Constitution and similarity

Philosophical Studies 117 (3):327-363 (2004)
Whenever an object constitutes, makes up or composes another object, the objects in question share a striking number of properties. This paper is addressed to the question of what might account for the intimate relation and striking similarity between constitutionally related objects. According to my account, the similarities between constitutionally related objects are captured at least in part by means of a principle akin to that of strong supervenience. My paper addresses two main issues. First, I propose independently plausible principles by means of which to delineate, in a non-ad-hoc, non-stipulative and non-circular fashion, those properties which can be expected to be shared among constitutionally related objects in virtue of their being so related from those which in general cannot be expected to be shared, or which are shared for other reasons. Secondly,I spell out in detail the nature of the supervenience-principle at work in this context. My account thus aims at isolating, in a methodologically responsible fashion, the particular sort of restricted indiscernibility principle which is a component of the constitution-relation.
Keywords Material constitution  Similarity  Supervenience  Indiscernibility  Composition
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DOI 10.1023/B:PHIL.0000016487.30612.3a
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Jeroen Smid (2015). The Ontological Parsimony of Mereology. Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3253-3271.

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