Monday, August 1, 2016

A way of thinking about parthood

Take as primitive a "metaphysical component of" relation. Thus, accidents and essences are metaphysical components of their substances. I am interested in a family of accounts of parthood on which

  1. x is a part of y if and only x is a metaphysical component of y and F(x) (and maybe G(x)).
In other words, to be a part just is to be a metaphysical component and to be the right sort of thing (and, maybe, for the thing you're a component of to be the right sort of thing). In other words, the relation of parthood would be defined in terms of the relation of being a metaphysical component (which, I suspect, is just the "mode of" or "accident or essence of" relationship) and something that isn't a relation between the part and whole.

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