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)
The ‘causal-constitution’ fallacy, the ‘cognitive bloat’ worry, and the persisting theoretical confusion about the fundamental difference between the hypotheses of embedded (HEMC) and extended (HEC) cognition are three interrelated worries, whose common point—and the problem they accentuate—is the lack of a principled criterion of constitution. Attempting to address the ‘causal-constitution’ fallacy, mathematically oriented philosophers of mind have previously suggested that the presence of non-linear relations between the inner and the outer contributions is sufficient for cognitive extension. The (...) abstract idea of non-linearity, however, can be easily misunderstood and has, in the past, led to incorrect and counterintuitive conclusions about what may count as part of one’s overall cognitive system. In order to prevent any further mistakes I revisit dynamical systems theory to study the nature of the continuous mutual interactions that give rise to the aforementioned non-linear relations. Moreover, focusing on these interactions will allow us to provide two distinct arguments in support of the ontological postulation of extended cognitive systems, as well as an objective criterion of constitution. Accordingly, I put forward a version of HEC that treats continuous mutual interactions (and the resultant non-linear relations) not just as sufficient but also as necessary for cognitive extension. Such a qualified version of HEC may exclude certain alleged cases of cognitive extension where the agent does not mutually interact with his artifacts (e.g., shopping lists and directory services), but it is immune both to the ‘causal-constitution’ fallacy and the ‘cognitive bloat’ worry, and it can be sharply distinguished from HEMC. (shrink)
The first part of this paper finds Craver’s (2007) mutual manipulability theory (MM) of constitution inadequate, as it definitionally ties constitution to the feasibility of idealized experiments, which, however, are unrealizable in principle. As an alternative, the second part develops an abductive theory of constitution (NDC), which exploits the fact that phenomena and their constituents are unbreakably coupled via common causes. The best explanation for this common-cause coupling is the existence of an additional dependence relation, viz. (...) class='Hi'>constitution. Apart from adequately capturing the essential characteristics of constitution missed by MM, NDC has important ramifications for constitutional discovery—most notably, that there is no experimentum crucis for constitution, not even under ideal discovery circumstances. (shrink)
Constitution is the relation that holds between an object and what it is made of: statues are constituted by the lumps of matter they coincide with; flags, one may think, are constituted by colored pieces of cloth; and perhaps human persons are constituted by biological organisms. Constitution is often thought to be a.
Agency and identity -- Necessitation -- Acts and actions -- Aristotle and Kant -- Agency and practical identity -- The metaphysics of normativity -- Constitutive standards -- The constitution of life -- In defense of teleology -- The paradox of self-constitution -- Formal and substantive principles of reason -- Formal versus substantive -- Testing versus weighing -- Maximizing and prudence -- Practical reason and the unity of the will -- The empiricist account of normativity -- The rationalist account (...) of normativity -- Kant on the hypothetical imperative -- Against particularistic willing -- Deciding and predicting -- Autonomy and efficacy -- The function of action -- The possibility of agency -- Non-rational action -- Action -- Attribution -- The psychology of action -- Expulsion from the garden : the transition to humanity -- Instinct, emotion, intelligence, and reason -- The parts of the soul -- Inside or outside -- Pull yourself together -- The constitutional model -- Models of the soul -- The city and the soul -- Platonic virtues -- Justice : substantive, procedural, and platonic -- Kant and the constitutional model -- Defective action -- The problem of bad action -- Being governed by the wrong law -- Or five bad constitutions -- Conceptions of evil -- Degrees of action -- Integrity and interaction -- Deciding to be bad -- The ordinary cases -- Dealing with the disunified -- Kant's theory of interaction -- My reasons -- Deciding to treat someone as an end in himself -- Interacting with yourself -- How to be a person -- What's left of me? (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)
Are the sculpture and the mass of gold which permanently makes it up one object or two? In this article, 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)
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)
