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The Monist

Volume 96, Issue 1, January 2013

Constitution and Composition

Tessa Jones
Pages 73-86
DOI: 10.5840/monist20139614

The Constitution of Events

Donald Davidson argues that ‘the stabbing of Caesar’ and ‘the killing of Caesar’ are two descriptions of the one event whereas Jaegwon Kim contends events are more fine-grained and two events occurred, related by supervenience. I argue that neither solution is satisfactory and, inspired by Lynne Rudder Baker, I develop a constitution relation governing cooccurring, co-located events such that the stabbing of Caesar comes to constitute the killing of Caesar when the stabbing occurs in the appropriate circumstances. According to my view, the stabbing of Caesar is metaphysically distinct from the killing of Caesar such that the killing is dependent on the stabbing, yet is not identical to it.