The aim of this paper is to derive a perfectly general criterion of identity through time from Locke’s Principle, which says that two things of the same kind cannot occupy the same space at the same time. In this way, the paper pursues a suggestion made by Peter F. Strawson almost thirty years ago in an article called ‘Entity and Identity’. The reason why the potential of this suggestion has so far remained unrealized is twofold: firstly, the (...) suggestion was never properly developed by Strawson, and secondly, it seemed vulnerable to an objection that he himself raised against it. Consequently, the paper’s aim is to further develop Strawson’s suggestion, and to show that the result is not vulnerable to the objection that seemed fatal to its underdeveloped predecessor. In addition, the paper aims to defend Locke’s Principle against alleged counterexamples such as those produced by Leibniz, Fine and Hughes. (shrink)
One of the main problems of personal identity is supposed to be how we relate to our bodies. A few philosophers endorse what is called a 'bodily criterion of personal identity': they say that we are our bodies, or at any rate that our identity over time consists in the identity of our bodies. Many more deny this--typically on the grounds that we can imagine ourselves coming apart from our bodies. But both sides agree that (...) the bodily criterion is an important view which anyone thinking about personal identity must consider. (shrink)
According to one popular criterion of property identity, where X and Y are properties, X is identical with Y if and only if X and Y bestow the same conditional powers on their bearers. In this paper, I argue that this causal criterion of property identity is unsatisfactory, because it fails to provide a sufficient condition for the identification of properties. My argument for this claim is based on the observation that the summing of properties does (...) not entail the summing of the conditional powers that they bestow on an object, but, rather, in some cases their subtraction. If so, the following causal structure seems possible: There are two properties, A and B. Each bestows a different set of conditional powers on its bearer, but the conjunctive property A-and-B bestows exactly the same set of conditional powers as either A or B. If this causal structure is possible, then it creates a serious problem for the causal criterion of property identity. (shrink)
In this article I revisit earlier stages of the discussion of personal identity, before Neo-Lockean psychological continuity views became prevalent. In particular, I am interested in Bernard Williams’ initial proposal of bodily identity as a necessary, although not sufficient, criterion of personal identity. It was at this point that psychological continuity views came to the fore arguing that bodily identity was not necessary because brain transplants were logically possible, even if physically impossible. Further proposals by (...) Shoemaker of causal relations between mental states in our memory and Parfit’s discussion of branching causal chains created additional complications. My contention in this paper is that psychological continuity views deflected our attention from what should have remained in the spotlight all the time: the intersubjective character (or not) of criteria proposed to decide personal identity in our language game, and ultimately our form of life concerning ourselves as persons. B. Williams’ emphasis on the body was not just common sense. It was also recognition of the importance of giving priority to criteria that could be kept under intersubjective control. (shrink)
John Locke’s account of personal identity is usually thought to have been proved false by Thomas Reid’s simple ‘Gallant Officer’ argument. Locke is traditionally interpreted as holding that your having memories of a past person’s thoughts or actions is necessary and sufficient for your being identical to that person. This paper argues that the traditional memory interpretation of Locke’s account is mistaken and defends a memory continuity view according to which a sequence of overlapping memories is necessary and sufficient (...) for personal identity. On this view Locke is not vulnerable to the Gallant Officer argument. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
Maybee asserts that racial group formation and identity politics may be more complex than simply shared cultural practices or skin color. They may be based on political interests and commitment to liberation and antiracist struggles.
