This book has shown that mereology was dominated by a single theory: classical extensional mereology (CEM), present in two logical guises — the Calculus of Individuals and Mereology — each in a number of variants. CEM is algebraically neat: only a complete Boolean algebra is neater. It is also strong. CEM is tenseless, non-modal, upholds extensionality of parts, and upholds the conditioned existence of general sums. The first two characteristics are privative, while the last two are positive. Among approaches at variance with CEM, most retain the first three characteristics and drop the last in favour of some weaker conditional existence principle. In the face of apparent temporal and modal variation, two major strategies have been followed. The first ignores modality and attempts to retain the third characteristic by recourse to an ontology of four-dimensional objects. The second strategy, that of Roderick Chisholm, takes both time and modality seriously, but preserves the third characteristic by putting forward an ontology, opposed to common sense, of modally and temporally invariable objects.
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