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  1. added 2019-06-16
    Heads and Tails: Molecular Imagination and the Lipid Bilayer, 1917–1941.Daniel Liu - 2018 - In Karl Matlin, Jane Maienschein & Manfred Laubichler (eds.), Visions of Cell Biology: Reflections Inspired by Cowdry's General Cytology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 209-245.
    Today, the lipid bilayer structure is nearly ubiquitous, taken for granted in even the most rudimentary introductions to cell biology. Yet the image of the lipid bilayer, built out of with lipids with heads and tails, went from having obscure origins deep in colloid chemical theory in 1924 to being “obvious to any competent physical chemist” by 1935. This chapter examines how this schematic, strictly heuristic explanation of the idea of molecular orientation was developed within colloid physical chemistry, and how (...)
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  2. added 2019-06-06
    Mereological Nihilism: Quantum Atomism and the Impossibility of Material Constitution.Jeffrey Grupp - 2006 - Axiomathes 16 (3):245-386.
    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 (...)
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  3. added 2019-05-29
    Form, Matter, Substance. [REVIEW]Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
    In Form, Matter, Substance, Kathrin Koslicki articulates and defends her preferred brand of hylomorphism, weighing in on how we should conceive of the matter and the form of such compounds, and on how they can qualify as fundamental “substances” despite being ontologically dependent on their components. I review Koslicki’s principal claims and conclusions (§1), and then raise some concerns about her master argument for “individual forms” (§2) and her criticism of standard essentialist accounts of artifacts (§3).
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  4. added 2019-05-10
    The Metaphysics of Establishments.Daniel Z. Korman - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    I present two puzzles about the metaphysics of establishments (e.g., stores and restaurants). The first puzzle is that, while there is good reason to think that they are constituted by the buildings they occupy, there also is good reason to think that they can exist without being constituted by anything and that nothing that’s constituted can ever become unconstituted. The second is that, while there is good reason to think that they are material objects, there also is good reason to (...)
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  5. added 2019-04-20
    Object Constructivism and Unconstructed Objects.Justin Remhof - 2014 - Southwest Philosophy Review 30 (1):177-185.
    The paper responds to a common charge against constructivism about objects, the view that all objects are essentially socially constructed. The objection is that constructivism is false because there must exist unconstructed objects for there to be constructed objects. I contend that the worry is unsound because whatever exists fully independently of our activities cannot be an object.
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  6. added 2019-01-16
    Material Constitution.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy.
    An annotated bibliography of important works on material constitution.
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  7. added 2018-10-08
    Diachronic Metaphysical Building Relations: Towards the Metaphysics of Extended Cognition.Michael David Kirchhoff - 2014 - Dissertation, Macquarie University
    In the thesis I offer an analysis of the metaphysical underpinnings of the extended cognition thesis via an examination of standard views of metaphysical building (or, dependence) relations. -/- In summary form, the extended cognition thesis is a view put forth in naturalistic philosophy of mind stating that the physical basis of cognitive processes and cognitive processing may, in the right circumstances, be distributed across neural, bodily, and environmental vehicles. As such, the extended cognition thesis breaks substantially with the still (...)
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  8. added 2018-09-30
    Kind‐Dependent Grounding.Alex Moran - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):359-390.
    Are grounding claims fully general in character? If a is F in virtue of being G, does it follow that anything that’s G has to be F for that reason? According to the thesis of Weak Formality, the answer is ‘yes’. In this paper, however, I argue that there is philosophical utility in rejecting this thesis. More exactly, I argue that two outstanding problems in contemporary metaphysics can be dealt with if we maintain that there can be cases of what (...)
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  9. added 2018-08-20
    The Form is Not a Proper Part in Aristotle’s Metaphysics Z.17, 1041b11–33.Liva Rotkale - 2018 - Metaphysics 1 (1):75-87.
