Sider, Hawley, Sider and the Vagueness Argument

Author: Effingham, Nikk

Source: Philosophical Studies, Volume 154, Number 2, June 2011 , pp. 241-250(10)

Publisher: Springer

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The Vagueness Argument for universalism only works if you think there is a good reason not to endorse nihilism. Sider’s argument from the possibility of gunk is one of the more popular reasons. Further, Hawley has given an argument for the necessity of everything being either gunky or composed of mereological simples. I argue that Hawley’s argument rests on the same premise as Sider’s argument for the possibility of gunk. Further, I argue that that premise can be used to demonstrate the possibility of simples. Once you stick it all together, you get an absurd consequence. I then survey the possible lessons we could draw from this, arguing that whichever one you take yields an interesting result.

Keywords: Hawley; Mereological simples; Mereology; Sider; Universalism; Unrestricted mereological composition; Vagueness Argument

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK, Email:

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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