Towards a Neo‐Aristotelian Mereology

Dialectica 61 (1):127-159 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper provides a detailed examination of Kit Fine’s sizeable contribution to the development of a neo‐Aristotelian alternative to standard mereology; I focus especially on the theory of ‘rigid’ and ‘variable embodiments’, as defended in Fine 1999. Section 2 briefly describes the system I call ‘standard mereology’. Section 3 lays out some of the main principles and consequences of Aristotle’s own mereology, in order to be able to compare Fine’s system with its historical precursor. Section 4 gives an exposition of Fine’s theory of embodiments and goes on to isolate a number of potential concerns to which this account gives rise. In particular, I argue that Fine’s theory threatens to proliferate primitive sui generis relations of parthood and composition, whose characteristics must be stipulatively imposed on them, relative to particular domains; given its ‘superabundance’ of objects, Fine’s system far outstrips the already inflated ontological commitments of standard mereology; and there is a legitimate question as to why we should consider Fine’s primitive and sui generis relations of parthood and composition to be genuinely mereological at all, given their formal profile. These three objections lead me to conclude that we ought to explore other avenues that preserve the highly desirable, hylomorphic, features of Fine’s mereology, while avoiding its methodological and ontological excesses.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,907

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Mereology.Paul R. Daniels - 2016 - Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy.
A General Concept of Being a Part of a Whole.Andrzej Pietruszczak - 2014 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 55 (3):359-381.
The ontological parsimony of mereology.Jeroen Smid - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3253-3271.
Mereology and Location.Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Pieces of mereology.Andrzej Pietruszczak - 2005 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 14 (2):211-234.
Nonclassical Mereology and Its Application to Sets.Peter Forrest - 2002 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 43 (2):79-94.
A Note on the Transitivity of Parthood.Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Applied ontology 1 (2):141-146.
v.William Bynoe - manuscript
Formal Theories of Parthood.Achille C. Varzi - 2014 - In Claudio Calosi & Pierluigi Graziani (eds.), Mereology and the Sciences: Parts and Wholes in the Contemporary Scientific Context. Springer Verlag. pp. 359–370.
Słupecki's Generalized Mereology and Its Flaws.Rafal Urbaniak - 2014 - History and Philosophy of Logic 35 (3):289-300.
Anti‐symmetry and non‐extensional mereology.Aaron Cotnoir - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (239):396-405.
Mereology on Topological and Convergence Spaces.Daniel R. Patten - 2013 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 54 (1):21-31.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
300 (#69,979)

6 months
18 (#152,495)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Kathrin Koslicki
Université de Neuchâtel

Citations of this work

Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Ordinary objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Models for Hylomorphism.Bruno Miguel Jacinto & Aaron Cotnoir - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 48 (5):909-955.
Constitutive essence and partial grounding.Eileen S. Nutting, Ben Caplan & Chris Tillman - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (2):137-161.

View all 21 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Material beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Parts: a study in ontology.Peter M. Simons - 1987 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 58 references / Add more references