The sources of religious tolerance but also of religious nationalism in post-soviet Russia can be found basically in the group identification of nationality and religion. In crisis situations, the historical religion of the Russian society - Orthodoxy - becomes the criterion for identifying the national identity. However, despite the fact that the majority of Russians in our times consider themselves Orthodox, many of them are not believers. The observable effect of the “external belief” results in the fact that (...) the religion tends to become a matter of personal choice and an individual value. It assumes a nationalistic function and to become an ideology. As a result, the political elite considers religion as a means of achieving different non- religious purposes. The Russian Orthodox Church, the official church, is compelled to take this fact into consider- ation and even support it. This is why religious intolerance and religious nationalism in modern Russia are often directed towards religion. (shrink)
I propose an ethnographic study on the incremental transformation of identity. Through an analysis of managerial perceptions of stakeholder influence, I suggest that identity is adaptive rather than enduring and that, to explain adaptive identity, group identity is more appropriate than an organizational identity perspective. The case study uses qualitative data collected in organizations manufacturing flavors and fragrances for the large consumer goods industries. The analysis reveals that attributes shared with clannish stakeholders gradually replace attributes (...) of a claimed identity, and that, when confronting hostile stakeholders, organizations act in solidarity with clannish stakeholders. The discussion elaborates on the porosity of identity boundaries and the mobility of attributes, two important mechanisms that have emotional, behavioral, and strategic consequences. (shrink)
In regards to the problem of evil, van Inwagen thinks there are two arguments from evil which require different defenses. These are the global argument from evil—that there exists evil in general, and the local argument from evil—that there exists some particular atrocious evil X. However, van Inwagen fails to consider whether the problem of God’s hiddenness also has a “local” version: whether there is in fact a “local” argument from God’s hiddenness which would be undefeated by his general defense (...) of God’s hiddenness. This paper will argue that van Inwagen’s present account contains no implicit response to the “local” argument from God’s hiddenness, and, worse, the “local” argument brings to the fore crucial inconsistencies in van Inwagen’s account. These inconsistencies concern van Inwagen’s criterion for philosophical success—his methodological use of an “ideal audience” in an ideal debate—and a crucial premise in his argument: namely, that people who do not believe in God are culpably deceiving themselves regarding the manifest presence of God. These considerations will be a platform for my arguing that the failures of van Inwagen’s account amount to his ignoring the extra-rational, concrete aspect of grasping “spiritual propositions”—propositions which, in order to be affirmed, require the full self-understanding which precipitates out of the mind, body, and will of a particular existing individual. (shrink)
Contemporary orthodoxy affirms that singular terms cannot be predicates and that, therefore, ‘is’ is ambiguous as between predication and identity. Recent attempts to treat names as predicates do not challenge this orthodoxy. The orthodoxy was built into the structure of modern formal logic by Frege. It is defended by arguments which I show to be unsound. I provide a semantical account of atomic sentences which draws upon Mill's account of predication, connotation and denotation. I show that singular terms may (...) be predicates, that it is highly implausible that there is an ‘is’ of identity in natural languages, and that modern formal logic is deficient in that it cannot recognize sentences, including singular existentials, in which singular terms are predicates, or inferences which depend upon the logical role rather than the logical category of expressions. (shrink)
Identity and culture as the main concepts of INPE '94 were analyzed from philosophical perspectives that questioned their implications for our era of globalization. The formation of identities in a cultural context and their relationships with education gave focus to discussion. In other words, the effects of culture upon the individual and the role of education in strengthening or degrading these effects afforded the main concerns of our topical group.
The source, status, and significance of the derivation of the necessity of identity at the beginning of Kripke’s lecture “Identity and Necessity” is discussed from a logical, philosophical, and historical point of view.
Free Speech and the Politics of Identity challenges the scholarly view as well as the dominant legal view outside the United States that the right of free speech may reasonably be traded off in pursuit of justice to stigmatized minorities. The book's innovative normative and interpretative methodology calls for a new departure in comparative public law, in which all states responsibly address their common problems, not only of inadequate protection of free speech, but also correlative failure to take seriously (...) the continuing political power of such evils as anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, and homophobia. (shrink)
This paper discusses the “blended identity” of online rock fans to show that the standard dichotomy between anonymous and real life personas is an inadequate description of self-presentation in online communities. Using data from an ethnographic, exploratory study of an online community and comparison groups including interviews, an online questionnaire, fan discussion boards, and participant/observation, the research analyzes fan identity online and then offline. Rolling Stones fans often adopt names that illustrate their allegiance to the band, along with (...) avatars. Issues of gender and the technological change of software platform also affect types of online self-presentations and their construction. Fans engage in “role embracement”, merging their individual selves with the role of Stones fans, demonstrated by reactions of friends and family. Connections between offline and online settings occur, with band affiliation of fans expressed through choice of apparel offline, and usernames from online filtering into the offline interactions among fans. (shrink)
