Almost One, Overlap and Function
Sutton (Catherine S.)
Source: Analysis 75, no. 1 (2015): 45–52
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. In David Lewis’s famous "Lewis (David) - Many, But Almost One", he argues that when objects of the same kind share most of their parts, they can be counted as one. I argue that mereological overlap does not do the trick.
  2. A better candidate is overlap in function. Although mereological overlap often goes hand-in-hand with functional overlap, a functional approach is more accurate in cases in which mereology and function are teased apart.
  3. A functional approach also solves a version of the problem of the many1 (illustrated by the house with and without a garage) that Lewis thought was immune to the Almost-One solution.


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