    When Aristotle argues at the Metaphysics Z.17, 1041b11–33 that a whole, which is not a heap, contains ‘something else’, i.e. the form, besides the elements, it is not clear whether or not the form is a proper part of the whole. I defend the claim that the form is not a proper part within the context of the relevant passage, since the whole is divided into elements, not into elements and the form. Different divisions determine different senses of ‘part’, and (...)
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  10. added 2018-07-04
    Towards a Hylomorphic Solution to the Grounding Problem.Kathrin Koslicki - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements to Philosophy 82:333-364.
    Concrete particular objects (e.g., living organisms) figure saliently in our everyday experience as well as our in our scientific theorizing about the world. A hylomorphic analysis of concrete particular objects holds that these entities are, in some sense, compounds of matter (hūlē) and form (morphē or eidos). The Grounding Problem asks why an object and its matter (e.g., a statue and the clay that constitutes it) can apparently differ with respect to certain of their properties (e.g., the clay’s ability to (...)
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  11. added 2018-05-25
    How to Solve the Puzzle of Dion and Theon Without Losing Your Head.Chad Carmichael - forthcoming - Mind:fzy021.
    The ancient puzzle of Dion and Theon has given rise to a surprising array of apparently implausible views. For example, in order to solve the puzzle, several philosophers have been led to deny the existence of their own feet, others have denied that objects can gain and lose parts, and large numbers of philosophers have embraced the thesis that distinct objects can occupy the same space, having all their material parts in common. In this paper, I argue for an alternative (...)
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  12. added 2018-03-24
    Physical Composition by Bonding.Julian Husmann & Paul M. Näger - 2018 - In Ludger Jansen & Paul M. Näger (eds.), Peter van Inwagen. Materialism, Free Will and God. Cham: Springer. pp. 65-96.
    Van Inwagen proposes that besides simples only living organisms exist as composite objects. This paper suggests expanding van Inwagen’s ontology by also accepting composite objects in the case that physical bonding occurs (plus some extra conditions). Such objects are not living organ-isms but rather physical bodies. They include (approximately) the complete realm of inanimate ordinary objects, like rocks and tables, as well as inanimate scientific objects, like atoms and mol-ecules, the latter filling the ontological gap between simples and organisms in (...)
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  13. added 2018-03-21
    Mereological Nihilism and Puzzles About Material Objects.Bradley Rettler - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that no objects have proper parts. Despite how counter‐intuitive it is, it is taken quite seriously, largely because it solves a number of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects – or so its proponents claim. In this article, I show that for every puzzle that mereological nihilism solves, there is a similar puzzle that (a) it doesn’t solve, and (b) every other solution to the original puzzle does solve. Since the solutions to the new (...)
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  14. added 2018-01-08
    Les théories méréologiques du faisceau.Baptiste Le Bihan - forthcoming - In Le renouveau de la métaphysique: autour de Frédéric Nef. Paris: Vrin.
    « Pourquoi les choses tiennent-elles ensemble ? » (Traité d'ontologie, 2009, p. 237). Cette citation me sert de départ à une réflexion sur la nature des relations liantes souvent appelées relations de comprésence à la suite de Russell, ces bundling relations qui nouent les propriétés ensembles pour constituer les objets ordinaires (tables, chaises, individus biologiques) selon la théorie du faisceau. De même que Frédéric Nef, je suis séduit par les nombreuses vertus philosophiques de ces relations liantes. Ma contribution ne portera (...)
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  15. added 2017-02-15
    The Metaphysics of Constitutive Mechanistic Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser & Beate Krickel - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv058.
    The central aim of this article is to specify the ontological nature of constitutive mechanistic phenomena. After identifying three criteria of adequacy that any plausible approach to constitutive mechanistic phenomena must satisfy, we present four different suggestions, found in the mechanistic literature, of what mechanistic phenomena might be. We argue that none of these suggestions meets the criteria of adequacy. According to our analysis, constitutive mechanistic phenomena are best understood as what we will call ‘object-involving occurrents’. Furthermore, on the basis (...)
