Neppur si muove! Reply to Correia and Rosenkranz


Draft (coming soon)  | Abstract

Correia and Rosenkranz (2020, 2022) have recently argued that tense realism (understood as the view that there is a real difference between past, present, and future) entails realism about temporal passage (and, thus, the idea that there is some change in which time is the present time). I argue that their argument is either unsound or question-begging.

The Philosophical Quarterly

Don’t stop believing: fragmentalism and the problem of tensed belief explosion
The Philosophical Quarterly

Published | Draft Abstract

Giovanni Merlo has argued that a currently popular way to interpret Kit Fine’s fragmentalism about tensed facts (which he calls ‘unstructured fragmentalism’) is threatened by the problem of ‘tensed belief explosion’. I argue that such an explosion of belief poses no problem to unstructured fragmentalists.  

Composition as identity and the innocence of mereology
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

2022, 105128– 143

Published [open access]  | Abstract

According to the thesis known as ‘Composition as Identity’ (‘CAI’), every entity is identical to the parts it fuses. Many authors in the literature acknowledge that, in spite of its controversial character, one attractive virtue of CAI is its apparent ability to give a straightforward account of the innocence of mereology. In this paper I will present a simple argument according to which CAI entails that no composite entity can be said to be ontologically innocent in the relevant sense. After having shown that said argument is independent from the problems surrounding the infamous ‘Collapse Principle’, I will conclude that CAI-theorists should endorse a suitably ‘restricted’ version of CAI. In the final part of the paper I will then argue that the best restricted version of CAI is the theory according to which every composite entity is identical to the plurality of its atomic parts.

Universalism doesn’t entail extensionalism

2022, 82(2), 246-255

Draft  | Published | Free copy  | Abstract

In the literature on mereology it is often accepted that mereological universalism entails extensionalism. More precisely, many accept that, if parthood is assumed to be a partial order (and, thus, the relevant theory of parthood is taken to be at least asstrong as ‘core mereology’), the thesis that every plurality of entities has a mereological fusion entails the thesis that different composite entities have different proper parts. Central to this idea is the principle known as ‘Weak Supplementation’ which many take to impose an important constraint on the relation of proper parthood. In this paper I argue that this claim is false as the principle that I will call ‘Minimal Supplementation’ appears to be capable of doing all the work done by Weak Supplementation but without entailing extensionalism if conjoined with universalism and core mereology.

How the block grows
American Philosophical Quarterly

2022, 59(4): 377–389.

Draft | Published | Abstract

I argue that the growing-block theory of time and truthmaker maximalism jointly entail that some truthmakers undergo mereological change as time passes. Central to my argument is a grounding-based account of what I call the ‘purely incremental’ nature of the growing-block theory of time. As I will show, the argument presented in this paper suggests that growing-block theorists endorsing truthmaker maximalism have reasons to take composition to be restricted and the ‘block’ of reality to literally grow as time goes by.

Enciclopedia de la Sociedad Española de Filosofía Analítica


Published | Introduction

Discusiones filosóficas sobre la noción de parte han acompañado la filosofía a lo largo de toda su historia (para una visión de conjunto véase Cotnoir y Varzi 2021, sección 1.1).  No obstante, lo que en la filosofía analítica contemporánea se suele llamar ‘mereología’ (del griego ‘meros’, o sea, ‘parte’) ve la luz de manera más explícita solo con el trabajo del lógico polaco Stanisław Leśniewski (1916, 1927-31) y en el mundo anglófono (donde la obra de Leśniewski fue durante  mucho tiempo inaccesible por falta de traducciones) con el artículo ‘The Calculus of Individuals’ (1940) de  Henry Leonard y Nelson Goodman.

En la filosofía analítica contemporánea entendemos con ‘mereología’ la teoría formal de la noción de parte, en el sentido de que ésta se ocupa de la relación de parte independientemente de la naturaleza específica de los objetos involucrados (véase Cotnoir y Varzi 2021, sección 1.2.1). La mereología juega un papel central en muchos debates filosóficos contemporáneos, como por ejemplo el debate acerca de la naturaleza de los objetos materiales y la manera en que éstos persisten y cambian en el tiempo.

