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Chapter 2 - Conformism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 January 2022

Steven Luper
Affiliation:
Trinity University, Texas
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Summary

It is tempting to reject incrementism on the grounds that new objects may be brought into existence by giving existing objects certain features that are contingent to them. For example, we seem to bring an object into existence by manipulating a wad of clay so that it takes a sundial shape. One argument that supports this criticism of incrementism presumes that things compose objects by virtue of being simply bonded. But while something along these lines may seem plausible as regards composition at a time, it is not promising at all as regards persistence, or composition over time. Another argument presumes that a wide range of count nouns, favored count nouns such as “sundial,” pick out objects – that the features that suffice for some things to fall under some such count noun also suffice for those things to compose an object. It turns out, however, that things that clearly do not compose objects may, together, fall under “sundial,” and the same is likely to be true of other favored count nouns. Instead of rejecting incrementism, I suggest that when we give existing object features that are contingent to them we bring no new objects into the world.

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Mortal Objects
Identity and Persistence through Life and Death
, pp. 25 - 39
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Conformism
  • Steven Luper, Trinity University, Texas
  • Book: Mortal Objects
  • Online publication: 27 January 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108981316.003
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  • Conformism
  • Steven Luper, Trinity University, Texas
  • Book: Mortal Objects
  • Online publication: 27 January 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108981316.003
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Conformism
  • Steven Luper, Trinity University, Texas
  • Book: Mortal Objects
  • Online publication: 27 January 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108981316.003
Available formats
×