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Friday, October 21, 2011

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Bill,

what is the difference/correlation between the accidental sameness (e.g. between Socrates and seated-Socrates) and the material constitution (e.g. between the piece of marble and the statue) ?

If one accepts that there is an accidental sameness relation, and therefore accepts that there are accidental compounds, then it is reasonable to maintain that material constitution is a type of accidental sameness.

Hunk of marble: parent substance
Being-formed to represent so-and-so, e.g., David: accident inhering in substance
Statue: accidental compound of hunk + being-formed to represent so-and-so

The statue is accidentally the same as the hunk of marble.

Thus we can avoid saying that hunk and statue are strictly identical -- which is clearly false given the difference in persistence conditions, that there is no statue which is van Inwagen's highly counterintutive nihilist view, and the counterintuitive view that, while the statue exists there are two distinct things in exactly the same place.

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