La teoría mereológica que está en el centro de la discusión contemporánea sobre la noción de parte es sin duda la ‘mereología clásica’ (la que se origina en el trabajo de Leśniewski, 1916, 1927-31 y Leonard y Goodman, 1940). De hecho, a pesar de su elegancia, la mereología clásica contiene principios muy controvertidos que muchos filósofos rechazan, sosteniendo así que la verdadera teoría formal de la noción de parte tiene que ser una mereología ‘no-clásica’.

En esta entrada vamos primero a presentar los principios más importantes de la mereología clásica—empezando por la ‘mereología básica’ y siguiendo con las mereologías más fuertes, la ‘mereología mínima’ y la ‘mereología extensional’ (sección 2). En segundo lugar (sección 3), vamos a considerar algunas de las familias más importantes de mereologías no-clásicas. En la parte final (sección 4) se indican otros temas importantes en mereología y algunas referencias esenciales sobre ellos.

Open future, supervaluationism and the growing-block theory:
a stage-theoretical account


2021, 199: 14249–14266
[T.C.: Indeterminacy and Underdetermination]

Draft  | Published | Abstract

I present a ‘stage-theoretical’ interpretation of the supervaluationist semantics for the growing-block theory of time according to which the ‘nodes’ on the branching tree of historical possibilities are taken to be possible stages of the growth of the growing-block. As I will argue, the resulting interpretation (i) is very intuitive, (ii) can easily ward off an objection to supervaluationist treatments of the growing-block theory presented by Fabrice Correia and Sven Rosenkranz, and (iii) is also not saddled by the problems affecting the supervaluationist version of the growing-block theory defended by R. A. Briggs and Graeme A. Forbes.

Mereological endurantism and being a whole at a time: reply to Costa
Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy


Draft | Published | Abstract

Damiano Costa has recently offered a novel mereological definition of endurantism based on the idea that for an object to be wholly present at a time is for it to be a whole at that time. In this paper I argue that Costa’s is not a definition of endurantism, since the idea that every object is a whole at every time it exists can be accepted by endurantists and perdurantists alike. 

Two notions of fusion and the landscape of extensionality
Philosophical Studies

2021, 178 3443–3463.

Draft  | Published [open access] | Abstract

There are two main ways in which the notion of mereological fusion is usually defined in the current literature in mereology which have been labelled ‘Leśniewski fusion’ and ‘Goodman fusion’. It is well-known that, with Minimal Mereology as the background theory, every Leśniewski fusion also qualifies as a Goodman fusion. However, the converse does not hold unless stronger mereological principles are assumed. In this paper I will discuss how the gap between the two notions can be filled, focussing in particular on two specific sets of principles that appear to be of particular philosophical interest. The first way to make the two notions equivalent can be used to shed some interesting light on the kind of intuition both notions seem to articulate. The second shows the importance of a little-known mereological principle which I will call ‘Mild Supplementation’. As I will show, the mereology obtained by adding Mild Supplementation to Minimal Mereology occupies an interesting position in the landscape of theories that are stronger than Minimal Mereology but weaker than what Achille Varzi and Roberto Casati have labelled ‘Extensional Mereology’.

Somewhere together: location, parsimony and multilocation


Draft | Published | Abstract

Most of the theories of location on the market appear to be ideologically parsimonious at least in the sense that they take as primitive just one locative notion and define all the other locative notions in terms of it. Recently, however, the possibility of some exotic metaphysical scenarios involving gunky mixtures and extended simple regions of space has been argued to pose a significant threat to parsimonious theories of locations. The aim of this paper is to show that a theory taking as primitive a notion of plural pervasive location and allowing for irreducibly plural locative facts can account for all the putatively problematic scenarios for parsimonious theories of location. Furthermore, I will also argue that the notion of plural pervasive location is compatible with the possibility of multilocation.

There are no fundamental facts
2021, 81(1): 32–39.
Featured in OUP’s collection ‘Best of Philosophy’ papers for 2021.  

Published [free access] | Draft | Abstract

I present an argument proving that there are no fundamental facts which is similar to an argument recently presented by Mark Jago for truthmaker maximalism. I suggest that this argument gives us at least some prima facie defeasible reason to believe that there are no fundamental facts.

