Composition and plethological innocence

Date
2021-11-15
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Source Title
Analysis
Print ISSN
0003-2638
Electronic ISSN
1467-8284
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Volume
82
Issue
1
Pages
67 - 74
Language
English
Type
Article
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Abstract

According to Composition as Identity (CAI), a whole is distinct from each of its parts individually, but identical to all of them taken together. It is sometimes claimed that, if you accept CAI, then your belief in a whole is ‘ontologically innocent’ with respect to your belief in its parts. This claim is false. But the defender of CAI can claim a different advantage for her view. Following Agustín Rayo, I distinguish ontology (which concerns what there is) from plethology (which concerns what there are). I then show that CAI allows us to introduce an interesting notion of ‘plethological innocence’ which would otherwise collapse into the notion of ‘ontological innocence’, and that CAI renders belief in composite objects plethologically (but not ontologically) innocent.

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Published Version (Please cite this version)