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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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Objects as Structured Wholes

Objects as Structured Wholes

(p.167) VII Objects as Structured Wholes
The Structure of Objects

Kathrin Koslicki (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter demonstrates that a structure-based neo-Aristotelian mereology for ordinary material objects can be defended utilizing a single relation of parthood with relatively straightforward formal properties. A substantive restriction on composition can be derived from a comparatively minimal and metaphysically neutral independently motivated ontology of kinds. The thoroughly mereological conception of composition defended here recommends itself based on Leibniz's Law and the Weak Supplementation Principle. Among its benefits are the following: it yields the Uniqueness of Composition as a derived principle; it contributes to the Problem of Constitution and, possibly, the Grounding Problem; and it clarifies the relation between a whole and both its material and its structural components. Finally, it is demonstrated how, on the approach defended here, wholes can be thought of as both ontologically committing and genuinely unified, despite the apparent Aristotelian regress caused by a never-ending demand for further principles of unity.

Keywords:   neo-Aristotelian mereology, parthood, kinds, form, matter, Leibniz's Law, Weak Supplementation Principle, Uniqueness of Composition, Problem of Constitution, Grounding Problem

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