Composition, identity and plural ontology

2021, 198: 9193–9210

Published [open access] | Draft  |  Abstract

According to ‘Strong Composition as Identity’ (‘SCAI’), if an entity is composed of a plurality of entities, it is identical to them. As it has been argued in the literature, SCAI appears to give rise to some serious problems which seem to suggest that SCAI-theorists should take their plural quantifier to be governed by some ‘weak’ plural comprehension principle and, thus, ‘exclude’ some kinds of pluralities from their plural ontology. The aim of this paper is to argue that, contrary to what may appear at first sight, the assumption of a weak plural comprehension principle is perfectly compatible with plural logic and the common uses of plural quantification. As I aim to show, SCAI-theorists can simply claim that their theory must be understood as formulated by means of the most ‘joint-carving’ plural quantifier, thus leaving open the possibility of other, less joint-carving, ‘unrestricted’ plural quantifiers. In the final part of the paper I will also suggest that SCAI-theorists should not only allow for singular quantification over pluralities of entities, but also for plural quantification over ‘super-pluralities’ of entities.

On atomic composition as identity
[Special Issue: Mereology and Identity]
2021 (S.I.: Mereology and Identity), 198: 4519–4542.

PublishedDraft  | Erratum: draft, pub | Abstract

In this paper I address two important objections to the theory called ‘(Strong) Composition as Identity’ (‘CAI’): the ‘wall-bricks-and-atoms problem’ (‘WaBrA problem’), and the claim that CAI entails mereological nihilism. I aim to argue that the best version of CAI capable of addressing both problems is the theory I will call ‘Atomic Composition as Identity’ (‘ACAI’) which consists in taking the plural quantifier to range only over proper pluralities of mereological atoms and every non-atomic entity to be identical to the (proper) plurality of atoms it fuses. I will proceed in three main steps. First, I will defend Sider’s (2014) idea of weakening the comprehension principle for pluralities and I will show that (pace Calosi 2016a) it can ward off both the WaBrA problem and the threat of mereological nihilism. Second, I will argue that CAI-theorists should uphold an ‘atomic comprehension principle’ which, jointly with CAI, entails that there are only proper pluralities of mereological atoms. Finally, I will present a novel reading of the ‘one of’ relation that not only avoids the problems presented by Yi (1999a, 2014) and Calosi (2016b, 2018) but can also help ACAI-theorists to make sense of the idea that a composite entity is both one and many.

How to make a gunky Spritz
Thought: A Journal of Philosophy

2019, 8(4): 250-9.

Published [open access]Draft  | Abstract

 In its simplest form, a Spritz is an aperitif made with (sparkling) water and (white) wine. A ‘gunky Spritz’, as I will call it, is a Spritz in which the water and the wine are mixed through and through, so that every proper part of the Spritz has a proper part containing both water and wine. In the literature on the notion of location the possibility of mixtures like a gunky Spritz has been thought of as either threatening seemingly intuitive locative principles, or as requiring the position of multiple primitive locative relations. In this paper I present a new theory of location which assumes as primitive only the notion of pervasive location and show that it can account for the possibility of gunky Spritz in an intuitive and adequate way.

No ground for doomsday
Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy
2019, 62(9-10): 1136-56

PublishedDraft  | Abstract

The ability of providing an adequate supervenience base for tensed truths may seem to be one of the main theoretical advantages of both the growing-block and the moving-spotlight theory of time over presentism. However, in this paper I will argue that some propositions appear to be as problematic for growing-block theorists as past-directed propositions are for presentists, namely propositions stating that nothing will be the case in the future. Furthermore, I will show that the moving-spotlight theory can adequately address all the main supervenience challenges that can be levelled against A-theories of time. I will, thus, conclude that, at least as far as the supervenience principle is concerned, the moving-spotlight theory should be preferred over both presentism and the growing-block theory.

