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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 17, 2008


Sun Demirli
Pages 33-40

Bundles, Indiscernibility and Triplication Problem

The bundle theory, supposed as a theory concerning the internal constitution of individuals, is often conjoined with a constitutional approach to individuation entailing the thesis ‘no two individuals can share all their constituents’ (CIT). But then it runs afoul of Black’s duplication case. Here a new bundle theory, taking distance relations between bundles to be a sufficient ground for their diversity, will be proposed. This version accommodates Black’s world. Nonetheless, there is a possible objection. Consider the ‘triplication case’—a world containing three indistinguishable spheres, each 5-meters from each other. Since distance relations are dyadic, this version must fail to distinguish the threespheres world from Black’s world. In response to this objection, I maintain that we must construe distance relations as irreducibly multigrade and n-ary. Then these two worlds will be distinguished by appealing to a triadic relation—R3—that three things enter mutually. Aren’t all polyadic relations in principle reducible to dyadic relations? I won’t deny that. But I will aim lower and argue that R3 cannot be reduced to dyadic relations that obliterate the distinction between the three-spheres world and Black’s world.