A General Concept of Being a Part of a Whole

Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 55 (3):359-381 (2014)
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The transitivity of the relation of part to whole is often questioned. But it is among the most basic principles of mereology. In this paper we present a general solution to the problem of transitivity of parthood which may be satisfactory for both its advocates and its opponents. We will show that even without the transitivity of parthood one can define—basic in mereology—the notion of being a mereological sum of some objects. We formulate several proposals of general approaches to the concept of being a part of a whole, none of which contains any existential assumptions. By adding the transitivity of parthood we obtain an axiomatization of “existentially neutral” mereology



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Andrzej Pietruszczak
Nicolaus Copernicus University

Citations of this work

Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Mereology then and now.Rafał Gruszczyński & Achille C. Varzi - 2015 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 24 (4):409–427.
Intuitionistic mereology.Paolo Maffezioli & Achille C. Varzi - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4277-4302.

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References found in this work

Axioms for the part relation.Nicholas Rescher - 1955 - Philosophical Studies 6 (1):8-11.
A Note on the Transitivity of Parthood.Achille C. Varzi - 2006 - Applied ontology 1 (2):141-146.
Pieces of mereology.Andrzej Pietruszczak - 2005 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 14 (2):211-234.
On the transitivity of functional parthood.Laure Vieu - 2006 - Applied ontology 1 (2):147-155.

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