Mereology and Identity

July 3, 2017 - July 5, 2017
Classe di Scienze Umane, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa

Sala Azzurra
Piazza dei Cavalieri, 7
Pisa 56126

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Phillip Bricker
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Université de Genève
Aaron J. Cotnoir
University of St. Andrews
Einar Duenger Bohn
University of Agder
Paul Hovda
Reed College
Shieva Kleinschmidt
University of Southern California
Kris McDaniel
Syracuse University
Jeroen Smid
Lund University
Achille Varzi
Columbia University
Megan Wallace
University of Kentucky
Byeong-Uk Yi
University of Toronto


Massimiliano Carrara
University of Padua
Giorgio Lando
Università degli Studi dell'Aquila
Massimo Mugnai
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa

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The contemporary debate on mereology is largely hinged on the notion of identity. Indeed, classical mereology dictates that complex entities are identical if and only if they have the same proper parts. On the other hand, many scholars who doubt the adequacy of classical mereology point to real or fictional cases in which different wholes would have the same proper parts.  The upholders of Composition as Identity think that identity, or a relation analogous to identity, also connects a whole with its parts. By contrast, the opponents of Composition as Identity retort that composition fails to respect some pivotal principles that holds for standard identity, such as the Indiscerniblity of Identicals, coreferentiality  or transitivity. Finally, in the debate about Composition as Identity, the so-called Sider-Yi Collapse seems to show that some roles sometimes attributed to identity are incompatible with the standard characterization of plural identity.

The conference will host the main scholars involved in this debate, with the purpose of encouraging innovative solutions to the following open problems:

a) Is there any inferential or evidential connection between Composition as Identity and mereological principles?

b) Does the debate between monism and dualism in the theory of constitution really concern mereology? Is dualism compatible or incompatible with mereological extensionalism?

c) Is it possible and interesting to combine mereological extensionalism and/or Composition as Identity with non-standard doctrines of identity, such as relative identity or milder forms of pluralism about identity?

d) What does the Yi/Sider Collapse show about the application of plural logic to mereology?

e) How do the appeals to the Indiscernibility of Identicals in the debate about Composition as Identity differ from the appeals to the Indiscernibility of Identicals in the debate about the theory of constitution?

f) Is Composition as Identity compatible with non-standard mereologies, or to pluralist theories of parthood?

g) According to Composition as Identity the Principle of Indiscernibility of Identicals can be extended to composition, by resorting to broadly Fregean relativizations of cardinality ascriptions. How is this relativization achieved?

No registration is required. Everybody is welcome.

For any information, please contact Giorgio Lando ([email protected]) or Massimiliano Carrara ([email protected]).

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July 1, 2017, 8:00pm CET

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Università degli Studi dell'Aquila

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Custom tags:

#Mereology, #Identity, #Composition as Identity