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Ideas of Peter Simons, by Text

[British, fl. 2003, Professor at Leeds University, and at Trinity College, Dublin.]

1987 Parts
Intro p.1 Classical mereology doesn't apply well to the objects around us
Intro p.1 Two standard formalisations of part-whole theory are the Calculus of Individuals, and Mereology
Intro p.1 Classical mereology doesn't handle temporal or modal notions very well
Intro p.1 'Mereological extensionality' says objects with the same parts are identical
Intro p.1 Classical mereology says there are 'sums', for whose existence there is no other evidence
Intro p.2 A 'part' has different meanings for individuals, classes, and masses
Intro p.3 Without extensional mereology two objects can occupy the same position
1.1.02 p.11 Proper or improper part: x < y, 'x is (a) part of y'
1.1.03 p.11 Overlap: two parts overlap iff they have a part in common, expressed as 'x o y'
1.1.04 p.13 Disjoint: two individuals are disjoint iff they do not overlap, written 'x | y'
1.1.05 p.13 Product: the product of two individuals is the sum of all of their overlaps, written 'x y'
1.1.06 p.14 Sum: the sum of individuals is what is overlapped if either of them are, written 'x + y'
1.1.07 p.14 Difference: the difference of individuals is the remainder of an overlap, written 'x - y'
1.1.08 p.15 General sum: the sum of objects satisfying some predicate, written σx(Fx)
1.1.08 p.15 General product: the nucleus of all objects satisfying a predicate, written πx(Fx)
1.1.09 p.15 Universe: the mereological sum of all objects whatever, written 'U'
1.1.1 p.10 The part-relation is transitive and asymmetric (and thus irreflexive)
1.1.10 p.16 Complement: the rest of the Universe apart from some individual, written x-bar
1.1.11 p.16 Atom: an individual with no proper parts, written 'At x'
1.2 p.17 If there are c atoms, this gives 2^c - 1 individuals, so there can't be just 2 or 12 individuals
3.2 p.105 Criticisms of mereology: parts? transitivity? sums? identity? four-dimensional?
3.3 p.119 Does Tibbles remain the same cat when it loses its tail?
3.4 p.125 Fans of process ontology cheat, since river-stages refer to 'rivers'
3.4 p.125 Four dimensional-objects are stranger than most people think
3.4 p.126 Four-dimensional ontology has no change, since that needs an object, and time to pass
3.4 p.127 Relativity has an ontology of things and events, not on space-time diagrams
4.1 p.136 There are real relational changes, as well as bogus 'Cambridge changes'
4.1 n1 p.128 I do not think there is a general identity condition for events
4.1 n4 p.131 I don't believe in processes
4.2 p.137 With activities if you are doing it you've done it, with performances you must finish to have done it
4.2 p.139 Dissective: stuff is dissective if parts of the stuff are always the stuff
4.3 p.143 Some natural languages don't distinguish between singular and plural
4.4 p.146 A 'group' is a collection with a condition which constitutes their being united
4.6 p.154 Mass nouns admit 'much' and 'a little', and resist 'many' and 'few'.
4.6 p.160 Each wheel is part of a car, but the four wheels are not a further part
4.9 p.168 The same members may form two groups
5.2 p.186 To individuate something we must pick it out, but also know its limits of variation
5.2 p.186 Sums are more plausible for pluralities and masses than they are for individuals
5.5 p.201 An entrepreneur and a museum curator would each be happy with their ship at the end
5.5 p.204 The 'best candidate' theories mistakenly assume there is one answer to 'Which is the real ship?'
5.7 p.206 Intermittent objects would be respectable if they occurred in nature, as well as in artefacts
6.1 p.210 Tibbles isn't Tib-plus-tail, because Tibbles can survive its loss, but the sum can't
6.2 p.219 Mixtures disappear if nearly all of the mixture is one ingredient
6.2 p.221 A mixture can have different qualities from its ingredients.
6.3 p.223 Sortal nouns for continuants tell you their continuance- and cessation-conditions
6.4 p.234 Mass terms (unlike plurals) are used with indifference to whether they can exist in units
6.4 p.234 Gold is not its atoms, because the atoms must be all gold, but gold contains neutrons
6.4 p.234 'The wolves' are the matter of 'the pack'; the latter is a group, with different identity conditions
6.4 p.234 We say 'b is part of a', 'b is a part of a', 'b are a part of a', or 'b are parts of a'.
6.4 p.236 Analytic philosophers may prefer formal systems because natural language is such mess
6.5 p.238 Composition is asymmetric and transitive
6.5 p.238 A hand constitutes a fist (when clenched), but a fist is not composed of an augmented hand
7.1 p.257 We must distinguish the de dicto 'must' of propositions from the de re 'must' of essence
7.1 p.261 Objects have their essential properties because of the kind of objects they are
7.3 p.270 The zygote is an essential initial part, for a sexually reproduced organism
7.4 p.271 An essential part of an essential part is an essential part of the whole
7.4 p.271 Original parts are the best candidates for being essential to artefacts
7.6 p.284 One false note doesn't make it a performance of a different work
8.1 p.290 Philosophy is stuck on the Fregean view that an individual is anything with a proper name
8.1 p.291 Sums of things in different categories are found within philosophy.
8.4 p.301 Independent objects can exist apart, and maybe even entirely alone
8.4 p.304 Moments are things like smiles or skids, which are founded on other things
8.5 p.307 A smiling is an event with causes, but the smile is a continuant without causes
8.5 p.308 A wave is maintained by a process, but it isn't a process
8.5 p.308 Moving disturbances are are moments which continuously change their basis
9.2 p.326 Objects like chess games, with gaps in them, are thereby less unified
9.2 p.327 A whole requires some unique relation which binds together all of the parts
9.6 p.350 The wholeness of a melody seems conventional, but of an explosion it seems natural
9.6 p.353 The limits of change for an individual depend on the kind of individual
1994 Particulars in Particular Clothing
p.567 p.60 Internal relations combine some tropes into a nucleus, which bears the non-essential tropes
2003 Events
1.1.2 p.359 Einstein's relativity brought events into ontology, as the terms of a simultaneity relationships
3.2 p.370 Slow and continuous events (like balding or tree-growth) are called 'processes', not 'events'
6.2 p.380 Maybe processes behave like stuff-nouns, and events like count-nouns
2008 Modes of Extension: comment on Fine
p.19 p.19 Any equivalence relation among similar things allows the creation of an abstractum
p.21 p.21 Abstraction is usually seen as producing universals and numbers, but it can do more
2009 Whitehead: process and cosmology
'Speculative' p.188 Metaphysics attempts to give an account of everything, in terms of categories and principles