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Structure


Kathrin Koslicki


Pages 512 - 519



The notion of structure is of central importance to mereology (for the following see also Koslicki 2008, ch. IX). Historical contributions had this clearly in view; for example, as is brought out in Harte 2002, Plato in numerous dialogues grapples with the question of how a whole which has many parts can nevertheless be a single unified object and ultimately endorses a structurebased response to this question (see Plato). Wholes, according to Plato’s mature views (as developed primarily in the Sophist, Parmenides, Philebus and Timaeus), have a dichotomous nature, con-sisting of both material as well as structural components; it is the job of structure to unify and organize the plurality of material parts that are present in a unified whole. A similar conception is taken up and worked out further by Aristotle who famously believed that ordinary material objects, such as houses, are compounds of matter (viz., the bricks, wood, etc.) and form (viz., the arrangement exhibited by the material components for the purpose of providing shelter).




1Department of Philosophy, University of Alberta



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