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The Architecture of MatterGalileo to Kant$
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Thomas Holden

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199263264.001.0001

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Actual Parts and Potential Parts

Actual Parts and Potential Parts

Chapter:
(p.79) 2 Actual Parts and Potential Parts
Source:
The Architecture of Matter
Author(s):

Thomas Holden (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199263264.003.0002

Examines the conflict between the rival metaphysical systems of actual parts and potential parts in early modern philosophy. According to the actual parts system (which foreshadows the ‘doctrine of arbitrary undetached parts’ familiar from current analytic mereology), the parts of material bodies are so many distinct concrete entities. According to the potential parts system, parts are merely potential beings until actualized by division. Despite the historical success of the actual parts system in displacing the received scholastic potential parts view, maintains that the arguments for the rival ontologies are locked in a symmetrical stalemate.

Keywords:   actual parts, arbitrary undetached parts, early modern, mereology, potential partsscholastic

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