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Kleinschmidt, Shieva, , . Many-One Identity and the Trinity
2012, Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion (J. Kvanvig (ed.)) Vol. 4: 84-96.
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Abstract: Trinitarians claim there are three Divine persons each of which is God, and yet there is only one God. It seems they want three to equal one. It just so happens, some metaphysicians claim exactly that. They accept Composition as Identity: each fusion is identical to the plurality of its parts. I evaluate Composition as Identity’s application to the doctrine of the Trinity, and argue that it fails to give the Trinitairan any options he or she didn’t already have. Further, while Composition as Identity does give us a new way to assert polytheism, its help requires us to endorse a claim that undercuts any Trinitarian motivation for the view.

Comment: An excellent paper for an advanced UG/Masters course on the metaphysics of theism, as this draws upon metaphysical issues (composition) as well as issues in the philosophy of religion. Provides a great overview of problems facing an orthodox metaphysics of the trinity. NB: this is of course focused on metaphysics of Christianity, so if for a general metaphysics of theism course, it would be important to include metaphysical issues facing other religions.

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Megan Wallace, , . Composition as Identity
2011, Philosophy Compass 6 (11): 804–827
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Eric de Araujo

Abstract: Many of us think that ordinary objects – such as tables and chairs – exist. We also think that ordinary objects have parts: my chair has a seat and some legs as parts, for example. But once we are committed to the thesis that ordinary objects are composed of parts, we then open ourselves up to a whole host of philosophical problems, most of which center on what exactly the composition relation is. Composition as Identity is the view that the composition relation is the identity relation. While such a view has some advantages, there are many arguments against it. In this essay, I will briefly canvass three different varieties of Composition as Identity, and suggest why one of them should be preferred over the others. Then I will outline several versions of the most common objection against CI. I will suggest how a CI theorist can respond to these charges by maintaining that some of the arguments are invalid.

Comment: This introduction (in two articles) to the Composition as Identity debate can either stand alone among a collection of topics in metaphysics, or as an entry into more readings. It presents a range of Composition as Identity positions and helpfully organizes objections to the view.

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