Publications

"Rearming the Slingshot?" (forthcoming) Acta Analytica. Older draft here.

"Composition as Identity, Mereological Essentialism, and Modal Parts"
(2014) in Composition as Identity, eds. Donald Baxter and Aaron Cotnoir, OUP. Older draft here.


"Argument from Vagueness for Modal Parts" (2014) in dialectica vol. 68 (3): 355-373. Older draft here.

"Counterparts and Compositional Nihilism: A Reply to A. J. Cotnoir" (2013) in Thought: A Journal of Philosophy vol. 2 (3): 242-247. Older draft here

"Composition as Identity: Part 1" (2011) in Philosophy Compass vol. 6(11): 804-816


"Composition as Identity: Part 2 "(2011) in Philosophy Compass vol. 6(11): 817-827



Under Review/Works in Progress

The Lump Sum: A Theory of Modal Parts [draft]
A lump theorist claims that ordinary objects are spread out across possible worlds, much like many of us think that tables are spread out across space. We are not wholly located in any one particular world, the lump theorist claims, just as we are not wholly spatially located where one’s hand is. We are modally spread out, a trans-world mereological sum of world-bound parts. We are lump sums of modal parts. And so are all other ordinary objects.1 Below, I explore lump theory and investigate five arguments against it. These arguments may be the primary reasons why lump theory has not been accepted (or even relatively decently explored) until now. I maintain that these arguments can be answered, and moreover, that accepting lump theory has distinct advantages, making it a competitive view in its own right.

Saving Mental Fictionalism from Cognitive Collapse [draft]
Mental fictionalism maintains that: (i) folk psychology (FP) is a radically false theory, but (ii) we should nonetheless keep using it, because it is useful, convenient, or otherwise beneficial to do so. We should (or do) treat FP as a useful fiction—false, but valuable. Some argue that mental fictionalism is incoherent: if a mental fictionalist rejects FP then she cannot appeal to fictions in an effort to keep folk psychological discourse around, because fictions presuppose FP. In this paper, I defend the mental fictionalist against such objections. Whatever disadvantages mental fictionalism may have, it need not suffer from cognitive collapse.                            

The Many Advantages of Composition as Identity [draft]
Composition as Identity (CAI) claims that a whole is identical to its parts. One of the main advantages of accepting CAI is that one can accept mereological sums at no ontological cost. While there is much discussion in the literature as to whether CAI is coherent or viable, relatively little attention has been given to independent arguments for CAI—in particular, utility arguments that consider the many advantages of CAI (together with an abundance of mereological sums) as reasons for thinking that CAI is true. In this paper, I canvass several metaphysical puzzles and show how CAI delivers an elegant, unified response to them. I further argue that this strategy generalizes, demonstrating that the application of CAI (and mereological sums) may benefit not just specifically chosen puzzles of shadows, eclipses, and prevention, but also cases involving perception, moral responsibility, issues in philosophy of mind, causal over-determination, and more.



Dissertation (2009): Composition as Identity.
 
Chapter 1: Parts and Wholes
Chapter 2: Counting and Composition
Chapter 3: Four Arguments Against Composition as Identity (CI) and Responses
Chapter 4: Constitution, Lump Theory, Mereological Essentialism, and the Modal Objection
Chapter 5: Advantages of CI


Page Last Updated: 11/11/2014
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