The Puzzles of Material Constitution

Philosophy Compass 5 (7):579-590 (2010)
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Abstract

Monists about material constitution typically argue that when Statue is materially constituted by Clay, Statue is just Clay. Pluralists about material constitution deny that constitution is identity: Statue is not just Clay. When Clay materially constitutes Statue, Clay is not identical to Statue. I discuss three familiar puzzles involving grounding, overdetermination and conceptual issues, and develop three new puzzles stemming from the connection between mereological composition and material constitution: a mereological puzzle, an asymmetry puzzle, and a structural puzzle.

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L. A. Paul
Yale University

Citations of this work

Ordinary objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A grounding solution to the grounding problem.Noël B. Saenz - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2193-2214.
Aesthetic Realism and Manifest Properties.Andrea Sauchelli - 2022 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 80 (2):201-213.
Ethical Reductionism.Neil Sinhababu - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (1):32-52.

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References found in this work

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On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Possibility of Metaphysics: Substance, Identity, and Time.E. J. Lowe - 1998 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.

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