Composition As Identity
Lewis (David)
Source: Lewis - Parts of Classes, Section 3.6
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. So I claim that mereology is legitimate, unproblematic, fully and precisely understood. All suspicions against it are mistaken. But I claim more still. Mereology is ontologically innocent.
  2. To be sure, if we accept mereology, we are committed to the existence of all manner of mereological fusions. But given a prior commitment to cats, say, a commitment to cat-fusions is not a further commitment. The fusion is nothing over and above the cats that compose it. It just is them. They just are it. Take them together or take them separately, the cats are the same portion of Reality either way. Commit yourself to their existence all together or one at a time, it's the same commitment either way. If you draw up an inventory of Reality according to your scheme of things, it would be double counting to list the cats and then also list their fusion. In general, if you are already committed to some things, you incur no further commitment when you affirm the existence of their fusion. The new committment is redundant, given the old one.

Comment:

Slightly annotated hard copy filed in "Various - Papers on Identity Boxes: Vol 09 (L)".

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