Home / Projects / Metaphysics: Identity, Existence & Structure


Principal investigator: Aaron Cotnoir

Co-investigator: Simon Prosser

Research students: Jarred Snograss, Savvas Ioannou, Travis Manuel, Patrik Hummel, Caroline Torpe Touborg

Associated events

Mar 2020: Metaphysics & Logic Seminar

Sep 2019: Metaphysics & Logic Seminar Planning Meeting

May 2019: Metaphysics Seminar: No meeting.

Apr 2019: Conceptual Engineering Seminar: Kevin Scharp Herman Cappelen

Apr 2019: Metaphysics Seminar: Planning Meeting.

Nov 2014: Mereology Workshop

Oct 2014: Symposium on Recanati Workshop

Nov 2013: Formal Metaphysics Workshop


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?

The IES Group meets during Arché semesters from 13:00 until 15:00 each Monday in Edgecliffe G03.