What is a human person, and what is the relation between a person and his or her body? In her third book on the philosophy of mind, Lynne Rudder Baker investigates what she terms the person/body problem and offers a detailed account of the relation between human persons and their bodies. Baker's argument is based on the 'Constitution View' of persons and bodies, which aims to show what distinguishes persons from all other beings and to show how we can (...) be fully material beings without being identical to our bodies. The Constitution View yields answers to the questions 'What am I most fundamentally?', 'What is a person?', and 'What is the relation between human persons and their bodies'? Baker argues that the complex mental property of first-person perspective enables one to conceive of one's body and mental states as one's own. (shrink)
Plato and Kant advance a constitutional model of the soul, in which reason and appetite or passion have different structural and functional roles in the generation of motivation, as opposed to the familiar Combat Model in which they are portrayed as independent sources of motivation struggling for control. In terms of the constitutional model we may explain what makes an action different from an event. What makes an action attributable to a person, and therefore what makes it an action, is (...) that it issues from the person''s constitution, and therefore from the person as a whole, rather than from some force working on or in the person. This in turn implies an account of what makes an action good: what makes an action good is that it is deliberated upon and chosen in a way that unifies the person into a constitutional system. Through deliberative action we constitute ourselves as unified agents. Platonic justice and Kant''s categorical imperative are shown to be normative standards for action because they are principles of self-constitution. (shrink)
Are the sculpture and the mass of gold which permanently makes it up one object or two? In this paper, we argue that the monist, who answers ‘one object’, cannot accommodate the asymmetry of material constitution. To say ‘the mass of gold materially constitutes the sculpture, whereas the sculpture does not materially constitute the mass of gold’, the monist must treat ‘materially constitutes’ as an Abelardian predicate, whose denotation is sensitive to the linguistic context in which it appears. We (...) motivate this approach in terms of modal analyses of material constitution, but argue that ultimately it fails. The monist must instead accept a deflationary, symmetrical use of ‘materially constitutes’. We argue that this is a serious cost for her approach. (shrink)
By analysing original sources and evaluating conceptual frameworks, this book discusses the idea proclaimed in the Preamble to the Constitution that Australia is a federal commonwealth. Taking careful account of the influence which the American, Canadian and Swiss Constitutions had upon the framers of the Australian Constitution, the author shows how the framers wrestled with the problem of integrating federal ideas with inherited British traditions and their own experiences of parliamentary government. In so doing, the book explains how (...) the Constitution came into being in the context of the groundswell of federal ideas then sweeping the English-speaking world. In advancing an original argument about the relationship between the formation of the Constitution, the representative institutions, configurations of power and amending formulas contained therein, fresh light is shed on the terms and structure of the Constitution and a range of problems associated with its interpretation and practical operation are addressed. (shrink)
Friendship, as a unique form of social relationship, establishes a particular union among individual human beings which allows them to overcome diverse boundaries between individual subjects. Age, gender or cultural differences do not necessarily constitute an obstacle for establishing friendship and as a social phenomenon, it might even include the potential to exist independently of space and time. This analysis in the interface of social science and phenomenology focuses on the principles of construction and constitution of this specific form (...) of human encounter. In a “parallel action,” the perspective of social science focuses on concrete socio-historical constructions of friendship in different time periods. These findings are confronted with the description of principles of the subjective constitution of the phenomenon of “friendship” from a phenomenological perspective. The point of reference for the study is the real type of the symbolically established and excessively idealized form of friendship intended for eternity which was especially popular in eighteenth century Germany. Analogous to the method of phenomenological reduction, three different levels of protosociological reduction are developed for the exploration of the unique social phenomenon of friendship. (shrink)
I argue that the constitution relation transmits causal efficacy and thus is a suitable relation to deploy in many troubled areas of philosophy, such as the mind–body problem. We need not demand identity.
