Mereological universalists, according to whom every plurality of entities has a fusion, usually claim that most quantifications are restricted to ordinary entities. However, there is no evidence that our usual quantifications over ordinary objects are restricted. In this article I explore an alternative way of reconciling Mereological Universalism with our usual quantifications. I resort to a modest form of ontological expansionism and to the so‐called interpretational modalities. Quantifications over ordinary objects are the initial stages of the expansion. From these initial stages, expansions can proceed upwards (fusions of entities in the domain of quantification are added), downwards (parts of entities in the domain are added), and sidewards (entities which are mereologically disjoint from the entities in the domain are added). These expansions are driven by a variety of epistemic and pragmatic reasons and raise different kinds of problems. At each stage, a modalized version of Mereological Universalism is true. By contrast, only at some especially rich stages, standard, non‐modalized Mereological Universalism is true as well. Among these especially rich stages, there is a final, metaphysically pre‐eminent stage of mereological plenitude. In the last part of the article I discuss some problems and limitations of expansionism.

Expansionism and Mereological Universalism

Lando, Giorgio
2020-01-01

Abstract

Mereological universalists, according to whom every plurality of entities has a fusion, usually claim that most quantifications are restricted to ordinary entities. However, there is no evidence that our usual quantifications over ordinary objects are restricted. In this article I explore an alternative way of reconciling Mereological Universalism with our usual quantifications. I resort to a modest form of ontological expansionism and to the so‐called interpretational modalities. Quantifications over ordinary objects are the initial stages of the expansion. From these initial stages, expansions can proceed upwards (fusions of entities in the domain of quantification are added), downwards (parts of entities in the domain are added), and sidewards (entities which are mereologically disjoint from the entities in the domain are added). These expansions are driven by a variety of epistemic and pragmatic reasons and raise different kinds of problems. At each stage, a modalized version of Mereological Universalism is true. By contrast, only at some especially rich stages, standard, non‐modalized Mereological Universalism is true as well. Among these especially rich stages, there is a final, metaphysically pre‐eminent stage of mereological plenitude. In the last part of the article I discuss some problems and limitations of expansionism.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
expansionism.pdf

Open Access dal 28/02/2022

Tipologia: Documento in Pre-print
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 498.01 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
498.01 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/143946
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact