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Showing posts from July, 2011

Mereology going funky: gunky and junky

Schaffer thinks that pluralism entails atomism. This is because he assumes that there should be a grounding - things are not ungrounded, there should be an end to grounding, there are archés. In fact, the debate about monism too often takes archés for granted. It is as if there is no other options but some sort of creationism applied to grounding. In any case, if grounding is assumed, pluralism entails atomism. Schaffer's argument against pluralism is that it is possible that the world is gunky - everything has parts. Everything is infinitely divisible. In this case, monism would still make sense, but not pluralism. Bohn replies that it is possible that the world is junky - everything is a part. In this case, monism (there is a prior whole - priority monism - or there is only the whole - existence monism) is impossible. If the world is junky pluralism but not monism is possible. I believe the world is gunky and junky. It is a consequence of the ontology of fragments, and of general

Relations with non-existent relata

Manuel and me are about to finish a first presentable draft of our paper against Schaffer's argument that the internal relatedness of all things lead to priority monism (see past entries for details). We were just helping ourselves to the idea that when there is a dispositional link between a thing and a type - through Molnar's or C.B. Martin's physical intentionality - there is a relation (an internal one, for that matter). But then it dawned on us that we cannot safely use the word relation because most people (for Russellian reasons) take that there cannot be relations with non-existent relata and this is what physical intentionality could imply. I was thinking that a word like "relation" cannot be hijacked by a philosophical tradition like that. This is where we sense the strength of the Russellian consensus: there are non-existent relata so the word "relation" cannot be used when the relata may not exist. This is also a consequence of the very pecul

Occasionalist holism

My crave for a holism without wholism (or connectedness without monism) can be seen as an attempt to elaborate and argue for a fragment of the misknown Heraklitus where he writes something like this: While there is no whole, everything is connected to everything In the original in Portuguese: Tudo se conecta a tudo mas não há tudo I myself buried a stone with this fragment (and another saying: in order to understand the logos people ought to be like rolling stones) in the castle of Sappho in Eressos, Lesbos as both Heraklitus and Sappho were both devotees of Artemis: One way of making sense of the fragment is to cut the line Shaffer for instance finds between internal connectedness of all things and priority monism. But I'm growing convinced that there is an Occasionalist way to avoid monism by avoiding internal relations altogether. It is a Humean way, but not an atomist way, not one that makes the world look like a mosaic. Occasionalism

Schaffer and Latour

In our take of the internal relatedness of things, Manuel and me are considering the case of physical intentionality. We think we can show that an all-pervasive internal relatedness of things entail no priority monism - the thesis that there is an object on what any other depend but that itself depends on nothing, according to Schaffer. There is at least one way to understand the internal relatedness of things that entails no internal relation between things but only between things and types. In any case, we have to show that physical intentionality amounts to a genuine case of internal relatedness of things in Schaffer's sense. His take here is that internal relatedness requires some kind of constrain on modal freedom. Now, we name the claim that there is an internal relatedness of all things World Holism (which affords the catchy contrast between holism and wholism, the latter being something akin to Schaffer's priority monism). Hpwever, I would also see occasionalists like I