PLEASE TAKE NOTE, THE COLLOQUIUM WILL BEGIN AT 4:00 P.M. BEGINNING IN 2014-15
DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2014
WATSON HALL, ROOM 517 @ 4:00 p.m.
Roxanne Marie Kurtz (University of Illinois, Springfield)
Title: “A Naturalist’s Diachronic Answer to the Special Composition Question”
Peter van Inwagen asks under what conditions composition obtains between an object and its parts. The author suggests that the right answer to this question hinges on the diachronic generative processes in the natural world that cause objects to exist rather than (at least solely) post-coming-to-be properties of the object and/or its parts. There could be no, some, or many sorts of happenings in the natural world that count as generative processes. Perhaps nucleogenesis and other micro-level processes exhaust the list of processes with generative power. Or perhaps biological, geological, and creative processes also add composite objects to the natural world. In any case, let us agree that a necessary condition on happenings counting as a generative process is that they cause a composite object to exist. On this view, mereological fusing fails to be a generative process. So, given generative processes are possible, the proposed answer to the special composition question allows for both restricted composition and collocation within a naturalist ontology.
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