Constitution and kind membership

Philosophical Studies 97 (2):169-193 (2000)
A bronze statue is a lump of bronze – or so it might appear. But appearances are not always to be trusted, and this one is notoriously problematic. To see why, imagine a bronze statue (perhaps a statue of David) and ask yourself: Which lump of bronze is the statue? Presumably, it is the lump that makes up the statue (or, as we say, the lump that constitutes the statue). After all, why should the statue be any other lump of bronze? But if that is right, if the statue is the lump of bronze that constitutes it, then why can the lump of bronze survive being melted down whereas the statue it constitutes cannot? It seems that in fact the bronze statue is not the lump of bronze that constitutes it, since the statue and the lump of bronze have different persistence conditions. But then is it some other lump of bronze? Is it a lump of bronze at all? These questions are troubling; they appear to have no easy answers.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy of Mind   Philosophy of Religion
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DOI 10.1023/A:1018311406047
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Patrick Toner (2008). Emergent Substance. Philosophical Studies 141 (3):281 - 297.
Kris McDaniel (2010). Parts and Wholes. Philosophy Compass 5 (5):412-425.

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