- Lynne Baker's Constitution Theory seems to be the farthest-reaching and yet the most subtly elaborated anti-reductive metaphysics available today. Its original theoretical contribution is a non-mereological theory of material constitution, which yet has a place for classical and Lewisian mereology (this formalized version of Materialism).
- Constitution Theory hence apparently
- complies with modern natural science, and yet
- rescues the concrete everyday world, and ourselves in it, from ontological vanity or nothingness, and
- does it by avoiding dualism.
- Why, then, does it meet so many opponents - or rather, why are its many opponents so stubbornly resisting the very idea of constitution, in Baker's form? One of the most resisted claims is (iii). Is unity without identity - the feature distinguishing the relation between constituting and constituted things - the only nondualist way to oppose reductionism? What would be the price to pay for unity with identity - without reduction?
- What I (jokingly) call the Unitarian Tradition, going back to Plato, keeps working out the original Platonic way of constructing a complex object as a Unity comprising a Collection, as opposed to the Aristotelian suggestion of opposing Collections and Substances. For once you have split things apart ontologically, unifying them again may prove a very hard task.
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