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Hans Burkhardt and Stamatios Gerogiorgakis

Scherzer, Johann Adam _From Handbook of Mereology


ISBN: 978-3-88405-663-9

Price: €9.80 (including 19 % tax)


Johann Adam Scherzer (1628-1683) taught philosophy in Leipzig. Of historical importance to mereology is the chapter of his Axiomata resoluta on the subject (Scherzer 1686). This work influenced his pupil Leibniz who treated Scherzer along with Joachim Jungius as sources of his mereological analyses in a number of texts. Scherzer’s mereology chapter is an introduction to the part-whole relation for undergraduates. The author treats the part-whole relation as one of the three basic ontological relations – together with substanceaccident and cause-effect. The text bears resemblance to the obligationes, introductions to modal theory written for students by the postmedieval scholastic logicians and philosophers. Scherzer’s approach to mereological structures is typical for his time and also for similar medieval and postmedieval texts. Mereological discussions of this kind are not to be found for centuries to follow. Mereological structures were, at any rate, not explicitly discussed in later textbooks. Scherzer discusses different kinds of wholes, ontological structures and the difference between the ontological and the epistemic approach. He formulates eleven rules: I. The simple is prior by nature to the composite whose part it is. The simple is not always temporally prior to the whole because sometimes the simple and the composite emerge simultaneously. E.g. when God created prime matter he added form to it at the same moment. (Prime matter is traditionally seen as ens rationis or more exactly as ens rationis cum fundamento in re.) The simple is prior by nature necessarily. Scherzer points out that in the following conditional the consequent does not follow from the antecedent: “There is a part, therefore there is a whole” whereas the following conditional is always true: “There is a whole, therefore there is a part”



 


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