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Physical Realization$
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Sydney Shoemaker

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199214396

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214396.001.0001

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Metaphysical Applications

Metaphysical Applications

(p.88) 5 Metaphysical Applications
Physical Realization

Sydney Shoemaker (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that there can be coincident entities, numerically different things, having different persistence conditions, that are composed of exactly the same micro-entities. This means that the higher-order properties of such entities do not supervene on, and are not realized by, the ‘thin’ physical properties that are shared by the coincident entities. They are realized by ‘thick’ physical properties, ones individuated by the persistence conditions of the things that have them. The nature of the causal profiles of properties is argued to be incompatible with the four-dimensionalist, perdurance account of the nature of persisting entities. It is argued that these causal profiles provide a basis for saying what it is for a set of microentities to make up a single object.

Keywords:   coincident entities, persistence conditions, thin properties, thick properties, four-dimensionalism, causal profile

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