Theories of Masses and Problems of Constitution
Zimmerman (Dean)
Source: Philosophical Review, vol. civ (1995), pp. 53–110
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

  1. Concrete mass terms are often preceded by definite and indefinite articles – e.g., "the water in Heraclitus's tub" (where the unstressed "some" functions as the indefinite article for mass terms). What sorts of entities are referred to by such expressions?
  2. A "theory of masses" is an attempt to answer this question by describing the metaphysical status and most general properties of the referents of these terms.
  3. Exploration of alternative theories of masses turns up some radical consequences for the metaphysics of artifacts1, organisms2, and anything else supposed capable of persisting through changes in parts.

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