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World, Actual

Kristie Miller

Pages 602 - 605

Mereology tells us about the relationship between wholes and parts. Since it is natural to think of the actual world as a whole, or totality, with parts, it is likewise natural to think that we can explicate some aspects of the actual world in mereological terms. Since the actual world is concrete, it is tempting to suppose that it is a mereological sum of concrete particulars. If a concrete particular is one that has spatiotemporal location, and if a world includes all that there is, then we can define the actual world as a maximal mereological sum of spatiotemporally connected particulars. As it turns out, this is David Lewis’ (1986 p 69) view about possible worlds in general, of which the actual world is but one. Call this the Lewisian conception of the actual world.

1Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney

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