How do you say ‘everything is ultimately composed of atoms’?
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The standard definition of atomicity—the thesis that everything is ultimately composed of entities that lack proper parts—is satisfied by a model that is not atomistic. The standard definition is therefore an incorrect characterization of atomicity. I show that the model satisfies the axioms of all but the strongest mereology and therefore that the standard definition of atomicity is only adequate given some controversial metaphysical assumptions. I end by proposing a new definition of atomicity that does not require extensionality or unrestricted summation.
KeywordsMereology Atomicity Atoms Simples Plural logic
Thanks to Charles Cross, Yuri Balashov, Achille Varzi, Aaron Cotnoir, Jennifer Wang, and Matt Leonard for conversation and notes on earlier drafts. I am especially thankful to an anonymous reviewer whose comments were extremely helpful.
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