Composition and Identities
Lechthaler (Manuel)
Source: PhD Thesis, University of Otago, 28 February 2017
Paper - Abstract

Paper StatisticsColour-ConventionsDisclaimer


Author’s Abstract

  1. Composition as Identity is the view that an object is identical to its parts taken collectively. I elaborate and defend a theory based on this idea: composition is a kind of identity.
  2. Since this claim is best presented within a plural logic, I develop a formal system of plural logic. The principles of this system differ from the standard views on plural logic because one of my central claims is that identity is a relation which comes in a variety of forms and only one of them obeys substitution unrestrictedly.
  3. I justify this departure from orthodoxy by showing some problems which result from attempts to avoid inconsistencies within plural logic by means of postulating other non-singular terms besides plural terms. Thereby, some of the main criticisms raised against Composition as Identity can be addressed.
  4. Further, I argue that the way objects are arranged is relevant with respect to the question which object they compose, i.e. to which object they are identical to.
  5. This helps to meet a second group of arguments against Composition as Identity. These arguments aim to show that identifying composite objects on the basis of the identity of their parts entails, contrary to our common sense view, that rearranging the parts of a composite object does not leave us with a different object.
  6. Moreover, it allows us to carve out the intensional aspects of Composition as Identity and to defend mereological universalism, the claim that any objects compose some object. Much of the pressure put on the latter view can be avoided by distinguishing the question whether some objects compose an object from the question what object they compose.
  7. Eventually, I conclude that Composition as Identity is a coherent and plausible position, as long as we take identity to be a more complex relation than commonly assumed.

Comment:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



© Theo Todman, June 2007 - May 2019. Please address any comments on this page to theo@theotodman.com. File output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this Page Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page Return to Theo Todman's Home Page