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Simon Thunder

PhD Student and Teaching Affiliate, Faculty of Arts

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Teaching Summary

I have taught on undergraduate modules on metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and logic. In spring semester 2018 I convened the final year undergraduate module Advanced Logic.

Research Summary

My thesis will defend mereological nihilism, which is a candidate answer to the Special Composition Question (SCQ). The SCQ asks, 'When do some smaller objects together compose a larger one?', and… read more

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Current Research

My thesis will defend mereological nihilism, which is a candidate answer to the Special Composition Question (SCQ). The SCQ asks, 'When do some smaller objects together compose a larger one?', and the nihilist answers, 'Never'. So nihilism is traditionally characterised as the view that composite objects, i.e. objects with parts, don't exist. Since tables, tuk-tuks, planets, penguins, molecules, mountains, etc. all appear to have parts, the nihilist is usually characterised as objectionably denying their existence. For similar reasons, nihilists usually deny that anything is a part of anything else. But I reject this characterisation of nihilism. I think it relies on implausible claims about what terms such as 'penguin' and predicates such as 'is a part of', would express/refer to if nihilism were true. So my research primarily aims to i) develop and defend a plausible semantic account that allows nihilists to accept the existence of tables, penguins, etc., and to claim that the parthood relation has a non-empty extension; ii) explore the extent to which this improves the nihilist's dialectical position; iii) investigate the metaontological questions that my approach raises.

Department of Philosophy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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