•  487
    “Tropes in Space
    Philosophical Studies 167 (2): 453-472. 2014.
    Tropes are particular features of concrete objects. Properties—the extensions of predicates—are primitive resemblance classes of tropes. Friends of tropes have been criticized for failing to answer three questions. First, are there fundamental items other than tropes? Second, what criteria determine whether some tropes are all and only the features of some one object? Third, can trope classes be formed adequately using only primitive resemblance? Trading on the spatiotemporal status of tropes, t…Read more
  •  417
    Who they are and what de se: Burge on quasi-memory
    Philosophical Studies 144 (2). 2009.
    Tyler Burge has recently argued that quasi-memory-based psychological reductionist accounts of diachronic personal identity are deeply problematic. According to Burge, these accounts either fail to include appropriately de se elements or presuppose facts about diachronic personal identity—facts of the very kind that the accounts are supposed to explain. Neither of these objections is compelling. The first is based in confusion about the version of reductionism to which it putatively applies. The…Read more
  •  266
    Against zero-dimensional material objects (and other bare particulars)
    Philosophical Studies 160 (2): 305-321. 2012.
    A modus tollens against zero-dimensional material objects is presented from the premises (i) that if there are zero-dimensional material objects then there are bare particulars, and (ii) that there are no bare particulars. The argument for the first premise proceeds by elimination. First, bare particular theory and bundle theory are motivated as the most appealing theories of property exemplification. It is then argued that the bundle theorist’s Ockhamism ought to lead her to reject spatiotempor…Read more
  •  223
    T-Gunk and Exact Occupation
    American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (2): 165-174. 2012.
    An object is T-gunky just in case all its parts (i) have proper parts and (ii) are of non-zero measure in every spatial dimension. I show that a recent argument due to Hud Hudson—though not intended as a threat to gunk—bears on the possibility of T-gunky material objects in non-gunky space. I then show that the friend of T-gunk can circumvent Hudson’s argument without abandoning pointy space or standard mereology. What is needed is a novel conception of the relation of exact occupation of pointy…Read more
  •  108
    A topological theory of fundamental concrete particulars
    Philosophical Studies 172 (10): 2679-2704. 2015.
    Fundamental concrete particulars are needed to explain facts about non-fundamental concrete particulars. However, the former can only play this explanatory role if they are properly discernible from the latter. Extant theories of how to discern fundamental concreta primarily concern mereological structure. Those according to which fundamental concreta can bear, but not be, proper parts are motivated by the possibilities that all concreta bear proper parts and that some properties of wholes are n…Read more
  •  95
    According to the traditional way of understanding debates in the metaphysics of persistence, perdurantists hold that persisting material objects have temporal proper parts while endurantists hold that they do not. Several theorists recently have suggested in opposition to this traditional picture that endurantism be understood as the thesis that the identity of a persisting object x is intrinsic to each of the times at which x is present. It is argued here that unless this non-traditional versio…Read more
  •  78
    A reason for the non-specialist to care about the metaphysics of properties and persistence
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (2): 162-177. 2018.
    We have compelling extra-philosophical reasons for caring about identity, parthood, and location. For example, we desire ceteris paribus that nothing every part of which is very near to our location be very near to the location of something dangerous, evil, or otherwise unpleasant. This essay argues that such considerations are relevant to certain first-order metaphysical debates, namely, the debates over immanent universals and tropes and endurantism and perdurantism, respectively. As a consequ…Read more
  •  77
    Junky Non-Worlds
    Erkenntnis 80 (2): 437-443. 2015.
    A mereological structure is junky if and only if each of its elements is a proper part of some other. The young literature on junk has focused on junky worlds and whether they are counterexamples to unrestricted composition. The present note defends the possibility of junky structures that are not worlds. This possibility complicates a recent attempt in the literature to render junk consistent with a weakened form of unrestricted composition. The upshot is that junky non-worlds threaten the weak…Read more
  •  75
    One premise in David Lewis’s well-known argument from temporary intrinsic properties in favor of temporal parts is the intuition that material objects exemplify such properties simpliciter, that is, without qualification. The argument has spawned a large critical literature, with commentators questioning the simpliciter premise’s motivation, content, dialectical force, and status as an intuition. The present essay has two chief goals: to provide a novel framework for clarifying Lewis’s simplicit…Read more
  •  64
    A context-shifting example involves a putatively non-ambiguous, non-elliptical, non-indexical declarative sentence, some distinct utterances of which differ in truth value despite sameness of place, time, surrounding objects, and other physical factors. Charles Travis has spawned a large literature by arguing that such examples undermine compositional truth-conditional semantics. After explaining how prior responses to Travis’s examples fail in the metaphysical details, the present essay develop…Read more
  •  64
    Indiscernibility Does Not Distinguish Particularity
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (4): 249-256. 2016.
    According to the indiscernibility characterization of the distinction between particulars and universals, only and all the former have possible numerically distinct indiscernible intrinsic qualitative duplicates. It is argued here that both the sufficiency and the necessity directions are defective and that indiscernibility thus does not distinguish particularity. Against sufficiency: universals may lack intrinsic qualitative character and thus be trivially indiscernible from one another. Agains…Read more
  •  60
    Is Mereology a Guide to Conceivability?
    Mind 124 (493): 121-146. 2015.
    Zombies are unconscious objects with conscious physical micro-duplicates. If zombies are possible then physicalism is false. It has been argued that zombies are possible if conceivable for an agent with ideal rationality. At any rate, they are possible only if so conceivable. This essay uses a mereological constraint to highlight the fine-grained differences between actually conscious physical objects and certain of their actually consciousness-incapable proper parts. These mereological consider…Read more
  •  59
    On Stage with Gunk
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2): 228-238. 2018.
    ABSTRACTA structure is temporally gunky just in case all of its temporal parts have proper temporal parts. Joshua Stuchlik [2003] objects to the stage theory of persistence from temporal gunk by ar...
  •  35
    What it takes to be hunky
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (1): 51-57. 2020.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
  •  13
    Plurdurance
    Philosophers' Imprint 19. 2019.
    Like most theories in first order metaphysics, theories of persistence generally aim at metaphysically necessary truth. Consequently, those that accept proper temporal parts of material entities are maximally competitive only when they accord with the full range of metaphysically possible temporal mereological structures. Consider, for example, a structure in which every element is a proper temporal part of some others. The present essay argues that temporal junk plausibly is possible and that p…Read more