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Questions tagged [mereology]

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Arguments in favor of constituent ontology?

What is the reason for thinking that there is such a thing as proper parts and that things like properties are parts of an object. Why believe that things are metaphysically composite, let alone ...
Bob's user avatar
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3 answers
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How can quantum field theory contribute to clarifying the ontological nature of objects, mereologically?

How can physics, particularly Quantum Field Theory (QFT), contribute to clarifying the ontological nature of objects, in light of different mereological positions such as mereological nihilism, ...
Marco Fabbri's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can we distinguish between an object's having trivial and having nontrivial parts?

This distinction, if possible, would lend itself to a reformulation of divine simplicity, as the claim that God has only one nontrivial part, Itself, even though It might be "divided into" ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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0 answers
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Why "Goodness is from the whole cause; evil is from any defect."?

Where does this aphorism originate? Why is it true? Goodness is from the whole cause; evil is from any defect. Bonum est ex integra causa, malum ex quocumque defectu. I've seen some sources say ...
Geremia's user avatar
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2 answers
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Philosophy presupposes the individuality of the Whole?

I thought of a flaw in the very essence of philosophy Philosophy presuppose that the individualisation of the Whole, which is created by language, corresponds with the Whole as it is, and that it is ...
Esmond's user avatar
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Can everything have a vague identity?

For any objects, it is traditionally assumed that that either the objects are identical or distinct, and not both. Vague identity is a view that rejects this absoluteness of identity. Its proponents ...
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8 votes
2 answers
82 views

Would an extremely unified being be able to issue more than one particular command?

Suppose that there is an actus purus, a being that is entirely active, impassible (nothing happens to this being), and which has no proper parts (its only part is itself entirely), not even abstract ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
71 views

Is the bardo forever?

Consciousness as such is - I think - said to be made of vague parts; it has parts that are vague, e.g. the sensation of seeing red. I think this means that borderline cases of my consciousness exist ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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How might Western Metaphysicists respond to the puzzle of King Milinda/Nagasena’s Chariot

Example of the puzzle How might Western Philosophers like Mereologcial Universalists or naturalistic metaphysicians reply to this?
Craigory 's user avatar
12 votes
11 answers
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Resisting a classic Buddhist Argument for Mereological Nihilism

I’ve been getting into mereology and this a classic Buddhist puzzle that he recommended. How can these premises be resisted? A. If wholes exist, then either wholes are identical with their parts or ...
Craigory 's user avatar
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Introductory texts to formal ontology and mereology?

I’m a grad student of Mathematics, doing research in Formal Semantics (a topic in Computational Linguistics) and some of my more tangential reading has made me privy to the existence of formal ...
m. lekk's user avatar
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More about the relations between properties of parts and their wholes?

Hi I'm trying to discover any metaphysical necessities that connect the properties of a whole and the properties of its parts. I know the properties of the whole can be different than the properties ...
r0k1m's user avatar
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1 answer
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Who are some key modern philosophers who have addressed the paradoxes of parts and wholes (mereology)?

I've read Graham Priest's book One (2014). Where he offers a what he calls "gluon" theory of parts and wholes. (These are metaphysical gluons which are not related to gluons from particle ...
Avi C's user avatar
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8 answers
1k views

How does one determine the boundary of an object?

Say we have what we would call an 'object' made of many components, can these 'components' be named objects themselves? In the case do we have an object or many 'objects'? Do we define an object to be ...
Confused's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
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How is the beginning of something determined?

Imagine I have an egg, powder, cocoa, flour, etc and want to make a "cake". I have been told the "cake" doesn't begin at any time because it's just the cocoa, egg, flour, etc in a ...
ActualCry's user avatar
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Is morality possible under mereological nihilism?

My understanding of mereological nihilism is that the only things that truly exist are fundamental particles. There are no humans, no planets, no stars, no animals, no trees, etc. There are only ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
189 views

What does “Objective Tendency” mean as used by Adorno?

I am beginning Minima Moralia and have found the dedication difficult to get through, but it seems like it contains important information. When discussing Hegel’s “relation to the subject,” and his ...
Rylee A.'s user avatar
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To what extent is the notion of "common" of philosophical interest?

The 2021 theme for a french competitive philosophical exam is: "the common". I'm not sure the expression really makes sense in English. In French, it is the adjective "commun" ( ...
Floridus Floridi's user avatar
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2 answers
198 views

How can a soul have parts if it's the unifying principle of the person? (Aquinas)

Context: Aquinas The problem is something like this: for the parts of the human body to be 'one', they must have a form — this form is the principle of the body's unity. But if the soul itself has ...
Cal's user avatar
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0 answers
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Mereology vs Epistemic Primacy

I'm having a very hard time understanding these two concepts and would love a comparison between the two. For context, I am not a philosophy major and am taking a class named philosophy and science.
Mark Baum's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
322 views

Divine simplicity vs. divine aseity

Although the concept of divine simplicity is so poetic that I almost wish I could believe it, as it turns out, I can't believe it. Here's my argument: [Assumption for reductio] The creatrix is a se ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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1 answer
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What are an object's decomposition criteria?

What reasoning, or probably concrete criteria, is behind a definition of what parts an object consists of? Does it depend on desired object behavior? Is there a kind of "carving Object at its joints" ...
Vadim Samokhin's user avatar
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0 answers
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Compositional relations vs definitional relations, always distinct kinds of relations?

Are compositional (mereological) relations always distinct from definitional relations, or can compositional relations be considered definitional relation in some cases? Does this depend on whether we ...
user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
201 views

Do wholes tell us what the parts are?

According to one reading of the atomic hypothesis it is parts that are fundamental and they tell us what wholes are, and in fact, what wholes are possible. For example: A tree is made up of roots, ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
280 views

What is the ontology of points?

This might be broad so let me narrow it. Concerning points and mereology, is it coherent to make points - extentionless entities - compose extended objects? If so, then the idea of "material point ...
Jdog1998's user avatar
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3 answers
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What is it called when the parts can only be understood in relation to the whole, and the whole only in relation to the parts?

I'm thinking about a circular situation where the parts can only be understood in relation to the whole, and the whole in relation to the parts. A hermeneutic circle might be one good example of this, ...
ktm5124's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Can we really attribute property P to an object with multiple parts which differ with respect to P?

So I've got myself into a tangle with properties. I have quite a strong intuition about something, but a few have told me it's wrong. I'm hoping that either (i) my view is less controversial than they ...
Harry Sherwood's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
108 views

Mereology and realism

What do realists say about parts and wholes? Do they never / sometimes / usually / always, claim that the reality of something is a part of it? By that I mean (roughly) e.g.: Real cream is real ...
user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
171 views

Is there a formal, or a rigorous, definition of the 'consists in' relation?

Philosophers often describe one thing as consisting in some other things. However, I've never seen a rigorous definition of the 'consists in' relation. Does such a definition exist?
Hal's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
223 views

Is composition more than the composite parts

Sorry for the somewhat dumb question! Please do see if you can make sense of the latter, and put it in formal or whatever terms. If a chariot is equal to its parts then the chariot is not its "being" ...
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