Things, relations and identity

Philosophy of Science 34 (3):260-272 (1967)
Philosophers have long believed that if the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles were logically true, there would be no problem of individuation. I show (a) that if spatial relations are, as seems plausible, of such a nature that it makes no sense to say of one thing that it is related to itself, then the Principle is a logical truth, asserting that a certain kind of state of affairs is impossible because the kind of sentence purporting to express it is ill-formed and (b) that even if the Principle were such a truth the problem of individuation would remain. I then examine some of what Leibniz and Wittgenstein have said about the notions of individuation, difference and nonidentity
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DOI 10.1086/288157
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