Mereology and truth-making

Peter Simons



Many mereological propositions are true contingently, so we are entitled to ask why they are true. One frequently given type of answer to such questions evokes truth-makers, that is, entities in virtue of whose existence the propositions in question are true. However, even without endorsing the extreme view that all contingent propositions have truth-makers, it turns out to be puzzlingly hard to provide intuitively convincing candidate truth-makers for even a core class of basic mereological propositions. Part of the problem is that the relation of part to whole is ontologically intimate in a way reminiscent of identity. Such intimacy bespeaks a formal or internal relation, which typically requires no truth-makers beyond its terms. But truth-makers are held to necessitate their truths, so whence the contingency when A is part of B but need not be, or B need not have A as part? This paper addresses and attempts to disentangle the conundrum.


mereology; mereological propositions; truth-makers; continuants

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ISSN: 1425-3305 (print version)

ISSN: 2300-9802 (electronic version)

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