Physical Composition by Bonding

  • Julian Husmann
  • Paul M. Näger
Part of the Münster Lectures in Philosophy book series (MUELP, volume 4)


Van Inwagen proposes that besides simples only living organisms exist as composite objects. This paper suggests expanding van Inwagen’s ontology by also accepting composite objects in the case that physical bonding occurs (plus some extra conditions). Such objects are not living organisms but rather physical bodies. They include (approximately) the complete realm of inanimate ordinary objects, like rocks and tables, as well as inanimate scientific objects, like atoms and molecules, the latter filling the ontological gap between simples and organisms in van Inwagen’s original picture. We thus propose a compositional pluralism claiming that composition arises if and only if bonding or life occurs.


Bonding Composition Mereology Special composition question 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyWWU MünsterMünsterGermany

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