more from John Heil

Single Idea 18517

[catalogued under 9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts]

Full Idea

A sand dune depends on the individual grains of sand that make it up. In an important sense, however, a line's segments depend on the line rather than it on them.

Gist of Idea

Dunes depend on sand grains, but line segments depend on the whole line


John Heil (The Universe as We Find It [2012], 03.4)

Book Reference

Heil,John: 'The Universe as We Find It' [OUP 2012], p.40

A Reaction

The illustrations are not clear cut. As you cut off segments of the line, you reduce its length. Heil is hoping for something neat here, but I don't think he has quite got. The difficulty of trying to do pure metaphysics!