Results for 'Mereology'

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  1. Mereological Nihilism and Puzzles about Material Objects.Bradley Rettler - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):842-868.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that no objects have proper parts. Despite how counter‐intuitive it is, it is taken quite seriously, largely because it solves a number of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects – or so its proponents claim. In this article, I show that for every puzzle that mereological nihilism solves, there is a similar puzzle that (a) it doesn’t solve, and (b) every other solution to the original puzzle does solve. Since the solutions to the new (...)
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  2. Folk Mereology is Teleological.David Rose & Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):238-270.
    When do the folk think that mereological composition occurs? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view of composition that fits with folk intuitions, and yet there has been little agreement about what the folk intuit. We aim to put the tools of experimental philosophy to constructive use. Our studies suggest that folk mereology is teleological: people tend to intuit that composition occurs when the result serves a purpose. We thus conclude that metaphysicians should dismiss folk intuitions, as tied into a (...)
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  3. Using mereological principles to support metaphysics.Maureen Donnelly - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (243):225-246.
    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 (...)
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  4. Mereological Nihilism and Theoretical Unification.Andrew Brenner - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (4):318-337.
    Mereological nihilism (henceforth just "nihilism") is the thesis that composition never occurs. Nihilism has often been defended on the basis of its theoretical simplicity, including its ontological simplicity and its ideological simplicity (roughly, nihilism's ability to do without primitive mereological predicates). In this paper I defend nihilism on the basis of the theoretical unification conferred by nihilism, which is, roughly, nihilism's capacity to allow us to take fewer phenomena as brute and inexplicable. This represents a respect in which nihilism enjoys (...)
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  5. Mereology.Achille C. Varzi & A. J. Cotnoir - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Is a whole something more than the sum of its parts? Are there things composed of the same parts? If you divide an object into parts, and divide those parts into smaller parts, will this process ever come to an end? Can something lose parts or gain new ones without ceasing to be the thing it is? Does any multitude of things (including disparate things such as you, this book, and the tail of a cat) compose a whole of some (...)
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  6. Mereological Harmony.Gabriel Uzquiano - 2008 - In Dean W. Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper takes a close look at the thought that mereological relations on material objects mirror, and are mirrored by, parallel mereological relations on their exact locations. This hypothesis is made more precise by means of a battery of principles from which more substantive consequences are derived. Mereological harmony turns out to entail, for example, that atomistic space is an inhospitable environment for material gunk or that Whiteheadian space is not a hospitable environment for unextended material atoms.
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  7. Mereological nihilism and the special arrangement question.Andrew Brenner - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1295-1314.
    Mereological nihilism is the thesis that composite objects—objects with proper parts—do not exist. Nihilists generally paraphrase talk of composite objects F into talk of there being “xs arranged F-wise” . Recently several philosophers have argued that nihilism is defective insofar as nihilists are either unable to say what they mean by such phrases as “there are xs arranged F-wise,” or that nihilists are unable to employ such phrases without incurring significant costs, perhaps even undermining one of the chief motivations for (...)
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  8. A Mereological Reading of the Dictum de Omni et Nullo.Phil Corkum - forthcoming - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.
    When Aristotle introduces the perfect moods, he refers back to the dictum de omni et nullo, a semantic condition for universal affirmations and negations. There recently has been renewed interest in the question whether the dictum validates the assertoric syllogistic. I rehearse evidence that Aristotle provides a mereological semantics for universal affirmations and negations, and note that this semantics entails a nonstandard reading of the dictum, under which the dictum, in the presence of a minimal logical apparatus, indeed validates the (...)
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  9. Mereological Idealism.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2017 - In K. Pearce & T. Goldschmidt (eds.), Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 200-216.
    According to commonsense, some collections of objects compose wholes, and others do not. However, philosophers have found serious difficulties with attempts to preserve this thesis, and especially with attempts to preserve the existence of just those composite objects recognized by commonsense. In this paper, I defend a classical solution to this problem: "it is the mind that maketh each thing to be one" (Berkeley, Siris, sect. 356). According to this view, which I call 'mereological idealism,' it is when a plurality (...)
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  10. Against mereological nihilism.Jonathan Tallant - 2014 - Synthese 191 (7):1511-1527.
    I argue that mereological nihilism fails because it cannot answer the special arrangement question: when is it true that the xs are arranged F-wise? I suggest that the answers given in the literature fail and that the obvious responses that could be made look to undermine the motivations for adopting nihilism in the first place.
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  11.  89
    Is mereology empirical? : composition for fermions.Adam Caulton - 2015 - In Tomasz Bigaj & Christian Wüthrich (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Boston: Brill | Rodopi.
