more from Peter van Inwagen

Single Idea 17574

[catalogued under 9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay]

Full Idea

If you can make a (random) gollyswoggle by accident by kneading clay, then you must be causing the generation and corruption of a series of objects of infinitesimal duration. ...We have not augmented the furniture of the world but only rearranged it.

Gist of Idea

If you knead clay you make an infinite series of objects, but they are rearrangements, not creations


Peter van Inwagen (Material Beings [1990], 13)

Book Reference

Inwagen,Peter van: 'Material Beings' [Cornell 1995], p.126

A Reaction

Van Inwagen's final conclusion is a bit crazy, but I am in sympathy with his general scepticism about what sorts of things definitively constitute 'objects'. He overrates simples, and he overrates lives.