Date of Award

May 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Joshua Spencer

Committee Members

Joshua Spencer, Peter van Elswyk, Michael Liston


Location, Mereology, Simplicity, Spacetime


Much of the recent work done in mereology has been focused on answers to Ned Markosian’s Simple Question: What are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for an object’s being a simple i.e. a thing with no parts? In this paper, I analyze Markosian’s own answer, The Maximally Continuous View (MaxCon), and highlight a few of the strongest objections against that answer. I then argue that the objections only arise because Markosian assumes problematic conceptions of spacetime and matter. After updating each assumption with our best physics, I arrive at my own view, which I call the Maximally Contiguous View of Simples. I show that my view accommodates the intuitions that motivated MaxCon while also avoiding the issues that plagued it. I conclude by interacting with a couple possible objections to my view.