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  16. added 2016-12-08
    Ontology, Composition, Quantification and Action.Bryan Frances - 2016 - Analysis 76 (2):137-142.
    The literature on material composition has largely ignored the composition of actions and events. I argue that this is a mistake. I present a set of individually plausible yet jointly inconsistent claims regarding the connection between quantification and existence, the composition of physical entities and the logical forms of action sentences.
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  17. added 2016-12-08
    Locke on Individuation and the Corpuscular Basis of Kinds.Dan Kaufman - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3):499–534.
    In a well-known paper, Reginald Jackson expresses a sentiment not uncommon among readers of Locke: “Among the merits of Locke’s Essay…not even the friendliest critic would number consistency.”2 This unflattering opinion of Locke is reiterated by Maurice Mandelbaum: “Under no circumstances can [Locke] be counted among the clearest and most consistent of philosophers.”3 The now familiar story is that there are innumerable inconsistencies and internal problems contained in Locke’s Essay. In fact, it is probably safe to say that there is (...)
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  18. added 2016-11-08
    Are The Statue and The Clay Mutual Parts?Lee Walters - 2017 - Noûs:23-50.
    Are a material object, such as a statue, and its constituting matter, the clay, parts of one another? One wouldn't have thought so, and yet a number of philosophers have argued that they are. I review the arguments for this surprising claim showing how they all fail. I then consider two arguments against the view concluding that there are both pre-theoretical and theoretical considerations for denying that the statue and the clay are mutual parts.
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  19. added 2016-09-22
    A Situationalist Solution to the Ship of Theseus Puzzle.Martin Pickup - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (5):973-992.
    This paper outlines a novel solution to the Ship of Theseus puzzle. The solution relies on situations, a philosophical tool used in natural language semantics among other places. The core idea is that what is true is always relative to the situation under consideration. I begin by outlining the problem before briefly introducing situations. I then present the solution: in smaller situations the candidate is identical to Theseus’s ship. But in larger situations containing both candidates these identities are neither true (...)
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  20. added 2016-08-21
    Development of a Manufacturing Ontology for Functionally Graded Materials.Francesco Furini, Rahul Rai, Barry Smith, Georgio Colombo & Venkat Krovi - 2016 - In Proceedings of International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC/CIE).
    The development of manufacturing technologies for new materials involves the generation of a large and continually evolving volume of information. The analysis, integration and management of such large volumes of data, typically stored in multiple independently developed databases, creates significant challenges for practitioners. There is a critical need especially for open-sharing of data pertaining to engineering design which together with effective decision support tools can enable innovation. We believe that ontology applied to engineering (OE) represents a viable strategy for the (...)
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  21. added 2015-10-23
    Dion and Theon: An Essentialist Solution to an Ancient Puzzle.Michael B. Burke - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):129-139.
    Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? Employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, I defend a surprising answer last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes. For replies to critics, see my publications of 1997 and (especially) 2004.
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  22. added 2015-09-29
    Composition.Daniel Z. Korman & Chad Carmichael - 2016 - Oxford Handbooks Online.
    When some objects are the parts of another object, they compose that object and that object is composite. This article is intended as an introduction to the central questions about composition and a highly selective overview of various answers to those questions. In §1, we review some formal features of parthood that are important for understanding the nature of composition. In §2, we consider some answers to the question: which pluralities of objects together compose something? As we will see, the (...)
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  23. added 2015-06-18
    Kant and the Object of Determinate Experience.Marius Stan - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15:1-19.
    On an influential view, Newton's mechanics is built into Kant's very theory of exact knowledge. However, Newtonian dynamics had serious explanatory limits already known by 1750. Thus, we might worry that Kant's Analytic is too narrow to ground enough exact knowledge. In this paper, I draw on Enlightenment dynamics to show that Kant's notion of determinate objecthood is sufficiently broad, non-trivial, and still relevant to the present.
