, Volume 159, Issue 2, pp 293-297
Date: 04 Feb 2011

On substantial independence: a reply to Patrick Toner

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Abstract

Patrick Toner has recently criticized accounts of substance provided by Kit Fine, E. J. Lowe, and the author, accounts which say (to a first approximation) that substances cannot depend on things other than their own parts. On Toner’s analysis, the inclusion of this “parts exception” results in a disjunctive definition of substance rather than a unified account. In this paper (speaking only for myself, but in a way that would, I believe, support the other authors that Toner discusses), I first make clear what Toner’s criticism is, and then I respond to it. Including the “parts exception” is not the adding of a second condition but instead the creation of a new single condition. Since it is not the adding of a condition, the result is not disjunctive. Therefore, the objection fails.