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Illusions of gunk

Williams, J.R.G. (2006) Illusions of gunk. Philosophical Perspectives, 20 (1). pp. 493-513. ISSN 1520-8583

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Abstract

The possibility of gunk has been used to argue against mereological nihilism. This paper explores two responses on the part of the microphysical mereological nihilist: (1) the contingency defence, which maintains that nihilism is true of the actual world; but that at other worlds, composition occurs; (2) the impossibility defence, which maintains that nihilism is necessary true, and so gunk worlds are impossible. The former is argued to be ultimately unstable; the latter faces the explanatorily burden of explaining the illusion that gunk is possible. It is argued that we can discharge this burden by focussing on the contingency of the microphysicalist aspect of microphysical mereological nihilism. The upshot is that gunk-based arguments against microphysical mereological nihilism can be resisted.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2006 Blackwell Publishing. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Philosophical Perspectives. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Humanities (Leeds) > School of Philosophy (Leeds)
Depositing User: Leeds Philosophy Department
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2007 11:22
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:06
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1520-8583.2006.00117.x
Status: Published
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Refereed: No
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1520-8583.2006.00117.x
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3325

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