    How best to think about quantum systems under permutation invariance is a question that has received a great deal of attention in the literature. But very little attention has been paid to taking seriously the proposal that permutation invariance reflects a representational redundancy in the formalism. Under such a proposal, it is far from obvious how a constituent quantum system is represented. Consequently, it is also far from obvious how quantum systems compose to form assemblies, i.e. what is the formal (...)
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  12. Mereology and ideology.Andrew Brenner - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7431-7448.
    Mereological nihilism is the thesis that composition never occurs. Sider has defended nihilism on the basis of its relative ideological simplicity. In this paper I develop the argument from ideological simplicity, and defend it from some recent objections. Along the way I discuss the best way to formulate nihilism, what it means for a theory to exhibit lesser or greater degrees of ideological simplicity, the relationship between the parthood relation and the identity relation, and the notion that we should judge (...)
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  13.  30
    Mereology: A Philosophical Introduction.Giorgio Lando - 2017 - London, UK: Bloomsbury.
    Parthood and composition are everywhere. The leg of a table is part of the table, the word "Christmas" is part of the sentence "I wish you a merry Christmas", the 13th century is part of the Middle Ages. The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg compose Benelux, the body of a deer is composed of a huge number of cells, the Middle Ages are composed of the Early Middle Ages, High Middle Ages, and Late Middle Ages. Is there really a general theory (...)
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  14. Mereological vagueness and existential vagueness.Maureen Donnelly - 2009 - Synthese 168 (1):53 - 79.
    It is often assumed that indeterminacy in mereological relations—in particular, indeterminacy in which collections of objects have fusions—leads immediately to indeterminacy in what objects there are in the world. This assumption is generally taken as a reason for rejecting mereological vagueness. The purpose of this paper is to examine the link between mereological vagueness and existential vagueness. I hope to show that the connection between the two forms of vagueness is not nearly so clear-cut as has been supposed.
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  15. Mereological Nihilism and Personal Ontology.Andrew Brenner - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268).
    Mereological nihilists hold that composition never occurs, so that nothing is ever a proper part of anything else. Substance dualists generally hold that we are each identical with an immaterial soul. In this paper, I argue that every popular objection to substance dualism has a parallel objection to composition. This thesis has some interesting implications. First, many of those who reject composition, but accept substance dualism, or who reject substance dualism and accept composition, have some explaining to do. Secondly, one (...)
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  16. Tensed Mereology.Paul Hovda - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (2):241-283.
    Classical mereology (CM) is usually taken to be formulated in a tenseless language, and is therefore associated with a four-dimensionalist metaphysics. This paper presents three ways one might integrate the core idea of flat plenitude, i.e., that every suitable condition or property has exactly one mereological fusion, with a tensed logical setting. All require a revised notion of mereological fusion. The candidates differ over how they conceive parthood to interact with existence in time, which connects to the distinction between (...)
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  17. Dispositions, Mereology and Panpsychism: The Case for Phenomenal Properties.Simone Gozzano - 2023 - In Christopher J. Austin, Anna Marmodoro & Andrea Roselli (eds.), Powers, Parts, and Wholes. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 227 - 242.
    My interest in this chapter is to investigate this crossroad as applied to mental properties, considered powers. In particular, I scrutinize the possibility of taking the phenomenal property of feeling pain as a complex power or disposition. This possibility comes in handy in discussing panpsychism, the view that the ultimate elements of reality are phenomenal properties, which would ground physical properties as well.
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  18. Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An overview of contemporary part-whole theories, with reference to both their axiomatic developments and their philosophical underpinnings.
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  19. The mereology of structural universals.Peter Forrest - 2016 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 25 (3):259-283.
    This paper explores the mereology of structural universals, using the structural richness of a non-classical mereology without unique fusions. The paper focuses on a problem posed by David Lewis, who using the example of methane, and assuming classical mereology, argues against any purely mereological theory of structural universals. The problem is that being a methane molecule would have to contain being a hydrogen atom four times over, but mereology does not have the concept of the same (...)
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  20. Mereological Essentialism, Mereological Conjunctivism, and Identity Through Time.James van Cleve - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):141-156.
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    Mereology and time travel.Carlo Proietti & Jeroen Smid - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2245-2260.
    Core principles of mereology have been questioned by appealing to time travel scenarios. This paper questions the methodology of employing time travel scenarios to argue against mereology. We show some time travel scenarios are structurally equivalent to more standard ones not involving time travel; and that the three main theories about persistence through time can each solve both the time travel scenario as well as the structurally similar classical scenario. Time travel scenarios that are not similar to more (...)
