Fission theories of Original Guilt.Nikk Effingham - 2022 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 92 (1):15-30.
    One reading of the Doctrine of Original Sin has it that we are guilty of a sin committed by Adam, thousands of years ago. Fission theorists account for this by saying that Adam fissioned after he sinned and that each of us is one of his ‘fission successors’. This paper recaps the current discussion in the literature about this theory, arguing that the proposed version does not work for reasons already raised by Rea and Hudson. I then introduce a new (...)
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  • Explaining Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing.Andrew Brenner - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (4):1831-1847.
    It is sometimes supposed that, in principle, we cannot offer an explanation for why there is something rather than nothing. I argue that this supposition is a mistake, and stems from a needlessly myopic conception of the form explanations can legitimately take. After making this more general point, I proceed to offer a speculative suggestion regarding one sort of explanation which can in principle serve as an answer to the question “why is there something rather than nothing?” The suggestion is (...)
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  • Is There Change on the B-Theory of Time?Luca Banfi - 2021 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 17 (1):(B1)5-28.
    The purpose of this paper is to explore the connection between change and the B-theory of time, sometimes also called the Scientific view of time, according to which reality is a four-dimensional spacetime manifold, where past, present and future things equally exist, and the present time and non-present times are metaphysically the same. I argue in favour of a novel response to the much-vexed question of whether there is change on the B-theory or not. In fact, B-theorists are often said (...)
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  • 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 platonism—and draw (...)
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  • Explanation, Persistence, and Location.Giuliano Torrengo & Valerio Buonomo - 2022 - Theoria 37 (2):137-148.
    According to the “received view” the disagreement between endurantism and perdurantism is ontological and concerns the existence of temporal parts of continuants. In a recent paper, argues that the ontological conception of these theories does not address the crucial point: explaining the way things persist. According to Wasserman, perdurantism is not just the view that things have temporal parts; it is the view that things persist by having temporal parts. Moreover, in the last decade an alternative understanding of the dispute (...)
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  • The Category of Occurrent Continuants.Rowland Stout - 2016 - Mind 125 (497):41-62.
    Arguing first that the best way to understand what a continuant is is as something that primarily has its properties at a time rather than atemporally, the paper then defends the idea that there are occurrent continuants. These are things that were, are, or will be happening—like the ongoing process of someone reading or my writing this paper, for instance. A recently popular philosophical view of process is as something that is referred to with mass nouns and not count nouns. (...)
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  • The Bound State Answer to the Special Composition Question.Claudio Calosi - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (3):486-503.
    This paper provides the first thorough assessment of a physics-based answer, the Bound State Answer, to the Special Composition Question. According to the BSA some objects compose something if they are in a common bound state. The reasons to endorse such an answer, in particular, motivations coming from empirical adequacy and conservativeness, precision, simplicity, and parsimony, are critically addressed. I then go on to compare the BSA to other moderate answers to the SCQ and consider whether objections raised against such (...)
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  • The Limits of Classical Mereology: Mixed Fusions and the Failures of Mereological Hybridism.Joshua Kelleher - 2020 - Dissertation, The University of Queensland
    In this thesis I argue against unrestricted mereological hybridism, the view that there are absolutely no constraints on wholes having parts from many different logical or ontological categories, an exemplar of which I take to be ‘mixed fusions’. These are composite entities which have parts from at least two different categories – the membered (as in classes) and the non-membered (as in individuals). As a result, mixed fusions can also be understood to represent a variety of cross-category summation such as (...)
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  • Real Impossible Worlds : The Bounds of Possibility.Ira Georgia Kiourti - 2010 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    Lewisian Genuine Realism about possible worlds is often deemed unable to accommodate impossible worlds and reap the benefits that these bestow to rival theories. This thesis explores two alternative extensions of GR into the terrain of impossible worlds. It is divided in six chapters. Chapter I outlines Lewis’ theory, the motivations for impossible worlds, and the central problem that such worlds present for GR: How can GR even understand the notion of an impossible world, given Lewis’ reductive theoretical framework? Since (...)
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  • Spatial Experience and Special Relativity.Brian Cutter - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (9):2297-2313.
    In recent work, David Chalmers argues that “Edenic shapes”—roughly, the shape properties phenomenally presented in spatial experience—are not instantiated in our world. His reasons come largely from the theory of Special Relativity. Although Edenic shapes might have been instantiated in a classical Newtonian world, he maintains that they could not be instantiated in a relativistic world like our own. In this essay, I defend realism about Edenic shape, the thesis that Edenic shapes are instantiated in our world, against Chalmers’s challenge (...)
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  • Spacetime and Mereology.Andrew Virel Wake - 2011 - Erkenntnis 74 (1):17-35.
