Essential Properties and Coinciding Objects
Elder (Crawford)
Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 58.2, June 1998, pp. 317-331
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    How can a parcel of matter, or collection of particles, simultaneously compose three different objects, characterized by different modal1 properties? If the statue2 is gouged it still exists, but not exactly that piece of gold which originally occupied the statue3's borders, and the (mass of) gold within that piece can survive dispersal, while the piece cannot. The solution to this "problem of coinciding objects", this paper argues, is that there is, in that space, only the statue4. The properties which the piece and the mass supposedly must have, to go on being, are not properties which anything can have necessarily or essentially. Not even having that origin can be essential. There is no object of which the statue5 is composed, though there are objects (viz., gold atoms) and a kind of stuff (viz., gold) of which it is composed.

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