In her recent book Persons and Bodies1, Lynne Rudder Baker has defended what she calls the constitution view of persons. On this view, persons are constituted by their bodies, where “constitution” is a ubiquitous, general metaphysical relation distinct from more familiar relations, such as identity and part-whole composition.
Mainstream metaphysics has been preoccupied by inquiring into the nature of major kinds of entities, like objects, properties and events, while avoiding minor entities, like shadows or holes. However, one might want to hope that dealing with such minor entities could be profitable for even solving puzzles about major entities. I propose a new ontological puzzle, the Shadow of Constitution Puzzle, incorporating the old puzzle of material constitution, with shadows in the role of the minor entity to guide (...) our approach to the issues involved. I then analyze the standard answers to the original puzzle of constitution, in their role as potential solutions to the new puzzle. Finally, I discuss three views that can solve the proposed puzzle. (shrink)
Communitarians like Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor, and Michael Sandel, defend what we may call the ‘social constitution thesis.’ This is the view that participation in society makes us what we are. This claim, however, is ambiguous. In an attempt to shed some light on it and to better understand the impact its truth would have on our beliefs regarding autonomy, I offer four possible ways it could be understood and four corresponding senses of individual independence and autonomy. I also (...) indicate what senses liberals can accept that we are socially constituted and in what sense I take communitarians to argue we are socially constituted. (shrink)
Both Husserl and Haugeland develop an account of constitution to address the question of how our mental episodes can be about physical objects and thus, through the intentional relation, bridge the gap between the mental and the physical. The respective theories of the two philosophers of very different background show not only how mental episodes can have empirical content, but also how this content is shaped by past experiences or a holistic background of other mental episodes. In this article (...) I first outline and then contrast their positions in order to show how the notion of constitution can be adopted to address major problems of contemporary philosophy of mind, especially the question of how the mind can be related to its physical environment. (shrink)
I experience the world as comprising not only pluralities of individual persons but also interpersonal communal unities – groups, teams, societies, cultures, etc. The world, as experienced or "constituted", is a social world, a “spiritual” world. How are these social communities experienced as communities and distinguished from one another? What does it mean to be a “community”? And how do I constitute myself as a member of some communities but not of others? Moreover, the world of experience is not constituted (...) by me alone, nor am I myself the final arbiter of what is true or false about it, of what is good or bad about it, etc. Constitution is an intersubjective achievement: “we” – I with others – constitute the world. Thus, the world is not only constituted as including interpersonal communal unities, but it is also constituted by these communities: groups, teams, societies, cultures, etc. are themselves "we-subjects”, Husserl says, communally constituting the world of their common engagement. But what is communal, as opposed to individual, constitution and how is it achieved? And what sense is to be made of the notion of plural, collective, "we-subjects", communally constituting a common world? (shrink)
The paper presents, motivates, critiques, and proposes revisions to Baker’s Constitution View, which includes her definitions of constitution, derivative features, and numerical sameness. The paper argues that Baker should add a mereological clause to her definition of constitution in order to avoid various counterexamples.