Recognizing inherent and inalienable nature of dignity and universality of certain values, the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, introduces to the foundations of Polish legal system some elements of natural law which may be used for application of the Basic Law. Constitutional recognition of these elements only makes sense on the assumption of their cognizability. Therefore, as an important element of constitutional concept of natural law is taken the recognition of the argument of cognitivism according to which moral (...) assessments may have the nature of judgments and truth qualification (they may be true or false). In the course of application of the constitution, norms of natural-law character and natural-law justification. Since dignity and the essence of freedoms and rights based on dignity are the only inviolable values recognized by the constitution, the arguments of natural law lead to a far-going reinterpretation of constitutional norms. The norm of natural law protecting inviolable values will have precedence in the event of collision with norms protecting other values, also with constitutional norms. Even if such a norm is formulated on the basis of the provisions of the constitution, in fact natural law is given higher rank than elements based only on enacted law. Despite that, reliability of a legally established order does not seem to be radically endangered. -/- Konstytucja RP uznając przyrodzoność i niezbywalność godności oraz uniwersalność niektórych wartości, wprowadza do podstaw całego polskiego systemu prawnego elementy prawnonaturalne, które mogą być wykorzystane w stosowaniu konstytucji. Konstytucyjne uznanie takich elementów ma sens przy założeniu ich poznawalności, stąd istotnym elementem konstytucyjnej koncepcji prawa naturalnego jest uznanie tezy kognitywizmu głoszącej, że oceny moralne mogą mieć charakter sądów i kwalifikację prawdziwościową – mogą być prawdziwe lub fałszywe. W procesie stosowania konstytucji mogą być formułowane normy o charakterze prawnonaturalnym oraz uzasadnienia prawnonaturalne. Ponieważ jedynymi wartościami uznanymi w konstytucji za nienaruszalne jest godność oraz istota wolności i praw, których godność jest źródłem, argumentacja prawnonaturalna może prowadzić do daleko idącej reinterpretacji norm konstytucyjnych. Norma prawnonaturalna chroniąca warunki konieczne poszanowania godności lub istoty wolności i praw będzie miała pierwszeństwo w razie kolizji z normami chroniącymi inne wartości, także z normami konstytucyjnymi. Choć norma taka będzie formułowana na podstawie przepisów konstytucji, to jednak faktycznie prawo naturalne uzyskuje wyższą rangę od elementów opartych jedynie na stanowieniu. Mimo tego bezpieczeństwo prawne nie wydaje się być radykalnie zagrożone. O prawnonaturalnym charakterze normy i uzasadnienia decyduje oparcie w ocenach moralnych, które pretendują do bycia sądami, do bycia prawdziwymi lub fałszywymi. Z punktu widzenia stosowania konstytucji i wymogu intersubiektywnej komunikowalności i kontrolowalności dookreślania treści prawnonaturalnych, dla nadania ocenom charakteru sądów istotny jest kształt procedur i argumentacji prowadzących do tego dookreślenia. Powinny to być procedury i argumentacja typowe dla dyskursu mającego na celu sformułowanie prawdziwych sądów. Maksymalizowana powinna być dyskursywność takich procedur, a podstawą rozstrzygnięcia powinien być, jeśli to tylko możliwe, konsens. Nie mogą być uważane za rozstrzygające argumenty odwołujące się do woli indywidualnej lub zbiorowej, reakcji emocjonalnych, stopnia rozpowszechnienia danej oceny czy do tradycji kulturowej. (shrink)
There are five individually plausible and jointly incompatible assumptions underlying four familiar puzzles about material constitution. The problem of material constitution just is the fact that these five assumptions are both plausible and incompatible. I will begin by providing a very general statement of the problem. I will present the five assumptions and provide a short argument showing how they conflict with one another. Then, in subsequent sections, I will go on to show how these assumptions underlie each (...) of the four puzzles. I will conclude by providing an exhaustive taxonomy of possible solutions to the problem. (shrink)
This paper argues for interpreting Nietzsche along the lines of a self-constitution view. According to the self-constitution view, a person is a kind of creation: we constitute our selves throughout our lives. The self-constitution view may take more than one form: on the narrative version, the self is like a story, while on the Kantian version, the self is a set of principles or commitments. Taking Marya Schechtman’s and Christine Korsgaard’s accounts as paradigmatic, I take the self- (...) class='Hi'>constitution view to emphasize practical considerations and the first person point of view and to conceive of the self as active in self-creation. The interpretation I offer can make sense of Nietzsche’s remarks about self-creation and of many of Nietzsche’s remarks about the self that would otherwise seem contradictory. In particular, Nietzsche’s anti-metaphysical remarks about the self fit well with the self-constitution view as long as they are understood as theoretical claims that do not undermine the importance of the practical point of view. (shrink)
This paper discusses the role of levels and level-bound theoretical terms in neurobiological explanations under the presupposition of a regularity theory of constitution. After presenting the definitions for the constitution relation and the notion of a mechanistic level in the sense of the regularity theory, the paper develops a set of inference rules that allow to determine whether two mechanisms referred to by one or more accepted explanations belong to the same level, or to different levels. The rules (...) are characterized as underlying level distinctions in neuroscience research. (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)
This paper outlines a novel solution to the problem of the many and a conception of ordinary objects that implies it. The solution is that many collections of particles can simultaneously constitute a single object. The proposed conception of ordinary objects maintains that they are fundamentally subjects of change: the changes an object is able to survive explain its constitution.
