The paradox of decrease and dependent parts

23 Mar 2018

This paper is concerned with the paradox of decrease. Its aim is to defend the answer to this puzzle that was propounded by its originator, namely, the Stoic philosopher Chrysippus. The main trouble with this answer to the paradox is that it has the seemingly problematic implication that a material thing could perish due merely to extrinsic change. (For, intuitively, it is not possible for a mere extrinsic change to cause a material thing to cease to be.) It fol- lows that in order to defend Chrysippus’ answer to the paradox, one has to explain how it could be that Theon is desotryed ny the amputation without changing intrinsically. In this paper, I shall answer this challenge by appealing to the broadly Aristotelian idea that at least some o f the proper parts of a material substance are ontologically dependent on that substance. I will also appeal to this idea in order to offer a new solution to the structurally similar paradox of increase. In this way, we will end up with a unified solution to two structurally similar paradoxes.