Mereology with Super-Supplementation Axioms. A Reconstruction of the Unpublished Manuscript of Jan F. Drewnowski

Kordula Świętorzecka, Marcin Łyczak



We present a study of unpublished fragments of Jan F. Drewnowski’s manuscript from the years 1922–1928, which contains his own axiomatics for mereology. The sources are transcribed and two versions of mereology are reconstructed from them. The first one is given by Drewnowski. The second comes from Leśniewski and was known to Drewnowski from Leśniewski’s lectures. Drewnowski’s version is expressed in the language of ontology enriched with the primitive concept of a (proper) part, and its key axiom expresses the so-called weak super-supplementation principle, which was named by Drewnowski “the postulate of the existence of subtractions”. Leśniewski’s axiomatics with the primitive concept of an ingrediens contains the axiom expressing the strong super-supplementation principle. In both systems the collective class of objects from the range of a given non-empty concept is defined as the upper bound of that range. From a historical point of view it is interesting to notice that the presented version of Leśniewski’s axiomatics has not been published yet. The same applies to Drewnowski’s approach. We reconstruct the proof of the equivalence of these two systems. Finally, we discuss questions stemming from their equivalence in frame of elementary mereology formulated in a modern way.


mereology; axiomatics for classical mereology; supplementation principles; super-supplementation principles; Stanisław Leśniewski; Jan F. Drewnowski

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ISSN: 1425-3305 (print version)

ISSN: 2300-9802 (electronic version)

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