“Small Atomes of Themselves a World May Make”
Atomism is the thesis that everything is ultimately composed of atoms, i.e., things that do not have proper parts. Typically, thisthesis is characterized by an axiom stating that everything has atomic parts. The present paper argues that the success of this standard characterization crucially depends both on how the notion of composition is related to the notion of sum, and on how the notion of sum is initially defined. In particular, it puts forward a novel definition of mereological sum that: (i) is not equivalent to extant definitions in the literature, provided no strong decomposition principle is assumed; (ii) can be used to claim that the standard characterization of atomism fails in that having atomic parts is not sufficient to be the sum of atoms (or composed of atoms); and (iii) delivers a purely mereological distinction between structured and unstructured wholes.
June 21st / 17:50 / Aula Magna