A puzzle about material constitution and how to solve it: Enriching constitution views in metaphysics

Philosophers' Imprint 7:1-20 (2007)
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Abstract

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.

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Robert A. Wilson
University of Western Australia

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