Lowe's Defense of Constitution and the Principle of Weak Extensionality
Hershenov (David)
Source: Ratio, 21:2, June 2008, 168-181
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. E.J. Lowe is one of the few philosophers who defend both the existence of spatially coincident entities and the Principle of Weak Extensionality that no two objects which have proper parts have exactly the same proper parts at the same time.
  2. Lowe maintains that when spatially coincident things like the statue and the lump of bronze are in a constitution relation, the constituted entity (the statue) has parts that the constituting entity (the lump) doesn't, hence the compatibility with Weak Extensionality.
  3. My contention is that his argument for why the statue has parts the lump of bronze lacks can also be used to show that the lump of bronze has parts the statue doesn't. This will mean that there is no basis for saying the statue and the lump are in a constitution relation.
  4. I argue for accepting a modified account of constitution and abandoning the Principle of Weak Extensionality.


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