<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="utf-8"> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /> <title>Note: Write-ups - Baker - The Very Idea of Constitution (Theo Todman's Web Page)</title> </head><body> <a name="Top"></a> <h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages</h1><hr><h2>Write-ups</h2><h3>Baker - The Very Idea of Constitution</h3><p class = "Centered">(Text as at 18/12/2010 19:58:05)<br><br>(For earlier versions of this Note, <a href="#TableOfPreviousVersions">see the table at the end</a>)</p><hr> <P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">This note controls my detailed review of <a name="2"></a>"<A HREF = "../../Abstracts/Abstract_03/Abstract_3675.htm">Baker (Lynne Rudder) - The Very Idea of Constitution</A>", Chapter 2 of <a name="3"></a>"<A HREF = "../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_66.htm">Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View</A>". I ve pirated the Oxford Scholarship Online summaries as a temporary expedient. <BR><BR><B>OSO Note</B>: <ul type="disc"><li>Provides a technical account of the idea of constitution. The basic idea of constitution is this: when certain kinds of things are in certain kinds of circumstances, things of new kinds, with new kinds of causal powers, come into existence. For example, when a certain combination of chemicals is in a certain environments, a thing of a new kind an organism comes into existence. A world without organisms, even if it contained the  right combination of chemicals but in the  wrong environment, would not have the same things in it as a world with organisms. So, constitution makes an ontological difference. It guarantees ontological plurality. </li><li>The relationship of constitution is ubiquitous. It is not peculiar to human persons and their bodies. It holds between rivers and aggregates of water molecules, between statues and pieces of marble, between genes and groups of DNA molecules, between stop signs and octagonal pieces of metal. If x constitutes y at t, then x and y are spatially coincident at t, but they not identical. If x constitutes y at t, then x and y have different persistence conditions. Identity is a necessary relation; constitution is contingent. (Indeed, I use the notion of constitution to solve problems that others try to solve by notions of contingent identity, temporal identity, relative identity and so on. The idea of constitution has an advantage over these other views in that the idea of constitution does not compromise the classical notion of identity in its strict Leibnizian form.) I provide a definition of  x constitutes y at t in order to show that the idea of constitution-without-identity does not suffer from obvious incoherence. </li><li>If x constitutes y at t, then x and y share many of their properties: x weighs 100 lbs. at t if and only if y weighs 100 lbs. at t; x is worth $10,000 at t if and only if y is worth $12,000 at t. Each of these properties has its source in either x or y. If a piece of bronze constitutes a statue at t, then what exists at t is a statue-constituted-by-a-piece-of-bronze, whose weight has its source in its being (constituted by) a piece of bronze, and whose value (usually) has its source in its being a statue. This observation leads to the notion of  having properties derivatively. The piece of bronze has its weight nonderivatively; the statue has its weight derivatively. The statue has its value nonderivatively; the piece of bronze has its value derivatively. To have a property derivatively is to constitute, or be constituted by, something that has the property independently of its constitution-relations. Only some properties are subject to being had derivatively. All this is spelled out in two definitions. The notion of having a property derivatively explains why if x and y both weigh 100 lbs. at t, and x and y are not identical, it does not follow that there is an object that weighs 200 lbs. where x is at t. </li><li>The idea of constitution is decidedly nonreductive. As long as x constitutes y, x has no independent existence. If x continues to exist after the demise of y, then x comes into its own, existing independently. But during the period that x constitutes y,  what the thing really is  y, constituted by x  is determined by the identity of y. So, what is in front of you when you go to a museum is a statue (constituted, perhaps, by a piece of bronze). What the thing most fundamentally is is a statue; but it is constituted by a piece of bronze.