Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Schwarz I 28ff
Object/Thing/van Inwagen: (1990b(1)) thesis: parts only become an object when it is a living creature. After that, there are people fish, cats but no computers, walls and bikinis.
Object/Thing/Lewis: better answer: two questions:
1. Under what conditions do parts form a whole? Under all! For any thing there is always a thing that they put together. (That is the definition of mereological universalism).
2. Which of these aggregates do we count in our everyday world as an independent thing? That we do not consider some aggregates as everyday things does not mean that these aggregates do not exist. (However, they exceed the normal domains of our normal quantifiers). But these limitations vary from culture to culture. It is not reality that is culture-dependent, but the part of reality that has been noticed. (1986e(2), 211 213, 1991:79 81).
LewisVsInwagen/Schwarz: if only living creatures could form real objects, evolution could not begin.
LewisVsInwagen: no criterion for "living creatures" is so precise that it could draw a sharp cut.
Schwarz I 30
Lewis: for him this is no problem: the conventions of the German language do not determine with atomic accuracy to which aggregates "living creatures" applies. (1986e(3), 212)
LewisVsInwagen: for him, this explanation is not available: for him, the border between living creatures and non-living creatures is the border between existence and non-existence. If it is vague what a living creature is, then existence is also vague.
Existence/van Inwagen: (1990b(1). Chap.19) thesis: some things are borderline cases of existence.
LewisVsInwagen: (1991(3),80f,1986e(2),212f): if one already said "there is", then the game is already lost: if one says, "something exists to a lower degree".
Def existence/Lewis: simply means to be one of the things that exist.

1. Peter van Inwagen [1990b]: Material Beings. Ithaca, London: Cornell University Press
2. D. Lewis [1986e]: On the Plurality of Worlds. Malden (Mass.): Blackwell
3. D. Lewis [1991]: Parts of Classes. Oxford: Blackwell

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Inwagen I
Peter van Inwagen
Metaphysics Fourth Edition

Schw I
W. Schwarz
David Lewis Bielefeld 2005

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-12-02
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