3/8/16 ASHLAND, Ohio – An Ashland University philosophy colloquium featuring Professor Jonathan Parsons, interim assistant professor of philosophy at Joliet Junior College in Illinois, will be held Thursday, March 17, at 3:30 p.m. in the Ronk Lecture Hall in the Schar College of Education.
Parsons will speak on “The Vagueness Argument for Unrestricted Composition.” The event, which is sponsored by the AU Philosophy Department, AU Philosophy Club and Phi Sigma Tau, is free and open to the public.
In metaphysics, unrestricted composition is a position concerning how parts and wholes are related to each other. On this view, composition occurs any time there are disjoint parts and there are no “special conditions” in which this composition takes place; if there are parts then necessarily there is a whole that those parts compose.
So, if there is a trout swimming in a river in Alaska and a turkey walking the plains of South Dakota, then the truth of unrestricted composition implies there is an object—a trout-turkey—that is composed of exactly those two parts. Despite the initial feelings of “huh?” one might have toward such a view, the view does have several attractive features. In particular, one attractive feature of unrestricted composition is that it eliminates cases of ontic vagueness by saying that borderline cases of composition are impossible. In this presentation, Parsons will discuss a specific kind of vagueness argument for unrestricted composition.
Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###