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Alessandro Salice

Reinach, Adolf _From Handbook of Mereology


ISBN: 978-3-88405-660-8

Price: €9.80 (including 19 % tax)


Adolf Reinach (1883-1917) was one of the main representatives of early phenomenology. He studied in Munich before moving to Göttingen, where he worked with Edmund Husserl. Even though Reinach did not elaborate a mereological theory in its own right, he made an innovative use of some mereological concepts originally developed by Husserl in the third of his Logical Investigations (“On the theory of wholes and parts”). States of affairs. Reinach’s ontology of states of affairs allowed him to clarify some aspects of Husserlian mereology. According to Husserl, all real (real) predicates denote a part of the object that is referred to by the subject of these predicates. For instance, in the sentence: (1) the rose is red the predicate ‘red’ refers to a part of the rose. But not all predicates are real. In the sentence: (2) the rose is one the predicate ‘one’ does not point to any part of the rose, as one is not a real predicate, but rather a ‘categorial’ or ‘formal’ predicate. (Formal predicates are empty concepts which ‘group around’ the equally empty notion of ‘object as such’, Logical Investigations II, p. 19.) All parts (Teile) of a whole are either pieces (Stücke) or moments (Momente). Pieces are independent or concrete parts, which means that these parts can exist even if they were not contained in some whole. As an example, consider the following sentence: (3) the rose has petals. Here the petals are pieces of the rose as they can exist without the rose. By contrast, the predicate ‘red’ in (1) points at a moment, which is a nonindependent, or abstract, part of the rose. The particular red nuance of the rose would not exist without the rose, and the same applies to all moments: they can exist only in relation to a whole. Moments, Husserl contends further, might be related to a whole by necessity. For instance, in the following sentence (4) this shade of red is extended …




 


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