The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the usefulness of the concept of possibility , and not merely that of actuality , for an inquiry into the bodily constitution of experience. The paper will study how the possibilities of action that may (or may not) be available to the subject help to shape the meaning attributed to perceived objects and to the situation occupied by the subject within her environment. This view will be supported by reference to empirical (...) evidence provided by recent and current research on the perceptual estimation of distances and the effects brought about by the use of a tool on the organisation of our perceived immediate space. (shrink)
This paper discusses the “constitution view” of human persons, as set forth by Lynne Rudder Baker in her book, Persons and Bodies. The metaphysical notion of constitution is explained and briefly defended. It is shown, however, that the view that human persons are constituted by their bodies faces difficulties in specifying the “person-favorable conditions” under which a human body constitutes a person. Furthermore, none of the arguments in support of the claim that humans are constituted by (but not (...) identical with) their bodies is persuasive. It is proposed that the mind-body theory of “emergent dualism” offers many of the benefits of the “constitution view” without sharing in its drawbacks. (shrink)
Inter-level mechanistic explanations in the sciences have long been a focus of philosophical interest, but attention has recently turned to the compositional character of these explanations which work by explaining higher level entities, whether processes, individuals or properties, using the lower level entities they take to compose them. However, we still have no theoretical account of the constitution or parthood relations between individuals deployed in such explanations, nor any accounts of multiple constitution. My primary focus in this paper (...) is to outline a positive account of the constitution/part-whole relations between individuals posited in inter-level mechanistic explanations that takes constituents in the sciences to be ‘working parts’. Using this account, I then go on to illuminate the nature, and varieties, of multiple constitution that we find in the sciences and provide a starting theoretical framework for multiple constitution as well. (shrink)
According to the so-called "standard account" regarding the problem of material constitution, a statue and a lump of clay that makes it up are not identical. The usual objection is that this view yields many objects in the same place at the same time. Lynne Rudder Baker's theory of constitution is a recent and sophisticated version of the standard account. She argues that the aforementioned objection can be answered by defining a relation of being the same P as (...) (sameP). In this paper I shall examine consequences of her response and show that sameP has wrong formal properties, as a result of which this solution cannot be accepted. (shrink)
The views of Frederick Douglass, Thurgood Marshall, and Clarence Thomas on how the United States Constitution should be read are examined. Thomas claims that his understanding of the Constitution aligns with Douglass. I conclude that Thomas misunderstands the strategy of Douglass and fails to appreciate the honesty of Marshall.
The phenomenological theory of constitution promises a solution for the problem of consciousness insofar as it changes the traditional terms of this problem by systematically correlating subject and object in the unifying context of intentional acts. I argue that embodied constitution must depend upon the role of kinesthesia as a constitutive operator. In pursuing the path of intentionality in its descent from an idealistic level of pure constitution to this fully embodied kinesthetic constitution, we are able (...) to gain access to different ontological regions such as physical thing, owned body and shared world. Neuroscience brings to light the somatological correlates of noemata. Bridging the gap between incarnation and naturalisation represents the best way of realizing the foundational program of transcendental phenomenology. (shrink)
Traditionally, constitutionalists have offered just one notion of constitution to analyse the relation that an object, such as a statue or a chain, bears to the object/s from which it is made: let us say, a piece of marble in the first case or a piece of metal in the second. Robert Wilson proposes to differentiate two notions of constitution and, in this way, to offer constitutionalists a more varied range of metaphysical tools. To justify the introduction of (...) the difference, he presents several phenomena and problems, the explanation of which would justify the distinction he makes. In this paper I argue that Wilson’s proposal would not increase the explanatory power of a theory of constitution as it has traditionally been understood, only its complexity. Increasing the complexity without increasing the explanatory power of a theory, I defend, goes against one, at least prima facie, basic theoretical virtue: parsimony. In my argumentation I crucially use, for the case of Wilson’s first three arguments, the existence of principles of existence−persistence, which constitutionalists, Wilson among them, usually accept. In arguing against Wilson’s fourth argument I use a slightly modified version of Lynne Rudder Baker’s theory of constitution. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the notions of supervenience and mechanistic constitution as they have been discussed in the philosophy of neuroscience. Since both notions essentially involve specific dependence and determination relations among properties and sets of properties, the question arises whether the notions are systematically connected and how they connect to science. In a first step, some definitions of supervenience and mechanistic constitution are presented and tested for logical independence. Afterwards, certain assumptions fundamental to neuroscientific inquiry are (...) made explicit in order to show that the presented definitions of supervenience are virtually uninteresting for theory construction in this field. In a third step, a new formulation of supervenience is developed that makes explicit reference to the notion of constitution and that bridges the gap between the philosophical concepts and explanatory practice in neuroscience. (shrink)
The paper offers a survey of the debate on the introduction, in the Preamble of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, of references to God and Europe’s Christian tradition. It examines the question of European identity and values which motivates these proposals in relation to (1) the nature of the EU as an essentially political construction; (2) the issue of human rights in the EU; (3) the protection of cultural and religious diversity within the EU. The study shows (...) that the confessionalization of Europe promoted by strong churches on the Continent, which are legitimate actors of civil society, betray a failure to understand the logic of the European construction. To the extent to which they represent an attempt to secure a privileged position with respect to other religious or non-religious actors, they run against the functional principles and values of the Union. (shrink)
The use of specific language in the democratic Polish Constitution enacted on 2 April 1997 has created the essential differences in the status of religions and Churches in Poland to this in some other countries. It accepts the modern principles and values (tolerance, freedom, mutual independence of state and churches) but precludes the atheistic, hostile or indifferent to religions interpretations and implementations of these values and principles.
