Subsumption and relative identity

Axiomathes 14 (4):341-360 (2004)
This paper is a modification of Nicola Guarino and Christopher Welty's conception of the subsumption relation. Guarino and Welty require that that whether one property may subsume the other should depend on the modal metaproperties of those properties. I argue that the part of their account that concerns the metaproperty carrying a criterion of identity is essentially flawed. Subsequently, I propose to constrain the subsumption relation not, as Guarino and Welty require, by means of incompatible criteria of absolute identity but by means of incompatible criteria of relative identity. After discussing the benefits of applying relative identity in ontological investigations I provide a formal framework in which to prove a counterpart of the identity criteria constraint.
Keywords criterion of identity  open-texture  relative identity  stratified ontology  subsumption
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