The author poses a question: which of the two fundamental, constitutional values – common good or human dignity – can be considered to be the cornerstone, the unifying value in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland from 1997. The paper shows the crucial reasons for accepting each of these values as primary and also presents the underlying relationships between these values . The prominence of a given value for defining the aim of the constitution and the legal (...) order based on it was accepted as the most important aspect for determining the order of primacy. In respect of the direct aims of activities of public authorities and more broadly – of the aims of subjects whose activities are defined by the constitution – the primary value should be common good understood as certain social conditions of life which support human development. It defines the space in which other constitutional values, also human dignity, are integrated. Human dignity, however, the primary value defining human being, gives the reason why human development is a first and autonomous aim of the constitutional order. In this respect dignity has priority before common good. -/- Autor stawia pytanie o to, którą z fundamentalnych wartości konstytucyjnych – dobro wspólne czy godność człowieka – można uznać za wartość pierwszą i stanowiącą podstawę spójności aksjologicznej Konstytucji RP z 2 kwietnia 1997 roku. Wskazane są zasadnicze racje przemawiające za uznaniem każdej z tych wartości za wartość pierwszą i identyfikowane są zasadnicze relacje zachodzące między tymi wartościami. Za aspekt najistotniejszy dla ustalenia pierwszeństwa którejś z tych wartości uznana jest doniosłość danej wartości dla określenia celu konstytucji i opartego na niej porządku prawnego. Z punktu widzenia bezpośredniego celu działań władzy publicznej i szerzej – podmiotów, których działanie wyznaczone jest porządkiem konstytucyjnym, wartością tą jest dobro wspólne wyznaczające przestrzeń, w której integrowane są inne wartości konstytucyjne, z godnością włącznie. Dobro wspólne jest celem porządku konstytucyjnego ze względu na godność człowieka, która czyni jego rozwój pierwszym i szczególnym – autotelicznym dobrem. W tej perspektywie godność ma pierwszeństwo przed dobrem wspólnym. (shrink)
In metaphysics, the view that material constitution is transitive is ubiquitous, an assumption expressed by both proponents and critics of constitution views. Likewise, it is typically assumed within the philosophy of mind that physical realization is a transitive relation. In both cases, this assumption of transitivity plays a role in discussion of the broader implications of a metaphysics that invokes either relation. Here I provide reasons for questioning this assumption and the uses to which this appeal to transitivity (...) is put. As my title suggests, I shall focus on the case of material constitution, using a brief discussion of realization at the outset to motivate the discussion of the transitivity of material constitution at the core of the paper. (shrink)
Whenever an object constitutes, makes up or composes another object, the objects in question share a striking number of properties. This paper is addressed to the question of what might account for the intimate relation and striking similarity between constitutionally related objects. According to my account, the similarities between constitutionally related objects are captured at least in part by means of a principle akin to that of strong supervenience. My paper addresses two main issues. First, I propose independently plausible principles (...) by means of which to delineate, in a non-ad-hoc, non-stipulative and non-circular fashion, those properties which can be expected to be shared among constitutionally related objects in virtue of their being so related from those which in general cannot be expected to be shared, or which are shared for other reasons. Secondly,I spell out in detail the nature of the supervenience-principle at work in this context. My account thus aims at isolating, in a methodologically responsible fashion, the particular sort of restricted indiscernibility principle which is a component of the constitution-relation. (shrink)
John Fischer has recently argued that the value of acting freely is the value of self-expression. Drawing on David Velleman’s earlier work, Fischer holds that the value of a life is a narrative value and free will is valuable insofar as it allows us to shape the narrative structure of our lives. This account rests on Fischer’s distinction between regulative control and guidance control. While we lack the former kind of control, on Fischer’s view, the latter is all that is (...) needed for self-expression. I first develop Fischer’s narrative account, focusing on his reliance on temporal loops as giving us control over the value of our lives. Second, I argue that the narrative account grants us greater power over the past than Fischer would allow: since narrative allows not only for changes in how we feel about episodes in our past but what those episodes in fact were, it allows for a kind of retroactive self-constitution. Finally, I suggest that this modification of the narrative view opens the possibility of a conception of freedom far stronger than guidance control. It does not give us the libertarian control over whether to choose A or B in the present, but it does provide a measure of control over the sort of person an agent has been, and thus whether she is the sort of person who will choose A or B in the future. (shrink)
