Single Idea 6129

[catalogued under 9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 5. Composition of an Object]

Full Idea

Lewis says that the parts of a thing are identical with the whole they compose, calling his view 'composition as identity', which is the claim that a physical object is 'nothing over and above its parts'.

Gist of Idea

Lewis affirms 'composition as identity' - that an object is no more than its parts


report of David Lewis (Parts of Classes [1991], p.84-7) by Trenton Merricks - Objects and Persons žI.IV

Book Reference

Merricks,Trenton: 'Objects and Persons' [OUP 2003], p.20

A Reaction

The ontological economy of this view is obviously attractive, but I don't agree with it. You certainly can't say that all identity consists entirely of composition by parts, because the parts need identity to get the view off the ground.