Constitution and similarity

Philosophical Studies 117 (3):327-363 (2004)
Abstract
Whenever an object constitutes, makes up orcomposes another object, the objects inquestion share a striking number of properties. This paper is addressed to the question of whatmight account for the intimate relation andstriking similarity between constitutionallyrelated objects. According to my account, thesimilarities between constitutionally relatedobjects are captured at least in part by meansof a principle akin to that of strongsupervenience. My paper addresses two mainissues. First, I propose independentlyplausible principles by means of which todelineate, in a non-ad-hoc, non-stipulative andnon-circular fashion, those properties whichcan be expected to be shared amongconstitutionally related objects in virtue oftheir being so related from those which ingeneral cannot be expected to be shared, orwhich are shared for other reasons. Secondly,I spell out in detail the nature of thesupervenience-principle at work in thiscontext. My account thus aims at isolating, ina methodologically responsible fashion, theparticular sort of restricted indiscernibilityprinciple which is a component of theconstitution-relation.
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