Sums and Grounding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As I will use the term, an object is a mereological sum of some things just in case those things compose it simply in virtue of existing. In the first half of this paper, I argue that there are no sums. The key premise for this conclusion relies on a constraint on what, in certain cases, it takes for something to ground, or metaphysically explain, something else. In the second half, I argue that in light of my argument against sums, Universalism, which is perhaps the most widely accepted answer to the Special Composition Question, is false.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-117
Number of pages16
JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2018


  • compose
  • counterfactual
  • grounding
  • sensitivity, sum
  • universalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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