The special and unique attitudes that we take towards events in our futures/pasts—e.g., attitudes like the dread of an impeding pain—create a challenge for “Reductionist” accounts that reduce persons to aggregates of interconnected person stages: if the person stage currently dreading tomorrow’s pain is numerically distinct from the person stage that will actually suffer the pain, what reason could the current person stage have for thinking of that future pain as being his? One reason everyday subjects believe they have a (...) substantially extended temporal existence stems from introspection—they introspectively experience their selves as being temporally extended. In this paper, I examine whether a Reductionist about personal identity can co-opt this explanation. Using Galen Strawson’s recent work on self-experience as a resource, I reach both a negative and a positive conclusion about the prospects of such a position. First, the relevant kind of self-experience—i.e., the introspective experience of one’s self as being a substantially temporally extended entity—will not automatically arise within a person stage simply in virtue of that stage being psychologically connected to/continuous with other person stages. Second, the relevant kind of self-experience will arise, however, in virtue of person stages weaving together their respective experiences, actions, etc. via a narrative. This positive conclusion points towards a new Reductionist position that focuses upon a narrative, and not mere psychological continuity, in attempting to justify the special attitudes we take towards events in our futures/pasts. (shrink)
In his well-known 1952 dialogue Max Black describes a counterexample to the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII). The counterexample is a world containing nothing but two purportedly indiscernible iron spheres. Reflecting on Black's example, Robert Adams uses the possibility of a world containing two almost indiscernible spheres to argue for the possibility of the indiscernible spheres world. One of Adams's almost indiscernible spheres has a small impurity, and, Adams writes, "Surely... the absence of the impurity would not (...) make such a universe impossible." The appeal to "surely" constitutes a gap in Adams's argument. This paper bridges the gap with a premise that exploits the counterfactual conditional and the related notion of causal independence. The paper then argues that causal independence bears in a similar way on an issue Nathan Salmon raises concerning Kripke's argument for the Essentiality of Origins. (shrink)
We show that finitely axiomatized first-order theories that involve some criterion of identity for entities of a category C can be reformulated as conjunctions of a non-triviality statement and a criterion of identity for entities of category C again. From this, we draw two conclusions: First, criteria of identity can be very strong deductively. Second, although the criteria of identity that are constructed in the proof of the theorem are not good ones intuitively, it (...) is difficult to say what exactly is wrong with them once the modern metaphysical view of identity criteria is presupposed. (shrink)
This paper explores the relationship between scepticism and epistemic relativism in the context of recent history and philosophy of science. More specifically, it seeks to show that significant treatments of epistemic relativism by influential figures in the history and philosophy of science draw upon the Pyrrhonian problem of the criterion. The paper begins with a presentation of the problem of the criterion as it occurs in the work of Sextus Empiricus. It is then shown that significant treatments of (...) epistemic relativism in recent history and philosophy of science (critical rationalism, historical philosophy of science and the strong programme) draw upon the problem of the criterion. It is briefly suggested that a particularist response to the problem of the criterion may be put to good use against epistemic relativism. (shrink)
This paper is about the metaphysical debate whether objects persist over time by the selfsame object existing at different times (nowadays called “endurance” by metaphysicians), or by different temporal parts, or stages, existing at different times (called “perdurance”). I aim to illuminate the debate by using some elementary kinematics and real analysis: resources which metaphysicians have, surprisingly, not availed themselves of. There are two main results, which are of interest to both endurantists and perdurantists. (1) I describe a precise formal (...) equivalence between the way that the two metaphysical positions represent the motion of the objects of classical mechanics (both point-particles and continua). (2) I make precise, and prove a result about, the idea that the persistence of objects moving in a void is to be analysed in terms of tracking the continuous curves in spacetime that connect points occupied by matter. The result is entirely elementary: it is a corollary of the Heine–Borel theorem. (shrink)
The identity theory’s rise to prominence in analytic philosophy of mind during the late 1950s and early 1960s is widely seen as a watershed in the development of physicalism, in the sense that whereas logical behaviourism proposed analytic and a priori ascertainable identities between the meanings of mental and physical-behavioural concepts, the identity theory proposed synthetic and a posteriori knowable identities between mental and physical properties. While this watershed does exist, the standard account of it is misleading, as (...) it is founded in erroneous intensional misreadings of the logical positivists’—especially Carnap’s—extensional notions of translation and meaning, as well as misinterpretations of the positivists’ shift from the strong thesis of translation-physicalism to the weaker and more liberal notion of reduction-physicalism that occurred in the Unity of Science programme. After setting the historical record straight, the essay traces the first truly modern identity theory to Schlick’s pre-positivist views circa 1920 and goes on to explore its further development in Feigl, arguing that the fundamental difference between the Schlick-Feigl identity theory and the more familiar and influential Place-Smart-Armstrong identity theory has resurfaced in the deep and seemingly unbridgeable gulf in contemporary philosophy of consciousness between inflationary mentalism and deflationary physicalism. (shrink)
In Section 21 of his fifth letter to Clarke Leibniz attempts to derive the Identity of Indiscernibles from an application of the Principle of Sufficient Reason to God´s act of creation, namely that God has a reason to create the world he creates. In this paper I argue that this argument fails, not just because the Identity of Indiscernibles is false, but because there is a counterexample to one of the premises that Leibniz cannot satisfactorily rule out.
