more from Peter Simons

Single Idea 12861

[catalogued under 4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 4. Groups]

Full Idea

'The wolves' is a plural term referring to just these animals, whereas 'the pack' of wolves refers to a group, and the group and plurality, while they may coincide in membership, have different identity conditions. The wolves are the matter of the pack.

Gist of Idea

'The wolves' are the matter of 'the pack'; the latter is a group, with different identity conditions


Peter Simons (Parts [1987], 6.4)

Book Reference

Simons,Peter: 'Parts: a Study in Ontology' [OUP 1987], p.234

A Reaction

Even a cautious philosopher like Simons is ready to make bold ontological commitment to 'packs', on the basis of something called 'identity conditions'. I think it is just verbal. You can qualify 'the wolves' and 'the pack' to make them identical.