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dc.contributor.authorErola-Channen, Jacob
dc.contributor.otherQueen's University (Kingston, Ont.). Theses (Queen's University (Kingston, Ont.))en
dc.date2015-09-21 12:51:43.885en
dc.date.accessioned2015-09-23T22:21:55Z
dc.date.available2015-09-23T22:21:55Z
dc.date.issued2015-09-23
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/13650
dc.descriptionThesis (Master, Philosophy) -- Queen's University, 2015-09-21 12:51:43.885en
dc.description.abstractOrdinarily, we suppose that material objects sometimes do, and sometimes do not, form a further object. In his book Four-Dimensionalism, Theodore Sider develops an argument that attempts to show this assumption is mistaken. Sider’s argument from vagueness is one of the most influential arguments in support of universalism, the thesis that composition is unrestricted: whenever some concrete entities exists, so does their mereological fusion. The argument from vagueness is defective – I submit – because it begs the question. Sider distorts the notion of a ‘concrete object’ so that it does not coordinate with ordinary object-sortals and so that it presumes any arrangement of matter forms a unit, thereby assuming the very claim his argument intends to prove. I begin by reconstructing the argument from vagueness and assessing its two crucial denials: that there can neither be sharp cut-offs in composition, nor indeterminate cases of composition. I survey a variety of responses to these claims, which prove either unsatisfactory or ontologically burdensome, and offer my own response, which avoids ontological burdens. My strategy forces Sider into the dilemma of either recanting one of his two denials, or admitting that the fusions generated by his argument cannot bear ontological weight. Neither option can support a universal theory of composition. My purpose here is to refute the argument from vagueness; this paper does not advance a novel theory of composition. Nonetheless, the flaws I identify in Sider’s position advocate that an adequate theory of composition should countenance vague objects and attend to the distinct mereological nature of non-individuative physical substances, which requires further exploration.en_US
dc.languageenen
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesCanadian thesesen
dc.rightsQueen's University's Thesis/Dissertation Non-Exclusive License for Deposit to QSpace and Library and Archives Canadaen
dc.rightsProQuest PhD and Master's Theses International Dissemination Agreementen
dc.rightsIntellectual Property Guidelines at Queen's Universityen
dc.rightsCopying and Preserving Your Thesisen
dc.rightsCreative Commons - Attribution - CC BYen
dc.rightsThis publication is made available by the authority of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private study and research and may not be copied or reproduced except as permitted by the copyright laws without written authority from the copyright owner.en
dc.subjectMereologyen_US
dc.subjectArgument from Vaguenessen_US
dc.titleBut What Kind of Thing is a 'Fusion'?: Circular Reasoning in Sider’s Argument from Vaguenessen_US
dc.typethesisen_US
dc.description.degreeMasteren
dc.contributor.supervisorMozersky, Joshuaen
dc.contributor.departmentPhilosophyen


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