How to Build Things from Atoms
By Claudio Calosi (Geneva)
Date: Friday November 27, 2020
Time: 12:30-14:00 (GMT+3)
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Abstract: Mereological atomism is the thesis that everything is ultimately composed of atomic parts, i.e., parts lacking proper parts. Typically, this thesis is characterized by an axiom stating, more simply, that everything has atomic parts. The present paper argues that the success of this standard characterization crucially depends both on how the notion of composition is related to the notion of sum and on how the notion of sum is initially defined. In particular, we put forward a novel definition of mereological sum that:
(i) is not equivalent to extant definitions in the literature, provided no strong decomposition principle is assumed;
(ii) can be used to claim that the standard characterization of atomism fails in that having atomic parts is not sufficient to be the sum of atoms; and
(iii) delivers a purely mereological distinction between structured and unstructured wholes.
About the speaker: Claudio Calosi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Geneva. He has written on a variety of topics in metaphysics and is currently leading a 5-year project on the metaphysics of quantum objects, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. His work has appeared in such journals as Analysis, Erkenntnis, Synthese, Philosophical Studies, and the Philosophical Quarterly.