2.89 Composition and Constitution

Category: Metaphysics

Keywords: supervenience, properties, property, composition, extrinsic, statue, relational, kim, prop, armstrong, composed, intrinsic, parts, disjunctive, micro

Number of Articles: 421
Percentage of Total: 1.3%
Rank: 22nd

Weighted Number of Articles: 440.8
Percentage of Total: 1.4%
Rank: 18th

Mean Publication Year: 1997.9
Weighted Mean Publication Year: 1990.8
Median Publication Year: 2002
Modal Publication Year: 2010

Topic with Most Overlap: Modality (0.0451)
Topic this Overlaps Most With: Modality (0.0464)
Topic with Least Overlap: Crime and Punishment (0.00016)
Topic this Overlaps Least With: Game Theory (0.00064)

A scatterplot showing which proportion of articles each year are in the composition and constitutiontopic. The x-axis shows the year, the y-axis measures the proportion of articles each year in this topic. There is one dot per year. The highest value is in 2010 when 4.3% of articles were in this topic. The lowest value is in 1891 when 0.0% of articles were in this topic. The full table that provides the data for this graph is available in Table A.89 in Appendix A.

Figure 2.204: Composition and constitution.

A set of twelve scatterplots showing the proportion of articles in each journal in each year that are in the Composition and Constitutiontopic. There is one scatterplot for each of the twelve journals that are the focus of this book. In each scatterplot, the x-axis is the year, and the y-axis is the proportion of articles in that year in that journal in this topic. Here are the average values for each of the twelve scatterplots - these tell you on average how much of the journal is dedicated to this topic. Mind - 0.9%. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society - 0.9%. Ethics - 0.3%. Philosophical Review - 1.0%. Analysis - 2.0%. Philosophy and Public Affairs - 0.2%. Journal of Philosophy - 1.4%. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research - 2.0%. Philosophy of Science - 0.9%. Noûs - 3.1%. The Philosophical Quarterly - 2.0%. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science - 1.1%. The topic reaches its zenith in year 2006 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 4.2% of the articles. And it hits a minimum in year 1891 when it makes up, on average across the journals, 0.0% of the articles.

Figure 2.205: Composition and constitution articles in each journal.

Table 2.214: Characteristic articles of the composition and constitution topic.
Table 2.215: Highly cited articles in the composition and constitution topic.


This is the central topic of late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century metaphysics, and unsurprisingly it has a huge number of highly cited articles. Eventually the interest in composition and constitution turned meta, and subsequent work often focussed on what was at stake in debates about composition and constitution, and then about whether there was a more general notion of grounding that could subsume these concepts and, perhaps, several others.

Some of the work here could plausibly be counted in philosophy of mind, since some of the papers are about the relationship between mind and body. This is in keeping with a common trend in late twentieth/early twenty-first-century philosophy—when there is work that crosses between the big disciplines in philosophy, it usually involves philosophy of mind. That stops in the 2010s; more work crosses between disciplines other than philosophy of mind. But for a while philosophy of mind is the glue that holds the other subjects together. Deontology and mereology don’t have much in common, but deontology is linked to moral psychology, and mereology to the mind-body problem, and so they are connected via philosophy of mind.