Biological-mereological coincidence

Philosophical Studies 161 (2):309-325 (2012)
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Abstract

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 do not have. The account answers some of the most pressing objections to coincidence, for example the so-called grounding problem , that material coincidence seems to require that coinciding objects have modal differences that do not supervene on any other properties.

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Judith Crane
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Citations of this work

Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Ordinary Objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Two Approaches to Natural Kinds.Judith K. Crane - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12177-12198.
Mind the Gap: The Space between Coincidence and Colocation.Jeroen Smid - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 51 (1):57-73.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
Material Beings.Peter van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Parts: A Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Material Beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Cornell University Press.

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