Against universal mereological composition

Dialectica 62 (4):433-454 (2008)

Abstract

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 a stronger objection. This is that they are characterized by no properties, and so fail to be like anything – even themselves.

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References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.
Material Beings.Peter van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

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Citations of this work

Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Ordinary Objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Material Constitution.Ryan Wasserman - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Argument From Vagueness.Daniel Z. Korman - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (10):891-901.

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