Is Parthood Identity?
Calosi (Claudio)
Source: Retrieved from 16/12/18; "Final Version to be published in Synthese"
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction1

  1. According to a well-known, yet controversial metaphysical thesis, Composition is Identity (CAI). Roughly, the view has it that a whole is, strictly and literally, identical to its parts considered collectively.
  2. Recently, Kris McDaniel has articulated and defended a related — and arguably more controversial — thesis, one he calls Parthood is Identity (PI). Roughly the view has it that a whole is, strictly and literally, identical to each of its parts considered individually .
  3. At first sight, the view seems rather implausible. However, McDaniel’s formulation and defense are worthy of a serious discussion. The present paper provides such a discussion.
  4. McDaniel argues that PI
    1. offers an analysis of parthood, in that it explains its logical behavior, and
    2. is able to withstandcrucial objections.
  5. I challenge both of these claims.
    1. First, I argue that what explains the logic of parthood is not PI (§6 and Appendix). This undermines one of the reasons — as a matter of fact, the most significant reason according to McDaniel — to endorse PI in the first place.
    2. Second, I argue that PI faces a formidable objection that McDaniel does not consider. This objection is so forceful as to warrant the rejection of PI. Or so I contend (§7).

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Truncated somewhat arbitrarily.

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