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The possibility of onion worlds: rebutting an argument for structural universals

Williams, J.R.G. (2007) The possibility of onion worlds: rebutting an argument for structural universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 85 (2). pp. 193-203. ISSN 1471-6828

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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: © Taylor and Francis 2007. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Australasian Journal of Philosophy. Available from December 2008.
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 12:11
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:04
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048400701380129
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1080/00048400701380129
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3327

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