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  22. Mereology and modality.Gabriel Uzquiano - 2014 - In Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. Oxford University Press. pp. 33-56.
    Do mereological fusions have their parts necessarily? None of the axioms of non-modal formulations of classical mereology appear to speak directly to this question. And yet a great many philosophers who take the part-whole relation to be governed by classical mereology seem to assume that they do. In addition to this, many philosophers who make allowance for the part-whole relation to obtain merely contingently between a part and a mereological fusion tend to depart from non-modal formulations of classical (...)
     
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  23. A Mereological Perspective on Husserl’s Account of Time-Consciousness.Di Huang - 2020 - Husserl Studies 36 (2):141-158.
    This paper approaches Husserl’s analysis of time-consciousness from a mereological perspective. Taking as inspiration Bergson’s idea that pure durée is a multiplicity of interpenetration, I will show, from within Husserlian phenomenology, that the absolute flow can indeed be described as a whole of interpenetrating parts. This mereological perspective will inform my re-consideration of the much-discussed issue of Husserl’s self-criticism concerning the schema of content and apprehension. It will also reveal a fundamental similarity between Husserl’s conception of the absolute flow and (...)
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  24. Intuitionistic mereology.Paolo Maffezioli & Achille C. Varzi - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 18):4277-4302.
    Two mereological theories are presented based on a primitive apartness relation along with binary relations of mereological excess and weak excess, respectively. It is shown that both theories are acceptable from the standpoint of constructive reasoning while remaining faithful to the spirit of classical mereology. The two theories are then compared and assessed with regard to their extensional import.
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  25. Mereological Nihilism and the Problem of Emergence.David Michael Cornell - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (1):77-87.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that there are no composite objects; everything in existence is mereologically simple. The view is subject to a number of difficulties, one of which concerns what I call the problem of emergence. Very briefly, the problem is that nihilism seems to be incompatible with emergent properties; it seems to rule out their very possibility. This is a problem because there are good independent reasons to believe that emergent properties are possible. This paper provides a solution (...)
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  26. On Mereology and Metricality.Zee R. Perry - 2023 - Philosophers' Imprint 23.
    This article motivates and develops a reductive account of the structure of certain physical quantities in terms of their mereology. That is, I argue that quantitative relations like "longer than" or "3.6-times the volume of" can be analyzed in terms of necessary constraints those quantities put on the mereological structure of their instances. The resulting account, I argue, is able to capture the intuition that these quantitative relations are intrinsic to the physical systems they’re called upon to describe and (...)
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  27.  48
    Against Mereological Nominalism: Reply to Effingham.Javier Cumpa & Alexandre Declos - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8991-9011.
    Mereological Nominalism, as traditionally understood, states that properties are mereological wholes and that instantiation is mereological. Thus defined, this view faces a number of well-known issues, which make it virtually untenable. Recently, Effingham :160–185, 2020) has offered an alternative account of Mereological Nominalism, which intends to avoid these problems by accepting while rejecting. In this paper, we argue that this theory is not viable for two main reasons. First, it faces a threat of circularity. Second, the various non-mereological accounts of (...)
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  28. Non‐Mereological Universalism.Kristie Miller - 2006 - European Journal of Philosophy 14 (3):404-422.
    In this paper I develop a version of universalism that is non-mereological. Broadly speaking, non-mereological universalism is the thesis that for any arbitrary set of objects and times, there is a persisting object which, at each of those times, will be constituted by those of the objects that exist at that time. I consider two general versions of non-mereological universalism, one which takes basic simples to be enduring objects, and the other which takes simples to be instantaneous objects. This yields (...)
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  29. Biological-mereological coincidence.Judith K. Crane - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (2):309-325.
    This paper presents and defends an account of the coincidence of biological organisms with mereological sums of their material components. That is, an organism and the sum of its material components are distinct material objects existing in the same place at the same time. Instead of relying on historical or modal differences to show how such coincident entities are distinct, this paper argues that there is a class of physiological properties of biological organisms that their coincident mereological sums do not (...)
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  30.  29
    Mereological Harmony 1.Gabriel Uzquiano - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 6.
    This chapter takes a close look at the thought that mereological relations on material objects mirror, and are mirrored by, parallel mereological relations on their exact locations. This hypothesis is made more precise by means of a battery of principles from which more substantive consequences are derived. Mereological harmony turns out to entail, for example, that atomistic space is an inhospitable environment for material gunk or that Whiteheadian space is not a hospitable environment for unextended material atoms.
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  31. Body Mereology.Frederique de Vignemont - 2005 - In G. Knoblich, I. M. Thornton, M. Grosjean & M. Shiffrar (eds.), Human Body Perception From the Inside Out. Oxford University Press.
