Miscellaneous Metaphysics Colloquium: Cody Gilmore

December 21, 2018
Friday, January 18, 2019 - 3:30pm
347 University Hall
UH

"Delegation and the Logic of Location"

 

Abstract: Mereology tries to formally regiment the behavior or logic of the part-whole relation: many mereological theories, for example, include the claim that parthood is transitive. Formal theories of location try to capture the behavior of the location relation and its interaction with the part-whole relation. They typically include some version of the Inheritance of Location: if x is a part of y and x is located at r1 and y is located at r2, then r1 is a part of r2. In this talk I focus on the 'neglected little sibling' of the Inheritance of Location, which I dub Delegation (Gilmore 2009), (Gilmore 2013), (Gilmore and Leonard 2019). Whereas Inheritance says that a whole must 'go at least as far as any of its parts', Delegation says that a composite whole must 'go no farther than its proper parts'. After distinguishing weaker and stronger formalizations, I discuss three applications of the principle: it rules out unwanted models of the formal theory of location in Parsons (2007); it undermines one main motivation for a 'fusion first' mereology given in Kleinschmidt (2017); and it helps to repair the invalid argument for 'regionalism' in Markosian (2014).

 

Cody Gilmore is a Professor at UC Davis.

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