more from Ryan Wasserman

Single Idea 16068

[catalogued under 9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / a. Parts of objects]

Full Idea

We do not calculate the weight of something by summing the weights of all its parts - weigh bricks and the molecules of a wall and you will get the wrong result, since you have weighed some parts more than once.

Gist of Idea

The weight of a wall is not the weight of its parts, since that would involve double-counting


Ryan Wasserman (Material Constitution [2009], 2)

Book Reference

'Stanford Online Encyclopaedia of Philosophy', ed/tr. Stanford University [], p.5

A Reaction

In fact the complete inventory of the parts of a thing is irrelevant to almost anything we would like to know about the thing. The parts must be counted at some 'level' of division into parts. An element can belong to many different sets.