In this paper I analyze constitution embodiment, a particular conception of embodiment. Proponents of constitution embodiment claim that the body is a condition of the constitution of entities. Constitution embodiment is popular with phenomenologically-inspired Embodied Cognition, including research projects such as Enactivism and Radical Embodied Cognitive Science. Unfortunately, PEC’s use of constitution embodiment is neither clear nor coherent; in particular, PEC uses the concept of constitution embodiment so that a major inconsistency is entailed. PEC (...) conceives of the body in a transcendental sense as a condition of the constitution of entities, and, in an ontic sense, as a scientifically describable entity. Yet, a condition of the constitution of entities cannot be itself an entity—rather, it is the very condition of the possibility of an entity. This inconsistency entails further problems, among them PEC’s misguided focus on the location of the embodied mind. In order to correct these mistakes, I develop a conception of constitution embodiment based on the work of Heidegger, Husserl and to a lesser degree Merleau-Ponty. This has two purposes. First, it provides the conceptual groundwork to secure the status of PEC as a consistent and coherent research project and to clarify PEC’s conception of the relationship between phenomenology and the sciences. In that spirit, my approach provides further guidelines for fruitful research alliances between PEC and other research programs such as Grounded Cognition and identifies current research alliances, such as those with Radical Enactivism, as undesirable. Second, my account provides an elaborate concept of constitution embodiment that can function as the basis for more sophisticated work in the future. (shrink)
While ideal interventions are acknowledged by many as valuable tools for the analysis of causation, recent discussions have shown that, since there are no ideal interventions on upper-level phenomena that non-reductively supervene on their underlying mechanisms, interventions cannot—contrary to a popular opinion—ground an informative analysis of constitution. This has led some to abandon the project of analyzing constitution in interventionist terms. By contrast, this paper defines the notion of a horizontally surgical intervention, and argues that, when combined with (...) some innocuous metaphysical principles about the relation between upper and lower levels of mechanisms, that notion delivers a sufficient condition for constitution. This, in turn, strengthens the case for an interventionist analysis of constitution. (shrink)
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)
This chapter outlines a novel solution to the problem of the many, according to which objects can be simultaneously constituted by many collections of particles. To support this proposal, it develops a conception of objects that implies it. On this view, objects are fundamentally subjects of change: the changes an object can survive are explanatorily prior to its constitution. From this perspective, PM arises, and objects are multiply constituted because the changes that objects survive are too coarse-grained to distinguish (...) among the many different collections of particles that are candidates for constituting the relevant object. (shrink)
I don’t think Lynne Rudder Baker’s constitution view can account for personal identity problems of a synchronic or diachronic nature. As such, it cannot accommodate the Christian’s claim of eschatological bodily resurrection-a principle reason for which she gives this account. In light of this, I press objections against her constitution view in the following ways: First, I critique an analogy she draws between Aristotle’s “accidental sameness” and constitution. Second, I address three problems for Baker’s constitution view (...) [‘Constitution Problems’ ], each more problematic than the next: CP1: Her definition of constitution lacks explanatory power; CP2: If there is a plausible definition of constitution, constitution implies either too many persons or no human persons at all; CP3: Constitution yields no essential distinction between human and divine persons. If my argument go through, her constitution view has neither an explanation for diachronic personal identity nor personal identity through resurrection. (shrink)
