more from Katherine Hawley

Single Idea 16200

[catalogued under 9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / b. Cat and its tail]

Full Idea

Many philosophers believe that sortal predicates are spatially maximal - for example, that no cat can be a proper spatial part of a cat.

Gist of Idea

Are sortals spatially maximal - so no cat part is allowed to be a cat?


Katherine Hawley (How Things Persist [2001], 2.1)

Book Reference

Hawley,Katherine: 'How Things Persist' [OUP 2004], p.40

A Reaction

This sounds reasonable until you cut the tail off a cat. Presumably what remains is a cat? So presumably that smaller part was always a cat? Only essentialism can make sense of this! You can't just invent rules for sortals.