Objects and Persons

Objects and Persons

by Trenton Merricks

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Objects and Persons by Trenton Merricks

There are no statues. Or rocks. Or chairs. Or stars. But there are microscopic objects arranged statuewise and rockwise and chairwise and starwise. Moreover, there are—in addition to microscopic objects arranged humanwise—composite human beings. Or so Trenton Merricks argues. The ontology of Objects and Persons is motivated, in large part, by causal considerations. One of the central ideas is that physical objects are causally non-redundant: physical objects cause things that are not wholly overdetermined by their proper parts. Merricks 'eliminates' statues and other inanimate composite macrophysical objects on the grounds that they would—if they existed—be at best completely causally redundant. Merricks defends our existence by arguing, from certain facts about mental causation, that we human beings cause things that are not overdetermined by our proper parts. A second strand of argument for Merricks's overall ontology involves a variety of philosophical puzzles, puzzles that are dealt with in illuminating and often novel ways. Many other issues are addressed along the way, including free will, the 'reduction' of a composite object to its parts, and the ways in which identity over time can "for practical purposes" be a matter of convention. Anyone working in metaphysics will enjoy this lucid and provocative book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780191529689
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 05/24/2001
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 233 KB

About the Author

Trenton Merricks is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Table of Contents

1. Explaining Eliminativism
2. Considerations in Favour of Eliminativism
3. Epiphenomenalism and Eliminativism
4. Surviving Eliminativism
5. Considerations in Favour of Eliminating Us?
6. Mental Causation and Free Will
7. Belief and Practice
References, Index

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