The Concept of Unifier in Meinertsen: Metaphysics of States of Affairs

Philosophia:1-6 (forthcoming)

Abstract

Meinertsen’s unifier is discussed on the background of Aristotle’s distinction between four kinds of unity. It argued that Meinertsen combines two different kinds of unity that exclude each other. Only Aristotle’s first meaning of unity seems to be relevant for Meinertsen’s unifier. But this meaning applies literally only to spatial complexes. Its application to states of affairs is problematic because they are mostly not spatial. It is also problematic because unity in the first sense requires an agent. Meinertsen’s unifiers are connectors between particulars and universals in states of affairs. It is objected that connectors in a state of affairs lead to a vicious infinite regress of further states of affairs. Meinertsen argues for his unifiers that states of affairs without them are non-mereological, that is, their existence is not entailed by the existence of their constituents. That does not seem a good argument if it is realised that a complex is not an additional entity and thus not existent if the existence of its parts is sufficient for its existence. It is also pointed out that the meaning of “mereological” involved is not related to the classical mereological calculus.

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