Baxter and Cotnoir on Composition as Identity

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This paper provides a critical examination of three related attempts to defend Composition as Identity (CI), namely the thesis that if some things compose something, then they are it. First, it will be argued against Donald Baxter’s view of composition as ‘loose identity’ that by construing composition as strictly a many-many relation, the view trivializes CI, and cannot be an option for the advocate of CI who takes composition as a genuine many-one relation. Second, it is argued against Baxter’s modified view of composition as ‘cross-count identity’ that the ‘are’ in ‘they are it’ cannot be viewed as expressing cross-count identity. Lastly, it is argued against Aaron Cotnoir’s view of composition as ‘general identity’ that it amounts to resorting back to Baxter’s old view of composition as a many-many relation.
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Archival date: 2019-08-30
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