Lynne Baker on material constitution [Book Review]

In "Persons and Bodies," Lynne Baker defends what she calls the "Constitution View" of human persons, according to which (a) human persons are constituted by their bodies, and (b) constitution is an asymmetric, nontransitive relation that is somehow "intermediate between identity and separate existence". (Baker 2000: 29) Thesis (a), or something like it, is precisely what we would expect from someone who believes that persons and bodies both are material objects. But thesis (b) is distinctive. Materialists who treat constitution as identity arrive at the view that human persons are identical with their bodies, their brains, or some other material object in the vicinity of their heads. At the other extreme, materialists who treat constitution as nothing more than complete overlap without identity arrive at a simple coincidence theory of the relation between persons and bodies (or brains, or whatever). Baker's view is supposed to stake out a novel account of the nature of constitution.
Keywords Material Constitution
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2002.tb00164.x
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Marta Campdelacreu (2014). The Constitution Relation and Baker’s Account of It. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (1):1-19.

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