Ideas from 'Parts' by Peter Simons [1987], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Parts: a Study in Ontology' by Simons,Peter [OUP 1987,0-19-924146-5]].

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1. Philosophy / F. Analytic Philosophy / 1. Analysis
Analytic philosophers may prefer formal systems because natural language is such mess
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 1. Mereology
Criticisms of mereology: parts? transitivity? sums? identity? four-dimensional?
Complement: the rest of the Universe apart from some individual, written x-bar
Classical mereology doesn't apply well to the objects around us
A 'part' has different meanings for individuals, classes, and masses
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 2. Terminology of Mereology
Disjoint: two individuals are disjoint iff they do not overlap, written 'x | y'
Difference: the difference of individuals is the remainder of an overlap, written 'x - y'
Proper or improper part: x < y, 'x is (a) part of y'
Overlap: two parts overlap iff they have a part in common, expressed as 'x o y'
General sum: the sum of objects satisfying some predicate, written σx(Fx)
General product: the nucleus of all objects satisfying a predicate, written πx(Fx)
Atom: an individual with no proper parts, written 'At x'
Dissective: stuff is dissective if parts of the stuff are always the stuff
Universe: the mereological sum of all objects whatever, written 'U'
Sum: the sum of individuals is what is overlapped if either of them are, written 'x + y'
Product: the product of two individuals is the sum of all of their overlaps, written 'x y'
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 3. Axioms of Mereology
Classical mereology doesn't handle temporal or modal notions very well
Each wheel is part of a car, but the four wheels are not a further part
Two standard formalisations of part-whole theory are the Calculus of Individuals, and Mereology
The part-relation is transitive and asymmetric (and thus irreflexive)
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 4. Groups
A 'group' is a collection with a condition which constitutes their being united
The same members may form two groups
'The wolves' are the matter of 'the pack'; the latter is a group, with different identity conditions
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / a. Names
Philosophy is stuck on the Fregean view that an individual is anything with a proper name
5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 6. Plural Quantification
Some natural languages don't distinguish between singular and plural
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 1. Nature of Change
There are real relational changes, as well as bogus 'Cambridge changes'
Four-dimensional ontology has no change, since that needs an object, and time to pass
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 2. Processes
I don't believe in processes
Fans of process ontology cheat, since river-stages refer to 'rivers'
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 3. Moments
Moments are things like smiles or skids, which are founded on other things
A smiling is an event with causes, but the smile is a continuant without causes
Moving disturbances are are moments which continuously change their basis
A wave is maintained by a process, but it isn't a process
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / a. Nature of events
I do not think there is a general identity condition for events
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 4. Events / b. Events as primitive
Relativity has an ontology of things and events, not on space-time diagrams
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 4. Ontological Dependence
Independent objects can exist apart, and maybe even entirely alone
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 8. Stuff / a. Pure stuff
Mass nouns admit 'much' and 'a little', and resist 'many' and 'few'.
Gold is not its atoms, because the atoms must be all gold, but gold contains neutrons
Mass terms (unlike plurals) are used with indifference to whether they can exist in units
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 8. Stuff / b. Mixtures
A mixture can have different qualities from its ingredients.
Mixtures disappear if nearly all of the mixture is one ingredient
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / a. Individuation
To individuate something we must pick it out, but also know its limits of variation
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / e. Individuation by kind
Sortal nouns for continuants tell you their continuance- and cessation-conditions
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / a. Intrinsic unification
A whole requires some unique relation which binds together all of the parts
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / b. Cat and its tail
Does Tibbles remain the same cat when it loses its tail?
Tibbles isn't Tib-plus-tail, because Tibbles can survive its loss, but the sum can't
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / d. Coincident objects
Without extensional mereology two objects can occupy the same position
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 5. Composition of an Object
Composition is asymmetric and transitive
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 6. Constitution of an Object
A hand constitutes a fist (when clenched), but a fist is not composed of an augmented hand
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / a. Parts of objects
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'.
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / b. Sums of parts
Sums of things in different categories are found within philosophy.
Classical mereology says there are 'sums', for whose existence there is no other evidence
'Mereological extensionality' says objects with the same parts are identical
If there are c atoms, this gives 2^c - 1 individuals, so there can't be just 2 or 12 individuals
Sums are more plausible for pluralities and masses than they are for individuals
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
The wholeness of a melody seems conventional, but of an explosion it seems natural
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 5. Essence as Kind
Objects have their essential properties because of the kind of objects they are
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 7. Essence and Necessity / b. Essence not necessities
We must distinguish the de dicto 'must' of propositions from the de re 'must' of essence
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 11. Essence of Artefacts
Original parts are the best candidates for being essential to artefacts
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 12. Essential Parts
An essential part of an essential part is an essential part of the whole
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 4. Four-Dimensionalism
Four dimensional-objects are stranger than most people think
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 7. Intermittent Objects
Intermittent objects would be respectable if they occurred in nature, as well as in artefacts
Objects like chess games, with gaps in them, are thereby less unified
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 9. Ship of Theseus
An entrepreneur and a museum curator would each be happy with their ship at the end
The 'best candidate' theories mistakenly assume there is one answer to 'Which is the real ship?'
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 12. Origin as Essential
The zygote is an essential initial part, for a sexually reproduced organism
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / a. Transworld identity
The limits of change for an individual depend on the kind of individual
20. Action / A. Definition of Action / 2. Duration of an Action
With activities if you are doing it you've done it, with performances you must finish to have done it
21. Aesthetics / F. Arts / 1. Music
One false note doesn't make it a performance of a different work