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  24. added 2014-11-12
    The Supervenience Solution to the Too-Many-Thinkers Problem.C. S. Sutton - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (257):619-639.
    Persons think. Bodies, time-slices of persons, and brains might also think. They have the necessary neural equipment. Thus, there seems to be more than one thinker in your chair. Critics assert that this is too many thinkers and that we should reject ontologies that allow more than one thinker in your chair. I argue that cases of multiple thinkers are innocuous and that there is not too much thinking. Rather, the thinking shared between, for example, persons and their bodies is (...)
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  25. added 2014-04-02
    Monism and Material Constitution.Stephen Barker & Mark Jago - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (1):189-204.
    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 (...)
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  26. added 2014-03-20
    Material Constitution and the Trinity.Jeffrey E. Brower & Michael C. Rea - 2005 - Faith and Philosophy 22 (1):57-76.
    The Christian doctrine of the Trinity poses a serious philosophical problem. On the one hand, it seems to imply that there is exactly one divine being; on the other hand, it seems to imply that there are three. There is another well-known philosophical problem that presents us with a similar sort of tension: the problem of material constitution. We argue in this paper that a relatively neglected solution to the problem of material constitution can be developed into a novel solution (...)
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  27. added 2014-03-19
    The New Leibniz's Law Arguments for Pluralism.Bryan Frances - 2006 - Mind 115 (460):1007-1022.
    For years philosophers argued for the existence of distinct yet materially coincident things by appealing to modal and temporal properties. For instance, the statue was made on Monday and could not survive being flattened; the lump of clay was made months before and can survive flattening. Such arguments have been thoroughly examined. Kit Fine has proposed a new set of arguments using the same template. I offer a critical evaluation of what I take to be his central lines of reasoning.
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  28. added 2014-03-09
    Against the Vagueness Argument.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (2):335-340.
    In this paper I offer a counterexample to the so called vagueness argument against restricted composition. This will be done in the lines of a recent suggestion by Trenton Merricks, namely by challenging the claim that there cannot be a sharp cut-off point in a composition sequence. It will be suggested that causal powers which emerge when composition occurs can serve as an indicator of such sharp cut-off points. The main example will be the case of a heap. It seems (...)
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  29. added 2014-03-06
    Nihilism Without Self-Contradiction.David Liggins - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:177-196.
    in Robin Le Poidevin (ed.) Being: Developments in Contemporary Metaphysics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Peter van Inwagen claims that there are no tables or chairs. He also claims that sentences such as ‘There are chairs here’, which seem to imply their existence, are often true. This combination of views opens van Inwagen to a charge of self-contradiction. I explain the charge, and van Inwagen’s response to it, which involves the claim that sentences like ‘There are tables’ shift their truth-conditions between (...)
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  30. added 2014-02-10
    Preserving the Principle of One Object to a Place: A Novel Account of the Relations Among Objects, Sorts, Sortals, and Persistence Conditions.Michael B. Burke - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (3):591-624.
    This article offers a novel, conservative account of material constitution, one that incorporates sortal essentialism and features a theory of dominant sortals. It avoids coinciding objects, temporal parts, relativizations of identity, mereological essentialism, anti-essentialism, denials of the reality of the objects of our ordinary ontology, and other departures from the metaphysic implicit in ordinary ways of thinking. Defenses of the account against important objections are found in Burke 1997, 2003, and 2004, as well as in the often neglected six paragraphs (...)
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  31. added 2013-05-05
    Fundamental Quantification and the Language of the Ontology Room.Daniel Z. Korman - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):298-321.
    Nihilism is the thesis that no composite objects exist. Some ontologists have advocated abandoning nihilism in favor of deep nihilism, the thesis that composites do not existO, where to existO is to be in the domain of the most fundamental quantifier. By shifting from an existential to an existentialO thesis, the deep nihilist seems to secure all the benefits of a composite-free ontology without running afoul of ordinary belief in the existence of composites. I argue that, while there are well-known (...)
