|Is a Thing Just the Sum of Its Parts|
|Source: Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, New Series, Vol. 86 (1985 - 1986), pp. 213-233|
|Paper - Abstract|
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A sortally1 individuated composite thing (say, Lake Cayuga) is a trans-world continuant, which exists at a number of times, and in a number of different possible worlds, and is composed of different parts at different times and in different worlds. An aggregate is a trans-world continuant of another sort, which is composed of exactly the same parts at all of the times, and in all of the worlds in which it exists. Hence a sortally2 individuated composite physical object (like Lake Cayuga) is not the same as the aggregate of its parts. Because arguments of this kind are found so often in the literature, I shall call the above argument the standard argument, and its conclusion the standard view (on the relation of sortally3 individuated continuants to aggregates). The standard argument relies on a conception of sortally4 individuated composita as genuine trans-world continuants, and I shall try to show that it is better not to think of sortally5 individuated composita in this way. If we do not, I shall argue, the case against identifying physical objects with the aggregate of their parts looks quite weak.
From "Noonan (Harold), Ed. - Identity".
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