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Topics in Metaphysics


Time and Part

This course investigates the interrelations between time and part. Mereology is frequently developed in the abstract, whereas all prominent applications are to objects in time. The discrepancies and difficulties that thus arise form an intricate complex of problems.

Topics to be covered will include

  • Objects in time and their parts
  • Temporal parts
  • Temporary parts
  • Occupying time
  • Parts of time
  • Mereological change
  • Coincidence and identity
  • Mereological essentialism
  • Vague objects
  • Time and large objects
  • Parts and tenses


Preparatory Reading

Chisholm, R. M. Parts as Essential to their Wholes. Review of Metaphysics 26 (1973), 581–603.

Lejewski, C. Ontology: What Next? In Leinfellner, W. Kraemer, E. and Schank, J., eds., Language and Ontology. Vienna, 1982, 173–86.

Simons, P. Parts, Oxford 1987, Chapters 4 and 5.

—— Where it’s At: Modes of Occupation and Kinds of Occupant. In S. Klein¬schmidt, ed., Mereology and Location. Oxford, 2014, 59–68.

Zemach, E. Four Ontologies, Journal of Philosophy 67 (1970), 231–47.



Sattig T.

Course director

Simons P.

Course director

Additional information

Fall, Spring
Academic year
Master of Arts in Philosophy, Core course, Core Course, 2nd year