SOPhiA 2019

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

Knowledge of Composition: A Case for Universalism
(Metaphysics and Ontology, English)

Conservative views about composition posit that certain pluralities of objects compose (e.g., atoms of a table compose the table), and are either neutral or negative about occurrence of composition for certain other pluralities of objects (e.g., a horse and a man). Conservative theories can differ in detail, but they typically accept the ontological posits of human perception, common sense, etc. and deny the occurrence of composition for certain pluralities of objects beyond the grasp of those biologically and/or socio-culturally motivated sources of forming ontological beliefs. In this essay, I will argue that conservatism is untenable. I will further argue that universalism about composition is true: Any plurality of objects composes an object. My argument for universalism will be based on the assumption (henceforth the ''crucial assumption'') that humans do acquire knowledge of occurrence of composition via their perceptual and cognitive faculties and/or their relatives. Alternatively, the crucial assumption states that our affirmative ontological beliefs about composition (e.g., the belief that tables are made of smaller parts) do amount to knowledge. I will, moreover, appeal to abductive methodology in theory choice to establish my argument.

Time: 11:20-11:50, 20 September 2019 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.003

Amirhossein Kiani 
(University of Tartu, Estonia)

MA student (2nd year) at the University of Tartu, working on certain topics in the vicinity of metaphysics, philosophy of language and epistemology. My thesis supervisor is professor Juhani Yli-Vakkuri.

Testability and Meaning deco