David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophy 102 (2):55 - 77 (2005)
This paper examines a variety of contexts in metaphysics which employ a strategy I consider to be suspect. In each of these contexts, ‘The Suspect Strategy’ (TSS) aims at excluding a series of troublesome contexts from a general principle whose truth the philosopher in question wishes to preserve. We see (TSS) implemented with respect to Leibniz’s Law (LL) in the context of Gibbard’s defense of contingent identity, Myro and Gallois’ defense of temporary identity, as well as Terence Parsons’ defense of indeterminate identity. Our example of (TSS) as implemented with respect to the Existence Principle (EP) is Terence Parsons’ defense of non-existent objects. Finally, the coincidence-theorist’s analysis of the problem of constitution as given by Baker, Fine and Yablo, as well as Deutsch’s recent defense of the relative-identity theory provide examples of (TSS) as implemented with respect to restricted indiscernibility principles of the form in (RI). While we of course cannot conclude from our exposure to extant versions of (TSS) that no exclusion-procedure could ever overcome the troubling features we encountered, my remarks in this paper should, I think, at least give us reasons to be skeptical that any strategy which proceeds by means of purely formal (e.g., syntactic) individuation-criteria could achieve its intended purpose; for we have seen that such strategies are in general too coarse-grained to individuate contexts correctly into those that should and those that should not be excluded from the reaches of the general principle under discussion. I suspect, moreover, though I do not argue for this stronger claim, that any strategy which does not proceed by means of purely formal criteria would in some way succumb to the charge of circularity. As a result, I recommend that we should learn to become accustomed to a universe populated with a surprising multitude of numerically distinct yet almost indiscernible objects, such as statues and the lumps of clay that constitute them. Given the large amounts of overlap among these almost indiscernible objects, such a densely populated universe is actually quite easy to live with, but that’s a story for a separate occasion.
|Keywords||Leibniz's Law Identity Indiscernibility Contingent identity Temporary identity Relative identity Indeterminate identity Material constitution Coincident objects|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Igor Douven & Lieven Decock (2010). Identity and Similarity. Philosophical Studies 151 (1):59-78.
Kathrin Koslicki (2007). Towards a Neo-Aristotelian Mereology. Dialectica 61 (1):127–159.
Ikuro Suzuki (2008). The Paradox of Coincidence and Sortal Concepts. Kagaku Tetsugaku 41 (1):15-28.
Similar books and articles
Tuomas E. Tahko (2011). Commentary on Kathrin Koslicki’s The Structure of Objects. Humana.Mente 19:197-204.
Décio Krause & Antonio M. N. Coelho (2005). Identity, Indiscernibility, and Philosophical Claims. Axiomathes 15 (2):191-210.
Jukka Keränen (2001). The Identity Problem for Realist Structuralism. Philosophia Mathematica 9 (3):308--30.
Thomas Peard (2008). Is There a Right of National Defense? Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 10:341-347.
Elisa Paganini (2011). Vague Objects Without Ontically Indeterminate Identity. Erkenntnis 74 (3):351-362.
Jacek Paśniczek (2007). Teza Ramseya. Nieodróżnialność przedmiotów i własności w logice. Filozofia Nauki 2.
Charles B. Cross (2009). Causal Independence, the Identity of Indiscernibles, and the Essentiality of Origins. Journal of Philosophy 106 (5):277-291.
Trenton Merricks (2009). Review of Kathrin Koslicki: The Structure of Objects. Journal of Philosophy 106 (5).
Peter W. Ross (2010). Fitting Color Into the Physical World. Philosophical Psychology 23 (5):575-599.
M. Oreste Fiocco (2010). Temporary Intrinsics and Relativization. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (1):64-77.
Matteo Morganti (2011). Bundles, Individuation and Indiscernibility. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 7 (1):36-48.
Philip Kitcher (2001). Real Realism: The Galilean Strategy. Philosophical Review 110 (2):151-197.
Beckett Sterner (2009). Object Spaces: An Organizing Strategy for Biological Theorizing. Biological Theory 4 (3):280-286.
Added to index2011-01-09
Total downloads44 ( #99,847 of 1,934,364 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #41,714 of 1,934,364 )
How can I increase my downloads?