Philosophy Compass 5 (7):579-590 (2010)
|Abstract||Consider a statue made of a piece of clay. Call the statue “Statue” and the piece of clay “Clay.” Clay materially constitutes Statue. What is this relation? A standard way to ask this question is to ask whether Clay is strictly identical to Statue. Or is Clay numerically distinct from Statue? The more general way to ask the question is to ask what it means for an object to materially constitute another. Is constitution simply identity? If not, what are the features of this relation? Some contemporary metaphysicians argue that material constitution is simply identity. In other words, when Statue is materially constituted by Clay, Statue just is Clay.1 Fine 2003 calls this view monism. Others follow the lead of what seem to be intuitive judgments about the natures, essences and sorts of objects and defend pluralism about material constitution, denying that constitution is identity. When Clay materially constitutes Statue, Clay is not identical to Statue.2 After all, it seems as though Statue and Clay differ in their properties. Statue is essentially statue-shaped, but Clay is not. Clay could be shaped into a vase, but Statue would not persist through this change. Statue represents beauty and grace incarnate. Clay does not. Clay has its molecules essentially, while Statue could persist even if a few fragments were chipped off. If Statue and Clay do not share all of their properties they cannot be identical, for if a and b are the same object, a has exactly the same properties as b.3 Why be monist? Given the difference in properties, isn’t it just obvious that Statue cannot be identical to Clay? No, for monists can deny there are any real differences in essence or other properties. According to the monist, the seeming differences in essential and other properties are just differences in description. Statue is just Clay called by a..|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Tomasz Kakol (2005). The Samep-Relation as a Response to Critics of Baker's Theory of Constitution. Journal of Philosophical Logic 34 (5/6):561 - 579.
Judith Jarvis Thomson (1998). The Statue and the Clay. Noûs 32 (2):149-173.
Michael C. Rea (1998). Sameness Without Identity: An Aristotelian Solution to the Problem of Material Constitution. Ratio 11 (3):316–328.
Lynne Rudder Baker (1999). Unity Without Identity: A New Look at Material Constitution. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 23 (1):144–165.
Michael C. Rea (2000). Constitution and Kind Membership. Philosophical Studies 97 (2):169-193.
Ryan Wasserman (2002). The Standard Objection to the Standard Account. Philosophical Studies 111 (3):197 - 216.
Added to index2009-08-28
Total downloads177 ( #2,302 of 722,863 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #13,409 of 722,863 )
How can I increase my downloads?