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Supplementary Volume, English Edition 2013

On the Difference Between Inseparability and Dependence

  • Marek Piwowarczyk
13 lutego 2014


This article is devoted to some issues concerning the difference between dependence and inseparability on the grounds of Roman Ingarden’s ontology. The main problem is connected with the possibility of object parts which must coexist, but do not make a whole in the same sense as the qualities of objects do. Thus I will argue that the main difference between inseparability and dependence is based upon the difference between two types of whole: the absolute whole and the relative summative whole: inseparable ingredients constitute an absolute whole and dependent objects do not constitute a whole at all – or constitute only a relative summative whole. The two types of whole are defined in terms of the ties which integrate their ingredients: formal functions and relations. In the first section I present a general sketch of Ingardenian ontology and show the place of the inseparability/ dependence distinction in it. The second section is a presentation of the main problem this article. In this section I also introduce the concepts of absolute and relative summative whole. The next part exhibits the differences between relations and formal functions and the last contains my solution to the problem and a formulation of possible arguments against this solution.