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  32. added 2012-12-01
    Musical Materialism and the Inheritance Problem.C. Tillman & J. Spencer - 2012 - Analysis 72 (2):252-259.
    Some hold that musical works are fusions of, or coincide with, their performances. But if performances contain wrong notes, won't works inherit that property? We say ‘no’.
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  33. added 2012-03-05
    Material Constitution.Stephan Blatti - 2012 - In Robert Barnard & Neil Manson (eds.), Continuum Companion to Metaphysics. Continuum Publishing. pp. 149-69.
    This paper reviews four leading strategies for addressing the problem of material constitution, along with some of the prominent objections faced by each approach. Sections include (1) "The Orthodox View: Coincident Objects," (2) "Dominant Kinds," (3) "Nihilism," (4) "Revising the Logic of Identity," and (5) "Future Research." Also included is an annotated bibliography.
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  34. added 2011-07-01
    Copper Statues and Pieces of Copper: A Challenge to the Standard Account.Michael B. Burke - 1992 - Analysis 52 (1):12 - 17.
    On the most popular account of material constitution, it is common for a material object to coincide precisely with one or more other material objects, ones that are composed of just the same matter but differ from it in sort. I argue that there is nothing that could ground the alleged difference in sort and that the account must be rejected.
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  35. added 2011-05-27
    Biological-Mereological Coincidence.Judith K. Crane - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (2):309-325.
    This paper presents and defends an account of the coincidence of biological organisms with mereological sums of their material components. That is, an organism and the sum of its material components are distinct material objects existing in the same place at the same time. Instead of relying on historical or modal differences to show how such coincident entities are distinct, this paper argues that there is a class of physiological properties of biological organisms that their coincident mereological sums do not (...)
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  36. added 2009-12-05
    Is There a Conservative Solution to the Many Thinkers Problem?David Mark Kovacs - 2010 - Ratio 23 (3):275-290.
    On a widely shared assumption, our mental states supervene on our microphysical properties – that is, microphysical supervenience is true. When this thesis is combined with the apparent truism that human persons have proper parts, a grave difficulty arises: what prevents some of these proper parts from being themselves thinkers as well? How can I know that I am a human person and not a smaller thinker enclosed in a human person? Most solutions to this puzzle make radical, if not (...)
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  37. added 2008-12-31
    The Material Composition Problem.Bryan Frances - manuscript
    This is an essay for undergraduates. I set out the statue/clay problem and Tibbles/Tib in rich detail. I also present, with less detail, some other puzzles about material composition.
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  38. added 2008-12-31
    The Transitivity of Material Constitution.Robert A. Wilson - 2009 - Noûs 43 (2):363-377.
    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. (...)
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  39. added 2008-12-31
    Working Parts: Reply to Mellor.Robert Williams - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:81-106.
    Two kinds of explanation might be put forward. The first goes like this: the necessary connection between the location of a whole and the location of its parts holds because the location of the whole is nothing but the collective location of its parts. The second style of explanation goes like this: the connection holds because what it is for a material whole to have something as a part, is (perhaps among other things) for the whole to contain the part.
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  40. added 2008-12-31
    A Puzzle About Material Constitution and How to Solve It: Enriching Constitution Views in Metaphysics.Robert A. Wilson - 2007 - Philosophers' Imprint 7:1-20.
    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 (...)
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  41. added 2008-12-31
    Externalism, Physicalism, Statues, and Hunks.Bryan Frances - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (2):199-232.
    Content externalism is the dominant view in the philosophy of mind. Content essentialism, the thesis that thought tokens have their contents essentially, is also popular. And many externalists are supporters of such essentialism. However, endorsing the conjunction of those views either (i) commits one to a counterintuitive view of the underlying physical nature of thought tokens or (ii) commits one to a slightly different but still counterintuitive view of the relation of thought tokens to physical tokens as well as a (...)
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