more from Peter van Inwagen

Single Idea 14230

[catalogued under 9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / a. Parts of objects]

Full Idea

Van Inwagen's claim that nothing has parts causes incredulity. ..But the problem is not with endorsing the sentence 'Some things have parts'; it is with interpreting this sentence by means of singular resources rather than plural ones.

Gist of Idea

We can deny whole objects but accept parts, by referring to them as plurals within things


report of Peter van Inwagen (Material Beings [1990], 7) by David Liggins - Nihilism without Self-Contradiction

Book Reference

'Being: Developments in Contemporary Metaphysics', ed/tr. Le Poidevin,R [CUP 2008], p.190

A Reaction

Van Inwagen notoriously denies the existence of normal physical objects. Liggins shows that modern formal plural quantification gives a better way of presenting his theory, by accepting tables and parts of tables as plurals of basic entities.