Chisholm's Changing Conception of Ordinary Objects

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Roderick Chisholm changed his mind about ordinary objects. Circa 1973–1976, his analysis of them required the positing of two kinds of entities—part-changing ens successiva and non-part-changing, non-scatterable primary objects. This view has been well noted and frequently discussed (e.g., recently in Gallois 1998 and Sider 2001). Less often treated is his later view of ordinary objects (1986–1989), where the two kinds of posited entities change, from ens successiva to modes, and, while retaining primary objects, he now allows them to survive spatial scatter. Also (to my knowledge) not discussed is why he changed his mind. This paper is mostly intended to fill in these gaps, but I also give some additional reasons to prefer Chisholm's later view. Also, I discuss how mereological essentialism can be further defended by how it informs a theory of property-inherence which steers between the excesses of the bare particularists and bundle theorists.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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