Oct 27



The course up until now looked at support for a particular modest metaphysics. For most of the lectures in the remainder of the course, we will go a bit farther afield.

In this lecture, we will re-examine the primitives of mereology. I will present arguments for taking the fusion relation as our mereological primitive. (Image artwork by Kumi Yamashita)

This week's required reading:

Fine - Towards a Theory of Part
Download PDF • 3.11MB

Additional, optional papers:

Parsons - The Many Primitives of Mereology
Download PDF • 102KB

Kleinschmidt - Fusion First
Download PDF • 238KB


Shortly after this meeting, your paper proposals will be due. Paper proposals should be emailed to me by Sunday, October 30th, by 5pm. More info from the syllabus:

Your proposals should be around 1,000 words, and I welcome a document in the form of a padded outline. Your proposal should at a minimum provide the following:

  • A statement of the main thesis that you intend to defend.

  • Explanation of the background that is necessary for understanding what that thesis says, and why it is intellectually interesting. (What debates would this thesis advance, if it is true?)

  • An outline of the argument you intend to give for this thesis.

It is perfectly fine for your ideas to change from what your proposal says: your proposal is in no way a binding commitment. But you should turn in something that is a genuinely useful step toward the final project.

Be Ready to Present:

  • Antonio Cleani

  • Xiangyuan Chi