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Ordinary Objects$
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Amie L. Thomasson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195319910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195319910.001.0001

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 The Special Composition Problem

 The Special Composition Problem

(p.126) Seven. The Special Composition Problem
Ordinary Objects

Amie L. Thomasson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Peter van Inwagen, Terence Horgan, and Matjaž Potrč argue against ordinary inanimate objects on grounds that no view that accepts them can provide a satisfactory answer to the special composition question: the question of when a plurality of things composes some other thing. That question involves the existence question of when there is some thing composed (by other things). If “thing” is used in a sortal or covering sense, however, the argument against ordinary objects does not go through. But if “thing” is used generically in asking the question, then (given the results of chapter 6) this is an ill-formed question to which we can expect no uniform answer. However we understand it, then, the special composition question cannot be used to argue against ordinary objects.

Keywords:   Peter van Inwagen, Terence Horgan, Matjaž Potrč, special composition question, ordinary objects, sortal

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