Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Mass terms: mass terms are expressions relating to substances in which the same expression may also be applied to parts of the substance, e.g. water, gold, air. A part of a piece of iron is again iron. In contrast, a part of a human being is not a human being.

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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
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Peter Gärdenfors
I 133
Mass Terms/Gärdenfors: criterion: if x is an atom in a part-whole structure, which has no parts itself, we call it an atom. Then N is a mass term when the objects to which N refers to do not contain any atoms.
Problem: this criterion leads to the fact that mass terms also denote infinitely divisible objects, e.g. "furniture". (See Ojeda, 1993, Moltmann, 1998, p.79).
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I 134
Solution/Moltmann: e.g. apple as a counted object implies a certain form, whereas apple as a mass term loses this form.
GärdenforsVsMoltmann: Problem: how do we explain the concept of a whole then?
Solution/Gärdenfors: one could say that we put more emphasis on matter with the mass term.


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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.

Gä I
P. Gärdenfors
The Geometry of Meaning Cambridge 2014


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-11-19