Philosophers Index Abstract
- This article presents a theory of the (time-variant) "constitution" relation, which obtains between two distinct objects which occupy the same place at the same time.
- It explains why pairs of them (eg. a gold statue1 and the gold of the statue2, a person and his or her body) are indiscernible in a variety of logically independent respects, such as place, color, shape, and weight.
- It accounts for the formal features – notably, the asymmetry – of the constitution relation. (Recall that identity is symmetrical.)
- In rebutting a variety of attempts to subvert David Wiggins' argument that distinct objects can spatially coincide, the article offers the following:
- A general argument against relativizing identity (eg. sortally3 or temporally);
- Some explanation of the theoretical point of concepts of continuants;
- An anti-reductionist4 argument in favor of admitting constituted objects (eg. organisms) in addition to objects which constitute them (eg. collections of fundamental particles).
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