Emanuele Bottazzi


Fine on the Beach: Variable Embodiments and Locations


According to Kit Fine (“The Identity of Social Groups”, Metaphysics, 3, 1, 2020) social organizations are variable embodiments. Wondering about the location of this entities, he consider All Souls College, claiming that it is not where its fellows are: “If all of the fellows decide to vacation in Corsica, the college will remain where it has always been, on the High Street, and it will not also be located, even in part, on the sunny beaches of Corsica” (2020: 83). Facing this difficulty, he comes to the counterintuitive conclusion that the physical presence of the College’s fellows does not contribute to its physical presence. To solve this issue, my proposal is twofold:

1. The parthood relationship holds not between Smith and All Souls College, but between Smith as he plays a certain role within that organization. Smith is therefore a fellow of all soul college because he is part of the college as a professor;

2. We have to consider the teleological aspect of organizations. If we consider that among (but not exclusively) the purposes of the All Souls College there is the acquisition, transmission, and dissemination of knowledge we can better establish the conditions of existence of its parts.

The two proposal combined allow us also to establish the complicated physical location of organizations, that is to explain why, according to their different purposes, All Souls College is not present on the sunny beaches of Corsica and, tragically, Russia is partially present on the cloudy beaches of Ukraine.

Date / Time / Place

June 23rd / 10:45 / Aula 0A