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IdealismNew Essays in Metaphysics$
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Tyron Goldschmidt and Kenneth L. Pearce

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746973

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198746973.001.0001

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Mereological Idealism

Mereological Idealism

(p.200) 12 Mereological Idealism

Kenneth L. Pearce

Oxford University Press

According to common sense, some but not all collections of objects are unified into larger wholes. For instance, a certain collection of pieces composes a person’s desk, but there is no object composed of that person’s left ear and the Eiffel Tower. Mereological idealism is the view that our conceptualizing activity is responsible for this unification: a collection of objects composes a whole if and only if those objects are co-apprehended by some mind under some concept. This chapter develops this view in detail and defends it against objections. Additionally, the chapter argues that mereological idealism is able to solve certain well-known problems faced by other theories of composition: the vagueness problem, the causal exclusion problem, and the problem of alternative conceptual schemes.

Keywords:   part, whole, mereology, vagueness, causation, concepts

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