    Unrestricted Composition (UC) is, roughly, the claim that given any objects at all, there is something which those objects compose. (UC) conflicts in an obvious way with common sense. It has as a consequence, for instance, that there is something which has as parts my nose and the moon. One of the more influential arguments for (UC) is Theodore Sider’s version of the Argument from Vagueness. (A version of the Argument from Vagueness was first presented by David Lewis (1986), pp. (...)
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  • Around the Tree: Semantic and Metaphysical Issues Concerning Branching and the Open Future.Fabrice Correia & Andrea Iacona (eds.) - 2013 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    Over the past few years, the tree model of time has been widely employed to deal with issues concerning the semantics of tensed discourse. The thought that has motivated its adoption is that the most plausible way to make sense of indeterminism is to conceive of future possibilities as branches that depart from a common trunk, constituted by the past and the present. However, the thought still needs to be further articulated and defended, and several important questions remain open, such (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 15, Saarbruecken.Ingo Reich (ed.) - 2010 - Saarbrücken: Universitätsverlag des Saarlandes.
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  • Ontologia.Achille C. Varzi - 2005 - Rome: Laterza.
    An introduction to analytic ontology. Part 1 deals with the question, What is ontology?, focusing on (i) the interplay between ontological and broadly metaphysical concerns, and (ii) the difference between material ontology and formal ontology. Part 2 deals with the question, How is ontology done?, focusing on (i) the delicate interplay between ontology and truth-making (or: between meaning and existence), and (ii) the differences between revolutionary vs. hermeneutic, prescriptive vs. descriptive, and absolute vs. relative approaches to ontology. Part 3 surveys (...)
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  • Vagueness: A Guide.Giuseppina Ronzitti (ed.) - 2011 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer Verlag.
    This volume analyzes and studies how vagueness occurs and matters as a specific problem in the context of theories that are primarily about something else.
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  • Einstein Vs. Bergson: An Enduring Quarrel on Time.Alessandra Campo & Simone Gozzano (eds.) - 2021 - De Gruyter.
    This book brings together papers from a conference that took place in the city of L'Aquila, 4–6 April 2019, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the earthquake that struck on 6 April 2009. Philosophers and scientists from diverse fields of research debated the problem that, on 6 April 1922, divided Einstein and Bergson: the nature of time. For Einstein, scientific time is the only time that matters and the only time we can rely on. Bergson, however, believes that scientific time (...)
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  • Homunculi Are People Too! Lewis's Definition of Personhood Debugged.Cody Gilmore - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):54-60.
    David Lewis defends the following "non-circular definition of personhood": "something is a continuant person if and only if it is a maximal R-interrelated aggregate of person-stages. That is: if and only if it is an aggregate of person-stages, each of which is R-related to all the rest (and to itself), and it is a proper part of no other such aggregate." I give a counterexample, involving a person who is a part of another, much larger person, with a separate mental (...)
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  • Counterparts and Compositional Nihilism: A Reply to A. J. Cotnoir.Megan Wallace - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):242-247.
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  • Time, Modality, and the Unbearable Lightness of Being.Akiko M. Frischhut & Alexander Skiles - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):264-273.
    We develop a theory about the metaphysics of time and modality that combines the conceptual resources devised in recent sympathetic work on ontological pluralism (the thesis that there are fundamentally distinct kinds of being) with the thought that what is past, future, and merely possible is less real than what is present and actual (albeit real enough to serve as truthmakers for statements about the past, future, and merely possible). However, we also show that despite being a coherent, distinctive, and (...)
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  • Specialness and Egalitarianism.Giovanni Merlo - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):248-257.
    There are two intuitions about time. The first is that there's something special about the present that objectively differentiates it from the past and the future. Call this intuition Specialness. The second is that the time at which we happen to live is just one among many other times, all of which are ‘on a par’ when it comes to their forming part of reality. Call this other intuition Egalitarianism. Tradition has it that the so-called ‘A-theories of time’ fare well (...)
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  • Actual Time and Possible Change: A Problem for Modal Arguments for Temporal Parts.Michael T. Traynor - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):180-189.
    Sider (2001) and Hawley (2001) argue that, in order to account for the mere possibility of change, temporal parts must be as fine-grained as possible change, and hence as fine-grained as time. However, when dealing with metaphysical possibility, the fine-grainedness of actual time and the fine-grainedness of possible change can come apart. Once this is taken into account, we see that, on certain assumptions about the actual microstructure of time, the modal arguments of Sider and Hawley lead to the problematic (...)
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  • Persistence, Parts, and Presentism.Trenton Merricks - 1999 - Noûs 33 (3):421-438.
  • Mereological Commitments.Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Dialectica 54 (4):283–305.
    We tend to talk about (refer to, quantify over) parts in the same way in which we talk about whole objects. Yet a part is not something to be included in an inventory of the world over and above the whole to which it belongs, and a whole is not something to be included in the inventory over and above its constituent parts. This paper is an attempt to clarify a way of dealing with this tension which may be labeled (...)
