Defending Coincidence: An Explanation of a Sort
Moyer (Mark)
Source: Unpublished draft, 2003
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Can different material objects have the same parts at all times at which they exist?
  2. This paper defends the possibility of such coincidence against the main argument to the contrary, the ‘Indiscernibility Argument’. According to this argument, the modal1 supervenes2 on the non-modal3, since, after all, the non-modal4 is what grounds the modal5; hence, it would be utterly mysterious if two objects sharing all parts had different essential properties.
  3. The weakness of the argument becomes apparent once we understand how the modal6 is grounded in the non-modal7. By extending the ideas of combinatorialism so that we recombine haecceities8 as well as fundamental properties, we see how modal9 properties can be grounded in non-modal10 properties in a way that allows coincidence and yet also explains why there are differences in the modal11 properties of coinciding objects.
  4. Despite this, some de re modal12 facts are not grounded in the non-modal13 but instead are brute. However, although we cannot explain why a particular object has the basic modal14 properties it has, we can explain a closely related, semantic fact and, comparing the facts we can’t explain to more familiar brute facts, we understand why there should be no better explanation.
  5. As a result, we can see how coincidence is, after all, possible.


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