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The paradox of increase

Olson, E.T. (2006) The paradox of increase. The Monist, 89 (3). ISSN 0026-9662


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[FIRST PARAGRAPHS] It seems evident that things sometimes get bigger by acquiring new parts. But there is an ancient argument purporting to show that this is impossible: the paradox of increase or growing argument.

Here is a sketch of the paradox. Suppose we have an object, A, and we want to make it bigger by adding a part, B. That is, we want to bring it about that A first lacks and then has B as a part. Imagine, then, that we conjoin B to A in some appropriate way. Never mind what A and B are, or what this conjoining amounts to: let A be anything that can gain a part if anything can gain a part, and let B be the sort of thing that can become a part of A, and suppose we do whatever it would take to make B come to be a part of A if this is possible at all. Have we thereby made B a part of A?

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2007, THE MONIST: An International Quarterly Journal of General Philosophical Inquiry. Peru, Illinois, USA 61354. Uploaded with permission from the publisher.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Department of Philosophy (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Sherpa Assistant
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2007 12:33
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:55
Status: Published
Publisher: Hegeler Foundation
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3431

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