First Online: 21 May 2011 DOI:
10.1007/s11098-011-9740-3 Cite this article as: Crane, J.K. Philos Stud (2012) 161: 309. doi:10.1007/s11098-011-9740-3 Abstract
This paper presents and defends an account of the coincidence of biological organisms with mereological sums of their material components. That is, an organism and the sum of its material components are distinct material objects existing in the same place at the same time. Instead of relying on historical or modal differences to show how such coincident entities are distinct, this paper argues that there is a class of physiological properties of biological organisms that their coincident mereological sums do not have. The account answers some of the most pressing objections to coincidence, for example the so-called “grounding problem”, that material coincidence seems to require that coinciding objects have modal differences that do not supervene on any other properties.
Keywords Material coincidence Leibniz’s Law Grounding problem Biological organisms Mereological sums Supervenience References
Bennett, K. (2004). Spatio-temporal coincidence and the grounding problem.
Burke, M. (1992). Copper statues and pieces of copper: A challenge to the standard account.
Burke, M. (1994). Dion and Theon: An essentialist solution to an ancient puzzle.
Journal of Philosophy,
Davidson, D. (1987). Knowing one’s own mind.
Proceedings and addresses of the American Philosophical Association,
Doepke, F. (1982). Spatially coinciding objects.
Ratio, 24,45–60 (Reprinted in Material constitution: A reader, pp. 10–24, by M. Rea, Ed., 1997, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield).
Fine, K. (2003). The non-identity of a material thing and its matter.
Gibbard, A. (1975). Contingent Identity.
Journal of Philosophical Logic, 4, 187–221 (Reprinted in Material constitution: A reader, pp. 93–125, by M. Rea, Ed., 1997, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield).
Heller, Mark. (1990).
The ontology of physical objects: Four-dimensional hunks of matter
. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Koslicki, K. (2008).
The structure of objects
. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lewis, D. (1986).
On the plurality of worlds. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Olson, E. (2001). Material coincidence and the indiscernibility problem.
Paul, L. A. (2006). Coincidence as overlap.
Simons, P. (1987).
Parts: A study in ontology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sosa, E. (1987). Subjects among other things. In J. E. Tomberlin (Ed.),
Philosophical perspectives, 1, metaphysics. Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview Publishing (Reprinted in Material constitution: A reader, pp. 63–89, by M. Rea, Ed., 1997, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield).
van Inwagen, P. (1981). The doctrine of arbitrary undetached parts.
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 62, 123–137 (Reprinted in Ontology, identity, and modality, pp. 75–94, by P. van Inwagen, 2001, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
van Inwagen, P. (1990).
Material beings. Ithica: Cornell University Press.
Wiggins, D. (1968). On being in the same place at the same time.
Philosophical Review, 77, 90–95 (Reprinted in Material constitution: A reader, pp. 3–9, by M. Rea, Ed., 1997, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield).
Zimmerman, D. (1995). Theories of masses and the problem of constitution.
CrossRef Copyright information
© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011