The Constitution View
Corcoran (Kevin)
Source: Corcoran (Kevin) - Rethinking Human Nature, Chapter 3
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract1

  1. Chapter 3 seeks to explain what I realize sounds like an odd claim. The view I articulate in this chapter is known as the Constitution View2. According to it, we human persons are constituted by our bodies without being identical with the bodies that constitute us.
  2. To claim that human persons are constituted by bodies without being identical with the bodies that constitute them is not to make a special pleading for human persons. Lots of medium-sized material objects stand in constitution relations. For example, statues3 are often constituted by pieces of marble, copper, or bronze, but the statues4 are not identical with the pieces of marble, copper, or bronze that constitute them. Likewise, dollar bills, diplomas, and dust jackets are often constituted by pieces of paper, but none of those things is identical5 with the pieces of paper that constitute them.
  3. This chapter provides reasons why this is the case and, in particular, why human persons are constituted by, without being identical with, the material objects that constitute them.



In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Corcoran (Kevin) - Rethinking Human Nature: Introduction - What Kind of Things Are We?".

Footnote 2: See Footnote 5: See my Note on Artifacts (Click here for Note), which puts a different slant on all this.


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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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