Parts: A Study in Ontology

Paperback | August 1, 2000

byPeter Simons

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The relationship of part to whole is one of the most fundamental there is, yet until now there has been no full-length study of this concept. This book shows that mereology, the formal theory of part and whole, is essential to ontology. Peter Simons surveys and criticizes previous theories,especially the standard extensional view, and proposes a more adequate account which encompasses both temporal and modal considerations in detail. This has far-reaching consequences for our understanding of such classical philosophical concepts as identity, individual, class, substance andaccident, matter, form, essence, dependence, and integral whole. It also enables the author to offer new solutions to long-standing problems surrounding these concepts, such as the Ship of Theseus Problem and the issue of mereological essentialism. The author shows by his use of formal techniquesthat classical philosophical problems are amenable to rigorous treatment, and the book represents a synthesis of issues and methods from the analytical tradition and from the older continental realist tradition of Brentano and the early Husserl.

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The relationship of part to whole is one of the most fundamental there is, yet until now there has been no full-length study of this concept. This book shows that mereology, the formal theory of part and whole, is essential to ontology. Peter Simons surveys and criticizes previous theories,especially the standard extensional view, an...

Peter Simons is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Leeds.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:August 1, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199241465

ISBN - 13:9780199241460

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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part 1 Existensional Part-Whole Theory; 1. Concepts and Principles of Extensional Mereology; 2. Survey of Extensional Mereology; 3. Problems; 4. Occurrents, Classes, and Masses; Part II Mereology of Continuants; 5. Temporary Parts and Intermittent Existence; 6. Superposition,Composition, and Matter; Part III Essence, Dependence, and Integrity; 7. Essential Parts; 8. Ontological Dependence; 9. Integral Wholes; Concluding Remarks; Bibliography; Index.

Editorial Reviews

"A clear and careful work both in metaphysics and in the history and logic of mereology....Simons's care and precision and his sensitivity to fine distinctions are what make the book a success."--The Philosophical Review