This article considers the major constitutional reforms which have taken place in the United Kingdom during the period of government by the Labour Party, 1997-2010. Within the context of the UK’s unwritten constitution, the article first considers how ‘constitutional’ law can be identified when compared with a written constitution, such as that of the Republic of Lithuania. The article then analyses the major reforms which have taken place since 1997, the political reasons behind them, the processes of reform (...) and their impact on the constitution. The four areas examined—reform of the House of Lords; the enactment of the Human Rights Act 1998; devolution; and the changes to the judiciary in the Constitutional Reform Act 2005—have all had a significant impact on the way in which the UK is governed. The article argues that these are all welcome developments, but that in many cases they are incomplete. In the absence of the likelihood of a future written constitution for the UK, sustained efforts by future governments are needed by to ensure that the reforms fulfil their aim of modernizing the democratic system. (shrink)
In the following paper sources of a constitution are put in question in general, and more specifically, the constitutional culture of the European Union Law is being investigated in-depth with regard to principles of deliberative democracy and rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The change of a law application paradigm as well as the change of a legal systems’ nature are taken into account.
Constitution is the relation between something and what it is made of. Composition is the relation between something and its parts. I examine three different approaches to the relation between constitution and composition. One approach, associated with neo-Aristotelians like Mark Johnston and Kathrin Koslicki, identifies constitution with composition. A second, popular with those sympathetic to classical mereology such as Judith Thomson, defines constitution in terms of parthood. A third, advocated strongly by Lynne Baker, takes constitution (...) to be somehow inconsistent with relations of parthood. All of these approaches, I argue, face serious problems. I conclude, tentatively, that constitution and composition have nothing to do with each other. (shrink)
The present article analyses the qualitative and quantitative parameters of the execution of foreign policy in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. It should be noted that the matters of foreign policy were on the brink of constitutional regulation for a long time. The powers of institutions of the state in the field of foreign relations were established laconically by the Constitutions of first and second “waves” of establishment of constitutionalism. It was argued that the choices of decisions (...) and the execution of foreign policy were determined by political reasons and the law could only fix the results of that policy. That is why these constitutions should be seen as establishing quantitative characteristics of action of the state institutions in the field of foreign policy. As a result of the changes in the concept of the Constitution and the general recognition of the relevance of constitutional regulation from the middle of the twentieth century the constitutional acts began to define not only the powers of certain state institutions in the field of the foreign policy but also the objectives and principles of this policy. These objectives and principles are qualitative parameters of the action of state institutions, which are mandatory constitutional requirements to all subjects engaged in foreign policy. From a qualitative standpoint, the powers of the state institutions can be exercised only by taking the constitutional objectives into account and by respecting the Constitution. The Constitution establishing both qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the execution of foreign policy becomes an actual basis of this policy. It is unlawful to execute foreign policy without complying with its objectives and constitutional principles. The institutions of constitutional review have the powers to determine the constitutionality of legal acts related to the execution of foreign policy. Constitutional regulations previous to the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania of 1992 only defined the powers of state institutions, i.e. the quantitative parameters of their action. The Lithuanian Constitution of 1992 also established the constitutional objectives and principles of foreign policy. This area of constitutional regulation has been enhanced by the participation of the Republic of Lithuania in the European Union. The author suggests analysing this matter as an