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The paradox of increase

By E.T. Olson


[FIRST PARAGRAPHS]\ud It seems evident that things sometimes get bigger by acquiring new parts. But there is an ancient\ud argument purporting to show that this is impossible: the paradox of increase or growing argument.\ud \ud Here is a sketch of the paradox. Suppose we have an object, A, and we want to make it bigger by\ud adding a part, B. That is, we want to bring it about that A first lacks and then has B as a part.\ud Imagine, then, that we conjoin B to A in some appropriate way. Never mind what A and B are, or\ud what this conjoining amounts to: let A be anything that can gain a part if anything can gain a part,\ud and let B be the sort of thing that can become a part of A, and suppose we do whatever it would take\ud to make B come to be a part of A if this is possible at all. Have we thereby made B a part of A

Publisher: Hegeler Foundation
Year: 2006
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