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To be ontologically parasitic, a thing must exist only in reference to another thing.

For example, in the excellent video "How Many Holes Does a Human Have?", holes are identified as ontologically parasitic. They cannot exist without a thing to reside in. E.g., the holes in a block of Swiss cheese can only exist if that block of Swiss cheese exists. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosphy has a pretty interesting article on this as well.

The Stanford encyclopedia also identifies boundaries as being ontologically parasitic; they of course, cannot exist without two objects to be separated by the boundary itself.

I find this topic fascinating, but I'm struggling to think of more examples of this phenomenon. Can you think of any more examples? Are there any papers or books discussing this concept more in-depth?

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    It depends on one's ontology. Shapes and colors are arguably parasitic as they do not exist apart from what they are shapes and colors of. Thoroughgoing nominalists, like Quine, dismiss all properties and relations as parasitic, see SEP, Relations. Mereological nihilists do the same with composite objects, like tables and chairs. There are no tables, on this view, only "simples arranged tablewise", as van Inwagen put it, see mereological nihilism. – Conifold May 5 '20 at 10:23

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