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McGill PSA Undergraduate Colloquium

October 14, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

“Lumpls and Tables and Chairs, Oh My! Wholes as Structures Prior to their Parts”

Jonathan Fine

I want to think about parts and wholes. Two questions motivate me: firstly, how should we think about parts and wholes, and about different senses of “part” and “whole”? Secondly, are either parts or wholes prior to the other? Against the mereological view of composition as identity, I put forth a view of wholes as structures. On my view, wholes (like tables) are in some sense prior to and transform the identity of their parts (like legs). Along the way, we consider Alan Gibbard’s Lumpl, ontological dependence, and essentialism. I conclude with some fun thoughts on modern art and Gestalt structures that exemplify my position.

“The structure of techne in Averroës’ On the Harmony of Religion and Philosophy (c. 1190)”

Zoë Gagnon Paquin
“So when [the earth’s] tranquility is in harmony with those living on it, it did not come into being by chance alone, but was made by someone’s intention, and determination.” Why does Averroës unproblematically ascribe harmony to causality? I will argue that it is through the structure oftechne, and that this structure not only reveals the harmony of Islam and philosophy as equally valuable illustrations of God, but that it also shows the authority of harmony itself.

Wednesday, October 21st, 5:00-7:00 PM in Leacock 927

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