•  21
    Mereology and time travel
    Philosophical Studies 1-16. forthcoming.
    Core principles of mereology have been questioned by appealing to time travel scenarios. This paper questions the methodology of employing time travel scenarios to argue against mereology. We show some time travel scenarios are structurally equivalent to more standard ones not involving time travel; and that the three main theories about persistence through time can each solve both the time travel scenario as well as the structurally similar classical scenario. Time travel scenarios that are not…Read more
  •  17
    The logic behind Quine's criterion of ontological commitment
    European Journal of Philosophy. forthcoming.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
  •  13
    One of the more persistent debates in mereology is whether distinct wholes can have the same parts. Extensional mereologists hold that if there is no part that makes the difference, then there is nothing to distinguish the wholes, so sameness of parts implies identity. Non-extensionalists, however, do think there are cases where distinct wholes share all their parts. This paper argues that the kind of argument non-extensionalists employ can also be levelled against a widely accepted extensionali…Read more
  •  31
    Mereology: A Philosophical Introduction. By Giorgio Lando (review)
    Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272): 651-653. 2018.
    Mereology: A Philosophical Introduction. By Lando Giorgio.
  •  61
    A Puzzle Concerning Boundaries, Dependence, and Parthood
    Analytic Philosophy 56 (2): 169-176. 2015.
    This paper presents three claims concerning boundaries, dependence and parthood. The claims are intuitively plausible, but cannot, at face value, all be true on pain of contradiction. Each of the three claims is shown to be more plausible than its converse and some solutions to the puzzle are presented
  •  44
    Tarski’s one and only concept of truth
    Synthese 191 (14): 3393-3406. 2014.
    In a recent article, David distinguishes between two interpretations of Tarski’s work on truth. The standard interpretation has it that Tarski gave us a definition of truth in-L within the meta-language; the non-standard interpretation, that Tarski did not give us a definition of true sentence in L, but rather a definition of truth, and Tarski does so for L within the metalanguage. The difference is crucial: for on the standard view, there are different concepts of truth, while in the alternativ…Read more
  •  437
    ‘Identity’ as a mereological term
    Synthese 194 (7): 2367-2385. 2017.
    The mereological predicate ‘is part of’ can be used to define the predicate ‘is identical with’. I argue that this entails that mereological theories can be ideologically simpler than nihilistic theories that do not use the notion of parthood—contrary to what has been argued by Ted Sider. Moreover, if one accepts an extensional mereology, there are good philosophical reasons apart from ideological simplicity to give a mereological definition of identity
  •  115
    The ontological parsimony of mereology
    Philosophical Studies 172 (12): 3253-3271. 2015.
    Lewis famously argued that mereology is ontologically innocent. Many who have considered this claim believe he was mistaken. Mereology is not innocent, because its acceptance entails the acceptance of sums, new objects that were not previously part of one’s ontology. This argument, the argument from ontological parsimony, has two versions: a qualitative and a quantitative one. I argue that the defender of mereology can neutralize both arguments by holding that, given mereology, a commitment to t…Read more
  •  53
    Material Constitution is Ad Hoc
    Erkenntnis 82 (2): 305-325. 2017.
    The idea that two objects can coincide—by sharing all their proper parts, or matter—yet be non-identical, results in the “Problem of Coincident Objects”: in what relation do objects stand if they are not identical but share all their proper parts? One solution is to introduce material constitution. In this paper, I argue that this is ad hoc since, first, this solution cannot be generalized to solve similar problems, and, second, there are pseudo cases of coincidence that should not trigger the i…Read more
  •  52
    Some philosophers say that a whole is “nothing over and above” its parts. Most also take general extensilonal mereology to be treating wholes as “nothing over and above” their parts. It is not always clear, however, what exactly is meant by the phrase “nothing over and above.” Nor is it obvious why the phrase is associated with mereology, and what purpose it serves there. In the words of Peter Van Inwagen : “This slippery phrase has had a lot of employment in philosophy, but what it means is nev…Read more