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Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 17, Issue 3, 2017

On Stephen Neale’s manuscript "Silent Reference"

Mark Steen
Pages 431-440

Temporally Restricted Composition

I develop and defend a novel answer to Peter van Inwagen’s ‘Special Composition Question,’ (SCQ) namely, under what conditions do some things compose and object? My answer is that things will compose an object when and only when they exist simultaneously relative to a reference frame (I call this ‘Temporally Restricted Composition’ or TREC). I then show how this view wards off objections given to ‘Unrestricted Mereology’ (UM). TREC, unlike other theories of Restricted Composition, does not fall prey to worries about vagueness, anthropocentrism, or arbitrariness. TREC also has advantages over all the other answers to the SCQ. TREC is an account an A-theorist anti-Eternalist who wants an unrestricted mereology should accept. I also engage in some conceptual hygiene by showing how UM, as it should be used, should not, in itself, entail or contain a commitment to either Eternalism or Four-Dimensionalism.

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