Are materially constituted entities, such as statues and glasses of liquid, something more than their material constituents? The puzzle that frames this paper stems from conflicting answers to this question. At the core of the paper is a distinctive way of thinking about material constitution that posits two concepts of constitution, compositional and ampliative constitution, with the bulk of the discussion devoted to developing distinct analyses for these concepts. Distinguishing these concepts solves our initial puzzle and enriches (...) the space of possibilities for constitution views. (shrink)
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)
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)
Within feminist theory and a wide range of social sciences, intersectionality has emerged as a key analytic framework, challenging paradigms that consider gender, race, class, sexuality, and other categories as separate and instead conceptualizing them as interconnected. This has led most authors to assume mutual constitution as the pertinent model, often without much scrutiny. In this essay we critically review the main senses of mutual constitution in the literature and challenge what we take to be a problematic assumption: (...) the problem of reification, here understood as the conceptualization of social categories as entities or objects. We then present the properties framework, together with the emergent experience view, which conceptualizes categories and social systems in a way that maintains their ontological specificity while allowing for their being deeply affected by each other. (shrink)
The article deals with relations between the individual and human rights on the one hand, and the State on the other, in the context of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. The author poses the question whether the idea of subordination of the State to the individual is really a central idea of that constitution. He puts forward many arguments against such suggestion. These arguments relate, above all, to the arrangement of the constitution: a chapter concerning (...) human rights is chapter II, while chapter I deals with foundation of the State; the goals of the State are specified in the preamble including the following initial phrase “the existence and future of Poland as our Homeland” and in Article 5 where human rights are as subject of protection by the State is mentioned after independence and integrity of [its] territory; a general concept of human rights protection adopted in the constitution is dominated by the structures typical of law in its objective sense; the way of regulation admissible limitations on human rights differs from international standards; possibility of claiming human rights is constitutionally guaranteed, mostly by constitutional complaint which is above all aimed at correction of legal system, rather than claiming of rights by the individual; Article 1 (“The Republic of Poland shall be the common good of all its citizens”) interpreted as referring to Article 1 paragraph 1 of the April Constitution of 1935, one of the main ideas of which was precedence of the State over the individual. He also analyses the arguments in favour of the recognition of the idea of subordination of the State. Nevertheless, they cannot be accepted as resolving the question of whether it is a central idea of the constitution. These arguments include in particular: the principle of subsidiarity contained in the preamble, even if it has not been appropriately emphasized there; recognition of inherent and inalienable dignity of the person, but it was not until Article 30 that this provision has been contained and it does not determine the relations between the human dignity and rights and the State. The author suggests that the only conclusive way to justify the subordination of the State in relation to the individual as a central idea of the constitution is by means of Article 1. Taking into account, above all, preparatory work, we should reject the interpretation of that article referring to the April (1935) Constitution. Essential interpretative context may be found in preparatory work and social teachings of the Catholic Church, referred to therein. In that case, the common good means the entirety of the conditions of social life which favour the human development. These conditions include above all the respect for human dignity. Such interpretation of Article 1 gives priority to proposals on what the State should be to serve the individual rather than to safeguard obligations of citizens in relation to the State. (shrink)
The Preamble to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms claims "Canada is grounded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God." This claim is hopelessly confused and it has no place in our constitution. This is true, moreover, whether you are a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Pantheist, an atheist, or someone who has never given one moment's thought to "the supremacy of God" -- much less "recognized" it.