    The body is made up of parts. This basic assumption is central in most neuroscientific studies of bodily sensation, body representation and motor action. Yet, the assumption has rarely been considered explicitly. We may indeed ask how the body is internally segmented and how body parts can be defined. That is, how can we sketch the mereology of the body? Here we distinguish between a somatosensory mereology and a motor mereology.
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  32.  44
    Reflective Mereology.Bokai Yao - 2023 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 52 (4):1171-1196.
    I propose a new theory of mereology based on a mereological reflection principle. Reflective mereology has natural fusion principles but also refutes certain principles of classical mereology such as Universal Fusion and Fusion Uniqueness. Moreover, reflective mereology avoids Uzquiano’s cardinality problem–the problem that classical mereology tends to clash with set theory when they both quantify over everything. In particular, assuming large cardinals, I construct a model of reflective mereology and second-order ZFCU with Limitation of (...)
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  33. Nonclassical Mereology and Its Application to Sets.Peter Forrest - 2002 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 43 (2):79-94.
    Part One of this paper is a case against classical mereology and for Heyting mereology. This case proceeds by first undermining the appeal of classical mereology and then showing how it fails to cohere with our intuitions about a measure of quantity. Part Two shows how Heyting mereology provides an account of sets and classes without resort to any nonmereological primitive.
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  34. What Is Classical Mereology?Paul Hovda - 2009 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 38 (1):55 - 82.
    Classical mereology is a formal theory of the part-whole relation, essentially involving a notion of mereological fusion, or sum. There are various different definitions of fusion in the literature, and various axiomatizations for classical mereology. Though the equivalence of the definitions of fusion is provable from axiom sets, the definitions are not logically equivalent, and, hence, are not inter-changeable when laying down the axioms. We examine the relations between the main definitions of fusion and correct some technical errors (...)
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  35. Mereological nihilism: quantum atomism and the impossibility of material constitution.Jeffrey Grupp - 2006 - Axiomathes 16 (3):245-386.
    Mereological nihilism is the philosophical position that there are no items that have parts. If there are no items with parts then the only items that exist are partless fundamental particles, such as the true atoms (also called philosophical atoms) theorized to exist by some ancient philosophers, some contemporary physicists, and some contemporary philosophers. With several novel arguments I show that mereological nihilism is the correct theory of reality. I will also discuss strong similarities that mereological nihilism has with empirical (...)
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  36. Against Mereological Panentheism.Oliver D. Crisp - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (2):23-41.
    In this paper I offer an argument against one important version of panentheism, that is, mereological panentheism. Although panentheism has proven difficult to define, I provide a working definition of the view, and proceed to argue that given this way of thinking about the doctrine, mereological accounts of panentheism have serious theological drawbacks. I then explore some of these theological drawbacks. In a concluding section I give some reasons for thinking that the classical theistic alternative to panentheism is preferable, all (...)
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  37.  92
    A Mereological Construal of the Primary Notions Being and Thing in Avicenna and Aquinas.Daniel D. De Haan - 2014 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):335-360.
    This study has two goals: first, to show that Avicenna’s account of being and thing significantly influenced Aquinas’s doctrine of the primary notions; second, to establish the value of adopting a mereological construal of these primary notions in the metaphysics of Avicenna and Aquinas. I begin with an explication of the mereological construal of the primary notions that casts these notions in terms of wholes and parts. Being and thing refer to the same entitative whole and have the same extension, (...)
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  38. Unity, Mereology and Connectivity.Farid Masrour - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):509-520.
    The goal of this paper is to raise a few questions about Bayne s mereological account of the unity of consciousness. In Section 1, I raise a few clarificatory questions about the account and the thesis that consciousness is necessarily unified. In Sections 2 and 3, I offer an alternative view of unity of consciousness and contrast it with Bayne's view. I call this view the connectivity account. These sections prepare the ground for the main question of this article: why (...)
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  39.  53
    Mereology then and now.Rafał Gruszczyński & Achille C. Varzi - 2015 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 24 (4):409–427.
    This paper offers a critical reconstruction of the motivations that led to the development of mereology as we know it today, along with a brief description of some problems that define current research in the field.
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  40.  44
    The Mereology of Events.Robert Allen - 2005 - Sorites.
    I demonstrate here that it is possible for an event to be identical with one of its proper parts, refuting the key premise in Lawrence Lombard's argument for the essentiality of an event's time. I also propose and defend an alternative to his criterion of event identity.
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  41. Mereological Sums and Singular Terms.Kathrin Koslicki - 2014 - In Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. Oxford University Press. pp. 209-235.
