University of St Andrews AHCR web site CSMN web site
Identity, Existence & Structure

Past Events
Nov 2014: Mereology Workshop
Nov 2013: Formal Metaphysics Workshop


Principal Investigator:  Aaron Cotnoir
Co-investigator:  Katherine Hawley, Simon Prosser

Research Students: Patrik Hummel, Martin Lipman, Michael Traynor, Caroline Touborg



In this research seminar we examine some related issues in contemporary metaphysics. Currently these interests are focused around the identity, existence, and structure of objects.

  • Mereology: Does classical mereology offer us the best way to think of part/whole structure, and if not, what non-standard mereologies might do better?
  • Do objects exist contingently or temporally and, if so, what are the implications for identity?  
  • Causality: how do causal relations structure of the world?
  • Is there anything that explains why an object is the object that it is? Does the existence of some objects ‘ground’ others? Do certain descriptions better reflect the structure of the world than others?
  • What is metaphysical structure? Is it mind-independent or -dependent? Is it contingent or necessary?
  • Abstract objects: What are the existence and identity conditions of abstract objects?