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)
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. (shrink)
This article first of all attempts to assess the proposals of 2006–2007 to amend Poland’s Constitution, aimed mostly at strengthening constitutional protection of unborn human life. Parliamentary work on this proposal begins with the submission of the Deputy’s bill on amendment of the Constitution, published in the Sejm Paper No. 993 of September 5, 2006, and ends with a series of votes at the 39th sitting of the Sejm of the fifth term of office, held on April 13, (...) 2007, on which it was decided not to adopt any amendment. In the course of the legislative process, several modifi cation were offered not only to Article 38 concerning protection of life, but also to Article 30 dealing with dignity as a source of rights. Each of these proposals had drawbacks, including inter alia: the lack of a definite period of protection or entitlement to dignity, resulting in the decreased protection in relation to issues concerning euthanasia; the application of new categories granting a specific status to unborn human life; specifying the standards for protection by means of legislative acts ranking lower than a constitution, resulting in the transfer of life protection into the sphere of regulation of ordinary legislation. The most conducive for strengthening of the protection of unborn human life, even if not free of imperfections, was an amendment of Article 30 proposed by the Committee in the following wording: “The inherent and inalienable dignity, conferred on the person from the moment of conception, shall be a source of freedoms and rights of persons and citizens. It shall be inviolable; the respect and protection thereof shall be the obligation of public authorities.” From the rejection of the proposals it is diffi cult to draw conclusions that are vital for interpretation of the existing provisions. However, a conclusion that the intention of the authors of the constitution was not to strengthen the constitutional protection of life is not legitimate, mostly because of their doubts about formal correctness of the proposed amendments (when deciding to reject them), particularly the doubts about legal consequences of their adoption. -/- Streszczenie Zasadniczym celem opracowania jest próba całościowej oceny propozycji nowelizacji Konstytucji RP mającej miejsce w latach 2006-2007, zmierzającej przede wszystkim do wzmocnienia konstytucyjnej ochrony życia człowieka przed narodzeniem. Prace parlamentarne nad analizowaną nowelizacją otwiera poselski projekt ustawy o zmianie Konstytucji zawarty w druku sejmowym 993 z dnia 5 września 2006 (projekt wpłynął do Sejmu 7 września); zamyka seria głosowań na 39 posiedzeniu Sejmu V kadencji, dnia 13 kwietnia 2007 roku; głosowań, które przesądziły o niewprowadzeniu żadnych zmian. W trakcie procesu legislacyjnego proponowano szereg formuł, zmieniających nie tylko art. 38 dotyczący ochrony życia, ale także art. 30, który dotyczy godności jako źródła praw. W zasadzie wszystkie zgłoszone propozycje posiadały wady, wśród których najważniejsze to: brak domknięcia okresu ochrony lub przysługiwania godności, skutkujący obniżeniem ochrony w kwestiach związanych z eutanazją; stosowanie nowych kategorii, prowadzące do nadania specyficznego statusu człowiekowi przed narodzeniem; określanie standardu ochrony za pośrednictwem aktów o randze niższej od konstytucji, prowadzące do przesunięcia ochrony życia przed narodzeniem w sferę ustawodawstwa zwykłego. Z punktu widzenia celu, jakim było wzmocnienie konstytucyjnej ochrony życia człowieka przed narodzeniem i wzmocnienie jego pozycji prawnej, najlepsza, choć nie pozbawiona usterek, była zaproponowana przez Komisję zmiana brzmienia art. 30 prowadząca do formuły: „Źródłem wolności i praw człowieka i obywatela jest przyrodzona i niezbywalna godność człowieka, przynależna mu od chwili poczęcia. Jest ona nienaruszalna, a jej poszanowanie i ochrona jest obowiązkiem władz publicznych.”. Na podstawie odrzucenia propozycji zmian trudno wyciągać wnioski istotne dla interpretacji aktualnie obowiązujących przepisów; wniosek, że ustrojodawca nie chciał wzmocnienia konstytucyjnej ochrony życie nie jest prawomocny, przede wszystkim ze względu na – istotne w procesie podejmowania decyzji o odrzuceniu propozycji zmian – wątpliwości, co do formalnej poprawności formułowanych propozycji, w tym wątpliwości co do konsekwencji prawnych ich przyjęcia. (shrink)
Practices – specific, recurrent types of human action and activity – are perhaps the most fundamental "building blocks" of social reality. This book argues that the detailed empirical study of practices is essential to effective social-scientific inquiry. It develops a philosophical infrastructure for understanding human practices, and argues that practice theory should be the analytical centrepiece of social theory and the philosophy of the social sciences. -/- What would social scientists’ research look like if they took these insights seriously? To (...) answer this question, the book offers an analytical framework to guide empirical research on practices in different times and places. The author explores how practices can be identified, characterised and explained, how they function in concrete contexts and how they might change over time and space. -/- The Constitution of Social Practices lies at the intersection of philosophy, social theory, cultural theory and the social sciences. It is essential reading for scholars in social theory and the philosophy of social science, as well as the broad range of researchers and students across the social sciences and humanities whose work stands to benefit from serious consideration of practices. (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.