The open future
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Published  |  Summary 

Fine’s trilemma and the reality of tensed facts
Thought: A Journal of Philosophy
2018, 7(13): 209-17

Published [open access] | Draft  | Abstract

Fine (2005, 2006) has presented a ‘trilemma’ concerning the tense-realist idea that reality is constituted by tensed facts. According to Fine, there are only three ways out of the trilemma, consisting in what he takes to be the three main families of tense-realism: ‘presentism’, ‘(external) relativism’, and ‘fragmentalism’. Importantly, although Fine characterises tense-realism as the thesis that reality is constituted (at least in part) by tensed facts, he explicitly claims that tense realists are not committed to their fundamental existence. Recently, Correia and Rosenkranz (2011, 2012) have claimed that Fine’s tripartite map of tense realism is incomplete as it misses a fourth position they call ‘dynamic absolutism’. In this paper, I will argue that dynamic absolutists are committed to the irreducible existence of tensed facts and that, for this reason, they face a similar trilemma concerning the notion of fact-content. I will thus conclude that a generalised version of Fine’s trilemma, concerning both fact-constitution and fact-content, is indeed inescapable.

Against ‘Against ‘Against Vague Existence”
Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 11
2018: 278-87
Published | Draft Abstract

Alessandro Torza argues that Ted Sider’s Lewisian argument against vague existence is insufficient to rule out the possibility of what he calls ‘super-vague existence’, that is the idea that existence is higher-order vague, for all orders. In this chapter it is argued that the possibility of super-vague existence is ineffective against the conclusion of Sider’s argument since super-vague existence cannot be consistently claimed to be a kind of linguistic vagueness. Torza’s idea of super-vague existence seems to be better suited to model vague existence under the assumption that vague existence is instead a form of ontic indeterminacy, contra what Ted Sider and David Lewis assume. 

The Philosophical Quarterly

A sudden collapse to nihilism
The Philosophical Quarterly
2018, 68: 370–75.

Published | Draft | Abstract

According to Composition is Identity, a whole is literally identical to the plurality of its parts. According to Mereological Nihilism, nothing has proper parts. In this note, it is argued that Composition is Identity can be shown to entail Mereological Nihilism in a much more simple and direct way than the one recently proposed by Claudio Calosi. 

Fine’s McTaggart: Reloaded
Special Issue: Time and Reality
2017, 40(1): 209-39.

Published | Draft | Abstract

 In this paper I present three arguments (based on the notions of constitution, metaphysical reality, and truth, respectively) with the aim of shedding some new light on the structure of Fine’s (2005, 2006) ‘McTaggartian’ arguments against the reality of tense. Along the way, I also (i) draw a novel map of the main realist positions about tense, (ii) unearth a previously unnoticed but potentially interesting form of external relativism (which I label ‘hyper-presentism’) and (iii) sketch a novel interpretation of Fine’s fragmentalism (which I contrast with Lipman’s 2015, 2016b, forthcoming).

Grounding, contingency and transitivity
2017, 30(1): 1-14.

Published | Draft Abstract

Grounding contingentism is the doctrine according to which grounds are not guaranteed to necessitate what they ground. In this paper I will argue that the most plausible version of contingentism (which I will label ‘serious contingentism’) is incompatible with the idea that the grounding relation is transitive, unless either ‘priority monism’ or ‘contrastivism’ are assumed.

Parts ground the whole and are identical to it
Australasian Journal of Philosophy
2016, 94(3): 489-98.

Published | DraftAbstract

What is the relation between the parts taken together and the whole they compose? The recent literature appears to be dominated by two different answers to this question, which are normally thought of as being incompatible. According to the first, the parts taken together are identical to the whole they compose. According to the second, the whole is grounded in its parts. The aim of this paper is to make some theoretical room for the view according to which parts ground the whole they compose while being, at the same time, identical to it.

Grounds, roots and abysses
Thought: A Journal of Philosophy
2016, 5(1): 41-52.

Published [open access] | Draft | Abstract

The aim of this paper is to address the ‘Grounding Grounding Problem’, that is, the question as to what, if anything, grounds facts about grounding. I aim to show that, if a seemingly plausible principle of modal recombination between fundamental facts and the principle customarily called ‘Entailment’ are assumed, it is possible to prove not only that grounding facts featuring fundamental, contingent grounds are derivative but also that either they are (at least) partially grounded in the grounds they feature or they are ‘abysses’ (that is, derivative facts without fundamental grounds and lying at the top of an infinitely descending chain of ground).

How to change the past in one-dimensional time
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
2015, 96(1): 1-11.

