Vague Singulars, Semantic Indecision, and the Metaphysics of Persons*


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     Ancestors of this paper were presented at the 2003 Central Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association and Virginia Commonwealth University. I am grateful to the following people for valuable comments on and/or discussion of this paper: Ken Akiba, Ben Caplan, Marian David, Anthony Ellis, John Heil, Trenton Merricks, Eugene Mills, Susanna Nuccetelli, Alvin Plantinga, Mike Rea, David Robb, James Van Cleve, Peter van Inwagen, and Dean Zimmerman.


Composite materialism, as I will understand it, is the view that human persons are composite material objects. This paper develops and investigates an argument, The Vague Singulars Argument, for the falsity of composite materialism. We shall see that cogent or not, the Vague Singulars Argument has philosophically significant ramifications.