Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):158-174 (2018)

Peter van Elswyk
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
The pluralist about material constitution maintains that a lump of clay is not identical with the statue it constitutes. Although pluralism strikes many as extravagant by requiring distinct things to coincide, it can be defended with a simple argument. The monist is less well off. Typically, she has to argue indirectly for her view by finding problems with the pluralist's extravagance. This paper offers a direct argument for monism that illustrates how monism about material constitution is rooted in commonsense as reflected in linguistic practice. In particular, I argue that everyday judgements that are contrastive like "The statue is beautiful for a lump of clay" entail the identity of the statue and the clay.
Keywords material constitution  constitution as identity  gradable adjectives
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1093/pq/pqx028
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References found in this work BETA

Sameness and Substance.David Wiggins - 1980 - Harvard University Press.
Counterparts of Persons and Their Bodies.David K. Lewis - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (7):203-211.
Spatio-Temporal Coincidence and the Grounding Problem.Karen Bennett - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 118 (3):339-371.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ordinary Objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Why Animalism Matters.Andrew M. Bailey, Allison Krile Thornton & Peter van Elswyk - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (9):2929-2942.

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