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  • The 3d/4d Controversy: A Storm in a Teacup.Storrs McCall & E. J. Lowe - 2006 - Noûs 40 (3):570–578.
  • Coincidence as Overlap.L. A. 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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  • Vague Simples.Neil McKinnon - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):394–397.
  • No Paradox of Multi-Location.Kris McDaniel - 2003 - Analysis 63 (4):309-311.
  • Michael Jubien, Ontology, Modality, and the Fallacy of Reference. [REVIEW]Theodore Sider - 1999 - Noûs 33 (2):284–294.
    Michael Jubien’s Ontology, Modality, and the Fallacy of Reference is an interesting and lively discussion of those three topics. In ontology, Jubien defends, to a first approximation, a Quinean conception: a world of objects that may be arbitrarily sliced or summed. Slicing yields temporal parts; summing yields aggregates, or fusions. Jubien is very unQuinean in his explicit Platonism regarding properties and propositions, but concerns about abstracta are peripheral to much of the argumentation in the book.1 His version of the doctrine (...)
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  • Temporal Parts and Timeless Parthood.Eric T. Olson - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):738–752.
    What is a temporal part? Most accounts explain it in terms of timeless parthood: a thing's having a part without temporal qualification. Some find this hard to understand, and thus find the view that persisting things have temporal parts--fourdimensionalism--unintelligible. T. Sider offers to help by defining temporal parthood in terms of a thing's having a part at a time. I argue that no such account can capture the notion of a temporal part that figures in orthodox four-dimensionalism: temporal parts must (...)
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  • Naming the Stages.Achille C. Varzi - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (4):387–412.
    Standard lore has it that a proper name is a temporally rigid designator. It picks out the same entity at every time at which it picks out an entity at all. If the entity in question is an enduring continuant then we know what this means, though we are also stuck with a host of metaphysical puzzles concerning endurance itself. If the entity in question is a perdurant then the rigidity claim is trivial, though one is left wondering how it (...)
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  • Vagueness, Multiplicity and Parts.Daniel Nolan - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):716–737.
    There’s an argument around from so-called “linguistic theories of vagueness”, plus some relatively uncontroversial considerations, to powerful metaphysical conclusions. David Lewis employs this argument to support the mereological principle of unrestricted composition, and Theodore Sider employs a similar argument not just for unrestricted composition but also for the doctrine of temporal parts. This sort of argument could be generalised, to produce a lot of other less palatable metaphysical conclusions. However, arguments to Lewis’s and Sider’s conclusions on the basis of considerations (...)
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  • The Cornucopia of Formal-Ontological Relations.Barry Smith & Pierre Grenon - 2004 - Dialectica 58 (3):279–296.
    The paper presents a new method for generating typologies of formal-ontological relations. The guiding idea is that formal relations are those sorts of relations which hold between entities which are constituents of distinct ontologies. We provide examples of ontologies (in the spirit of Zemach’s classic “Four Ontologies” of 1970), and show how these can be used to give a rich typology of formal relations in a way which also throws light on the opposition between threeand four-dimensionalism.
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  • Adventures in the Metaontology of Art: Local Descriptivism, Artefacts and Dreamcatchers.Julian Dodd - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1047-1068.
    Descriptivism in the ontology of art is the thesis that the correct ontological proposal for a kind of artwork cannot show the nascent ontological conception of such things embedded in our critical and appreciative practices to be substantially mistaken. Descriptivists believe that the kinds of revisionary art ontological proposals propounded by Nelson Goodman, Gregory Currie, Mark Sagoff, and me are methodologically misconceived. In this paper I examine the case that has been made for a local form of descriptivism in the (...)
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  • Haecceitism for Modal Realists.Sam Cowling - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (3):399-417.
    In this paper, I examine the putative incompatibility of three theses: (1) Haecceitism, according to which some maximal possibilities differ solely in terms of the non-qualitative or de re possibilities they include; (2) Modal correspondence, according to which each maximal possibility is identical with a unique possible world; (3) Counterpart theory, according to which de re modality is analyzed in terms of counterpart relations between individuals. After showing how the modal realism defended by David Lewis resolves this incompatibility by rejecting (...)
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  • Kripkean Counterpart Theory.Murali Ramachandran - 2008 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):89-106.
    David Lewis’s counterpart-theoretic semantics for quantified modal logic is motivated originally by worries about identifying objects across possible worlds; the counterpart relation is grounded more cautiously on comparative similarity. The possibility of contingent identity is an unsought -- and in some eyes, unwelcome -- consequence of this approach. In this paper I motivate a Kripkean counterpart theory by way of defending the prior, pre-theoretical, coherence of contingent directness. Contingent identity follows for free. The theory is Kripkean in that the counterpart (...)
