Aquinas and the Ship of Theseus: Solving Puzzles about by Christopher Brown

By Christopher Brown

Thomas Aquinas has regularly been seen as a hugely importantfigure in Western Civilization, and the manager thinker of RomanCatholicism. In contemporary a long time there was a renewed curiosity inAquinas' notion as students were exploring the relevance of histhought to modern philosophical problems.The ebook could be of curiosity not just to historians of medievalphilosophy, yet to philosophers who paintings on difficulties linked withthe nature of fabric items. simply because humans are typicallyunderstood to be a type of fabric item, the booklet can also be ofinterest to philosophers engaged on issues within the philosophy of religion,philosophy of brain, and the philosophy of human nature. even if thework includes the types of information which are worthy for a piece of old scholarship, it's written in amanner that makes it approachable for undergraduate scholars in philosophy and so it might be awelcomed addition to any college library.

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The sum theory of masses has no problem making sense of the possibility that there are no K-atoms for any homeomerous mass-kind K. However, the plurality approach to masses does not fair so well on the supposition that atomism is false. As Zimmerman argues, The sort of ‘mere plurality’ picked out by a plural referring term is not a single thing of any sort ^ that is just the di¡erence, I take it, between the denotations of plural referring terms on the one hand, and sums and sets on the other. So to identify masses with mere pluralities that were pluralities of pluralities ‘all the way down’ would be to identify masses with nothing at all.

The di¡erence between atomism and non-atomism has to do with 26 Aquinas and the Ship of Theseus the question whether or not the ultimate constituents of material things are simples (entities that can’t be divided). Say for the sake of argument that water is an ultimate constituent of all things, that is that portions of water cannot be divided so as to result in a kind of thing that is not water. The nonatomist would think that every part of the water in a glass of water is a portion of water that can itself be divided into portions of water, ad in¢nitum.

Entities that have no proper parts. If an atomist favours the sum theory of masses, then every mass of K is identical to a mereological sum of K-atoms. In fact, even K-atoms themselves would count as masses of K according to the sum theory (1995, p. 64). For example, assuming for the sake of argument that water is a homeomerous stu¡-kind, according to the sum theory of masses, a visible mass of water would be identical to a particular mereological sum of water atoms. In addition, the water atoms that form the parts of the visible mass of water would themselves count as masses of water.

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