[Revised version.] Contemporary epistemologists, including Chisholm, Moser, Alston and Fogelin, have over-simplified Pyrrhonian scepticism and in particular Sextus Empiricus’ Dilemma of the Criterion. I argue that the central methodological problem Hegel addresses in the Introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit is the ‘Dilemma of the Criterion’, which purports to show that no criterion for distinguishing truth from falsehood can be established. I show that the Dilemma is especially pressing for any epistemology which, like Hegel’s, rejects ‘knowledge by (...) acquaintance’, aims to avoid dogmatism and retains a realist, correspondence conception of truth. Hegel’s response to the Dilemma appears to beg the question. I argue that careful disambiguation of some of Hegel’s key phrases shows that he developed a sophisticated response to this Dilemma which avoides petitio principii. On Hegel’s view, the internal coherence of a ‘form of consciousness’ (explained in the essay) entails that the principle conceptions of knowledge and of the objects of knowledge comprised by that ‘form of consciousness’ are true of actual knowledge and of the actual objects of knowledge. I indicate why this criterion can be made to work at the broad categorial level of Hegel’s inquiry although it does not apply directly to problems of theory selection faced in philosophy of science. [Original, shorter version published in: The History of Philosophy Quarterly 5.2 (1988):173–188.]. (shrink)
Philosophy sometimes has the reputation of dealing with matters outside the realm of ‘everyday life’, and trading in ideas that float free from anything beyond the armchair in which we sit contemplating them. In this paper, I discuss a standard armchair-branch of philosophy – personal identity theory – and the real-life effects it either has had or has apparently failed to have upon two philosophers: David Hume and Derek Parfit. Both arrive at similar and quite radical beliefs about personal (...)identity. And both have documented the difficulty of sustaining these beliefs in their day-to-day lives. For those considering embarking upon philosophical study – whether formally or not – this last point may seem discouraging, reinforcing a picture of a discipline that even on the admission of its own practitioners has little impact on everyday life or concerns. I will explore these two philosophers’ views on personal identity in some detail, and outline the conflicts which they claim to exist between their philosophical and non-philosophical thinking. I will go on to propose that these conflicts do not in fact reinforce an opposition between everyday life and philosophy. (shrink)
The main intention of this article is to analyze the role of Islam in post-Soviet Kazakhstan and its utilization in the nation-building and state-building processes. It is argued that Islam in post-Soviet Kazakhstan is a cultural phenomenon rather than a religious one and is an important marker of national identity despite the competition of radical movements in the “religious field.”.
