Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Parts, philosophy: in contrast to elements of a set, parts of a whole can stand in hierarchical relations. There may be dependencies, in particular ontological dependencies between parts and whole, as well as between parts of a whole, because parts may not exist if a questionable part does not exist. See also extrinsic, transitivity, reflexivity, symmetry, mereology, set theory, elements, order, overlap, dependency, ontological dependence.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Peter van Inwagen on Parts - Dictionary of Arguments

Schwarz I 34
Endurantism/Van Inwagen/Schwarz: e.g. caterpillar/butterfly: thesis: there is no insect, nothing that exists beyond the pupation.
Recombination/mereology/Schwarz: the existence of temporal parts follows directly from the mereological universalism together with the rejection of the presentism. Then there are also e.g. aggregates from Socrates and the Eiffel Tower (mereological sum). Socrates is a temporal part of it which at some point ceases to exist, just as e.g. a dried-out lake that fills up again during the rain season.
Temporal Parts/van Inwagen: (van Inwagen 1981)(7): van Inwagen basically rejects temporal parts.
SchwarzVsvan Inwagen: then he must radically limit the mereological universalism or be a presentist.
Perdurantism/Lewis/Schwarz: Lewis pleads for its contingency.
Question/Schwarz: what should be contingent? Should there be possible worlds where the ordinary things have no temporal parts? Or should specific things be atomic in time and never change their form? Lewis seems to allow only the latter.
Schwarz I 34
Temporal Parts/mereology/Schwarz: but if one accepts aggregates from Socrates and the Eiffel Tower, one could still deny that Socrates himself has temporal parts.
Lewis: Lewis also does not assert that necessarily everything that exists over time consists of temporal parts (1986f(1),x,1986e(2),205,1994(3) §1) VsStowe: temporal parts are not intended to provide an analysis of the enduring existence.
Lewis: (1083d(4), 76, similar Armstrong 1980(5), 76): e.g. a child, Frieda1 suddenly disappears, while another child, Frieda2, suddenly appears. This may contradict the laws of nature, but it is logically possible.
Schwarz I 35
Perhaps no one notices anything. And there is nothing to notice.
Vs: this is not convincing.
EndurantismVs: endurantism cannot accept the premises.
Van InwagenVs: Frieda1 and Frieda2 cannot exist strung together, and yet remain different (2000(6), 398).
>Mereology, >Part-of-relation, >Temporal parts, >Mereological sum, >Ontology.

1. David Lewis [1986f]: Philosophical Papers II . New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2. David Lewis [1986e]: On the Plurality of Worlds. Malden (Mass.): Blackwell.
3. David Lewis [1994a]: “Humean Supervenience Debugged”. Mind, 103: 473–490.
4. David Lewis [1983d]: Philosophical Papers I . New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
5. David Armstrong [1980]: “Identity Through Time”. In Peter van Inwagen (ed.), Time and Cause, Dordrecht: Reidel.
6. Peter van Inwagen [2000]: “Temporal Parts and Identity across Time”. The Monist , 83: 437–459.
7. Peter van Inwagen [1981]: “The Doctrine of Arbitrary Undetached Parts”. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 62: 123–137. In [van Inwagen 2001].

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Inwagen I
Peter van Inwagen
Metaphysics Fourth Edition

Schw I
W. Schwarz
David Lewis Bielefeld 2005

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2023-03-26
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