Open Access
2014 A General Concept of Being a Part of a Whole
Andrzej Pietruszczak
Notre Dame J. Formal Logic 55(3): 359-381 (2014). DOI: 10.1215/00294527-2688069


The transitivity of the relation of part to whole is often questioned. But it is among the most basic principles of mereology. In this paper we present a general solution to the problem of transitivity of parthood which may be satisfactory for both its advocates and its opponents.

We will show that even without the transitivity of parthood one can define—basic in mereology—the notion of being a mereological sum of some objects. We formulate several proposals of general approaches to the concept of being a part of a whole, none of which contains any existential assumptions. By adding the transitivity of parthood we obtain an axiomatization of “existentially neutral” (or “nonexistential”) mereology.


Download Citation

Andrzej Pietruszczak. "A General Concept of Being a Part of a Whole." Notre Dame J. Formal Logic 55 (3) 359 - 381, 2014.


Published: 2014
First available in Project Euclid: 22 July 2014

zbMATH: 1337.03010
MathSciNet: MR3263533
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1215/00294527-2688069

Primary: 03B80
Secondary: 03A99 , 06A99

Keywords: nonexistential mereology , nonexistential theory of wholes and parts , parthood , transitivity of parthood

Rights: Copyright © 2014 University of Notre Dame

Vol.55 • No. 3 • 2014
Back to Top