autonomous constitutional principle and not only as a case of participation in international organisations or an integral element of the principle of geopolitical orientation. Constitutional objectives and principles of foreign policy, as well as the other provisions of the Constitution regarding the exercise of foreign policy, are interpreted in constitutional jurisprudence. In cases concerning the constitutionality of international treaties, laws and other legislative acts directly related to the exercise of foreign policy, the Constitutional Court reveals the content and meaning of the qualitative and quantitative constitutional parameters of foreign policy. Despite the fragmented nature of the case law one can see the precise contours of the foreign policy system. (shrink)
In line with his theory of secularization according to which all significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts, Carl Schmitt argues in Constitutional Theory that people’s (Volk) constitution-making power in modern democracy is analogical to God’s potestas constituens in medieval theology. It is also undoubtedly possible to find a resemblance between Schmitt’s constitution-making power and God’s power as it is described in medieval theology. In the same sense as the constitution-making power (...) is absolutely free from all normative ties, God’s potestas constituens, or rather, God’s potentia absoluta is free from such ties. Yet, unlike the Schmittian constitution-making power, God’s potentia absoluta was not, in medieval theology, originally intended as a description of some form of divine action: the absolute power of God referred to the total possibilities initially open to God. However, when the canonists started to employ the term potentia absoluta in their speculations concerning the papal plenitude of power (plenitude potestatis) by the end of the thirteenth century, they used it in a different sense than the theologians previously. According to certain canonists, the pope, by his potentia absoluta, could grant de facto dispensations from divine and ecclesiastical laws. Later on, this notion became a theological notion as well, but given its origin in juridical discourse, the constitution-making power, rather than being a secularized theological notion, is a theologized juristic notion. (shrink)
This article argues that women’s human rights were and are being violated in Afghanistan regardless of who governs the country: Kings, secular rulers, Mujahideen or Taliban, or the incumbent internationally backed government of Karzai. The provisions of the new constitution regarding women’s rights are analysed under three categories: neutral, protective and discriminatory. It is argued that the current constitution is a step in the right direction but, far from protecting women’s rights effectively, it requires substantial revamping. The constitutional (...) commitment to international human rights standards seems to be a hallow slogan as the constitution declares Islam as a state religion which clearly conflicts with women’s human rights standards in certain areas. The Constitution has empowered the Supreme Court to review whether human rights instruments are compatible with Islamic legal norms and, in case of conflict, precedence will be given to Islamic law. Keeping this in view, it is argued that Afghanistan’s ratification of the Women’s Convention without reservations has no real significance unless Islamic law dealing with women’s rights is reformed and reconciled with international women’s rights standards. (shrink)
After the Provisional Basic Law (Provisional Constitution) had been adopted on 11 March 1990, it soon became clear that it did not meet the new needs of the society and the state. It became clear that the new Constitution had to be drafted promptly. Its drafting was taking place at the time of heated discussions about various things, but especially about the structure of branches of state power, the empowerment thereof and their interrelations. The author of the article (...) was a member of the working group drafting the new Constitution. In his article, the author presents passages from the notes made by him about the sittings of the Provisional Commission for Drafting the Constitution and those of its working group. The notes disclose the variety of the views of the deputies and legal specialists and show the difficult way of emergence of the draft Constitution. This is confirmed by the time-line of drafting the Constitution. In 1990 and at the beginning of 1991, the first draft Constitutions were published, which had been drafted by the members of the societies of Lithuanian philosophers and lawyers, by the Lithuanian Democratic Labour Party, etc. Prior to the resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania of 7 November 1990, a group of deputies was formed for drafting an outline of the concept of the Constitution. On 22 October 1991, the Council of the Seimas of the Lithuanian Sąjūdis Movement made a statement “On the Restoration of the Institution of the President of the Republic”. On 5 November 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a Resolution “On the Development of the Lithuanian Constitutionalism”, whereas by its resolution of 10 December 1991 it formed the Provisional Commission for Drafting the Constitution. On 3 March 1992, the said Provisional Commission approved the draft Constitution that it prepared; it was submitted to the Supreme Council. Three members of the Provisional Commission had submitted alternatives to a number of articles of the Constitution. On 21 April 1992, the Supreme Council assented to the work done by the Provisional Commission and decided to publish the draft Constitution so that it could be discussed by the public. On 6 May 1992, the Lithuanian Sąjūdis Movement, the Democratic Party, the Christian Democratic Party, and the Lithuanian Nationalist Union formed a coalition for drafting an alternative draft Constitution; soon the press published the alternative draft Constitution prepared by the Sąjūdis Movement Coalition “For the Democratic Lithuania”. On 23 May 1992, the referendum on the restoration of the institution of the President of the Republic took place—that referendum did not approve the proposal. Thus, two alternative draft Constitutions appeared. The essential difference between those drafts was a different approach to the system of branches of state powers, their empowerment and their interrelation. The draft Constitution prepared by the Provisional Commission was based on the parliamentary republic form of governance, whereas in the draft prepared by the Sąjūdis Movement Coalition “For Democratic Lithuania” the model of half-presidential republic was dominant. In order to prepare a single draft Constitution, which could then be proposed for the referendum of the Nation, political and legal compromises were sought. For this purpose, the Group for the Adjustment of Constitutional Issues was formed. At the end of September and at the beginning of October 1992, one single (the so-called “compromise”) draft Constitution was prepared from the existing two alternative drafts. The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania was adopted by the Nation in the referendum of 25 October 1992 and came into force on 2 November 1992. (shrink)
While analysing constitutions of various countries in the legal literature, usually not only the form and the content but also the structure of the constitution is discussed. The structure of the constitution is an internal organisational order of the norms of the constitution. Although every state has a unique structure of their constitution, however, certain regularities can be discerned. The analysis of the structure of various constitutions leads to a conclusion that normally each constitution consists (...) of the following standard structural parts: the preamble, the main part, the final, transitional or additional provisions, in some constitutions there can also be annexes. The article ascertains that most of the constitutions begin with the introductory part, the preamble. Only the constitutions of several countries (e.g. Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Greece) contain no preamble. After analysing the preambles of the Lithuanian Constitutions adopted in 1918-1940, the Lithuanian Constitution of 1992, the Constitution of the United States of America of 1787, the Constitution of Federal Republic of Germany of 1949, and the constitutions of several Central and Eastern European countries (the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia of 1992, the Constitution of Czech Republic of 1992 and the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 1997) it is stated that a preamble is considered as an inseparable part of an official text of a constitution. The preamble reflects the historical context and the circumstances of the adoption of a constitution, names the goals of the constitutional regulation, fortifies the values to be attained, declares the key political principles or even the fundamental human rights and freedoms, etc. Often the preamble reveals the methods of adoption of a constitution. The preamble is an important structural part of the constitution that helps to understand the established constitutional regulation. The principles enshrined in it can be considered as significant argument for the constitutional justice institutions while solving the case of whether the law or any other legal act in question contradicts