Entity, identity and unity

Erkenntnis 48 (2-3):191-208 (1998)
I propose a fourfold categorisation of entities according to whether or not they possess determinate identity-conditions and whether or not they are determinately countable. Some entities – which I call ‘individual objects’ – have both determinate identity and determinate countability: for example, persons and animals. In the case of entities of a kind K belonging to this category, we are in principle always entitled to expect there to be determinate answers to such questions as ‘Is x the same K as y?’ and ’How many Ks are there satisfying condition C?’, even if we may sometimes be unable in practice to discover what these answers are. But other entities apparently lack either determinate identity, or determinate countability, or both. In these terms I try to explain certain important ontological differences between familiar macroscopic objects and various rather more esoteric entities, such as the ‘particles’ of quantum physics, quantities of material stuff, and tropes or property instances.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ethics   Logic   Ontology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1005327718934
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

67 ( #51,055 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #166,848 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.