Combining Texts

Ideas for 'Difference and Repetition', 'On the Law of War and Peace' and 'From an Ontological Point of View'

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4 ideas

9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / c. Types of substance
Maybe there is only one substance, space-time or a quantum field [Heil]
     Full Idea: It would seem distinctly possible that there is but a single substance: space-time or some all-encompassing quantum field.
     From: John Heil (From an Ontological Point of View [2003], 05.2)
     A reaction: This would at least meet my concern that philosophers' 'substances' don't seem to connect to what physicists talk about. I wonder if anyone knows what a 'quantum field' is? The clash between relativity and quantum theory is being alluded to.
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / e. Substance critique
Rather than 'substance' I use 'objects', which have properties [Heil]
     Full Idea: I prefer the more colloquial 'object' to the traditional term 'substance'. An object can be regarded as a possessor of properties: as something that is red, spherical and pungent, for instance.
     From: John Heil (From an Ontological Point of View [2003], 15.3)
     A reaction: A nice move, but it seems to beg the question of 'what is it that has the properties?' Objects and substances do two different jobs in our ontology. Heil is just refusing to discuss what it is that has properties.
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
Statues and bronze lumps have discernible differences, so can't be identical [Heil]
     Full Idea: Applications of the principle of the indiscernibility of identicals apparently obliges us to distinguish the statue and the lump of bronze making it up.
     From: John Heil (From an Ontological Point of View [2003], 16.3)
     A reaction: In other words, statues and lumps of bronze have different properties. It is a moot point, though, whether there are any discernible differences between that statue at time t and its constituting lump of bronze at time t.
Do we reduce statues to bronze, or eliminate statues, or allow statues and bronze? [Heil]
     Full Idea: Must we choose between reductionism (the statue is the lump of bronze), eliminativism (there are no statues, only statue-shaped lumps of bronze), and a commitment to coincident objects?
     From: John Heil (From an Ontological Point of View [2003], 16.5)
     A reaction: (Heil goes on to offer his own view). Coincident objects sounds the least plausible view. Modern statues are only statues if we see them that way, but a tree is definitely a tree. Trenton Merricks is good on eliminativism.