Single Idea 14962

[catalogued under 9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / a. Scattered objects]

Full Idea

If a branch falls from a tree, the tree does not thereby become scattered, and a human body does not become scattered upon loss of a bit of fingernail.

Gist of Idea

Bodies don't becomes scattered by losing small or minor parts


Richard Cartwright (Scattered Objects [1974], p.184)

Book Reference

Cartwright,Richard: 'Philosophical Essays' [MIT 1987], p.184

A Reaction

This sort of observation draws me towards essentialism. A body is scattered if you divide it in a major way, but not if you separate off a minor part. It isn't just a matter of size, or even function. We have broader idea of what is essential.