There are certain areas of study where present-day semiotics of law can learn from history. This study examines the discursive history and historical courtroom discourse of expert witnesses in eighteenth-century American court. The aim of the study is to explore the use of linguistic strategies and resources in constructing an expert identity in relation to the factors which influence those choices. Instead of taking expertise as being lodged in the pre-given label, such as a doctor, this article argues that (...) such an identity has to be constructed and negotiated, and reveals how such an identity is constructed and negotiated through trial talk during a hostile discursive environment. The historical courtroom is an interesting site in this regard, as it was the period when expert witnesses did not enjoy the same social status as their present-day peers, which came with the absence of discursive privileges as well. It is found that experts mainly relied on expansions of response as the resources to counterbalance skeptical attitudes and hostile attempts aimed to undermine their testimony that accompanied their vulnerable status and image and to gain discursive control during the interaction. (shrink)
Leibniz’s short letter to the mathematician and physicist Ludovico Casati of 1689 is a short but interesting text on the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles, to which it is entirely dedicated. Since there is no watermark in the paper of the letter, the letter is difficult to date, but it is likely that it was written during Leibniz’s stay in Rome, sometime between April and November of 1689 (A 2 2 287–8). When addressing the letter, Leibniz wrote ‘Casani’, but (...) this seems to be a mistake and the real addressee is thought to be Ludovico Casati, nephew of Paolo Casati, the Jesuit mathematician. The letter, reproduced in the Berlin’s Academy edition of Leibniz’s works, was first published by Gerhardt in the Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie in 1892 (Gerhardt 1892: 53–54). It also appears in Robinet’s Iter Italicum (Robinet 1988: 134–35). But neither Gerhardt nor Robinet provide a philosophical discussion of the letter, and I am not aware of any other philosophical discussion of it. Furthermore, as far as I know, the letter has never been translated into any language. Thus I shall here provide a transcription (from A 2 2 288–89) and a translation of the letter into English, and a philosophical discussion of its treatment of the Identity of Indiscernibles. (shrink)
A communities of practice framework views learning in terms of identity (trans)formation within and through participation, utilizing a set of shared resources, in a community organized around a joint endeavor, or practice. From an ethnomethodological perspective, however, the theoretical notions of community, shared resources, and identity constitute not explanatory resources, but rather topics requiring data-grounded exploration. In other words, the following empirical questions arise: If and how the participants (a) organize their group as community, (b) co-constitute a shared (...) repertoire of participatory resources, and (c) work up and manage identities as practitioners within that community. In the present study, I examine interactions at conversation analytic data sessions in Japan. The analyses focus on how the participants use terminology during their participation in doing data analysis, and how such terminology use is implicated in constituting their group as a community, and in working up and managing identities within that community. (shrink)
In many industrialized countries ethicists and lawyers favour advance directives as a tool to guarantee patient autonomy in end-of-life-decisions. However, most citizens seem reluctant to adopt the practice; the number of patients who have an advance directive is low across most countries. The article discusses the key argument for seeing such documents as an instrument of self-interpretation and life-planning, which ultimately have to be interpreted by third parties as well. Interpretation by third parties and the process of self-reflection are conceptually (...) linked by a qualitative concept of identity. Identity is conceived here as constructed in a processual dialogue between a personal and a cultural perspective. How the cultural dimension comes into play in understanding the motivation, rejection or content of wished for end-of-life-decisions, is shown by a brief review of empirical and cultural studies. Understanding advance directives as a culturally embedded tool of self-interpretation should help to overcome urgent moral problems in clinical settings: how to interpret such documents, how to deliberate on the content and on the best form. (shrink)
In this paper I examine, and reject, one of the chief philosophical arguments that purports to show that Pyrrhonian Skepticism is incompatible with possessing any beliefs. That argument, first put forward by Jonathan Barnes and since accepted by many philosophers, focuses on the skeptic's resolute suspension of judgment concerning one philosophical issue, namely whether criteria of truth exist. In short, the argument holds that, because skeptics suspend judgment whether criteria of truth exist, they have no basis on which to discriminate (...) between their impressions, which is a necessary condition for belief formation. I show that this argument fails because it misunderstands both the nature of criteria of truth and the epistemic consequences of suspending judgment concerning their existence. Thus, I clear the main philosophical obstacle preventing an interpretation of Pyrrhonism as consistent with possessing beliefs (associated most famously with Michael Frede). (shrink)
Recently, several authors have claimed to have found graph-theoretic counterexamples to the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles. In this paper, I argue that their counterexamples presuppose a certain view of what unlabeled graphs are, and that this view is optional at best.
