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Philosophia

pp 1–5 | Cite as

Rearranging the Furniture

  • John BiroEmail author
Article

Abstract

According to Peter van Inwagen, there are, from the point of view of serious metaphysics, no (non-living) composites, only simples. Saying that we have built a ship is a misleading (even if ordinarily acceptable) way of saying that we have rearranged some simples ship- wise. However, the notion of rearranging simples is problematic, and van Inwagen’s resort to “honorary simples” does not make it less so. Simples can be rearranged only by way of rearranging these, making talk of them not merely a convenient facon de parler, as van Inwagen claims, but ineliminable even when we are in the “ontology room.”

Keywords

Composites Simples Serious metaphysical commitment Paraphrase 

Notes

References

  1. Biro, J. (2017). Saving the ship. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 13/2, 5–16.Google Scholar
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  3. Rosenberg, J. (1993). Comments on Peter van Inwagen's Material Beings. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 53(3), 701–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. van Inwagen, P. (1981). The doctrine of arbitrary undetached parts. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 62, 123–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. van Inwagen, P. (1990). Material beings. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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