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The Structure of Objects$
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Kathrin Koslicki

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199539895

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199539895.001.0001

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Ordinary Objects as Mereological Sums

Ordinary Objects as Mereological Sums

(p.23) II Ordinary Objects as Mereological Sums
The Structure of Objects

Kathrin Koslicki (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The thesis that ordinary material objects are mereological sums in the standard sense has been remarkably popular among three-dimensionalists and four-dimensionalists alike. This chapter considers two prominent representatives: Judith Jarvis Thomson, for the three-dimensionalist camp; and David Lewis, for the four-dimensionalist camp. The question of why Thomson's temporalized and modalized version of standard mereology still does not adequately capture the characteristics of ordinary material objects is postponed until Chapter 4. The remainder of the chapter considers Lewis' argument in favor of Unrestricted Composition, in particular in the recently expanded version offered in Theodore Sider's, Four-Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time; as well as Lewis' defence of the Composition-as-Identity Thesis in his Parts of Classes. It is argued that the three-dimensionalist need not be swayed by either component of Lewis' view, since they are ultimately founded on question-begging reasoning.

Keywords:   three-dimensionalism, four-dimensionalism, Judith Jarvis Thomson, David Lewis, Unrestricted Composition, Uniqueness of Composition, composition as identity, Theodore Sider

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