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ObjectsNothing out of the Ordinary$
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Daniel Z. Korman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198732532

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732532.001.0001

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(p.124) 8 Arbitrariness

Daniel Z. Korman

Oxford University Press

Arbitrariness arguments turn on the claim that there is no ontologically significant difference between certain of the objects that conservatives do believe in and certain of the ones they don’t. This chapter shows how conservatives can identify ontologically significant differences in a wide range of cases. It argues that certain arbitrariness arguments can be defused by treating grammatically singular terms like ‘the Supreme Court’ as referentially plural, referring not to a single scattered object, but to nine objects (the nine justices), and shows that others can be defused by holding that the presence of creative intentions can make a difference to which objects exist.

Keywords:   arbitrariness, artifacts, roles, phases, plural reference, Supreme Court, scattered objects, mereological essentialism, transitivity of parthood, creative intentions

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