with the constitution. While interpreting and applying the constitution as a single act, its separate sections, clauses or certain provisions it is necessary to take the content of the preamble into account, since no text of the constitution shall be interpreted in a way to contradict the statements of the preamble and its spirit. The preamble is not only a category of a political, ideological or philosophical nature, it undoubtedly has the legal burden, therefore it is considered to have legal validity. Constitutions usually do not contain any particular preamble amendment procedures. The preambles are characterised to have the so-called higher style; they are usually formulated not in compliance with the requirements of legal technique. Therefore, they differ from other constitutional provisions that are usually set out in official writing style according to certain rules of legal technique. (shrink)
Can a man be a feminist? If so, what would it mean? I want to participate in a dialogue between women and men on how to accommodate women’s moral concerns. I propose that the fundamental values of justice embodied in the South African constitutional democracy require men to be feminist. These values provide the best safeguard of the important interests and values of both women and men. Men who accept these values can support the main concerns of feminism. The implications (...) of the argument in this article range from public issues to the most private aspects of marriage. (shrink)
Unwritten constitutional conventions also known as lex non scripta, are under permanent scholarly scrutiny. This does not happen only in the Anglo-Saxon scholarly tradition. When analyzing the issues of unwritten law, a considerable number of representatives of this tradition, starting with W. Blackstone and finishing with contemporary British and American scholars, also talk about the existence of constitutional conventions. It should also be noted that issues pertaining to unwritten law and issues of conventions in particular, are often mentioned and analyzed (...) in the works of scholars of the Roman-Germanic legal tradition. Italian, French, German and Czech scholars take account of constitutional conventions, analyze their features and hold discourse on their future. However, in the course of scholarly debate, the issues of constitutional conventions have been dealt with in a fairly controversial manner. Even though individual scholars recognize constitutional conventions, the variety of opinions and conceptions is too large to form a uniform understanding. (shrink)
Mereological nihilism is the philosophical position that there are no items that have parts. If there are no items with parts then the only items that exist are partless fundamental particles, such as the true atoms (also called philosophical atoms) theorized to exist by some ancient philosophers, some contemporary physicists, and some contemporary philosophers. With several novel arguments I show that mereological nihilism is the correct theory of reality. I will also discuss strong similarities that mereological nihilism has with empirical (...) results in quantum physics. And I will discuss how mereological nihilism vindicates a few other theories, such as a very specific theory of philosophical atomism, which I will call quantum abstract atomism. I will show that mereological nihilism also is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that avoids the problems of other interpretations, such as the widely known, metaphysically generated, quantum paradoxes of quantum physics, which ironically are typically accepted as facts about reality. I will also show why it is very surprising that mereological nihilism is not a widely held theory, and not the premier theory in philosophy. (shrink)
One of the central problems of personal identity is to determine what we are essentially . In response to this problem, Lynne Rudder Baker espouses a psychological criterion, that is, she claims that persons are essentially psychological. Baker’s theory purports to bypass the problems of other psychological theories such as Dissociative Identity Disorder and the problem of individuating persons synchronically. I argue that the theory’s treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder leads to untenable results, is invalid, and consequently fails to individuate (...) persons. (shrink)
Through the work of philosophers like Sellars, Davidson, and McDowell, the question of how the mind is related to the world has gained new importance in contemporary analytic philosophy. This book demonstrates that Husserl's phenomenological analyses of the structure of consciousness can provide fruitful insights for developing an original approach to these questions.