One of the central theses of egalitarian liberals in the domain of distributive justice is that talented individuals should not be allowed to keep their entire market-income even if it flows solely from their greater abilities. This claim is usually supported by one of several arguments or some mixture of them, but in the present paper, I want to concentrate on the version that invokes equality of opportunity as its starting point. Namely, it is claimed that every human being should (...) enjoy an equal starting point in the life-race but that this is not secured insofar as some have greater natural talents than others. Therefore, egalitarians hold that results that arise from such an unfair situation are unjust and should be corrected by a redistributive taxation. I want to criticize this argument by hoping to show that it presupposes an untenable view about identity of persons. (shrink)
In this paper I reconstruct Leibniz's argument for the Identity of Indiscernibles in his *Primary Truths*. I criticise the alternative interpretation put forward by Cover and O'Leary-Hawthorne and defend my own interpretation, both on philosophical and hermeneutical grounds.
In this paper, I present an informational approach to the nature of personal identity. In “Plato and the problem of the chariot”, I use Plato’s famous metaphor of the chariot to introduce a specific problem regarding the nature of the self as an informational multiagent system: what keeps the self together as a whole and coherent unity? In “Egology and its two branches” and “Egology as synchronic individualisation”, I outline two branches of the theory of the self: one concerning (...) the individualisation of the self as an entity, the other concerning the identification of such entity. I argue that both presuppose an informational approach, defend the view that the individualisation of the self is logically prior to its identification , and suggest that such individualisation can be provided in informational terms. Hence, in “A reconciling hypothesis: the three membranes model”, I offer an informational individualisation of the self, based on a tripartite model, which can help to solve the problem of the chariot. Once this model of the self is outlined, in “ICTs as technologies of the self” I use it to show how ICTs may be interpreted as technologies of the self. In “The logic of realisation”, I introduce the concept of “realization” (Aristotle’s anagnorisis ) and support the rather Spinozian view according to which, from the perspective of informational structural realism, selves are the final stage in the development of informational structures. The final “Conclusion: from the egology to the ecology of the self” briefly concludes the article with a reference to the purposeful shaping of the self, in a shift from egology to ecology. (shrink)
The Internet has become a field of dragon teeth for a person’s identity. It has made it possible for your identity to be mistaken by a credit agency, spied on by the government, foolishly exposed by yourself, pilloried by an enemy, pounded by a bully, or stolen by a criminal. These harms to one’s integrity could be inflicted in the past, but information technology has multiplied and aggravated such injuries. They have not gone unnoticed and are widely bemoaned (...) and discussed. The government and private watchdogs are working to protect the identity of citizens though at least in the United States both the government and individuals all too often side with prosperity when it conflicts with privacy. Still, these information-technological threats to identity have been recognized and can be reasonably met through legislation, regulation, and discretion. There is another kind of danger to our identity that is more difficult to define and to meet, for it has no familiar predecessors, has no criminal aspects, and exhibits no sharp moral or cultural contours. Still that threat to our identity haunts us constantly and surfaces occasionally in conversations and the media. It makes us feel displaced, distracted, and fragmented at the very times when to all appearances we seem to be connected, busy, and energetic. At the same time, the culture of technology, and of information technology particularly, has opened up fields of diversity and contingency that invite us to comprehend our identities in newly responsible, intricate, and open-minded ways. (shrink)
I discuss E. J. Lowe's conception of criteria of identity and sketch a different and, I think, more adequate conception. On my view, criteria of identity are some of the things we can do. They are what we do when distinguishing between single entities of the kind in question and pairs of entities of the relevant domain. And they enable us to make such distinctions because they are applicable to all single and to all pairs of entities of (...) the relevant domain but fulfilled only by all single entities of the kind in question. This feature of criteria of identity allows us to define these criteria, to explain how to identify a particular criterion of identity and to determine the logical form in which to express such identifications. (shrink)
This article examines the issues raised by religious adherents’ wish to express their beliefs in the public domain through, for example, their modes of dress, their performance of public roles, and their response to homosexuality. It considers on what grounds religion might merit special treatment and how special that treatment should be. A common approach to these issues is through the notion of religious identity, but both the idea of religious identity and its use to ground claims against (...) others prove deeply problematic. An alternative and more productive approach is through the notion of harm. People should enjoy the freedom to express their religious convictions subject to the harm principle, but harm should include the undermining of people’s status as free and equal citizens. The article concludes by considering the grounds upon which this alternative approach might recognize religion as special and might justify giving an overriding status to civic equality. (shrink)