The paradox of decrease and dependent parts

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jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThis paper is concerned with the paradox of decrease. Its aim is to defend the answer to this puzzle that was propounded by its originator, namely, the Stoic philosopher Chrysippus. The main trouble with this answer to the paradox is that it has the seemingly problematic implication that a material thing could perish due merely to extrinsic change. (For, intuitively, it is not possible for a mere extrinsic change to cause a material thing to cease to be.) It follows that in order to defend Chrysippus’ answer to the paradox, one has to explain how it could be that Theon is destroyed by the amputation without changing intrinsically. In this paper, I shall answer this challenge by appealing to the broadly Aristotelian idea that at least some of the proper parts of a material substance are ontologically dependent on that substance. I will also appeal to this idea in order to offer a new solution to the structurally similar paradox of increase. In this way, we will end up with a unified solution to two structurally similar paradoxes.</jats:p>

Metaphysics, Paradox of Decrease, Paradox of Increase, Mereology, Dependent Parts, neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics
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AHRC (1515687)
The research for this paper was completed at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. My time at Oxford was supported by a T. H. Green Scholarship, and I have been supported at Cambridge by an AHRC-Walker Studentship, hosted by the Faculty of Philosophy and Queens’ College, as part of the AHRC Doctoral Training Partnershi p (grant number AH/L503897/1). I am also presently being funded for my fourth year at Cambridge by a Jacobsen Studentship and an Aristotelian Society Bursary.