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  • The Stage View and Temporary Intrinsics.Theodore Sider - 2000 - Analysis 60 (1):84 - 88.
    According to four dimensionalism, the material world is divided into momentary stages. In a four-dimensional world, which objects are the ordinary things, the things we normally name and quantify over? Aggregates of stages, according to most four-dimensionalists, but according to stage theorists (or exdurantists), ordinary objects are instead to be identified with the stages themselves. (A temporal counterpart theoretic account of de re temporal predication is then given.) This paper argues that a stage theorist is best positioned to accept David (...)
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  • Intergenerational Rights and the Problem of Cross-Temporal Relations.Aaron M. Griffith - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (4):693-710.
    This paper considers the prospects for a theory of intergenerational rights in light of certain ontologies of time. It is argued that the attempt to attribute rights to future persons or obligations to present persons towards future persons, faces serious difficulties if the existence of the future is denied. The difficulty of attributing rights to non-existent future persons is diagnosed as a particularly intractable version of the ‘problem of cross-temporal relations’ that plagues No-Futurist views like presentism. I develop a version (...)
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  • A Powers Theory of Modality: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Reject Possible Worlds.Jonathan D. Jacobs - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):227-248.
    Possible worlds, concrete or abstract as you like, are irrelevant to the truthmakers for modality—or so I shall argue in this paper. First, I present the neo-Humean picture of modality, and explain why those who accept it deny a common sense view of modality. Second, I present what I take to be the most pressing objection to the neo-Humean account, one that, I argue, applies equally well to any theory that grounds modality in possible worlds. Third, I present an alternative, (...)
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  • Substrata and Properties: From Bare Particulars to Supersubstantivalism?Matteo Morganti - 2011 - Metaphysica 12 (2):183-195.
    An argument to the effect that, under a few reasonable assumptions, the bare particular ontology is best understood in terms of supersubstativalism: objects are identical to regions of space(-time) and properties directly inhere in space(-time) points or region as their bearers.
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  • Building Enduring Objects Out of Spacetime.Cody Gilmore - 2014 - In Claudio Calosi & Pierluigi Graziani (eds.), Mereology and the Sciences: Parts and Wholes in the Contemporary Scientific Context. Springer. pp. 5-34.
    Endurantism, the view that material objects are wholly present at each moment of their careers, is under threat from supersubstantivalism, the view that material objects are identical to spacetime regions. I discuss three compromise positions. They are alike in that they all take material objects to be composed of spacetime points or regions without being identical to any such point or region. They differ in whether they permit multilocation and in whether they generate cases of mereologically coincident entities.
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  • Are Shapes Intrinsic?Bradford Skow - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):111 - 130.
    It is widely believed that shapes are intrinsic properties. But this claim is hard to defend. I survey all known theories of shape properties, and argue that each theory is either incompatible with the claim that shapes are intrinsic, or can be shown to be false.
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  • Why Parthood Might Be a Four Place Relation, and How It Behaves If It Is.Cody Gilmore - 2009 - In Ludger Honnefelder, Benedikt Schick & Edmund Runggaldier (eds.), Unity and Time in Metaphysics. de Gruyter. pp. 83--133.
  • Subjectivity and Temporariness.Giovanni Merlo - 2010 - Dissertation, Oxford University
    Non-reductivists about phenomenal consciousness believe that physical facts are insufficient to ground the existence of phenomenal consciousness. It will be argued that if one is going to be a non-reductivist, then one should not limit oneself to expanding one’s catalogue of the world’s basic features, as recommended in the paradigmatic non-reductivist approach developed by David Chalmers. One should rather take a realist stance towards subjectivity. A realist about subjectivity thinks that at least some of the propositions needed to state how (...)
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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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  • Scope Fallacies and the “Decisive Objection” Against Endurance.Lawrence B. Lombard - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (4):441-452.
    From time to time, the idea that enduring things can change has been challenged. The latest challenge has come in the form of what David Lewis has called a “decisive objection”, which claims to deduce a contradiction from the idea that enduring things change with respect to their temporary intrinsics, when that idea is combined with eternalism. It is my aim in this paper to explain why I think that no argument has yet appeared that deduces a contradiction from a (...)
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  • Borderline Simple or Extremely Simple.Katherine Hawley - 2004 - The Monist 87 (3):385-404.
    In his Material Beings, Peter van Inwagen distinguishes two questions about parthood. What are the conditions necessary and sufficient for some things jointly to compose a whole? What are the conditions necessary and sufficient for a thing to have proper parts? The first of these, the Special Composition Question (SCQ), has been widely discussed, and David Lewis has argued that an important constraint on any answer to the SCQ is that it should not permit borderline cases of composition. This is (...)
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