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)
It is tempting to think that in the case of complete spatio-temporal coincidence, the statue is identical with the constituent lump of clay. However, some philosophers have thought that accepting constitution as identity in this type of case forces one to reject the necessity of identity. I show that there is no conflict here. By distinguishing between an object's being necessarily an F and an object's being necessity identical with an F, we can see that accepting the necessity of (...) identity does not, and should not, compel one to reject constitution as identity. (shrink)
The present religious constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany is the product of protracted historical conflicts and political settlements that began in the sixteenth century. The mediation of these conflicts and settlements and the piecemeal establishment of the constitution was the achievement of imperial public law and diplomacy. Germany’s religious constitution—a secular and relativistic juridical framework protecting a plurality of confessional religions—pre-dated liberalism and democracy, and owes nothing to normative philosophical constructions of individual freedoms and rights, (...) or social justice and moral community. Rather, it was the product of a political compromise between warring confessional blocs, and of the institutions of public law that were the instruments and effects of this compromise. (shrink)
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)
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.
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. (shrink)
According to constitution views of persons, we are constituted by spatially coinciding human animals. Constitution views face an ‘overpopulation’ puzzle: if the animal has my brain, there is another thinker where I am. An influential solution to this problem distinguishes between derivative and non‐derivative property possession: persons non‐derivatively have their personal properties, while inheriting others from their constituters. I will show that this solution raises a new problem, by constructing a puzzle with the absurd result that we instantiate (...) certain properties incompatibly. In setting up the puzzle, I demonstrate the relevance of the bodily awareness and self‐awareness literatures to overpopulation puzzles. (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)
One of the major exegetical difficulties in connection with Husserl's Logical Investigations has always been the clarification of his ontological position and the closely related concept of constitution. Ever since the publication of the first edition - which will be the point of departure - in 1900-1, there has been an ongoing discussion as to which concept of reality Husserl had committed himseff, initiated with a realistic interpretation by his G6ttingen Students. My aim in the following paper will be (...) a critical evaluation and interpretation of this relationship, thereby also taking Husserl's philosophical development - especially as concerns his idea of phenomenology - into consideration. (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 , 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)
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)
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)
In his commentary on Plato's Parmenides, Proclus critiques an unnamed predecessor for attributing self-constitution to the One, claiming that the notion necessitates duality in its subject. Proclus almost certainly has in mind Plotinus in Ennead VI.8.13-22, where the latter attributes self-causation and determination to the One. However in the latter context, Plotinus is rather attempting to show how the One's unity entails that it is the cause of such self-determinative activity manifested in Intellect (as in the earlier Enn. VI.8.1-7). (...) One could conclude, as does John Dillon, that Proclus is giving up an unfair criticism of Plotinus. In this dissertation I offer some support for Proclus' critical stance with an analysis of both figures' positions, starting with a look at (1) self-constitution and its conceptual origin in self-motion; (2) Plotinus on the One's causality; (3) Proclus on the One's causality; and (4) an analysis of Enn. VI.8.13-14 in light of Proclus' critique. While it could be that Proclus takes little account for Plotinus' careful construction in the language of Enn. VI.8.13-22, still Proclus' critique hinges on a different view of causation for the One than Plotinus'. The different stance lies in the background for why Plotinus allows for self-constitution in the One, even if with metaphorical language, while for Proclus such language pertains only to the intermediate level below the One (with e.g. Being, between the One and Intellect) and not up to the One-itself. (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)