Published | Draft | Abstract

The possibility of changing the past by means of time-travel appears to depend on the possibility of distinguishing the past as it is ‘before’ the time travel changes it, from the past as it is ‘after’ the time-traveller has changed it, so to speak. So far, all the metaphysical models that have been proposed to account for the possibility of past-changing time-travels operate this distinction by conceiving of time as multi-dimensional, and thus by significantly inflating our metaphysics of time. The aim of this article is to argue that, by assuming an eternalist and four-dimensionalist ontology, and an exdurantist (or stage-theoretic) theory of persistence, there is an intuitive sense in which past-changing time-travels are metaphysically possible also in one-dimensional time.

Indeterminate actuality and the open future
2013, 73(2): 248-260.


The aim of this paper is to propose a novel supervaluationist theory of ‘actually’ in the open future. First, I will argue that any adequate theory of actuality in a branching setting must comply with three main desiderata. Second, I will prove that none of the actuality operators that have been proposed in the literature is up to the task. Finally, I will propose a novel theory of actuality in the open future combining one of the existing definitions of the actuality operator with a new definition of the historical possibility operator, and argue for its adequacy. The central feature of the theory I will advance is the introduction of an actuality parameter capable of being shifted by the historical possibility operator. I will argue that this account appears to not only be consistent with the idea that the future is genuinely open, but also with the general idea that ‘actually’ is, in a relevant sense, a ‘rigid’ operator.

Branching time, actuality and the puzzle of retrospective determinacy
Thought: A Journal of Philosophy
2012, 1(1): 16-25.

Published [open access] | Draft | Abstract

The supervaluationist approach to branching time (‘SBT-theory’) appears to be threatened by the puzzle of retrospective determinacy: if yesterday I uttered the sentence ‘It will be sunny tomorrow’ and only in some worlds overlapping at the context of utterance it is sunny the next day, my utterance is to be assessed as neither true nor false even if today is indeed a sunny day. MacFarlane (‘Truth in the Garden of Forking Paths’) has recently criticized a promising solution to this puzzle for falling short of an adequate account of ‘actually’. In this paper, I aim to rebut MacFarlane’s criticism. To this effect, I argue that: (i) ‘actually’ can be construed either as an indexical or as a nonindexical operator; (ii) if ‘actually’ is nonindexical, MacFarlane’s criticism is invalid; (iii) there appear to be independent reasons for SBT-theorists to claim that ‘actually’ is a nonindexical expression

Escape from epistemic island
2012, 72(3): 498-506.


It is argued that there are sentences and pairs of sentences, belonging to the family of ‘truth-tellers’ and ‘no–no sentences’, such that it is possible to prove (and, hence come to know) their truth-value.

Fatalism and the necessity of the present: reply to Campbell
2010, 70(1): 76-78.


I argue, contra Campbell (2010, ‘Incompatibilism and fatalism: Reply to Loss, Analysis, 70: 71–76) that the principle of the ‘necessity of the present’ I defended in Loss (2009) does not entail fatalism

Free will and the necessity of the present
2009, 69(1): 63-69.


Joseph Keim Campbell (2007) has recently criticized Peter van Inwagen’s (1983) Third Argument against compatibilism for its reliance on the existence of a remote past. In response, Anthony Brueckner (2008) has offered a new version of the Third Argument showing that determinism and free will are incompatible for all times t relative to which there is a past (which needn’t be a remote one). In this paper I argue that although Brueckner’s retooled argument fails to prove anything in favour of incompatibilism, its conclusion can be exploited to provide another version of van Inwagen’s original argument that doesn’t rely on the existence of past times, thus withstanding Campbell’s criticism.

Yet another problem for reichenbachian approaches to the semantic analysis of indexical languages
The Reasoner
2008, 2(6): 4-5.


Actuality in the garden of forking paths
In M. Carrara & V. Morato, Language,

Knowledge and Metaphysics:
selected papers from the 1st SIFA Graduate Conference
, 2008, College Publications, London.

Tempo, totalitá e contraddizione: ció che il principio non dice
[Time, totality and contradiction: what the principle does not say]

In: Francesco Altea, Francesco Berto (eds),
Scenari dell’impossibile.
La contraddizione nel pensiero contemporaneo

[Scenarios of the impossible. Contradiction in contemporary thought],
2007, Il Poligrafo, Padova.