    The relative merits of standard mereology have received quite a bit of attention in recent years from metaphysicians concerned with the part/whole properties of material objects. A question that has not been pursued to the same degree, however, is what sort of semantic repercussions a commitment to mereological sums in the standard sense might have in particular on the predicted behavior of singular terms and our practices of using such terms to refer to objects. The apparent mismatch between our (...)
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  42. The Mereological Problem of Entanglement.Paul M. Näger - manuscript
    It is well-known that the entangled quantum state of a composite object cannot be reduced to the states of its parts. This quantum holism provides a peculiar challenge to formulate an appropriate mereological model: When a system is in an entangled state, which objects are there on the micro and macro level, and which of the objects carries which properties? This paper chooses a modeling approach to answer these questions: It proceeds from a systematic overview of consistent mereological models for (...)
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  43. Why Mereological Essentialism Applies to Mereological Aggregates.James Porter Moreland - 2023 - Metaphysica 24 (2):339-357.
    This article’s purpose is to defend the depiction of ordinary-sized physical objects as mereological aggregates (MAs), to clarify what the ontology of an MA is, and to show why mereological essentialism (ME) applies to MAs that seem to be ubiquitous if we are to adopt what Frank Jackson calls “Serious Metaphysics” and refuse to broaden our ontology beyond what is (allegedly) bequeathed to us by physics and chemistry. To accomplish this goal, first, I clarify certain background issues that inform what (...)
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  44. Modality, Mereology and Substance.Paul Needham - 2012 - In Robin Hendry, Andrea Woody & Paul Needham (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Vol 6: Philosophy of Chemistry. pp. 232-254.
    This article surveys the theory of the part relation (mereology), quantified modal logic, and Kripke and Putnam’s notion of natural kinds. It shows how the former two bear on the macroscopic understanding of the notions of substance and phase, which stands in contrast to the microphysical essentialism of Kripke and Putnam, and can be used to explicate Aristotle’s and the Stoic conceptions of mixture. The article concludes with some comments about the relevance of the issues raised by these ancient (...)
     
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  45. Is mereology ontologically innocent?Byeong-Uk Yi - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 93 (2):141-160.
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  46. Social Mereology.Katherine Hawley - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (4):395-411.
    What kind of entity is a committee, a book group or a band? I argue that committees and other such social groups are concrete, composite particulars, having ordinary human beings amongst their parts. So the committee members are literally parts of the committee. This mereological view of social groups was popular several decades ago, but fell out of favour following influential objections from David-Hillel Ruben. But recent years have seen a tidal wave of work in metaphysics, including the metaphysics of (...)
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  47. Mereological monism and Humean supervenience.Andrea Borghini & Giorgio Lando - 2016 - Synthese 197 (11):4745-4765.
    According to Lewis, mereology is the general and exhaustive theory of ontological composition, and every contingent feature of the world supervenes upon some fundamental properties instantiated by minimal entities. A profound analogy can be drawn between these two basic contentions of his metaphysics, namely that both can be intended as a denial of emergentism. In this essay, we study the relationships between Humean supervenience and two philosophical spin-offs of mereological monism: the possibility of gunk and the thesis of composition (...)
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  48. Heyting Mereology as a Framework for Spatial Reasoning.Thomas Mormann - 2013 - Axiomathes 23 (1):137- 164.
    In this paper it is shown that Heyting and Co-Heyting mereological systems provide a convenient conceptual framework for spatial reasoning, in which spatial concepts such as connectedness, interior parts, (exterior) contact, and boundary can be defined in a natural and intuitively appealing way. This fact refutes the wide-spread contention that mereology cannot deal with the more advanced aspects of spatial reasoning and therefore has to be enhanced by further non-mereological concepts to overcome its congenital limitations. The allegedly unmereological concept (...)
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  49. Survivalism, Corruptionism, and Mereology.David S. Oderberg - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (4):1-26.
    Corruptionism is the view that following physical death, the human being ceases to exist but their soul persists in the afterlife. Survivalism holds that both the human being and their soul persist in the afterlife, as distinct entities, with the soul constituting the human. Each position has its defenders, most of whom appeal both to metaphysical considerations and to the authority of St Thomas Aquinas. Corruptionists claim that survivalism violates a basic principle of any plausible mereology, while survivalists tend (...)
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  50. Mereology and Location.Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    A team of leading philosophers presents original work on theories of parthood and location. Topics covered include how we ought to axiomatise our mereology; whether we can reduce mereological relations to identity or to locative relations; whether Mereological Essentialism is true; and what mereology and propositions can tell us about one another.
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