Using mereological principles to support metaphysics

Philosophical Quarterly 61 (243):225-246 (2011)
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Mereological principles are sometimes used to support general claims about the structure and arrangement of objects in the world. I focus initially on one such mereological principle, the weak supplementation principle (WSP). It is not obvious that (WSP) is prescribed by ordinary thinking about parthood. Further, (WSP) is not needed for a fairly strong formal characterization of the part–whole relation. For these reasons, some arguments relying on (WSP) might be countered by simply denying (WSP). I argue more generally that there is no reason to assume that one core mereology functions as a common basis for all plausible metaphysical theories



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Maureen Donnelly
State University of New York, Buffalo

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