</li><li>Section Headings:-<BR>1. A Description of Constitution<BR>2. The Road to Essentialism<BR>3. A Definition of  Constitution <BR>4. Having Properties Derivatively<BR>5. Conclusion</li></ul><BR>& Further details to be <a name="1"></a><A HREF = "../Notes_7/Notes_742.htm">supplied</A><SUP>1</SUP></P> <br><hr><h3 class = "Left">Printable Versions:</h3> <UL><li>Follow (<A Href="Notes_Print/NotesPrint_802_0_P_R.htm" TARGET = "_top">this link</A>) for level 0 (with reading list), and </li><li>Follow (<A Href="Notes_Print/NotesPrint_802_0_P.htm" TARGET = "_top">this link</A>) for level 0.</li></UL> <a name="TableOfPreviousVersions"></a><BR><HR><h3 class= "Left">Previous Version of this Note:</h3> <TABLE class = "ReadingList" WIDTH=700> <TR><TD WIDTH="20%" class = "BridgeCenter"><strong>Date</strong></TD> <TD WIDTH="10%" class = "BridgeRight"><strong>Length</strong></TD> <TD WIDTH="70%" class = "BridgeLeft"><strong>Title</strong></TD></TR> <TR><TD class = "BridgeCenter">12/02/2009 21:30:14</TD> <TD class = "BridgeRight">3891</TD> <TD class = "BridgeLeft"><A HREF = "Notes_802_39856896.htm">Baker - The Very Idea of Constitution</A></TD></TR> </TABLE> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><TR> <TH WIDTH="25%">Note last updated</TH> <TH WIDTH="50%">Reading List for this Topic</TH> <TH WIDTH="25%">Parent Topic</TH></TR> <TR><TD WIDTH="25%">18/12/2010 19:58:05</TD> <TD WIDTH="50%">None available</TD> <TD WIDTH="25%"><A href ="../../Notes/Notes_7/Notes_799.htm">Baker - Persons and Bodies</A></TD></TR> </TABLE></center> <hr><h3>Summary of Note Links from this Page</h3> <CENTER> <TABLE Class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR> <td bgcolor="#e6ecff" WIDTH="20%"><A href = "../../Notes/Notes_7/Notes_742.htm"><span title="Plug Note - With Reading List">Awaiting Attention (Write-ups)</span></A></TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> </TR> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P class = "Centered">To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.</P> <BR><HR><BR><h3>Summary of Note Links to this Page</h3> <CENTER> <TABLE Class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR> <td bgcolor="#e6ecff" WIDTH="20%"><A href = "../../Notes/Notes_7/Notes_799.htm#1"><span title="Plug Note - With Reading List">Baker - Persons and Bodies</span></A>, <A href = "../../Notes/Notes_7/Notes_799.htm#2">2</A>, <A href = "../../Notes/Notes_7/Notes_799.htm#14">3</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> </TR> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P class = "Centered">To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.</P> <CENTER> <br><hr><br><h3>References & Reading List</h3> <TABLE class = "ReadingList" WIDTH=950> <TD WIDTH="15%" class = "BridgeLeft"><B>Author</B></TD> <TD WIDTH="25%" class = "BridgeLeft"><B>Title</B></TD> <TD WIDTH="20%" class = "BridgeLeft"><B>Medium</B></TD> <TD WIDTH="35%" class = "BridgeLeft"><B>Source</B></TD> <TD WIDTH="5%" class = "BridgeCenter"><B>Read?</B></TD> <TR> <TD WIDTH="15%" class = "BridgeLeft">Baker (Lynne Rudder)</TD> <TD WIDTH="25%" class = "BridgeLeft">Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%" class = "BridgeLeft"><A HREF="../../BookSummaries/BookSummary_00/BookPaperAbstracts/BookPaperAbstracts_66.htm">Book - Cited</A> <img src="../../accept.png" alt="High Quality Abstract"></TD> <TD WIDTH="35%" class = "BridgeLeft">Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View</TD> <TD WIDTH="5%" class = "BridgeCenter">Yes</TD> </TR> <TR> <TD WIDTH="15%" class = "BridgeLeft">Baker (Lynne Rudder)</TD> <TD WIDTH="25%" class = "BridgeLeft">The Very Idea of Constitution</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%" class = "BridgeLeft"><A HREF="../../Abstracts/Abstract_03/Abstract_3675.htm">Paper - Cited</A> <img src="../../asterisk_yellow.png"alt="Medium Quality Abstract" Title="Copy Annotated"></TD> <TD WIDTH="35%" class = "BridgeLeft">Baker (Lynne) - Persons and Bodies, Chapter 2</TD> <TD WIDTH="5%" class = "BridgeCenter">Yes</TD> </TR> </TABLE> </CENTER> <a name="ColourConventions"></a><br><hr><br><h3 class = "Left">Text Colour Conventions</h3><OL TYPE="1"><li><FONT COLOR = "000000">Black</FONT>: Printable Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><li><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li></OL><BR> <center><BR><HR><BR><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD><TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD><TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T18:01" pubdate>02/08/2018 18:01:19</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD><TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD></TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR></BODY></HTML>