Non-wellfounded mereology

Aaron Cotnoir, Andrew Bacon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


This paper is a systematic exploration of non-wellfounded mereology. Motivations and applications suggested in the literature are considered. Some are exotic like Borges’ Aleph, and the Trinity; other examples are less so, like Time Traveling Bricks, and even Geach’s Tibbles the Cat. The authors point out that the transitivity of non-wellfounded parthood is inconsistent with extensionality. A non-wellfounded mereology is developed with careful consideration paid to rival notions of supplementation and fusion. Two equivalent axiomatizations are given, and are compared to classical mereology. We provide a class of models with respect to which the non-wellfounded mereology is sound and complete.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-204
Number of pages17
JournalThe Review of Symbolic Logic
Issue number2
Early online date9 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


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