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Against Facts$
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Arianna Betti

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029216

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029216.001.0001

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The Unity Problem

The Unity Problem

(p.39) 2 The Unity Problem
Against Facts

Arianna Betti

The MIT Press

This Chapter introduces the Unity Problem: what is the ontological ground of the difference between two objects taken together (their mereological sum or ‘mere aggregate’) and their real unity (the ‘really unified’ complex of the two objects)? The attempts at answering this question are presented by means of a Master Argument, and ranked using a flow chart, which shows as best Armstrong’s solution accepting compositional facts as primitive unities of their constituents with a special nonmereological composition. A first step to dismiss Armstrong’s solution as ad hoc is taken in this chapter by drawing upon elements of the debate on material constitution, and concluding that there are no direct or indirect arguments in favor of the special nonmereological composition of facts that are independent of the need to solve the unity problem. The last section of the chapter establishes that states of affairs are, a fortiori, more problematic entities than facts with respect to the Unity Problem.

Keywords:   Compositional Facts, The Unity Problem, Nonmereological Composition, Ontological ground, Sums, Complexes, Armstrong

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