Anti-symmetry and non-extensional mereology

Aaron J Cotnoir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


I examine the link between extensionality principles of classical mereology and the anti-symmetry of parthood. Varzi's most recent defence of extensionality depends crucially on assuming anti-symmetry. I examine the notions of proper parthood, weak supplementation and non-well-foundedness. By rejecting anti-symmetry, the anti-extensionalist has a unified, independently grounded response to Varzi's arguments. I give a formal construction of a non-extensional mereology in which anti-symmetry fails. If the notion of ‘mereological equivalence’ is made explicit, this non-anti-symmetric mereology recaptures all of the structure of classical mereology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-405
Number of pages10
JournalThe Philosophical Quarterly
Issue number239
Early online date9 Sept 2009
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


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