Some tools introduced by Linnebo to show that mathematical entities are thin objects can also be applied to non-mathematical entities, which have been thought to be thin as well for a variety of reasons. In this paper, I discuss some difficulties and opportunities concerning the application of abstraction and interpretational modalities to mereological sums. In particular, I show that on one hand some prima facie attractive candidates for the role of an explanatory plural abstraction principle for mereological sums (in terms of pluralities of summed entities) are not really explanatory; on the other hand, singular abstraction principles (in terms of single summed entities) are materially inadequate. Nonetheless, explanatory criteria of identity and conditions of existence for mereological sums are provided by classical extensional mereology independent of abstraction principles. Thus, given classical extensional mereology, the reasons why, according to Linnebo, mathematical abstracted entities are thin also hold for mereological sums. Finally, I contend that interpretational modalities can be used to characterise the process by which a subject adds sums of previously admitted entities to the domain of quantification.

Thin Mereological Sums, Abstraction, and Interpretational Modalities

Lando G.
2022

Abstract

Some tools introduced by Linnebo to show that mathematical entities are thin objects can also be applied to non-mathematical entities, which have been thought to be thin as well for a variety of reasons. In this paper, I discuss some difficulties and opportunities concerning the application of abstraction and interpretational modalities to mereological sums. In particular, I show that on one hand some prima facie attractive candidates for the role of an explanatory plural abstraction principle for mereological sums (in terms of pluralities of summed entities) are not really explanatory; on the other hand, singular abstraction principles (in terms of single summed entities) are materially inadequate. Nonetheless, explanatory criteria of identity and conditions of existence for mereological sums are provided by classical extensional mereology independent of abstraction principles. Thus, given classical extensional mereology, the reasons why, according to Linnebo, mathematical abstracted entities are thin also hold for mereological sums. Finally, I contend that interpretational modalities can be used to characterise the process by which a subject adds sums of previously admitted entities to the domain of quantification.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/182836
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