Is Weak Supplementation analytic?

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Mereological principles are often controversial; perhaps the most stark contrast is between those who claim that Weak Supplementation is analytic—constitutive of our notion of proper parthood—and those who argue that the principle is simply false, and subject to many counterexamples. The aim of this paper is to diagnose the source of this dispute. I’ll suggest that the dispute has arisen by participants failing to be sensitive to two different conceptions of proper parthood: the outstripping conception and the non-identity conception. I’ll argue that the outstripping conception (together with a specific set of definitions for other mereological notions), can deliver the analyticity of Weak Supplementation on at least one sense of ‘analyticity’. I’ll also suggest that the non-identity conception cannot do so independently of considerations to do with mereological extensionality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4229-4245
Number of pages17
Issue number18
Early online date27 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Mereology
  • Identity
  • Parthood
  • Supplementation
  • Analyticity
  • Extensionality


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