Cet article propose d'interroger la notion de contextualisation à partir d'une perspective d'analyse textuelle des discours. La contextualisation est ici définie comme le processus par lequel le chercheur tente d’établir la pertinence d’une mise en relation entre un texte et un autre (ou plusieurs autres) et de leur regroupement au sein d’un corpus. Trois critères (générique, auctorial et thématique) sont identifiés, autorisant les passages de texte à texte(s) et dessinant ce que nous suggérons d'appeler des sphères de contextualisation. Finalement, une (...) hiérarchisation et des articulations possibles entre ces trois sphères sont envisagées. (shrink)
The very idea of the draft European Union (EU) Constitutional Treaty was reexamined after the failed French and Dutch referendums and the Treaty of Lisbon (also known as the Reform Treaty) was drafted and entered into force on 1 December 2009 after it’s ratification by all 27 member states. The traditional notion of a Constitution as a national legal document establishing the social contract and a moral minimum for a particular socially unified group still prevails in legal and political (...) thinking. Indeed, the European Union has some constitutional elements, but absence of the so called ‘European demos’ prevents us from recognizing the founding treaties as a real ‘European constitution’ in the proper sense of the word. The author agrees with the decision to exclude the term ‘Constitution’ from the title and contents of the new Reform Treaty. The author also suggests that softer terms, like ‘European constitutional order’ and ‘European Constitutionalism’ might better reflect the scope of contemporary European integration than the term of ‘a Constitution for Europe’. A rethinking of the ‘constitutional core’ of the Lisbon Treaty was inspired following the so-called Lisbon judgments of Czech, Latvian and German constitutional courts. (shrink)
It is argued that at the center of Hegel’s phenomenology of consciousness is the notion that experience is shaped by identification and sacrifice. Experience is the process of self-constitution and self-transformation of a self-conscious being that risks its own being. The transition from desire to recognition is explicated as a transition from the tripartite structure of want and fulfillment of biological desire to a socially structured recognition that is achieved only in reciprocal recognition, or reflexive recognition. At the center (...) of the Hegelian notion of selfhood is thus the realization that selves are the locus of accountatibility. To be a self, it is concluded, is to be the subject of normative statuses that refer to commitments; it means to be able to take a normative stand on things, to commit oneself and undertake responsibilities. Key Words: commitments • desire • experience • G.W.F.Hegel • identity • recognition • risk • sacrifice • self-consciousness • self-constitution. (shrink)
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.. (shrink)
We run into instances of material constitution everywhere we turn. Material constitution is the relation that obtains between an octagonal piece of metal and a Stop sign, between strands of DNA molecules and genes, between pieces of paper and dollar bills, between stones and monuments, between lumps of clay and statues, between human persons and their bodies—the list is endless. Although there has been a great deal of controversy recently about the nature of material constitution, I want (...) to enter the fray by setting out and defending an explicit definition of what it is for an object x to constitute an object y at time t. (shrink)
Proponents of the explanatory gap claim that consciousness is a mystery. No one has ever given an account of how a physical thing could be identical to a phenomenal one. We fully understand the identity between water and H2O but the identity between pain and the firing of C-fibers is inconceivable. Mark Johnston [Journal of philosophy (1997), 564–583] suggests that if water is constituted by H2O, not identical to it, then the explanatory gap becomes a pseudo-problem. This is because all (...) “manifest kinds”—those identified in experience—are on a par in not being identical to their physical bases, so that the special problem of the inconceivability of ‘pain = the firing of C-fibers’ vanishes. Moreover, the substitute relation, constitution, raises no explanatory difficulties: pain can be constituted by its physical base, as can water. The thesis of this paper is that the EG does not disappear when we substitute constitution for identity. I examine four arguments for the EG, and show that none of them is undermined by the move from constitution to identity. (shrink)
Lynne Rudder Baker and many others think that paradigmatic instances of one object constituting another — a piece of marble constituting a statue, or an aggregate of particles constituting a living body — involve two distinct (i.e., not numerically identical) objects in the same place at the same time.1 Some who say this believe in the doctrine of temporal parts2; but others, like Baker, reject this doctrine.3 Such philosophers, whom one might call “coincidentalists”, cannot say that these objects manage to (...) share space in virtue of sharing a temporal part confined to just that place and time. But what can or should coincidentalists say about the nature of constitution? (shrink)
In this paper, I will argue with Ernst Cassirer that anticipation plays an essential part in the constitution of time, as seen from a transcendental perspective. Time is, as any transcendental concept, regarded as basically relational and subjective and only in a derivative way objective and indifferent to us. This entails that memory is prior to history, and that anticipation is prior to prediction. In this paper, I will give some examples in order to argue for this point. Furthermore, (...) I will also argue, again with Cassirer and contra Henri Bergson, that time should be seen as a functional unity, and not as a collection of three different things-in-themselves (past, present and future). (shrink)