• The Metaphysics of Economic Exchanges
    Massin Olivier and Tieffenbach Emma
    Journal of Social Ontology 3 (2): 167-205. 2017.
    What are economic exchanges? The received view has it that exchanges are mutual transfers of goods motivated by inverse valuations thereof. As a corollary, the standard approach treats exchanges of services as a subspecies of exchanges of goods. We raise two objections against this standard approach. First, it is incomplete, as it fails to take into account, among other things, the offers and acceptances that lie at the core of even the simplest cases of exchanges. Second, it ultimately fails to…Read more
  • Pattern as an Ontological Category
    Ingvar Johansson
    In Nicola Guarino (ed.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems, Ios Press. pp. 86-94. 1998.
    The paper argues that causal systems and spatial patterns are species of the same genus, namely pattern, and that a clear view of spatial patterns throws light on some aspects of the ontological nature of causal systems. In particular, it is argued that all patterns (and systems) depend on a fiat delimitation of something which in itself is a unity without borders. Pattern realism is true.
  • The extensionality of parthood and composition
    Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230): 108-133. 2008.
    I focus on three mereological principles: the Extensionality of Parthood (EP), the Uniqueness of Composition (UC), and the Extensionality of Composition (EC). These principles are not equivalent. Nonetheless, they are closely related (and often equated) as they all reflect the basic nominalistic dictum, No difference without a difference maker. And each one of them—individually or collectively—has been challenged on philosophical grounds. In the first part I argue that such challenges do not qui…Read more
  • Who Doesn't Have a Problem of Too Many Thinkers?
    American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (2): 203. 2013.
    Animalists accuse the advocates of psychological approaches of identity of having to suffer a Problem of Too Many Thinkers. Eric Olson, for instance, is an animalist who maintains that if the person is spatially coincident but numerically distinct from the animal, then provided that the person can use its brain to think, so too can the physically indistinguishable animal. However, not all defenders of psychological views of identity assume the spatial coincidence of the person and the animal. Je…Read more
  • If Abortion, then Infanticide
    David B. Hershenov and Rose J. Hershenov
    Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 38 (5): 387-409. 2017.
    Our contention is that all of the major arguments for abortion are also arguments for permitting infanticide. One cannot distinguish the fetus from the infant in terms of a morally significant intrinsic property, nor are they morally discernible in terms of standing in different relationships to others. The logic of our position is that if such arguments justify abortion, then they also justify infanticide. If we are right that infanticide is not justified, then such arguments will fail to justi…Read more