Supersubstantivalism, Harmony and Higher-order Identities
Andrea Salvador (Universitá della Svizzera Italiana)

part of: 15th Conference of the Italian Society for Analytic Philosophy – Who is afraid of philosophy? New challenges for contemporary society
September 9, 2023, 3:15pm - 3:45pm
University of Eastern Piedmont


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Supersubstantivalism, Harmony and Higher-order Identities – Andrea Salvador (University of Italian Switzerland, Lugano)

Lehmkuhl 2018 distinguishes between (1) modest and (2) radical supersubstantivalism. For (1), the properties of material objects are held directly by their location, for (2), only some are and the rest are reducible to the former properties. For example, Schaffer 2009 argues for identity-supersubstantivalism, which is a form of (1), while Lehmkuhl 2018 and Calosi & Duerr 2021 for (2). But identity-supersubstantivalists have argued only their theory explains Harmony, i.e., that necessarily, an object and its exact-location have the same shape and the object’s parts are exactly located at parts of its exact-location. So (1) seems explanatorily stronger than (2). I challenge this claim. I discuss a defence of identity-supersubstantivalism by Leonard 2021a, an answer by Calosi 2022 and another proposal by Leonard 2021b. The last two views are compatible with (2), but Calosi’s denies the intrinsicality of parthood for material objects, while Leonard’s its extensionality. I thus provide a theory which explains Harmony with less theoretical costs. I argue my proposal is as explanatorily powerful as Leonard’s and Calosi’s, safe from the objections their theories could face, in compliance with Leonard 2021b’s desiderata, but compatible with radical supersubstantivalism. It will thus appeal to every radical supersubstantivalist who wanted an account of Harmony without Calosi’s or Leonard’s consequences.

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