Parthood and naturalness
Is part of a perfectly natural, or fundamental, relation? Philosophers have been hesitant to take a stand on this issue. One reason for this hesitancy is the worry that, if parthood is perfectly natural, then the perfectly natural properties and relations are not suitably “independent” of one another. (Roughly, the perfectly natural properties are not suitably independent if there are necessary connections among them.) In this paper, I argue that parthood is a perfectly natural relation. In so doing, I argue that this “independence” worry is unfounded. I conclude by noting some consequences of the naturalness of parthood.
KeywordsParthood Mereology Natural Fundamental
Many thanks to Andrew Cortens, Sam Cowling, Louis DeRosset, Cian Dorr, Kit Fine, Elizabeth Harman, Paul Hovda, Kris McDaniel, Erica Shumener, Ted Sider, Brad Skow, Meghan Sullivan, Richard Woodward, and especially Chris Meacham for helpful comments and discussion. Thanks also to an anonymous referee for extremely generous and constructive comments.
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